Richmond VA > Citywide Common Items > Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 2016-06-27

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Adult Drug Court

What are Drug Court programs?

Drug Courts are specialized dockets within the existing structure of Virginia's court system that offer a dispositional alternative to eligible addicted offenders.

The three basic components of Drug Court programs:

  • Strict and frequent probation supervision with urinalysis testing several times per week;
  • Intensive drug treatment and required attendance at Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous several times per week;
  • Frequent reporting to court with immediate sanctions imposed for relapse of program noncompliance. Drug Court participants say that regular appearances before the judge make the difference in working to break their addiction cycle.

Drug Courts involve the united efforts of judges, Commonwealth's Attorneys, defense attorneys, public defenders, treatment clinicians, sheriff's deputies, police officers, probation officers, and court clerks who serve on the local Drug Court team.

  • In Virginia, 32% of all convicted felons are drug offenders.
  • In Virginia, 50% of all convicted felons have evidence of prior drug abuse; 31% are alcohol abusers.
  • In Virginia, 67% of probationers use illicit drugs; 69% of jail inmates are in need of substance abuse treatment.
  • In Virginia, more than 1000 infants were born in 1999 with evidence of illegal drug exposure and another 422 babies had been exposed to alcohol.

Are defendants who plead "not guilty", but are found guilty by the Court or a jury, eligible to participate in Drug Court?

Yes.

Is residential treatment required for every participant in Drug Court?

No. However, many defendants may be required to complete inpatient detoxification before entering the program.

Are defendants required to participate in Drug Court?

No. Defendants voluntarily agree to participate.

Will defendants with regular, temporary, or part-time employment be allowed to continue employment?

Yes, as long as your schedule allows you to participate in morning or evening treatment sessions. The sessions take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. One of the program requirements is that you work 35 hours a week.

When and where are the Drug Court hearings?

Hearings are held every Friday at 10:00 a.m. in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, John Marshall Courts Building. However, dates and times are subject to change depending upon the Circuit Court's schedule.

Why are Drug Courts effective?

Drug Court service delivery is based on best practices in addiction treatment, as defined by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, including:

  • Treatment is readily available.
  • Drug Court treatment addresses multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug use.
  • Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness. Drug Courts are designed to last more than a year. Addicts who stay in treatment a year or more are twice as likely to remain drug-free.
  • Counseling and other behavioral therapies are critical components of treatment.
  • Addicted or drug-abusing individuals with co-occurring disorders have their substance abuse and mental health disorders can be treated in an integrated way.
  • Frequent drug testing monitors any use of drugs or alcohol.

How effective are Drug Court programs?

Drug Court costs an average of $4,000 to $6,000 per offender per year while average incarceration costs range from $22,000 to $38,000 per offender per year.

Virginia's Drug Court retention rate is 62.77%; only 10% of voluntary clients complete treatment in Virginia's Community Service Boards (CSB) mental health/substance abuse outpatient treatment.

Virginia's Drug Court felony recidivism rate is 5.9% as compared to a 50% felony recidivism rate for other Virginia drug offenders handled in traditional ways of probation or incarceration.

Assessor of Real Estate

Undergoing extensive revisions at this time. Please contact us for more information.

Auditor

How was my department selected for audit/review?

The City Auditor decides which departments or agencies should be part of the annual audit plan. Several factors are considered and analyzed, including risk assessment, known deficiencies, political sensitivities, major changes, magnitude of funding, and requests from city administration, City Council or management.

What should I do if I suspect fraud, waste or abuse of City resources?

If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of city resources, you should contact the city's Fraud Squad either by phone (804)646-5697 or you can filing a report online at www.richmondfraudsquad.org. Reports can be made anonymously. See the Fraud Squad website for potential rewards if costs savings are recognized!

Who receives the audit report?

The audit report is distributed to the department director, chief administrator's office, City Council, the Mayor's Chief of Staff, the City Clerk and the Audit Committee. In accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), Chapter 8 - Reporting Standards for Performance Audits our reports are also made available to the public via our website.

Who audits the auditor?

A Peer Review Team "audits the auditor" every three years. As promulgated by Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), the City Auditors Office is subject to review by a Peer Review Team that is independent of the audit organization. Peer Review Team members consist of experienced auditors specifically trained in the peer review process. The Peer Review is coordinated by the Association of Local Government Auditors (ALGA). See our link for the most recent Peer Review results.

To whom does the City Auditor Report?

The City Auditor reports to the City Council with an advisory reporting relationship to the council-appointed Audit Committee.

What role does the City Audit Department have within the organization?

The City Auditor's Office provides auditing and investigative services to promote accountability over resources, efficiencies in operations, effectiveness of programs, and compliance with laws, regulations, and policies. The objective of these services is to make city government transparent to the citizens through audit and investigative reports.

How does the audit process help my department?

Through the audit process our goal is to help management: enhance controls, maximize efficiency and effectiveness within the department, provide cost savings and revenue enhancement, increase awareness of internal controls, deter fraud and strengthen the effectiveness of management's decision making process.

Carillon

Where is the Carillon located?

The Carillon is located in Byrd Park.

How much does it cost to rent meeting space at the Carillon?

Meetings for 200 persons or less - $195 for a 4 hour period plus $40 per hour operational/staffing fee. Weekday use only.

Meetings for 201 persons or more - $325 for a 4 hour period plus $40 per hour operational/staffing fee. Weekday use only.

Wedding receptions or parties - $1,300 ($250 deposit to the hold date applies) plus $40 per hour operational/staffing fee. The fee applies from the time you enter the building until the time you leave.

There are also other fees. Please call for (804)646-0761, (804)646-0036 or (804)646-0037 for details.

What are the rental hours for the Carillon?

Events at the Carillon can start as early as 8 am, however, all events should end at 11 pm with the exception of a New Year's Eve function, which should end at 1 am.

Note! Due to the Dogwood Dell schedule and Festival of Arts Programs, the Carillon is not available for bookings between June to August or during the month of December, before the 28th.

What are the move-in and clean-up procedures?

Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. is considered move-in time at $100 for the day, anytime other than that is considered overtime, which requires a $40 per hour fee (with a four hour minimum) to cover operational and staffing costs.

Caterers can return on Monday morning for clean-up (tables and decoration, not food) - food service usually comes in through the rear door of the building. For access to the rear doors, caterers are welcomed to park behind the building.

Does the building fee include any equipment?

The basic rental package includes 200 chairs as well as two six-foot long tables. Additional equipment can be rented as follows:

  • 6' round tables - $8.50 each (there are 20 round tables in stock).
  • 6' or 8' rectangular tables - $6.50 each (there are 18 long tables in stock).
  • Extra chairs - $1.00 each (up to 100 maximum).
  • Sound system (podium) - $50 per use plus a $75 refundable deposit.

Can alcoholic beverages be served at events?

Yes, an ABC license must be provided if serving alcoholic beverages. It can be acquired through a caterer. Alcohol is only allowed inside the Carillon. If alcohol is served, arrangements for an off-duty police officer must be made by calling (804)646-0929.

Is insurance needed?

Yes, for large special events and events serving alcoholic beverages, insurance naming the City of Richmond as the additional insured party (all agencies) for $1,000,000 must be provided. The insurance can be purchased through homeowners insurance or possibly be obtained through the caterer. For more information on insurance, call (804)646-0037, (804)646-0036, or (804)646-0761.

What is the maximum capacity of the Carillon?

The maximum capacity is 300 people. One side of the Carillon can comfortably hold 12 round tables (if needed, it is possible to squeeze up to 15 tables). If using the department's chairs, 8 - 9 people can sit at a table. If renting standard folding chairs, 10 people can sit at a table.

Is there a kitchen?

There are no kitchen accommodations, however, running water is available in the housekeeping closet on the first floor.

Are the grounds surrounding the Carillon available for wedding rentals?

Weddings on the grounds of the Carillon may be arranged, only when the client is also renting the interior of the Carillon. If renting the grounds, please include an additional $275 fee for each four hour period.

How are reservations scheduled?

To make reservations, or for additional information, please call our scheduling office at (804)646-0037, (804)646-0036, or (804)646-0761.

Cemeteries

Who is eligible to receive veteran's death benefits?

Service men and women receiving Veteran's Administration benefits at death or who die in a Veteran's Administration hospital. If you have questions, contact the Veteran's Administration Office, 807 E. Broad Street, Richmond, VA. (804)786-2261.

What typical benefits will the veteran's family receive?

Basic burial allowance, $300; interment/burial plot allowance, $150; service connected death, up to $1500 in lieu of previous benefits.

What are Social Security benefits at death?

A lump sum death payment will be made to the surviving spouse, provided legal requirements are met; total will not exceed $255. Other survivors' payments may be available. Contact the Social Security Administration with questions: (800)772-1213, or contact one of the local Social Security office locations.

How do I get a copy of my Social Security account: What I have paid to date and what I am likely to draw at retirement?

Write to Social Security Administration, Wilkes-Barre Data Operations Center, P.O. Box 7004, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18767-7004.

Do I need a will?

Yes. If you do not have a will the State will distribute your property according to the established laws of succession. The court-appointed administrator will say who gets what.

If my spouse and I have joint ownership of property, do I still need a will?

Yes, particularly if you both are involved in a fatal accident simultaneously.

What are the advantages of buying cemetery property now (pre-need)?

There are many advantages of buying cemetery property now. First, you freeze prices at today's rates. Second, you have greater choice selections and you and your family make the selection together. Additionally, you will have the personal satisfaction of having solved a difficult problem and not leaving it to your family - you will avoid unnecessary emotional difficulty of making such decisions during the trauma of death. Ultimately, you will have the satisfaction of knowing your personal wishes and preferences will be fulfilled.

What are the disadvantages of waiting until time of death (at-need) to buy cemetery property?

Prices will be higher, selection will be limited, and someone will have to make the decision alone. It will put great emotional strain on your survivor(s), the decision will be a hasty one, and your survivor(s) will always wonder if they spent too much or too little.

Where are the local National Cemeteries located?

City Point in Hopewell; Cold Harbor in Mechanicsville; Fort Harrison in Varina; Glendale on Willis Church Road in Richmond; Richmond National Cemetery located on Williamsburg Road in Richmond; and Seven Pines, located in Sandston. All burial records are on computer and information can be obtained by calling the Richmond National Cemetery Complex at (804)795-2031.

Additional information and assistance on matters concerning our cemeteries may be obtained by sending correspondence to:

Cemetery Administration Offices
1401 Randolph St.
Richmond, VA 23220
Map It
(804)646-1402

Note: Genealogical information is available to the public by appointment only-Call (804)646-1402.

Clean City Commission

Do I have to use a green bin or can I use any kind?

Use any kind of bin you want - just put it out!

Why didn't they take my boxes?

You need to break down your cardboard boxes so we can put them in the truck.

It's raining.  I don't want everything to get wet.  Should I wait another two weeks?

No.  We will pick them up, rain or shine.

Why don't you take plastic bags?

There currently is no market for such items.  However, many grocery stores do have bins to recycle them.

I live in an apartment complex.  What can I do?

Use the drop-off recycling sites below.  They take everything just as curbside.

Where are the Drop-Off Recycling Locations?

  • Stratford Hills Shopping Center,
    6788 Forest Hill Avenue, near Hathaway Road
    Map It


  • East Richmond Road Landfill
    3800 East Richmond Road
    Map It


  • Richmond Southside Transfer Station
    3520 North Hopkins Road
    Map It


  • Parker Field Annex
    1700 Robin Hood Road, gravel lot behind Credit Union
    Map It


Community Assisted Public Safety

How does Community Assisted Public Safety (CAPS) work?

The CAPS team composed of property maintenance, police, fire, health, zoning and tax enforcement forms the nucleus of each zone's program. The Commonwealth's Attorney, ABC, finance and other departments are heavily involved, as well. The team, lead by the code enforcement official, partners with citizens in each zone to identify, track and abate problems with properties that pose significant public safety or blight issues for the neighborhood. Citizens attend monthly meetings and help to identify the properties they feel need the full attention of the city. The CAPS Team works with other city staff as required and the property owner, and reports progress at meetings. Problem properties, once accepted into the program, are tracked until there is resolution. If property owners are not willing to satisfactorily address their problems, the case may go to court. Should this action be taken, it is vital that citizens attend the court hearings to impress upon the courts that they, too, seek abatement.

