Advance Health Care Directory

Advance Health Care Registry

The Commonwealth of Virginia Advance Health Care Directive Registry is a secure tool to store important documents that protect your legal rights and ensure that your medical wishes are honored in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to manage your own care.  This secure registry is located on the Virginia Department of Health website and is for Virginia residents.  The Commonwealth of Virginia has launched this statewide Advance Health Care Directives Registry, in accordance with § 54.1-2994 of the Code of Virginia.  There is no cost for this service. 

When you visit the Virginia Department of Health website (, scroll down to “Advanced Health Care Directory Registry.”  This is a directlink to the Virginia State Bar for the Virginia Advance Directive Checklist to help you organize what is needed.  There is also a Virginia Advance Directives Primer which gives definitions of terms used and requirements.  These are helpful to understand the process and to know that the information is prepared by the Virginia State Bar. 

Advanced Directives are not only for end of life issues.  They are important in other situations when you may not be conscious.  Putting your wishes in writing reduces confusion and allows others to follow what you would like to have done.  You can only create an Oral Advanced Health care Directive if you have a terminal condition.  You can appoint anyone over the age of 18 as your Healthcare Power of Attorney while you are healthy.  The Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney goes into effect when a person is no longer capable of making their own decisions.

The Advanced Health Care Registry allows Virginia residents to securely store important healthcare documents, such as Advance Health Care Directives, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Declarations of Anatomical Gift (organ donation), and other documents so that family members, medical providers, emergency personnel, or other persons you designate will know how to honor your wishes.  A Healthcare Power of Attorney is broader than an Advanced Directive would be.  The best way to protect your interests is to do both. 

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