En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: Vermont

UPDATED March 29, 2017

Enforcing your Out-Of-State Order in Vermont

Print this page
View All

If you are planning to move to Vermont or are going to be in Vermont for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

Registering your Out-of-State order in Vermont

back to topWhat is the National Crime Information Center Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database that contains protective order information used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

All law enforcement officials have access to it, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topHow do I register my protection order in Vermont?

You can register your protection order in any family court by filing a certified copy of the order with the court.  The court will make you swear under oath in an affidavit (a written statement) that to the best of your knowledge the order is presently in effect as written.

You may also bring a copy of the order (it does not have to be a certified copy) to the law enforcement department in your area.  The law enforcement officer may ask you to swear under oath or in writing that the order is still in effect.  The law enforcement officer will then enter the order into the law enforcement database, if s/he believes it to be a valid copy.

You do not need a lawyer to register your protection order.  If you are confused or worried about the process, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Vermont to ask for help from a local advocate.  To find a local domestic violence organization in Vermont, please go to our VT State and Local Programs page.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topDo I have to register my protection order in Vermont in order to get it enforced?

No.  Police officers must enforce your protection order whether or not you register it. If it is not registered, you will need to show the officer a copy of your protection order, and you may have to swear in writing that it is still in effect.

While you do not have to register your protection order in order to get it enforced, one benefit of registration is that you may be able to get your order enforced, even if you are not carrying a copy of the order with you when the police officer arrives at the scene.  Protection orders that are registered in Vermont are kept in the Vermont Protection Order Database, and Vermont police officers should have access to this registry when they come on the scene.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWill the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.*  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan.  You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our VT State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhat if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

Maybe.  If your order is not entered into the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) database (a national database of protection orders that some states keep records in), and you do not have a copy of your order with you when the police officer arrives, it may be more difficult to have your order enforced because it will be hard for the Vermont police officer to make sure that your order is real.

However, if you have a certified copy of your protection order with you, and if it is listed in the NCIC, then it may not matter if your protection order is registered in Vermont or not.

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area.  An advocate there may be able to help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Vermont.  To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in Vermont, go to our VT State and Local Programs page.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topDoes it cost anything to register my protection order?

No. There is no cost to register your order in Vermont.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to top