How are properties selected?

By completing the CAPS Complaint Form, citizens and the team "nominate" properties that they feel will benefit most from the attention of the CAPS program. Due to the extensive effort required by these problem properties, the team handles only a limited number of cases at any one time. Thus, the group ranks properties in priority order. To be officially addressed and tracked by the team, the property must require the attention of two or more city agencies AND meet one of the following criteria: It must have had previous enforcement activity Or It must have a long standing history Or It must be a public safety concern.

What if a property does not make the CAPS list?

Not every problem property requires the attention of CAPS. Houses with peeling paint, or broken gutters, for instance, may only require a letter from the city pointing out the need for maintenance in accordance with the City Code. These cases will also be actively tracked until resolved, but will not be part of the team’s focus.

How are properties reported?

If you know of properties that are serious problems in your neighborhood, report them to your civic association, which in turn will bring them to the CAPS meetings or attend the CAPS meeting yourself. You also may call the CAPS number, (804)646-CAPS(2277), and request a CAPS Complaint Form. Fax the completed form back to (804)646-5355.

What is the timetable for problem property resolution?

It is not possible to establish a timetable for specific resolutions. Each property is unique. A responsible property owner will probably fix his property in 30 days, with only a letter from the city. An absentee landlord who lives out of state may be an entirely different case, and could take months and months of effort. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to even find the owner to begin the process. What we do know is that there will be measurable improvement in our neighborhoods almost immediately. As owners see that the city and the community are united in the CAPS effort, many will choose to maintain their property voluntarily, rather than be cited by the city, and be subject to code violations, fines, and court appearances.

Who do we contact with questions?

There is a team leader for each area of the city. You may reach the teams by dialing (804)646-CAPS (2277) or by e-mail to CAPS Team.

Community Gardens

What do I need to know about the Richmond Grows Gardens Program?

The City of Richmond is proud to support urban agriculture through its Richmond Grows Gardens Program by making city owned property available for Commercial Gardens and Community Gardens.

What is the difference between a Community Garden and a Commercial Garden?

A Community Garden means city property used to grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, wood products or native or ornamental plants for non-commercial purposes, in which there is no exchange of goods for monetary value. A gardener cannot sell anything grown in a Community Garden.

A Commercial Garden means city property leased from the City of Richmond and used by the lessee to grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, wood products, or native or ornamental plants to exchange for monetary value off-site. A gardener can sell what he grows in a Commercial Garden but he must do so off-site.

What is the process to apply for a Commercial Garden?

A Commercial Garden requires a lease between the applicant and the City. First submit an on-line application at www.richmondgov.com/communitygardens. After your application has been reviewed, you will be referred to the appropriate contact in the City of Richmond's Economic and Community Development Department where you will be able to negotiate the terms of your lease which includes a commercial insurance requirement. The lease may be up to five years with renewal periods.

What is the process to apply for a Community Garden?

Only incorporated organizations, unincorporated organizations and government organizations may apply for a Community Garden. A Community Garden requires a permit between the organization (Garden Group) and the City. Only an authorized representative of a Garden Group may submit an on-line application for the permit at www.richmondgov.com/communitygardens.

What is the length of a Community Garden permit?

The permit between the City and the Garden Group is revocable and terminable at will for any reason, upon due notice, by either the City or the Garden Group, and it is for the annual use of city property for a period not to exceed 12 months from the date of any such issuance.

What is the fee for a Community Garden permit?

There is a non-refundable fee of $50.00 for the first year. This fee covers administrative costs from January 1 through December 31 of the calendar year. There is a non-refundable annual renewal fee of $25.

How does the City prioritize applications for a Community Garden permit?

The city will process Garden Group applications on a first come, first served basis. A waiting list will be maintained for applicants when no parcels are available.

Can individuals participate in the Richmond Grows Gardens Program?

Yes. We encourage individuals that want to garden to contact a Garden Group that has a parcel and is offering plots. A Garden Group can choose to divide its parcel into individual plots. If it does so, then the Group must create a process to offer individual plots to approved gardeners on an annual basis subject to renewal on a first come, first served basis. The Group may charge a fee for each plot but the fee cannot be more than $50 per plot. Garden Groups must also have a process to provide a minimum of 10% of available plots to residents that cannot afford the fee charged by the Garden Group. This will help support the City's goal of encouraging and facilitating access to fresh, nutritional food for residents and particularly those in underserved communities.

What are the requirements for the Community Garden application process?

The Garden Group applying for a permit must meet the following requirements: provide proof of insurance in the amount of $250,000; provide an original signed Release, Waiver of Liability, and Indemnification Agreement; pay an application fee of $50 for an initial application or $25 for a renewal application; designate a Coordinator to be responsible for its Community Garden; demonstrate that it adequately informed the neighborhood of its plans to create a Community Garden on a case by case basis as determined by the Richmond Grows Gardens Coordinator; and provide an original signed Release, Waiver of Liability, and Indemnification Agreement from each individual who participates in the community garden. Individual waivers are required within seven calendar days of an individual agreeing to participate in the Richmond Grows Gardens Program. Failure to send Individual Waivers will result in the Garden Group being solely responsible for the defense of and compensation for any and all personal injuries and/or property damage sustained as a result of an individual's participation in the Richmond Grows Gardens Program. The Richmond Grows Gardens Coordinator is available to assist your Group with questions about any of these requirements.

Can gardeners sell the items they produce in Community Gardens?

No. Neither Garden Groups nor gardeners can sell produce from a Community Garden. If gardeners want to sell produce they should apply for a lease for a Commercial Garden.

Can gardeners have livestock or pets in Community Gardens?

No pets, animals or livestock are allowed on any Community Garden. Livestock or animals may only be allowed on a Commercial Garden if permitted under applicable City code provisions and the terms of the lease.

Are there maintenance guidelines for Community and Commercial Gardens?

Garden Groups and commercial gardeners are responsible for maintaining the entire parcel in good condition including regular mowing of the parcel, maintaining weeds and grasses, and regular harvesting and removal of dead/dying plants and rotting vegetables. Gardeners must maintain their plot throughout the growing season with active planting, harvesting and weeding. Gardeners shall use only organic fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides, and use them in such a way as not to affect other plots. The Richmond Grows Gardens Coordinator will check all parcels on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with the Rules and Guidelines.

Are fences and structures allowed on Community and Commercial Gardens?

Garden Groups and commercial gardeners may use non-permanent structures such as sheds with non-permanent foundations, fences, raised beds, trellises, and deck box containers. Gardeners must maintain any structures in good repair. The building and maintenance of fences and other structures must adhere to the Richmond Grows Gardens Rules and Guidelines and building code requirements where applicable.

How will gardeners know the soil condition for Community and Commercial Gardens?

All parcels were researched, assessed and tested by the City of Richmond before being offered for use as a garden site. The Richmond Grows Gardens Coordinator will notify the Garden Group or commercial gardener if the parcel's soil condition requires the use of raised beds or containers.

What are the options for watering Community and Commercial Gardens?

The City recommends using water conservation methods such as mulching and selecting plants that use less water. Low-water gardening methods are also encouraged. Options for watering gardens are explained in detail in the "Watering Your Garden" section which appears at the end of the Richmond Grows Gardens Rules and Guidelines.

Economic & Community Development

How do I purchase a Tax-Delinquent Property?

Motley's Auction and Realty Group conducts the sale of tax-delinquent properties on behalf of the city of Richmond. Below are the basic steps a person interested in purchasing a tax-delinquent property should take:

  1. Review the Tax Sale Database.
  2. Visit Motley's Group to view additional details and information.
  3. Complete the Public Auction Form and bring it with you to the public auction. Filling this form out ahead of time will speed up your wait time in the registration line at the auction.

When can the city initiate the sale of tax-delinquent property?

Virginia code 58.1-3965 currently authorizes the city to initiate the sale of tax-delinquent property on December 31 following the second anniversary of the date on which such taxes have become due.

What if the property I am interested in is not currently in the tax sale process?

You can complete a Tax Sale Special Request Form and send it to the city's Tax Sale Review Committee. The committee will review the request to see if the property meets the criteria to be included in the tax sale process.

Does the city place all tax-delinquent properties into the tax sale process?

No. A property must meet certain statutory requirements before it can be placed in the tax sale process and properties are also prioritized according to factors such as public safety issues, blight/condition, the number of years delinquent and amount of delinquency.

Does the city require that persons who purchase though the tax sale rehabilitate the property?

The city will not accept bids from a person who owes taxes to the city or has outstanding code violations. The owner is subject to building code requirements, future real estate taxes and other applicable laws. Certain properties are sold with development agreements that require purchasers to make improvements within a specific time frame.

If I purchase property through the tax sale, am I required to pay the delinquent taxes?

No. The property sells for the amount of the highest bid. The court orders the property sold free of liens and encumbrances. The purchaser receives a special warranty deed.

How much of a down payment is required when you purchase a tax-delinquent property at auction?

A minimum of $2,500 or 20% of the winning bid price, whichever is greater.

What are the required deposits for public auction properties?

The public auction properties require a 20% down or $2,500, whichever is greater, on the day of the auction. The funds must be in the form of

  • cash
  • certified check
  • personal check with a bank letter of guarantee
  • major credit card plus a three-percent fee on the total amount charged

In order to participate in the public auction you must complete the auction registration form and bring it with you the day of the auction.

For specific details or a bidder packet, please contact Motley's Auction House.

How do I pay for my public auction properties and when is the payment due?

All payments for tax sale properties must be made in the form of cash or certified bank funds. The city does not offer assistance in the purchasing of any of these properties. The payment is generally due seven days prior to the court's confirmation of the sale. Specific times and arrangements for payment can be made directly with the appropriate attorney who is handling the tax sale case. Payment must be received in full prior to court confirmation in order to allow the sale to be finalized and the new deed recorded.

How quickly can a new deed be recorded?

Once all payments have been received and confirmation of the sale has occurred, your new deed will recorded by the city. Buyers are required to pay the recordation cost and all related taxes. Each bidder will receive a letter prior to closing stating the exact cost of all fees. A copy of the new deed will be mailed to the buyer after it has been recorded.

What is city-owned surplus property?

Surplus property consists of land and buildings that are owned by the city of Richmond but that have been determined to be surplus by their agency and City Council. Once a property is declared surplus, it is then submitted to the Asset Management Division of Economic and Community Development for review to decide whether the property can be placed on the surplus list or if it will be sold by Request for Proposal (RFP).

All sales must be approved by the city administration and City Council.

Richmond City Code concerning city surplus property

How can I purchase city-owned surplus property?

Interested buyers may submit a letter to Economic & Community Development expressing interest in a particular property. The Surplus Property Offer Letter should include:

  • Address of the property(ies)
  • Offer price(s)
  • Intended use of property(ies)
  • Certified check which is 10% of the offer price or $100, whichever amount is greater, as good faith deposit.

All letters should be mailed to

Attention: Asset Management Division Head
Department of Economic & Community Development
1500 East Main Street, Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23219

Fire and Emergency Services

Does the Fire Department install and/or inspect child car seats?

Yes, three of the fire stations in Richmond will install and/or inspect child car seats between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Please visit the Fire Department's Child Safety Seat page for more information.

What permits does the City of Richmond Fire Department Issue?

For information regarding permitting, please refer to the Fire Prevention's Permits page (click here).

Can I check my blood pressure at a Fire Station?

Yes, all Richmond Fire stations provide free blood pressure screenings between the hours of 8am and 8pm. Please understand that fire department personnel may be absent from the station due to various scheduled and unscheduled events.

What is Carbon Monoxide and why should I have a detector in my home?

Carbon Monoxide is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas which causes about 300 accidental fatalities in homes annually. Early symptoms of a Carbon Monoxide exposure may include headaches, fatigue, nausea, and confusion. Carbon Monoxide detectors are inexpensive, reliable and can prevent Carbon Monoxide related deaths. To learn more you can download Carbon Monoxide safety brochures click here.

Where should smoke detectors be placed in my home?

Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement and in or near every sleeping area. To avoid false alarms keep smoke detectors at least 10 feet from stoves and showers. For more information, click here to download a safety brochure.

How can I be notified when the Richmond Fire Department is hiring?

You can sign up for Fire and EMS related job notifications click here. You will be notified for up to 12 months after submitting your email address.

