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Bar Exam Application Filing Instructions
Very Important Information
The link to start an Application is provided in the information below. The link is buried to encourage applicants to read all information provided.
Click the links below to access additional information or to print certain forms. Your goal should be to submit a package that includes all required documentation.
STEP 1 - READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS AND RULES BEFORE STARTING
Carefully read the Rules of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners (Rules) before going on to step 2.
Bar Exam Options: All applicants are required to take the Virginia Essay portion of the Virginia Bar Exam and must elect an Option as required in the Rules. Click here for a list of Bar Exam Options.
In Step 3 below is a link for the VBBE Online Forms. The VBBE Online Forms include all Applications, Re-Applications, Update of a Previously Filed Applications, as well as the Character & Fitness Questionnaire, Character & Fitness Update Form, Petition for Non-Standard Testing Accommodations and other miscellaneous forms required to apply to take the Virginia bar exam.
Click here for a sample of all bar exam application forms.
(Please Note: Your actual forms will vary by the answers provided to certain questions. These are only a sample.)
STEP 2 – GATHER AND PREPARE REQUIRED MATERIALS
Certain documents are required to be attached to various applications. Before you begin completing the application, request the documents you are required to submit. Many documents are required for all applications, although some are only required depending upon your responses to certain questions. Requesting the documents in advance will ensure you can submit a complete application.
You should start your application process early enough to ensure you can secure all required documents.
The following documents are required with EVERY Bar Exam Application, Re-Application, Update of a Previously Filed Application, etc. Click the link below for additional information regarding each requirement.
- Full Legal Name
- Social Security Number or Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Control Number/Customer Identifier
- Photo ID
- Exam Identification Photos
- Credit Report
- DMV Record(s)
- MPRE Score Report (if not previously submitted)
- NCBE Number
- Fees* - Money Order, Cashier's Check, or Certified Check made payable to "Virginia Board of Bar Examiners." No personal or company checks. One or multiple check(s) are acceptable.
*(The Virginia State Bar Corporate Counsel Section will present a monetary award to an exam taker aiming for a career as in-house counsel. Click here for information on how to apply.)
The following documents are required for first-time applicants who have never applied for a previous bar exam in Virginia.
- Fingerprint Card
- Educational Verification Documents
- Birth Certificate, Naturalization or Immigration documentation
- Complete and Accurate Addresses for your prior residences, schools, employers
The following documents may be required depending upon your response to certain questions.
- Petition for Non-Standard Testing Accommodations, with all attachments (part of the online forms)
- Certificates of Good Standing (for all jurisdictions in which you are/have ever been licensed, if any) (Electronically generated forms accepted)
- Option 3, Verification of Bar Passage Form (part of the online forms)
- Concurrent Transfer Form and Fee
- Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree or Name Change Order for verification of current legal name
- DD214 - Military Report of Separation documents
- Non-US Citizen - Immigration documents (previous applicants must provide current status)
- Court Records for all felony charges
- Court Orders in regard to creditors, tax liens, and judgments
- Bankruptcy Petitions
- Defaulted student loan documentation
- Character & Fitness Healthcare Form, completed a Licensed Healthcare Professional (part of the online forms)
STEP 3 – ACCESSING AND COMPLETING THE APPLICATIONS
The Virginia Board of Bar Examiners has attempted to make our online forms as user friendly as possible. Please take a few minutes to read ALL instructions provided for ease of completing the forms.
Overview of Application Process and Steps:
Definitions for Application Process:
- VBBE Online Form Workspace: Your Workspace is where you start/edit an application and view the draft and final PDFs.
- VBBE Online Form User Portal: Your User Portal is where you begin a New Transaction (online form) or edit an existing Transaction.
- Follow the instructions provided on your Workspace and/or User Portal pages to assist you with accessing and completing the forms.
- Begin Application: Starts the VBBE Online Forms Interview. Your responses to certain questions will determine which forms you must complete.
- Edit My Answers: Returns you to the VBBE Online Forms Interview to continue working on or edit your previous answers.
- Documents: Every time you click Save and Exit, you will return to your Workspace. A PDF of your application is created each time you click Save and Exit. To view and print the draft or final PDF, click the PDF icon. You MUST disable popup blockers before viewing the PDF.
New User Registration:
- Register: Click “Register Now" to create an account.
- Log In: Enter your User ID and Password to log in. When you log in, you will enter your VBBE Online Form Workspace.
- VBBE Online Workspace: Follow the instructions provided to assist you with accessing and completing the forms.
Previously Registered User:
- Log In: Enter your User ID and Password to log in. When you log in, you will enter either your VBBE Online Form Workspace or your VBBE Online User Portal.
- For VBBE Online Workspace: Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the close button. Then click “New Transaction” to start a new form. Follow the instructions provided to assist you with accessing and completing the forms.
- For VBBE Online User Portal: Select a Form In Progress by clicking the form Name (Your Name with Start Date) or click "New Transaction" to start a new form. Follow the instructions provided to assist you with accessing and completing the forms.
Review and Print:
- Draft Review: You must review the draft PDF before certifying your application for submission.
- Certify: By typing certify, you are confirming you have reviewed the draft PDF of your application and all answers are true and correct.
- Submit: No changes can be made after you select Submit. Once you submit your application, a final PDF will be available to download and print.
- Final PDF: You MUST send a paper copy of all forms to the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners. Online submission of the forms does NOT constitute a filed application.
- Print: Print single-sided only.
- Checklist: A detailed Checklist will print with your application forms. Follow all instructions on the Checklist to ensure you are submitting a complete application.
- For your records, make a photocopy of all forms and documents submitted to the VBBE.
To Access the VBBE Online Forms: Click here.
STEP 4 – APPLICATION ASSEMBLY
Utilize the Checklist as noted above to confirm that you have completed and included each REQUIRED document. Your application will not be considered complete until all required documents have been received.
STEP 5 – SUBMIT YOUR PRINTED APPLICATION FORMS AND ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS TO:
Office of the Secretary
Virginia Board of Bar Examiners
2201 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Statutory Filing Deadline
See § 54.1-3925 of the Code of Virginia. If your application is not actually received in the Secretary's office by the filing deadline (May 10 for the July exam; December 15 for the February exam), it may be deemed to be timely filed only if it has been transmitted expense prepaid to the Office of the Secretary of the Board by Priority, Express, Registered or Certified mail via the United States Postal Service, or by a third party commercial carrier for Next-Day Delivery, and the official receipt therefor issued by the United States Postal Service or by such third party commercial carrier, which shall be exhibited on demand of the Secretary, shows such transmission or mailing to the Secretary's office on or before the prescribed deadline.
Priority, Express, Registered or Certified mail via the United States Postal Service or Next-Day Delivery by a third party commercial carrier are the ONLY methods of transmission or mailing authorized by the statute. Thus, an application sent by any other form of mail, such as First Class mail, CANNOT be accepted if it is received after the filing deadline, even if it is postmarked before.
Application forms should be filed no more than 90 days prior to the filing deadline, but must be filed by the statutory filing deadline in accordance with § 54.1-3925 of the Code of Virginia.
Due to confidentiality limitations, the Board will not confirm receipt of an application over the phone. To ensure we have received your application, send it on or before the Statutory Filing Deadline using a delivery method that you can track, or you may include a self-addressed stamped envelope or postcard, which we will date-stamp and return to you.