Freedom of Information Act

What is a public record under FOIA?

A "public record" is any writing or recording, in any format, prepared or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees or agents in the transaction of public business. For example, public records may be in the form of handwritten notes, typewritten documents, electronic files, audio or video recordings, photographs, or any other written or recorded media.

Who may request records under FOIA?

  • Citizens of the Commonwealth
  • Representatives of newspapers and magazines with circulation in the Commonwealth
  • Representatives of radio and television stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth

Does a request have to mention "FOIA" specifically?

No. The request need not make reference to FOIA in order to invoke its provisions or to impose the time limits for response by a public body.

Does a FOIA request have to be made in writing?

No. A written request is not required. However, from a practical point of view, it is suggested that the request be made in writing (or use any request form provided by the public body). Writing a request provides recourse for both parties.

Can a public body require a requester to fill out a request form?

No. However, a public body may require a requester to provide his name and legal address before processing a FOIA request. [NOTE: This is a tool a public body may use, but FOIA does not mandate that public bodies get identification first.]

How long does a public body have to respond to a request?

A public body must respond within five working days of receipt of the request [NOTE: Count the day after receipt as day 1].

*REMEMBER: Failure to respond to a request for records shall be deemed a denial of the request and constitute a violation of FOIA.

What are the permissible responses to a request?

As of July 1, 2007, a public body must make one of the five responses allowed by FOIA:

  1. Provide the requested records to the requester;
  2. The requested records are being entirely withheld because their release is prohibited by law or the custodian has exercised his discretion to withhold the records in accordance with FOIA;
  3. The requested records are being provided in part and are being withheld in part because the release of part of the records is prohibited by law or the custodian has exercised his discretion to withhold a portion of the records in accordance with FOIA;
  4. The requested records could not be found or do not exist. However, if the public body that received the request knows that another public body has the requested records, the response shall include contact information for the other public body; or
  5. It is not practically possible to provide the requested records OR to determine whether they are available within the five-work-day period, and the public body needs an additional seven work days in which to provide one of the four preceding responses.

Is it required that a public body create a record in response to a FOIA request?

Generally, no public body is required to create a new record if the requested record does not already exist. However, a public body may abstract or summarize information under such terms and conditions as agreed between the requester and the public body.

How much may a public body charge for producing records?

A public body may make reasonable charges for its actual cost incurred in assessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records. A public body may not charge extraneous or surplus fees unrelated to the production of the records. [NOTE: This means that a public body cannot factor in expenses such as overhead or the cost of benefits paid to employees.] Charges for copies must not exceed the actual cost of duplication.

A citizen may request that the public body estimate the cost of supplying the requested records in advance. Further detailed guidance regarding charges for the production of records is provided in a separate document entitled "Taking the Shock Out of FOIA Charges: A Guide to Allowable Charges under the Freedom of Information Act."

Can a public body require advance payment?

When a public body determines in advance that the charges for supplying the requested records are likely to exceed $200, it may require the requester to pay a deposit before proceeding with the request. This deposit may not exceed the amount of the advance determination, and the public body must credit it towards the final cost of supplying the records. If a public body asks for the advance deposit, the five-working-day period to respond to the request will be tolled until the deposit is paid.

What can a public body do if a requester does not pay for records provided under FOIA?

Before responding to a new request for records, a public body may require the requester to pay any amounts owed to the public body for previous requests for records that remain unpaid 30 days or more after billing.

Human Resources

How do I create an account and apply for a job online?

Instructions on applying for a job - new applicant.

How do I apply for a specific job if I already have an account?

Instructions on applying for a job - returning applicant

Can I submit a paper application?

The city only accepts on-line applications submitted through Richmond On-Line Staffing System (ROSS).

How often are new job openings released?

New job openings are released on-line every Sunday. However, the city reserves the right to release job openings as needed.

How do I find out what positions are available?

Find jobs at this link.

How can I find out the status of my application?

To find out the status of an application, log into the account from the return user's link on the employment page and click on the 'Application Status' link.

I forgot my account username and password. How do I get it?

Click on the 'I forgot my password' link from the login page within the job posting. You will receive an e-mail with your account information to the e-mail address on your application.

Who will see my application after I submit it on-line?

All information is on a secure web server. Only Human Resources staff and other city department users authorized to review specific job openings will have access to job applications. The city of Richmond does not share its database with other companies or localities.

Can I still apply for a job if I missed the deadline?

Once a closing date has passed, no additional applications will be accepted.

If I previously applied for a position, will you automatically be considered for the same position if it is reposted?

An application must be submitted for each posting. If a position is reposted, a new application is required to be considered for the opening.

Can I update my application after it has been submitted?

Once an application has been submitted, you can not go back and change any information. However, if you need to update your contact information, you can do so by logging back into your account and clicking on the "My Account" link. The updates will appear in your profile.

Who will contact me if I am selected for an interview?

If you are selected for an interview, a department representative will contact you.

How can I determine if I meet the requirements for the position?

The job requirements such as education levels and years of experience are listed in each posting. In order for an applicant to be considered for employment, they should meet or exceed the general job requirements.

What does unclassified and classified employment mean?

Unclassified employees serve at the will of the appointing authority. Classified employees have grievance rights following the completion of their probationary period.

What is a Deferred Compensation Program?

A Deferred Compensation program is a program that allows you to invest today for your retirement. Federal and (in most cases) state income taxes are deferred until your funds are withdrawn, usually during retirement when you may be in a lower tax bracket.

Is it a 401(k)?

No. Government employees are regulated under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code. Private employers have Section 401(K) programs.

When can I join this program?

All full-time employees may join the program upon date of hire. Deferrals will begin on the earliest payday following receipt of the enrollment form in the Department of Human Resources based on payroll closing deadlines.

How much can I contribute?

You may contribute up to $16,500.00 of your gross earnings each calendar year. There are pre-retirement catch up provisions available as you near your retirement. The city requires a minimum of $5.00 each pay period in order to join the program.

What are my tax savings?

This depends on the amount you defer and your own personal tax situation. It is usually at least 20% of the amount you defer.

Does the city match my contributions?

No. There is no city match.

What investments are available?

There are over 25 investment funds available to you. The vendor also sets up different portfolios of funds to assist you.

More details about the funds, earnings rates, investment fees and risk factors are available in the brochures.

The city cannot give you investment advice. You must make your own investment decisions.

Can I make changes during the year?

Yes. You may change your deferral amount (increase, decrease, start or stop) by completing a change form. You may do this each pay period.

You may change your investments/allocations directly with the vendor by telephone or Internet. Some restrictions may apply when transferring between funds.

When do I get my money?

When you leave city service, either upon retirement or service termination. Should you die, your beneficiary will receive the funds. There is a 60 days wait before the first payment.

You do not need to take the money. You may leave it with the city until age 70.

You must select a payment date within 60 days of leaving city service or payments will default to monthly at age 65. You may change your payment date forward one time only; otherwise, this election is irrevocable.

There is variety of payment options available to you that are described fully in a withdrawal package.

You may also transfer the funds tax free to another government employer if that employer has a Section 457 program.

What is a Small Account Distribution?

If you have not had deferrals for two years and your account is under $5,000, you may have your funds while still working. This is a one time only offer. You may rejoin the program at any time.

Are there any penalties when money is withdrawn?

You will pay the Federal and state taxes upon distribution.

What is an emergency withdrawal?

It is extremely difficult to receive your funds while working. An emergency withdrawal may be made for medical reasons or crises such as floods, fire, hurricanes, potential loss of your primary residence etc. The event must be unforeseen. It must be unbudgetable. It must represent a last resort. It must be fully documented.

What is not an emergency withdrawal?

Funds will not be released for purchases of a home or automobile, education expenses (i.e. college tuition), Normal monthly expenses (e.g. rent, mortgage payments, utilities, credit card bills or car payments), unpaid taxes, travel expenses, bankruptcy, marital separation or divorces or child support and repayment of loans.

Can I borrow from my account?

Yes, you can borrow up to 50% of your current account balance. Only one loan is allowed per calendar year.

Group Life Insurance

What is my Group Life Insurance coverage amount?

You are covered for two times your salary rounded to the higher thousand dollars. In the event of accidental death, you are covered for four times your salary.

What is my cost?

The city shares the cost of this program. You pay .49% of your salary and the city .33%. The deduction is taken the second pay period of each month. Unclassified employees do not pay for this coverage

When does my coverage start?

All full time employees are covered upon date of hire.

Why does the new member enrollment form say Virginia Retirement System since city employees belong to the Richmond Retirement System?

The city joined the State program for life insurance only in 1962. The current carrier for the program is Minnesota Life Insurance Company.

Why is this a mandated benefit?

When the city joined the state program in 1962, all employees were given the option to waive coverage. The State then mandated all new employees must be enrolled.

What is group term additional on my paycheck?

There is a section of the Internal Revenue Code (Section 79) that mandates that the value of coverage in excess of $50,000 in taxable income to employees. The taxable amount is based on your coverage and age less any premiums you pay.

Does coverage cease when I leave the city?

Coverage continues upon early or normal retirement and ceases for service terminations. You may convert your policy upon service termination.

Once you retire, the coverage reduces 25% yearly until it is 25% of the pre-retirement amount. This takes about three years. You do not have to pay for the coverage once you retire.

Can I buy additional coverage?

Yes. You may buy additional coverage for you, your spouse and your child(ren) under the Optional Life Plan.

The amount and cost of coverage is outline in a brochure available from the Department of Human Resources.

You must buy this within 30 days of date of hire. You may add a spouse to your optional policy within 30 days of marriage. You may add a newborn within 30 days of the date of birth.

If you do not purchase coverage as a new employee you may later request the coverage. Each family member to be covered must complete a health status declaration. Based on this information, Minnesota Life will decide whether or not to issue a policy.

You may continue your Optional Life Insurance as a retiree with at least 60 months of coverage. You will pay the same premiums as active employees. You can only continue option 1 or option 2. Coverage reduces at age 65 and terminates at age 80.

You can convert your Optional Life coverage to an individual policy at termination.

What happens if I am on leave without pay?

If you do not receive a paycheck, you are responsible for paying your life insurance premiums by check or money order payable to the city of Richmond. Your payment needs to be sent to the Department of Human Resources. Payment is due on the payday in which a deduction would normally process. Failure to remit premiums will result in cancellation of coverage.

Is there any cash value?

No. This is term insurance. Your beneficiary receives the "face value" of the policy i.e. the amount of coverage in force. It is group insurance and the State is the master policyholder.

Health Care Program

When does my coverage start?

If you are hired between the first and fifteenth of the month, coverage begins the first of the following month.

If you are hired the sixteenth through the end of the month, coverage begins the first of the second following month.

The Department of Human Resources must have the forms to the vendor within 30 days of your date of hire. Otherwise, you must wait for an open enrollment season to join the program.

Does my coverage include dental?

No. If you wish dental coverage you must purchase a separate plan.

What is the cost of the program?

A rate table is available from the Department of Human Resources or your departmental payroll personnel. Deductions are processed the first and second pay period of each month. Deductions are on a pre-tax basis.

Does the city contribute to the program?

Yes. The city contribution is shown on the rate table.

When will I get an identification card?

You will receive an identification card from the vendor about 15 days after the Department of Human Resources sends your enrollment/change form.

Each family member receives a card.

You need to check your identification card to ensure that your social security number, name and physician are shown correctly.

The card also shows co-payments for frequently used services, the vendor’s member services number, your group number and the address needed to file claims.

You should carry this card with you at all times.

How do I know what doctors, hospitals and other services I can use?

A directory of network doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other services is available online and in the Department of Human Resources.

Can I add a spouse or dependent to my plan during the year?

You may add a spouse within 30 days of marriage. You may add a newborn within 30 days of birth.

If your spouse looses employment, you may add your spouse (and eligible dependents covered by your spouse) within 30 days of the loss of coverage.

You may also add a dependent within 30 days of adoption or receiving custody.

If you do not add your spouse/dependents within 30 days, you may do so during an open enrollment season.

Who does my plan cover?

The city covers full time employees and permanent part time employees working 20 or more hours a week. We cover spouses and unmarried dependent children through age 25 if the dependent is a full-time student or lacks the ability to secure employment due to a physical or mental disability.

What happens if I am on leave without pay?

If you do not receive a paycheck, you are responsible for paying your health care premiums by check or money order payable to the city of Richmond. Your payment needs to be sent to the Department of Human Resources. Payment is due on the payday in which a deduction would normally process. Failure to remit premiums will result in cancellation of coverage. As long as you pay your premiums, the city will continue to contribute its share of the cost.

What is COBRA?

The Consolidate Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows former employees, their spouse and dependents to continue coverage with the city upon service termination, divorce, death or loss of dependent status. You will receive a notice when you first enroll in health care and when an above-referenced event occurs. Your spouse and dependents will also receive a notice upon certain events such as divorce or death. COBRA also applies to your dental coverage.

Is same-sex spouse health benefit being offered by the City of Richmond?

Effective October 6, 2014, the city of Richmond Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefit Program began covering same sex spouses and eligible dependents. Please note that the standard rules regarding spouse and dependent coverage continue to apply.

Will all same sex spouses be eligible for benefits?

Any individual who is lawfully joined in marriage to an employee or retired employee as recognized by the laws of Virginia is eligible for benefits.

When can I enroll my same sex spouse and eligible dependents?

Married currently - employees who have been legally married in another state must enroll their spouse and eligible dependent children within 30 days of October 6, 2014 which is November 5, 2014. Coverage will be effective November 1, 2014 for medical and December 1, 2014 for dental.

Future married - employees who are legally married to a same sex spouse must enroll their spouse and eligible dependent children within 30 days of the date of marriage. If your marriage date is the first through the 15th of the month, coverage will be effective on the first day of the month following the marriage. If your date of marriage is the 16th through the end of the month, coverage will be effective the first day of the second month following the month of marriage.

Example #1: Employee married 1st - 15th January. Medical effective February 1. Dental effective March 1

Example #2: Employee married 16th - 31st January. Medical effective March 1. Dental effective April 1.

What documentation will be required by the city in order to add a same sex spouse?

Official State marriage certificate (must be a certified copy and dated by the appropriate state or city official, such as the Clerk of Court) from the court in the county or city in which the marriage took place. Please note that the standard rules regarding spouse and dependent coverage continue to apply.

Will the dependent children of same sex spouses also be eligible for benefits?

Yes, as long as legal documentation is provided, such as birth certificate. Please note that the standard rules regarding spouse and dependent coverage continue to apply.

What is my cost for adding my same sex domestic partner/spouse and/or the children of my domestic partner/spouse to my health benefits plan?

Your cost will be based on the plan in which you are currently enrolled.

May I drop my medical and/dental plan or change benefit plans because of my marriage to a same sex spouse?

All benefit changes must be consistent with the qualifying event. All standard rules to the city's benefit plans will continue to apply.

What about FMLA? How does this apply to same sex marriage?

All standard rules will continue to apply.

Dental Program

What Dental Insurance is available?

The city offers a dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) and an indemnity program.

The DHMO has a network of dentists and specialists and you must use the network. Each family member may select a different dentist.

The indemnity program allows you to use any licensed dentist. There is a preferred provider group as well. If you elect a preferred provider, your co-payments are reduced.

What other differences are there between the dental plans?

The DHMO has flat dollar co-payments and a 25% discount with network specialists.

The indemnity has percentage co-payments based on the services. If you do not use a preferred provider, you may have to file your own claims. Some dentists require that you make payment and then file a claim for reimbursement. The Department of Human Resources has claim forms available.

When does my coverage start?

If you are hired between the first and the fifteenth of the month, coverage begins the first of the second following month.

If you are hired between the sixteenth and the end of the month, coverage begins the first of the third following month.

The Department of Human Resources must send the forms to the vendor within 30 days of your date of hire. Otherwise, you must wait until an open enrollment season to join the plan.

How much does it cost?

The Department of Human Resources and your department payroll personnel have a rate table available. The city does not contribute to this program. This is a prepaid program. We start deductions a month prior to your coverage effective date. Deductions are on a pre-tax basis.

When will I get an identification card?

You will receive an identification card from the vendor about 15 days after the Department of Human Resources sends your enrollment/change form.

Can I change dentists during the year?

Yes. Just call the member services number on your identification card. Ask the vendor what the effective date of change is. Do not visit your new dentist until the change is effective.

Who does my plan cover?

The city covers full time employees and permanent part time employees working 20 or more hours a week. We cover spouses and unmarried dependent children under age 20 and unmarried children who are full time students to age 25 if the dependent is a full-time student or lacks the ability to secure employment due to a physical or mental disability.

Can I add a spouse or dependent to my plan during the year?

You may add a spouse within 30 days of marriage. You may add a newborn within 30 days of birth. If your spouse loses employment, you may add your spouse (and eligible dependents covered by your spouse) within 30 days of the loss of coverage. You may also add a dependent within 30 days of adoption or receiving custody. If you do not add your spouse/dependents within 30 days, you may do so during an open enrollment season.

What happens if I am on leave without pay?

If you do not receive a paycheck, you are responsible for paying your health care premiums by check or money order made payable to the city of Richmond. Your payment needs to be sent to the Department of Human Resources. Payments are due on the payday in which a deduction would normally process. Failure to remit premiums will result in cancellation of coverage.

Are there other voluntary benefits?

You may purchase the following individual policies within 30 days of your hire date or during on open enrollment season:

  • Short term disability
  • Cancer
  • Accident
  • Hospital Intensive Care
  • Hospital Indemnity
  • Long Term Care
  • Legal Resources
  • Medical and dependent care reimbursement accounts

Since these are individual policies and are designed for you, you must see a service representative to purchase them. The coverage and cost will depend on your selection. The policies are portable should you leave city service.

How does the city calculate the "rolling" 12-month FMLA period?

The city of Richmond uses the "rolling" method for determining the 12-month period in which the 12 weeks of leave entitlement occur. A "rolling" 12-month period is measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave. The rolling method is also commonly known as the "look-back" method. Using this method, the employer will look back over the last 12 months from the date of the request, add all FMLA time the employee has used during the previous 12 months and subtract that total from the employee's 12- week leave allotment.

Does the law guarantee paid time off?

No. The FMLA only requires unpaid leave. However, the city requires employees to exhaust all accumulated compensatory time and shared leave before taking family and medical leave without pay. Employees may use accrued paid leave such as vacation and sick leave (if applicable) for some or all of the FMLA leave period.

Which employees are eligible to take FMLA leave?

Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and have worked for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

Do the 1,250 hours include paid leave time or other absences from work?

No. The 1,250 hours include only those hours actually worked for the employer. Paid leave and unpaid leave, including FMLA leave, are not included.

Who is considered an "immediate family member" for purposes of taking FMLA leave?

An employee's spouse, son, daughter, and parents are immediate family members for purposes of FMLA.

The term "parent" does not include a spouse's parent.

The phrase son or daughter, as used above, has been defined by the Department of Labor to mean "a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is (A) under 18 years of age, or (B) 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of mental or physical disability."

Can I take FMLA leave for visits to a physical therapist, if my doctor prescribes the therapy?

Yes. FMLA permits you to take leave to receive continuing treatment by a health care provider, which can include recurring absences for therapy treatments ordered by a doctor for physical therapy.

Do I have to give my employer my medical records for leave due to a serious health condition?

No. You do not have to provide medical records. The employer may however, request that for any leave taken due to a serious health condition, you provide a medical certification confirming that a serious health condition exists.

Can my employer require me to return to work before I exhaust my leave?

Subject to certain limitations, your employer may deny the continuation of FMLA leave due to a serious health condition if you fail to fulfill any obligations to provide supporting medical certification. The employer may not, however, require you to return to work early by offering you a light duty assignment.

Can my employer make inquiries about my leave during my absence?

Yes, but only to you.

Your employer may ask you questions to confirm whether the leave needed or being taken qualifies for FMLA purposes, and may require periodic reports on your status and intent to return to work. Also, if the employer wishes to obtain another opinion, you may be required to obtain additional medical certification at the employer's expense, or rectification during a period of FMLA leave.

The employer may have a specific health care provider contact your health care provider, with your permission, to clarify information in the medical certification or to confirm that it was provided by the health care provider. The inquiry may not seek additional information regarding your health condition or that of a family member.

Can my employer refuse to grant me FMLA leave?

If you are an eligible employee who has met the FMLA notice and certification requirements (and you have not exhausted your FMLA leave entitlement for the year), you may not be denied FMLA leave.

Are there any restrictions on how I spend my time while on leave?

Employers with established policies regarding outside employment while on paid or unpaid leave may uniformly apply those policies to employees on FMLA leave. Otherwise, the employer may not restrict your activities.

The protections of FMLA will not, however, cover situations where the reason for leave no longer exists, where the employee has not provided required notices or certifications, or where the employee has misrepresented the reason for leave.

How much leave may a husband and wife take if they are employed by the same employer?

A husband and wife who are eligible for FMLA leave and are employed by the same covered employer may be limited to a combined total of 12 weeks of leave during any 12-month period if the leave is taken for the birth or adoption of the employee's son or daughter or to care for the child after birth; for the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care, or to care for the child after placement; or to care for the employee's parent with a serious health condition.

If one spouse is ineligible for FMLA leave, the other spouse would be entitled to a full 12 weeks of FMLA leave.

Where the husband and wife both use a portion of the total 12-week FMLA leave entitlement for one of the purposes above, the husband and wife would each be entitled to the difference between the amount he or she has taken individually and 12 weeks for FMLA leave for a purpose other than those listed above.

For example, if each spouse took six weeks of leave to care for a healthy, newborn child, each could use an additional six weeks due to his or her own serious health condition or to care for a child with a serious health condition.

For additional information on the Family and Medical Leave Act, review Administrative Regulation 4.3 and visit the US Department of Labor.

Justice Services


Who can I contact if I think a child is being neglected?

Please call the Richmond Department of Social Services Hotline at (804)646-0438. You can also call the state Child Protective Services Hotline (800)552-7096.

My child continues to stay out all night. Where can I get help?

Please call out Truancy and Diversion Center at (804)646-8976. Our Diversion staff will gladly assist in this area.

My child has been assigned to perform community service. How do I find out about this service?

Please call (804)646-6971. Our Community Service Coordinator will provide information about orientation (youth must attend with parent/guardian) and participation.

Where can I get the name of my child's probation or parole officer?

The 13th District Court Service Unit at the Oliver Hill Courts Building can supply this information. You can call (804)646-2900.

Why does my child have to have his/her blood drawn for DNA?

Virginia law requires that any person 14 years of age or older, who is convicted of a felony, must submit to this procedure.

Why does there have to be a separate system for juvenile and adults?

The juvenile court movement started in the United States in the early 1900's. This was a time when similar movements governing child labor, child abuse and neglect., etc., were popular. The movement for juvenile courts was established by persons who believed that children should be treated differently than adults because they did not possess the same level of knowledge and maturity as adults; thus, they should not be held to the same legal standards as adults.

Why do 'you' give these kids so many chances?

With the exception of very serious offenses, both the juvenile and adult justice systems generally give offenders an opportunity to demonstrate that they can learn from their mistake. These chances are usually combined with probation supervision to ensure the safety of the community and services to help the person overcome whatever deficits they may have, such as substance abuse, job training, etc.

What's the difference between probation and parole?

The judge places a juvenile on probation for an offense to give the juvenile the opportunity to change the behavior causing the problem thus keeping the juvenile out of further trouble. Parole supervision is similar to probation where rules and regulations are concerned. However, parole supervision follows incarceration in a juvenile correctional center.

When kids get committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice, how long do they have to stay?

This depends on the type of commitment the juvenile received. If indeterminately committed by the judge, the juvenile's length of stay (LOS) can be 3 months to a maximum 36 months. An estimated LOS will be projected at the Reception & Diagnostic Center; however, the actual time spent incarcerated depends on serveral factors, including completion of treatment, good behavior, placement plan for transition back to the community, etc. If determinately committed, the judge will determine when the juvenile is released; however, no juvenile can be held in a juvenile correctional facility past their 21st birthday.

What is the Reception and Diagnostic Center?

This state-owned facility was established in 1969 and occupied in 1970 to receive, evaluate, and place all juveniles committed to the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. The budget capacity of the facility is 166 juveniles and serves the Commonwealth as the reception and classification center for all juveniles committed to the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.

The services provided at the Reception and Diagnostic Center in evaluation and classification render confinement for all juveniles committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice while they undergo academic, medical, psychological, behavioral, and sociological evaluation and classification to determine appropriate treatment, needs, institutional placement recommendation, and a length of stay projection. (1601 Old Bon Air Rd., Richmond, VA 23235 (804)323-2600)

Where are the state Juvenile Correctional Centers located?

Beaumont JCC, with a budgeted capacity of 322, is utilized for the incarceration of older adjudicated males up to age 21. (P.O. Box 491, Beaumont, VA 23014 (804)556-3316)

Bon Air JCC serves an all male population with an average age of 16 who have been convicted of crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Lengths of commitment can be a minimum of 3-6 months to a maximum of 7 years or until the age of 21. (1900 Chatsworth Ave., Bon Air, VA 23235 (804)323-2550)

Culpeper JCC, designed for maximum security, is the first juvenile justice facility in the Commonwealth to house both a correctional center and a detention center. The correctional center houses 18-20 year-old Circuit Court male offenders. Therapeutic treatment services and programs (sex offender, substance abuse, and anger management) are provided for correctional center residents. (12240 Coffeewood Dr., Mitchels, VA 22729 (540)291-2129)

Hanover JCC, budgeted to accommodate 154 juveniles, serves males ages 12-18. Therapeutic treatment services and programs (sex offender, substance abuse, and anger management) are provided for residents. (P.O. Box 507, Hanover, VA 23069 (804)537-5316 )

Natural Bridge serves male juveniles ages 14-20 who exhibit a variety of offenses and are assigned there on the basis of a demonstrated ability to function in an open setting within the framework of a structured program. Residents also participate in a transitional program where they learn citizenship beyond the institution, including social and work responsibilities. (1425 Arnolds Valley Rd., Natural Bridge Station, VA 24579 (540)291-2129)

Oak Ridge houses 40 male offenders with developmental disabilities and devere behavioral disorders. Residents typically have an extensive history of maladaptive behavior and some have been committed for serious offenses. Sex offender and substance abuse treatment programs are provided. (1801 Old Bon Air Rd., Bon Air, Richmond, VA 23235 (804)323-2335)

Now that I'm an adult, how can I get information about my juvenile court record?

Please call the Clerk's Office at the Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court at (804)646-2942.

Mayor

I believe I have received a parking ticket in error. Is appearing in Richmond Traffic Court the only way to appeal a parking ticket in the city?

You may appeal a parking citation in one of two ways: administratively, or directly in Richmond Traffic Court.

Administrative review of a parking citation is limited to the following:

  • malfunctioning parking meter
  • fallen or misplaced permit or placard
  • missing, illegible, ambiguously worded sign
  • stolen or transferred vehicle
  • stolen or lost license plate
  • sign or other parking prohibition installed subsequent parking
  • disabled vehicle
  • medical emergency
  • owner deceased
  • restrict parking permit

You may appeal your parking citation by submitting an Administrative Review Form and proper documentation to a Parking Customer Service Specialist (PCSS). The PCSS will either schedule an appointment with you or contact you by phone, mail, fax, or e-mail, regarding your appeal.

I would like to propose a city of Richmond license plate, to show pride in the city.

One of my goals as Mayor is to restore a sense of pride in our great city. A city of Richmond license plate could be a component of this effort, and I am in process of reviewing the requirements with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. If the situation is beneficial for Richmond and its residents, we will be certain to notify our citizens with instructions of how to obtain a city of Richmond plate.

Why doesn't the Richmond Fire Department should form a volunteer firefighters program like Chesterfield, Hanover and other localities to supplement the paid city firefighters? Freeze hiring new firefighters and start placing skilled volunteers. Many retired firemen in nearby counties would enjoy volunteering for Richmond, saving taxpayers money.

Before becoming a paid municipal fire department in 1858, the city of Richmond relied upon individual volunteer fire companies located throughout the city. As the city began to grow in size and population, naturally the calls for service for the Fire Department grew as well. In setting the trend as the sixth oldest paid fire department in the country, Richmond realized that a fully staffed and trained fire department was necessary to provide its citizens with greater guarantee of adequate firefighting resources comprised of highly-trained personnel through consistent and timely response.

Today, this continues to be necessary in urban localities due to population densities, close proximity and construction of buildings, call volume and demand for various emergency services to include Emergency Medical System (EMS) services, Hazardous Materials response, Water Rescue, Heavy and Tactical Rescue, in addition to the traditional role of fire protection. Richmond is certainly no different. Some suburban departments that have moderate building and population densities, modern construction, and relatively low call volumes can supplement their career firefighting force with volunteer resources. However, nearly all urban and metropolitan fire departments have been forced to phase out volunteer programs as too costly to maintain and manage for the availability and consistent response reliability they provide over the long term. Richmond Firefighters are required to go through hundreds of hours of training during a 20-week recruit academy before being assigned to a fire station. They are then required to maintain that training on a monthly basis and recertify regularly throughout their careers.

Rather than struggle to effectively utilize traditional volunteer firefighter resources, the Richmond Fire Department embraces many programs that allow interested citizens and aspiring firefighters to learn broadly about the fire service and to get an up-close, hands-on look at what it takes to be a firefighter for the city of Richmond. These include programs aimed at young people such as our Fire Explorer Post and the Fire Cadet program at the Franklin Military through a partnership we have with Richmond Public Schools. Programs for interested adult community members include our Ride-Along Program, and annual Citizens Fire Academy. Finally, we do have opportunities to volunteer in supporting capacities through the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program, and we are currently developing additional opportunities as part of the Fire Corps in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

Why doesn't Richmind increase the Neighborhood Assistance Officer (NAO) program of volunteers to help the Richmond Police. I was a former NAO in the 1980's and would enjoy giving back to the city. Right now, the city Emergency Management is lacking in volunteers and its CERT program has been slow. NAO's could be used more often in security of city facilities or in times of need.

Richmond's Neighborhood Assistance Officer (NAO) program is actually quite strong. There are currently 29 NAO's assisting the Richmond Police Department in areas such as traffic control, tagging abandoned vehicles, and towing cars. The program is an excellent tool to ensure that police officers are free to protect citizens rather than becoming involved in minor traffic-related duties.

If you're interested in the city's NAO program, the Richmond Police Department holds several NAO Academies each year to give citizens basic knowledge to succeed as an NAO. Contact Eva Bonaparte with the city's Community Care Group at (804)646-5334 for more information.

Unrelated to the NAO program, the city's Department of Emergency Management regularly conducts free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training on basic disaster response methods. Several classes are held throughout the year. For more information, contact the city's Office of Emergency Management for more information.

Parking

What is the time permitted to park at a parking meter in the City of Richmond?

The time permitted at each meter is noted on the meter.  The times to park at specific meters may vary from
15 minutes to 2 hours.  Also, there are times of the day, i.e. peak traffic times of 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. and
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., where parking is not permitted even though a parking meter may be present at that location.

Are the owner’s of vehicles with handicapped placards or handicapped plates issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles permitted to park longer than the stated hours on the meter?

Yes.  A vehicle with such placards or plates displayed on the vehicle are permitted to park up to 4 hours in a metered parking space.

Other Useful Information

Police

How large is the Richmond Police Department?

There are about 750 sworn officers and about 170 civilians in the department. Sworn officers patrol the streets, investigate crimes and work with citizens to solve problems. Civilians serve in a variety of roles, such as forensics technicians, crime analysts and administrative support.

What is Crime Stoppers and how does it work?

Crime Stoppers is a program that involves police, media and citizens in the fight against crime. It was started in 1984 by a group of retailers, regional law enforcement officials and the Retail Merchants Association. Its service area is the City of Richmond and Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, New Kent and Charles City counties.

Citizens who call Crime Stoppers do not have to give their name or testify in court. Rewards are paid up to $1,000 with money donated to this nonprofit organization, which is run by a citizen board. To leave a tip for Crime Stoppers, please call 780-1000.

Do you have Neighborhood Watch programs?

Yes. Contact Community, Youth, and Intervention Services or your Precinct.

Do you have a Ride-Along program?

Yes. Citizens who do not have a criminal record and are 18 years of age or older may ride with an officer twice a year. To print an application, visit our Ride-Along Program page or call (804)646-5158.

How do I become a Richmond Police officer?

The first step is to submit a City of Richmond job application. To be hired, you must meet minimum requirements, pass an admissions test and successfully complete a background investigation.

My property was seized. How do I get it back?

First, the property must be released by the court. The property may be picked up at 501 N. Ninth St., Room G-48, at the following times:

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

If the property hasn't been picked up in a reasonable amount of time, you will be notified by letter to pick it up. Property and Evidence can be reached at (804) 646-6727.

How do I become a Richmond Police volunteer?

First, you must complete either the Citizen Police Academy or the Senior Citizen Police Academy. "The Volunteers in Policing Program" is an extension of these two academies.

For more information on our Citizens' Academies, please contact the Community Care Unit.

How do I file a police report?

To file a police report, please call the Richmond Police non-emergency number at 646-5100 and press option 1 or visit your local precinct.

How do I take out a warrant?

After filing a police report, you should go to the Magistrate's Office located in Police Headquarters at 200 W. Grace St.

You will be asked to provide basic information about the individual, such as

  • full name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • police report number

Your photo ID is required.

The phone number to the Magistrate's Office is (804) 646-6689.

I have received calls soliciting funds for various groups, such as the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Protection Fund. Are these legitimate?

The Richmond Police Department is not associated with any organization soliciting funds. It is at your discretion whether or not to make donations. To inquire about organizations soliciting funds, contact

  • Virginia State Police Association at (800) 342-6059
  • Virginia Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 552-9963

My car was towed. How do I get it back?

If your vehicle was towed from public property contact Seibert’s Towing at (804) 233-5757, if your vehicle was towed from private property, call (804) 646-5100 and press option 1.

How can I get a copy of a police report?

You will need to go to the Richmond Police Information Desk window 4 at Headquarters, 200 W. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23220. The fee is $5. The telephone number is (804) 646-6715.

I need to get a background check done. What do I do?

The Richmond Police Department only conducts local background checks.

You will need to go to the Police Information Desk at Headquarters, 200 W. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23220. You will need to bring two forms of identification with you, one of which must include a photo. The cost is $5.

If you require a statewide criminal history, you will need to contact the Virginia State Police at (804)674-2000.

I need to be fingerprinted. What do I do?

Fingerprinting is done from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Richmond Police Department Information Desk window 4 at Headquarters, which is located at 200 W. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23220.

The customer must present ID and have their own fingerprint card(s), appointments are not necessary.

The cost is $5 per card and customers have the option to pay by cash, money order, certified check or a company check.

For additional questions contact the Central Records Unit at (804) 646-6715.

How do I get crime statistics for a neighborhood?

There are two types of information available.

The first is Incident Based Reports (reports taken by the officer) that can be accessed via the web at www.RichmondGov.com. Under Services click Police and then under Information click Crime Incident Info. There is a disclaimer; if you agree to these conditions, click agree and a request screen will appear.

The other form of information available is Calls For Service (all calls received that are 911 or non-emergency). This information can be obtained by contacting the Central Records Unit at (804) 646-6715.

How do I report a crime or suspicious incident?

If it is an emergency, call 911 if the incident is in progress. If it is a non-emergency, call (804)646-5100 and press option 1.

How do I invite a representative from the Police Department to attend our community meeting?

Officers are available to speak to groups at community meetings and schoolchildren for educational events. Please note that we require two weeks notice prior to your event.

Contact one of the following to schedule a speaker:

I got a parking ticket. What do I do?

See the City of Richmond's Parking Information

Public Utilities

Natural gas smells like rotten eggs. If you think you smell natural gas, leave the area immediately and call 911. For more information, visit the Natural Gas Safety page.

What do I do if I want to request new services, transfer services, or disconnect services?

Call (804)646-4646 between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, to have your gas or water service turned on, transferred, or disconnected, preferably three to five days before service is needed. Be at the service location on the scheduled date and time for service installation.

If your street requires an additional streetlight, call (804)646-8500 for an application.

If you are building a new home or business or converting current appliances to natural gas, call (804)646-5250.

Step-by-step instructions for processing a gas installation.

What do I do if I want to report an emergency or problem?

Call the 24-hour emergency number (804)646-4646

  • To report strong, persistent gas odors (place the call away from the building where you smell the odor)
  • To report a major water leak in your home or in the street
  • If there is a sewer backup in your home or a broken sewer line in the street
  • If you see a streetlight that is broken or out, call (804)646-8555.

What do I do if I am hearing-impaired?

For customer account information, call 711 and have them route you to (804)646-4646, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For gas, water, sewer or streetlight emergencies, also call 711 and have them route you to (804)646-4646 at any time.

What do I do if I want to read my gas meter?

diagram of a Water Meter with clock faces

  1. The dials on the meter are marked in units of 10. The first and third dials are read counter-clockwise. The second and fourth dials are read clockwise (the direction shown by the arrows.)
  2. To check the reading on your meter, if the hand is between numbers, write down the lower number. Write down the readings on the other dials across the meter left to right, ending with the 1,000 dial.
  3. Gas is measured in units of hundred cubic feet or ccf. The dial above shows 7, 0, 6 and 3 or 7,063 ccf.
  4. Subtract this reading from the last one and the difference is how much gas was used since the last reading.

What do I do if I want my pilot light lit?

The Department of Public Utilities will light your gas furnace by appointment for a $35 service charge. To make an appointment, call (804)646-4646.

What do I do if I want to qualify for MetroCare?

The application period runs from Dec. 15 to April 30 each year. If your income falls below the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you are unemployed, or have a family crisis, you may apply at one of the following locations:

  • Richmond Community Action Program
    1021 Oliver Hill Way
    Phone Number: (804)788-0050
    Hours of Operation: 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The maximum amount of assistance is $500. For more information, call (804)646-4646.

What do I do if I am a senior citizen?

The Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled program is administered by the city's Finance Department. If you are eligible for this program, you will be exempt from solid waste and recycling fees on your utility bill.

For more information, call (804)646-5700 and press 3 or view the city of Richmond Tax Relief page.

The Department of Public Utilities offers several other programs specifically for seniors. For more information on the benefits listed below, call (804)646-4646.

  1. Winter Service Assurance - suspends shut-offs for nonpayment from December 1 through March 31.
  2. Accounts marked as being owned by seniors do not incur late fees.
  3. Most security deposits are waived.
  4. Third-Party Notification - allows a designated third party to receive a copy of your utility bill and to take inquiries in your behalf.
  5. The Senior Weatherization Kit Giveaway - provides an assortment of weatherization and energy-saving tools.

What do I do if I have standing water and want my storm drain cleaned?

RVA One - Request city services online, or call (804)646-4646.

What do I do if I have to connect to the city sewer system and stop using a septic system?

A plumbing contractor can assist you with the necessary permits and construction to do that. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development administers several programs that provide water and wastewater systems to low-income communities in Virginia; however, Richmond is not considered an eligible community as these programs are designed for rural areas. If you need financial assistance to afford a contractor, consult with your mortgage lender about an equity line loan for home improvements, or research charitable organizations that assist seniors and low-income families with home improvements.

Public Utilities -- Billing

Natural gas smells like rotten eggs. If you think you smell natural gas, leave the area immediately and call 911. For more information, visit the Natural Gas Safety page.

Where do I mail my payments?

Mail payments to city of Richmond Department of Public Utilities, P.O. Box 26060, Richmond, VA 23274-0001.

You can also drop your payment envelope, unstamped, into the Utility Payment drop box at the following locations:

  • East End District Office, 701 N. 25th St.
  • Southside District, 4100 Hull Street Road
  • City Hall on 10th Street between Marshall and Broad streets
  • Some bank branches of Premiere Bank and Wells Fargo also accept payments.

Payments mailed or made at locations other than City Hall may take at least five days to post to your account. Payments made at locations other than City Hall must be paid in full.

If my utility service is off and I pay my bill, when can I get my service restored?

Normally service is restored the next day after your payment has posted. However, you may have the service turned back on the same day for an additional $35 if there is an opening in the schedule. Call (804)646-4646 to set up your service request.

Are there any heating assistance programs for those in need?

A fuel assistance program, Low Income Heating Energy Assistance, is administered by the Department of Social Services, (804)646-7046. Many organizations such as the United Way, Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, area churches, or Dominion Virginia Power's Energy Share program may have fuel assistance programs.

Can I enroll in the equal monthly payment plan if my account balance is not current?

No, your account must be current.

I'm a senior (or disabled) citizen. Are there any programs to help me reduce my utility bill?

The Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled program is administered by the city's Finance Department and if you are eligible for this program, you will be exempt from solid waste and recycling fees on your utility bill. For more information, call (804)646-5700 and press 3.

Public Utilities -- Combined Sewer Overflow

What is a Combined Sewer Overflow?

Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) is a discharge of untreated storm and wastewater from a combined sewer into the environment. CSOs typically occur when combined sewers fill up with too much water for the system to handle, most often during heavy rains, and the excess water is released into a stream or river.

What is a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO)?

Like many older cities throughout the Eastern U.S., Richmond's sewer pipes carry a combination of sewage from homes and businesses and rainwater runoff to the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant. That works just fine in dry weather, but when heavy rains come, to keep the sudden onslaught of water and sewage from backing up into homes, it is necessary to release some of the combined sewage into local waterways. This release is called a Combined Sewer Overflow, or CSO.

Is the city of Richmond, Va, the only city that has CSOs?

No. More than 950 of the nation's older Northeast, Great Lakes and mid-Atlantic cities have CSOs.

Why does this happen?

Before indoor plumbing and wastewater treatment, cities built sewer systems to carry stormwater away from homes, businesses and streets. As the population grew and modern bathrooms came into existence, plumbing was hooked into the these existing storm sewers, making them "combined" sanitary and stormwater sewers. Even today, during dry weather, the combined sewer pipes are no problem. They carry water to the city's wastewater treatment plant to be treated and released into the James River. However, during heavy rains, the volume of water is too great for Richmond's interceptor system and treatment plant to process, and the combined system overflows by design into rivers and creeks.

Since CSOs only happen during heavy rains, are they really a serious issue?

Yes. Because CSOs carry raw sewage with the stormwater, disease-causing organisms and other pollutants can enter into our area waters.

Has Richmond warned area residents about these health hazards?

Yes. Richmond has posted signs at every outfall, alerting people to the presence of CSOs and warning against swimming during and after rain events. A contact phone number is provided for additional information

Why can't we just separate the sanitary sewage from the stormwater run-off?

We might be able to, but the cost to channel the two types of flow into separate pipes would be enormous. As you can imagine, we would need to excavate much of the city streets to duplicate the piping, and this still would not solve the problem of chemicals and other debris that enter our waterways in stormwater

If we separate the sanitary sewage and stormwater, and catch debris from stormwater run-off, would that make our waterways safer and cleaner?

Not completely. Our water will still be polluted from stormwater sources upstream. That is why it's important that this be recognized as a regional watershed issue that will require regional cooperation

What about the cost? Who pays?

The city of Richmond's CSO system is financed through three sources: State and Federal grants, state low-interest loans and rate payers.

What are EPA's Nine Minimum Controls?

Richmond has already implemented the Nine Minimum Controls required by EPA; they are:

  1. Proper operation and regular maintenance programs for the sewer system and the CSOs.
  2. Maximum use of the collection system for storage.
  3. Review and modification of pre-treatment requirements to ensure CSO impacts are minimized.
  4. Maximization of flow to the city's wastewater plant for treatment.
  5. Prohibition of CSOs during dry weather.
  6. Control of solid and floatable materials in CSOs.
  7. Pollution prevention.
  8. Public notification to ensure that the public receives adequate notification of CSO occurrences and CSO impacts.
  9. Monitoring to effectively characterize CSO impacts and the efficacy of CSO.

Public Works -- Transportation

Is there a form for obtaining disabled parking in residential areas?

Yes, please review the guidelines and application here.

I need to work in the city streets.  What approval is needed?

You will need to apply for a work-in-street permit.  Applications are available in Room 110 of City Hall from the
Planning and Develpment Review Department.  Phone: (804)646-4169.  Bring a drawing of the improvements with the application.  Fees for the permits range from $20 to $100.  Right of way management.

I need to get a loading zone established or removed. How do I apply for one?

Call 3-1-1 and ask.   We will need the location and information about the nature of the businesses in the area.   We will review the location in the field and make a recommendation that will benefit the area.

I need a hauling or moving permit.  How do I apply for one?

The Division handles the hauling permits. Call (804)646-3840 [ Fax: (804)646-6629 ] for information.
An  application for hauling permit form  (click on for link) can be printed and sent with your payment of
$25 to the following address:

      Department of Public Works
      900 E. Broad Street, Room 701
      Richmond, VA 23219
     Map It


Restricted Structures in the City of Richmond? (link):  Map & List

I would like to close a street to hold a special event.  What do I need to do?

The Richmond Police Department handles the street closing requests.
Call (804)646-1343 for more information.



The following links are also available for your information:

Retirement

Active Employees FAQ

Retiree FAQ


Active Employees FAQ

When can I retire?

General Employees are eligible to retire at age 55 with five years of creditable service (reduced benefits) or at any age with 30 years of service (unreduced benefits). The normal retirement age is 65.

Sworn Firefighters and Police Officers are eligible to retire at age 50 with five years of creditable service (reduced benefits), at any age with 25 years of service under the Defined Benefit Plan (unreduced benefits) or at any age with 20 years of service under the Enhanced Defined Benefit Plan (unreduced benefits). The normal retirement age is 60.

How soon before my retirement date can I apply for retirement?

You may file your retirement application no more than 90 days prior to your effective date of retirement.

You should request a tentative benefit calculation from the Retirement Office at least four months before you plan to file your retirement application.

Eligible members may apply for retirement no more than 90 days and no less than 60 days from the first day of the month in which they are retiring.

For example: A member that wants to retire on January 1, 2012 will need to apply for retirement in the month of October 2011.

Any applications that do not meet the policy will be returned to the member informing them to resubmit their retirement application for the next eligible date.

Members must request in writing for an exception under one of the following reasons:

  1. Personal Health
  2. Health of a loved one (becoming a caregiver)
  3. Offered employment outside of the City of Richmond
  4. Disciplinary action

The member will receive notification from the RRS in cases were an exception is granted.

Note: Cases granted exception will receive their first pension check 60 to 90 days from the date of their retirement.

What will be the amount of my monthly pension?

Each person's retirement benefit is calculated on an individual basis. The amount of your monthly pension will depend on the following factors:

  1. Average Final Compensation. This is the average of your three highest annual salaries for 36 consecutive months
  2. Creditable Service. This is comprised of your total years of service as a full-time, permanent city of Richmond employee, but excluding any separate periods of employment with the city less than nine months. Creditable service will also include 50% of your unused sick leave hours at retirement.

    Example: 1,040 hours x .50 divided by 2,080 (annual work hours) = .25 years of service (3 months)

  3. Age. Your age at the time of retirement

What types of retirement are offered?

Service Retirement

General employees are eligible to retire at age 65, with or without five years of service.

Police officers and firefighters are eligible at age 60, with or without five years of service.

Early Retirement

General employees are eligible for unreduced benefits with 30 years of service, regardless of age, and eligible for reduced benefits at age 55 with at least five years of service, but less than 30 years of service.

Sworn police officers and firefighters are eligible for unreduced benefits with 25 years of service, regardless of age, and are eligible for reduced benefits at age 50 with at least five years of service, but less than 25 years of service.

Deferred Retirement

An employee or former employee is eligible for deferred retirement if they terminated city employment with at least five years of creditable service.The early service reduction factor is based solely on age.

General employees or former general employees are eligible for unreduced benefits payable at age 65 or reduced benefits payable at age 55.

Sworn police officers and firefighters are eligible eligible for unreduced benefits payable at age 60 or reduced benefit payable at age 50.

Compensable (Work-related) Disability Retirement

No employee or former employee can apply for disability retirement after reaching normal retirement age.

All employees are eligible for compensable retirement regardless of number of years of creditable service and age.

The disability must be compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act.

For sworn firefighters, the disability must be caused by respiratory disease, heart disease or hypertension.

For police officers, the disability must be caused by hypertension or heart disease.

Richmond Retirement System medical examiners must certify that you are completely and permanently incapacitated from performing any duties with the city. However, if the medical examiner certifies that you can perform duties in another capacity, then your case will be referred to the Chief Administrative Officer for alternative job placement.

Refusal of an offer of an alternative position with the city will make the member ineligible to receive disability retirement benefits under this provision. If no job placement is made within one year, your case will be reconsidered by the Board.

Ordinary (Non-Work Related) Disability Retirement

An employee cannot apply for ordinary disability retirement after reaching normal retirement age.

All employees are eligible for ordinary disability retirement with five years of creditable service, regardless of age, provided they are in active service.

Richmond Retirement System medical examiners must certify that you are completely and permanently incapacitated from performing any duties with the city before approval of your retirement.

What types of benefit options are offered?

Basic Benefit

Basic Benefit pays a monthly pension for the lifetime of the retiree. The amount remains the same before and after age 65 for general employees. The monthly pension for firefighters and police officers includes a pre-65 supplement.There is no monthly survivor allowance after retiree's death.

Smooth-Out Option

This option pays a higher monthly pension than the basic benefit before age 65 and a lower amount after age 65, taking into account Social Security benefits. There is no monthly survivor allowance after retiree's death. This option is not available for service retirements.

Level Benefit - Sworn Firefighters and Police Officers only

Level Benefit pays a lower monthly pension than the Basic Benefit before age 65, however it is higher than the Basic Benefit after age 65. The benefit amount remains the same before and after age 65. There is no monthly survivor allowance after retiree's death.

Joint and Survivor Option

This option pays a reduced monthly pension for the lifetime of the retiree. A specific percentage (25%, 50%, 75% or 100%) of the monthly pension will be paid to the designated survivor after retiree's death.

Pop-Up Joint and Survivor Option

This option pays a reduced monthly pension for the lifetime of the retiree. A specific percentage (25%, 50%, 75% or 100%) of the retirement benefit will be paid to the designated survivor after retiree's death. The benefit reverts to the basic benefit amount if the survivor precedes retiree in death.

Can anyone receive my retirement benefit in the event of my death as a retiree?

Yes, if you elect either the Joint and Survivor Option or the Pop-Up Joint and Survivor Option at retirement, in accordance with Section 78-282 of the City Code. The designated survivor does not have to be a spouse or relative.

However, once your retirement is effective, the designated survivor cannot be changed. A surviving spouse of a disability retiree may be eligible for a monthly survivor benefit under other provisions of the City Code.

Does my spouse or beneficiary receive my retirement benefit in the event of my death as an active employee?

If you are eligible for early service retirement at the time of your death as an active employee, your surviving spouse will receive a monthly survivor allowance for life. This benefit is not paid to any other survivor. In addition, if you die while in service within three years of being eligible for early service retirement based upon years of service, your surviving spouse may purchase service credit up to a maximum of three years to attain your retirement eligibility and receive a monthly allowance in accordance with Section 78-314 of the City Code. Also, if you are a member of the system employed before June 13, 1988, your beneficiary will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of $1,000.00.

Does my spouse or minor child(ren) receive my retirement benefit in the event of my job-related death as an active employee?

If a member dies in service at any time before retirement from a cause compensable under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, the surviving spouse shall receive a 100% survivor’s allowance monthly for life (except for remarriage) commencing on the first day of the month following the member’s death. The survivor’s allowance will be computed as if the member remained in service and retired upon reaching age 65. However, the three-year average final compensation will be the same as the member’s at the time of his or her death. Any compensation awarded under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act will be deducted from the survivor’s allowance.

If a member leaves no spouse or the spouse dies or remarries before the youngest child of the deceased member has reached age 18, then the child(ren) will be paid the survivor’s allowance until the child’s or child(ren) death or until the child(ren) reaches age 18, whichever occurs first. Any compensation awarded under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act will be deducted from the survivor’s allowance.

If I divorce, will my former spouse be eligible to receive a percentage of my retirement benefit?

Pursuant to Section 78-6 of the City Code, the Richmond Retirement System will only honor domestic relations orders assigning retirement benefits to a former spouse that were accepted and approved by the System prior to June 10, 2002.

Are my retirement benefits subject to garnishment?

Retirement benefits are not subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or any other collection process and cannot be enforced by court order. However, benefits are subject to IRS levies and child support payments.

What deductions will be taken from my monthly pension?

  • Federal and state income taxes
  • Health and dental insurance premiums, if eligible and you elect to maintain your coverage through the city's plans
  • Alimony and child support payments, if court ordered

Will I be covered under the city's health insurance program after I retire?

If you have been enrolled in the cty's health insurance program continuously for five years before retirement and have at least 10 years of creditable service, you are eligible to maintain coverage at the retiree rate until you become Medicare eligible. Dental insurance also continues after retirement at the retiree rate. If you elect to maintain coverage through the city, premiums will be deducted from your retirement benefit.

Will I receive cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) with my pension?

COLA may be granted at the discretion of City Council during the annual budget process for the city of Richmond. The practice has been that a COLA are granted July 1 for persons retired prior to July 1 of the previous year.

Is direct deposit available for my pension?

Retirees are required to elect direct deposit to receive their monthly pension. However, your first monthly pension will be in the form of a check and will be mailed. Pensions are issued on the last working day of each month.

If I receive my pension via direct deposit, can I change my bank account?

Yes. Members currently enrolled in direct deposit, that wish to change banks or bank accounts will need to complete a new Direct Deposit Authorization Form. Forms received by the Richmond Retirement System office prior to the 15th of the month will be processed for the following month's benefit payment.

For example, if you were to complete and submit a direct deposit form to the Richmond Retirement System on or before June 15, the change will become effective with the July pension payment. You will receive a check in the mail for the June benefit payment. A pre-note deposit of zero dollars will be made to your account for June so that we can verify your account information.

Completed Direct Deposit Authorization forms received after the 15th of the month will be processed during the following month for payment.

For example, if you were to complete and submit a direct deposit form to the Richmond Retirement System after June 15, the change will become effective with the August pension payment. You will receive a check in the mail for the July benefit payment. A pre-note deposit of zero dollars will be made to your account for July so that we can verify your account information.

What if I should close my bank account prematurely and do not submit a completed Direct Deposit Authorization Form to the Richmond Retirement System before the 15th of the month?

We will immediately notify you of a rejected payment by your former bank account and request a new Direct Deposit Authorization Form. Once we receive the updated Direct Deposit Authorization Form, we will process it for payment accordingly.

How long does it take to receive a replacement check if it is lost or stolen?

Replacing a monthly pension payment replacement with a check will normally take from 10 to 20 days to process, depending on the period of the month of notification of it being lost or stolen. You can avoid this delay by ensuring you sign up for the Direct Deposit Program. Only then can you assure yourself that your pension will remain safe and deposited on the end of the month payment schedule.

Will I still receive a retirement benefit if I leave the city before retirement age?

Yes, if you are vested in the Richmond Retirement System. Members become vested after completion of five years of creditable service with the city of Richmond. Once vested, benefits are not forfeited, even if termination of employment (voluntary or involuntary) occurs before eligibility for retirement.

You may apply for a deferred retirement allowance at age 55 (for former general employees) or age 50 (for former police officers or firefighters). You may also wait until your normal retirement age (65 for former general members; 60 for former firefighters and police officers) to apply for your unreduced deferred service retirement benefit.

What happens if I decide to return to work after retiring?

There are no restrictions regarding working part time or full time in a seasonal, temporary or contractual position, which does not entitle you to become an active member again of the Richmond Retirement System.

General Employees

If you are rehired in a full-time, permanent position with the city of Richmond, your monthly benefit will cease.

If you are rehired as a general employee in a full-time, permanent position with the city of Richmond, you will become a member in the 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan. The city will make contributions into your individual account based upon your total years of creditable service. The time served in the Defined Contribution Plan will not count towards creditable service in the Defined Benefit Plan. When you terminate city employment again your Defined Benefit Plan retirement benefit will be reinstated at the same level as it was before you re-entered city employment, and you will have access to the funds in your Defined Contribution Plan account.

Sworn Police Officers/Firefighters

If you are rehired as a sworn police officer/firefighter in full-time, permanent position with the City of Richmond, you must elect a retirement plan within 90 days of your re-employment date. If you elect the Defined Benefit or Enhanced Defined Benefit plans (members older than age 40 are not eligible to elect the Enhanced Defined Benefit Plan as it offers no additional benefit), your period of creditable service will be reestablished. When you retire again, your benefit will be recomputed based on the payment option elected during your previous retirement, your total years of creditable service and average final compensation before and after the previous retirement. You will not receive creditable service for the period during which you were retired.

If you elect the 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan, the City will make contributions into your individual account based upon your total years of creditable service. The time served in the Defined Contribution Plan will not count towards creditable service in the Defined Benefit Plan. When you terminate City employment again, your Defined Benefit Plan retirement benefit will be reinstated at the same level as it was before you re-entered city employment, and you will have access to the funds in your Defined Contribution Plan account.

If you accept a position with any public or private entity other than the city of Richmond, your monthly benefit will not be affected.

Will I still have life insurance through the city after I retire?

Group life insurance coverage will continue after your retirement at no cost to you. However, after you retire, the life insurance will reduce by 25% of the original value on Jan. 1 of the first full year after retirement and each January thereafter until it reaches 25% of its original value at retirement.

This reduction does not begin until age 65 for members with a disability retirement.

Please note that accidental death and dismemberment coverage ends at retirement. If you die as a result of any effect other than natural causes, your beneficiary will not receive payment through the city's life insurance plan.

Will I receive Social Security benefits in addition to my Richmond Retirement System benefit?

Yes. These are two separate benefits. Most retirees are eligible to receive full Social Security benefits at age 65 and reduced benefits as early as age 62. Please see the chart below to determine when you will be eligible to receive full Social Security benefits:

Age To Receive Full Social Security Benefits
Year of BirthFull Retirement Age
1937 or earlier65
193865 and 2 months
193965 and 4 months
194065 and 6 months
194165 and 8 months
194265 and 10 months
1943 - 195466
195566 and 2 months
195666 and 4 months
195766 and 6 months
195866 and 8 months
195966 and 10 months
1960 or later67

Retirees FAQ

When will I receive my pension?

Your monthly pension will be disbursed on the last working day of the month.

What determines the amount of my health insurance premium?

Your monthly premium for health insurance depends on the number of years of creditable service and the type of coverage you elect. See Health Insurance Rate table.

Are health/dental insurance premiums deducted from the check?

Yes, health/dental insurance premium will be deducted from your monthly pension check.

What if my pension is not enough to pay my health/dental premiums?

In the event that your pension is not enough to cover the cost of your premiums, your pension will be credited toward your health/dental insurance and you will be required to submit the balance. You will receive a monthly invoice and must pay for your coverage by personal check or money order.

Payments with or without an invoice must be received in the Retirement Office by the 15th of each month. Your check or money order should be payable to "City of Richmond".

Failure to make payment by the specified date will result in the cancellation of your insurance coverage with the city. If your insurance is cancelled, you will not be allowed to re-enroll.

Why didn't I receive a payment coupon?

You will only receive a payment coupon if a payment is currently due. Premium payments are due by the 15th of the each month. If you pay ahead of time and have already paid for the current month, a payment coupon will not be generated.

Are my insurance premiums prepaid?

Your health insurance premium is not prepaid. The deduction at the end of the month is for that month's coverage. Dental premiums are prepaid.

What happens if I or my dependent becomes Medicare-eligible?

The city no longer offers a supplemental policy for medicare-eligible retirees. Therefore, once you or your dependent becomes medicare-eligible, the coverage will end and you will need to obtain a private supplemental Medicare plan.

What happens if I decide to return to work after retiring?

There are no restrictions regarding working part time or full time in a seasonal, temporary or contractual position, which does not entitle you to become an active member again of the Richmond Retirement System.

General Employees

If you are rehired in a full-time, permanent position with the city of Richmond, your monthly benefit will cease.

If you are rehired as a general employee in a full-time, permanent position with the city of Richmond, you will become a member in the 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan. The city will make contributions into your individual account based upon your total years of creditable service. The time served in the Defined Contribution Plan will not count towards creditable service in the Defined Benefit Plan. When you terminate city employment again your Defined Benefit Plan retirement benefit will be reinstated at the same level as it was before you re-entered city employment, and you will have access to the funds in your Defined Contribution Plan account.

Sworn Police Officers/Firefighters

If you are rehired as a sworn police officer/firefighter in full-time, permanent position with the City of Richmond, you must elect a retirement plan within 90 days of your re-employment date. If you elect the Defined Benefit or Enhanced Defined Benefit plans (members older than age 40 are not eligible to elect the Enhanced Defined Benefit Plan as it offers no additional benefit), your period of creditable service will be reestablished. When you retire again, your benefit will be recomputed based on the payment option elected during your previous retirement, your total years of creditable service and average final compensation before and after the previous retirement. You will not receive creditable service for the period during which you were retired.

If you elect the 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan, the City will make contributions into your individual account based upon your total years of creditable service. The time served in the Defined Contribution Plan will not count towards creditable service in the Defined Benefit Plan. When you terminate City employment again, your Defined Benefit Plan retirement benefit will be reinstated at the same level as it was before you re-entered city employment, and you will have access to the funds in your Defined Contribution Plan account.

If you accept a position with any public or private entity other than the city of Richmond, your monthly benefit will not be affected.

What do I need to do to change the direct deposit from one bank to another?

Complete a new Direct Deposit Authorization Form and submit it with a voided check to our office. Deposit slips often times have different routing numbers for checking accounts.

Today is the last day of the month and I did not receive my pension check, why?

Retirement checks are mailed on the last business day of the month. If you enroll in direct deposit, your funds will be available on the pension pay date.

If I receive my pension via direct deposit, can I change my bank account?

Yes, members currently enrolled in direct deposit, that wish to change banks or bank accounts will need to complete a new Direct Deposit Authorization form. Forms received by the Richmond Retirement System office prior to the 15th of the month will be processed for the following month's benefit payment.

For example: If you were to complete and submit a direct deposit form to the Richmond Retirement System on or before June 15, the change will become effective with the July pension payment. You will receive a check in the mail for the June benefit payment. A pre-note deposit of zero dollars will be made to your account for June so that we can verify your account information.

Completed Direct Deposit Authorization forms received after the 15th of the month will be processed during the following month for payment.

For example: If you were to complete and submit a direct deposit form to the Richmond Retirement System after June 15, the change will become effective with the August pension payment. You will receive a check in the mail for the July benefit payment. A pre-note deposit of zero dollars will be made to your account for July so that we can verify your account information.

What if I should close my bank account prematurely and do not submit a completed Direct Deposit Authorization Form to the Richmond Retirement System before the 15th of the month?

We will immediately notify you of a rejected payment by your former bank account and request a new Direct Deposit Authorization Form. Once we receive the updated Direct Deposit Authorization Form, we will process it for payment accordingly.

How long does it take to receive a replacement check if it is lost or stolen?

Monthly pension payment replacement via a check will normally take from 10 to 20 days to replace depending on the period of the month of notification of it being lost or stolen. You can avoid this delay by ensuring you sign up for the Direct Deposit Program. Only then can you assure yourself that your pension will remain safe and deposited on the end of the month payment schedule.

Will I receive a direct deposit stub each month?

You will only receive a stub when there is a change in your pension information, such as pension amount, taxes, address, etc. This stub will reflect the most current information. You will also receive a stub at the end of the year.

Can I use my December check stub to prepare my taxes?

No. You should wait until you receive your Form 1099-R before preparing your tax return.

When will I receive my Form 1099-R?

The IRS requires that Form 1099-Rs be postmarked by January 31st of each year.

What do I need to do to change my beneficiary with RRS?

You should complete the Beneficiary Change form and return it to the Retirement Office. The signature on this form must be notarized. Benefits will be paid based on the form that is on file in the Retirement Office at the time of the member's death.

Why did the amount of my Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) change?

Your COLA is calculated as a percentage of your pension. Therefore, your COLA will change anytime your pension amount changes. See the COLA calculation.

What qualifications must I meet in order to continue my health insurance coverage for myself or dependent(s) once I retire?

You and your dependent(s) may continue health insurance coverage with the city at the retiree rate provided that you meet the following two conditions.

  1. You must have been enrolled continuously in a city health plan for five years prior to retirement.
  2. You have at least 10 years of creditable service at the time of retirement.

RVA One

What is RVA One designed to do?

RVA One tracks non-emergency citizen inquiries, correspondences, and online services.

What types of requests can I submit using RVA One?

The entire list can be viewed in the drop down menu on the RVA One 'Contact Us' form.

What are the benefits of RVA One?

The following benefits are anticipated:

  • Increase in "first call" problem resolution
  • Faster response to service requests
  • Reductions in the number of less complex service requests submitted through call centers

Can I make payments using RVA One?

RVA One merely tracks service requests. Payments made for utility bills, taxes, and for other services, should be done as normal. Please visit www.richmondgov.com.

Will RVA One replace See Click Fix?

RVA One is a separate tracking system.

Please continue to use See Click Fix to log issues related to the following services:

  • Non-Functioning Street Lights
  • Non-Functioning Traffic Lights
  • Abandoned Vehicles
  • Trash Bulk
  • Overgrown Lots
  • Illegal Dumping
  • Open and Vacant Properties
  • Potholes

Sheriff and The Jail

Hours of Operation and Visitation at the Richmond City Justice Center

What are the Richmond City Justice Center (RCJC) business hours of operation?

Administrative office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Monday through Friday

When does visitation occur for RCJC residents?

Seven days a week, 0900-1800 (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

How often can a RCJC resident have visits?

One visit every seven days. Plus, out of state visitors (anyone located more than 100 miles from RCJC) may visit once per month.

How many visitors can a RCJC resident have at one time?

Four (children under 12 are not included in the count)

When does attorney visitation occur for RCJC residents?

Seven days a week, 0900-2100 (9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)

Is there a dress code to follow when visiting a resident at RCJC?

Yes, sheer and revealing clothing, profane words or imaging on clothing are not allowed.

Sending Correspondence to a Justice Center resident

How can I write to a resident at RCJC?

Send mail addressed in the following format:
(RCJC resident's first and last name & resident's number)
Richmond City Justice Center
1701 Fairfield Way
Richmond, VA 23223

Richmond City Justice Center Resident General Information

Send Money to your loved one over the phone or on the web:

Toll Free Phone Deposits
1-800-483-8314

Internet Deposit
web.connectnetwork.com

Click on web.connectnetwork.com to send money to your loved one today! Connect Network GTL takes all MasterCard and Visa debit and credit cards. Additional information is also located on our website.

How can I find out whether someone is in RCJC?

Call the Information Desk at (804)646-4464

What information do I need to find out whether someone is in RCJC?

First and last name, date of birth or social security number - no nickname or aliases

Is identification necessary to visit a resident at RCJC?

Yes, mandatory for all visitors over age 16, with a valid expiration date.

Records & Classification

How long does it take for someone to be classified at RCJC?

Within 72 hours

My family member is currently incarcerated at RCJC and is on bond in Henrico General District Court. He/she has court on a specific date. How does he/she get to court?

The jurisdiction of the pending charges is responsible for transportation.

How does a PB-15 (Probation Officer Warrant) get "lifted"?

Probation Officer is the only person authorized to "lift" remove a PB-15.

My family member was released from court today at 9:15 a.m., it is 11 a.m. and I am at RCJC. When is he/she going to be released?

All residents that go to court are released from RCJC. Once returned to RCJC from court, their release will be verified and completed in a timely manner.

How do I pay the money owed for back child support?

All payments must be made directly to the court in the form of cash or certified check.

What resident information at RCJC cannot be provided to an individual?

  • Projected release date of resident at RCJC
  • Names on RCJC resident visitation lists

Medical and the Richmond City Justice Center

Can a friend or family member request medical information on a resident at RCJC?

Such requests should be referred directly to our medical provider - Correctional Medical Care, Inc..

Is it a requirement that RCJC residents use only the RCJC medical doctor or are there other options?

All residents at RCJC have the right to use medical services provided by the Richmond City Sheriff's Office or they may have a licensed physician or dentist of their choice to come to the facility and provide services at the expense of the resident.

Are RCJC residents able to take any narcotic or psychotropic medicines with them upon release?

We will return all medications that were part of the personal property of a resident when committed.

Social Services

Medicaid

Is Medicaid the same as Medicare?

No, Medicaid is different from Medicare. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who
are age 65 or older or disabled. Medicare is administered by the Social Security Administration.

What could Medicaid cover?

Medicaid offers medical coverage for doctor visits, emergency room visits, hospitalization,
prescriptions, medical supplies and equipment, nursing home costs, and home health care. The
Department of Medical Assistance Services pays the bill to providers.

Could I still be eligible for Medicaid?

Yes. An individual may already be covered by health insurance and could be eligible for Medicaid.


SNAP

I’ve lost my Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. How do I get a new one?

If an EBT card is lost, stolen or damaged, the cardholder can call the toll free, 24-hour Virginia EBT
Customer Service Help Line at (866)281-2448. After verifying the identity and address of the
cardholder, the original card will be deactivated and a new one issued. If the cardholder’s address has
changed, the cardholder must notify RDSS of the address change by calling 3-1-1 or their Benefit
Program Specialist. To obtain a new card in an emergency, contact Richmond Department of Social
Services
by calling 3-1-1 or visiting a service location.

How do I check the balance available on my EBT card?

To check the balance available on the EBT card to make food purchases, cardholders can call the
customer service line at (866)281-2448 and enter the 16 digits on the front of the card. At the
point of purchase, some stores will allow the cardholder to swipe the card, enter the PIN and
check the available balance. Cardholders can also access their balance and transaction history
online by selecting "Virginia" and logging in or creating an account.

More EBT card questions?

Visit the Virginia Department of Social Services EBT page.

Where do I send the information verifying my application for SNAP?

If you were instructed to send additional information for your application:

  • Email - Ask your Benefit Program Specialist for their email address, then scan and email
    copies to them.
  • Mail - Send copies in an envelope with your worker’s name to:
    900 E. Marshall Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

  • In-Person - Bring your documents to an RDSS location to be scanned and emailed to your
    Benefits Program Specialist on-site.


TANF and VIEW

I’ve lost my EPPIC Debit Card
(Electronic Payment Processing Information Control).
How do I get a new one?

If you lose your card or have another problem accessing your account at an ATM, you must contact
Virginia Debit MasterCard® (EPPICard) customer service at 1-800-961-8423.

How do I check the balance available on my EPPICard?

You have unlimited online debit card inquiries any time of the day at www.EPPICard.com You are
You are allowed five free calls to the Customer Service integrated voice response (IVR) system, 1-800-961-
8423
, each month. After five calls, you will be charged $.50 for each additional call during the month.

Where can I make purchases with my EPPICard?

You cannot use your TANF EPPICard in the following locations: ABC stores, tattoo or body-piercing
businesses, businesses that provide adult-oriented entertainment in which performers appear at least
partially nude, or in places in which wagering or gaming such as bingo is conducted. You cannot use
your TANF EPPICard to purchase: lottery tickets, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or sexually
explicit materials.

How do I make purchases or get cash back using my EPPICard?

More information on managing your account and using your EPPICard can be found at EPPICard Fee
Schedule
.


I’ve lost my Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. How do I get a new one?

If an EBT card is lost, stolen or damaged, the cardholder can call the toll free, 24-hour Virginia EBT
Customer Service Help Line at (866)281-2448. After verifying the identity and address of the
cardholder, the original card will be deactivated and a new one issued. If the cardholder’s address has
changed, the cardholder must notify RDSS of the address change by calling 3-1-1 or their Benefit
Program Specialist. To obtain a new card in an emergency, contact Richmond Department of Social
Services
by calling 3-1-1 or visiting a service location.

How do I check the balance available on my EBT card?

To check the balance available on the EBT card to make food purchases, cardholders can call the
customer service line at (866)281-2448 and enter the 16 digits on the front of the card. At the
point of purchase, some stores will allow the cardholder to swipe the card, enter the PIN and
check the available balance. Cardholders can also access their balance and transaction history
online by selecting "Virginia" and logging in or creating an account.

More EBT card questions?

Visit the Virginia Department of Social Services EBT page.

Where do I send the information verifying my application for SNAP?

If you were instructed to send additional information for your application:

  • Email - Ask your Benefit Program Specialist for their email address, then scan and email
    copies to them.
  • Mail - Send copies in an envelope with your worker’s name to:
    900 E. Marshall Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

  • In-Person - Bring your documents to an RDSS location to be scanned and emailed to your
    Benefits Program Specialist on-site.

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