Web Policy

Web Policy

Accessibility Policy
Through its Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is promoting a high degree of Web access for people with disabilities. In coordination with organizations around the world, WAI is pursuing Web accessibility through five primary areas of work: technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development. To help support the WAI, DFS is complying with W3C guidelines for Web accessibility.

Document Accessibility Notice:
Hard copy documents are available for those unable to access or view the downloadable files on this website. Simply contact DFS by webmaster@dfs.virginia.gov, by FAX at 804-786-6857, or by mail at:

    1. Department of Forensic Science
    1. ATTN: Webmaster
      700 North Fifth Street
    1. Richmond, VA 23219

Downloads and Plug-ins
The DFS website provides content in several formats that require plug-ins, or separate browser components, to properly view the content. All required plug-ins are free to use. If your browser or assistive technology cannot view the content using the plug-in, please contact the DFS Webmaster for an alternative version of the content.
The plug-ins used are:

    1. • Adobe Reader
    1. • Microsoft Excel Viewer
    1. • Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer
      • Microsoft Word Viewer
    1. • Macromedia Flash Player

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science (DFS) provides links to many websites that are not controlled, maintained, or regulated by DFS or any organization affiliated with DFS, and as such DFS is not responsible for the content of those websites. Use of information obtained from those websites is voluntary, and reliance on that information should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy. Reference at those websites to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, or otherwise does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by DFS.

Linking Policy
This website may contain hypertext links to external websites and pages containing information created and maintained by public and private organizations other than the Virginia Department of Forensic Science (DFS). These hypertext links may be created by DFS if it determines that establishing the external link will be consistent with assisting or furthering the purpose of this web portal, which is to significantly and diligently promote public service to citizens and businesses by:

    1. • Expanding business and citizen access to government services and government information;
    1. • Offering an easy and convenient process for these groups to conduct transactions with State government online;
    1. • Accelerating the development and delivery of an increased volume of quality, online government services;
      • Improving the level of customer service from State government;
    1. • Extending electronic government services to citizens of cities and county government.

In addition, hypertext links may be created by DFS for informational purposes where the linked external website will provide useful and valuable information to visitors to this website, or where the linked external website is required or authorized by law.

DFS, in its sole discretion, will determine whether the external website meets the purpose of this website or for the specified informational purposes. The inclusion of a hypertext link to an external website is not intended as an endorsement of any product or service offered or referenced on the linked website, the organizations sponsoring said website, or any views that might be expressed or referenced in the website.

Hypertext links to external websites and pages may be removed or replaced at the sole discretion of DFS, at any time without notice.

In the event you discover problems with or have concerns regarding the format, accuracy, timeliness or completeness of a linked external website, please contact the organization responsible for the linked external website — DFS does not control nor is it responsible for any linked external websites, pages, or content.

Privacy Policy
The following represents practices and procedures of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science (DFS). DFS reserves the right to change these practices and procedures at any time without prior notice. The following is not intended and should not be interpreted as a contract of any nature, either stated or implied.

Individuals who visit the DFS website are important to us. Because visitors to our website are important, we do not capture personal information about them without their permission. We endeavor to ensure that we collect only the minimum amount of information needed to meet the purpose for which the network was created.

DFS may be required to collect personal information, such as a user’s name and address, because of legal requirements or in order to provide customer services. In doing so we are subject to the requirements for administering information systems as established in the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act, Chapter 38 of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia. Pages that appear after you click on a link may be controlled by a different agency or entity, whose practices are not under DFS’ control.

We do collect personal information directly from individuals who volunteer to subscribe to one or more of DFS’ online services. Collecting personal information is necessary in order for DFS to deliver the services requested.

Fostering and maintaining the public’s trust is important to DFS. We appreciate the trust and confidence that you place in us by providing requested personal information.

Use, Collection, & Retention of Customer Information
For each visitor, we collect information about the Internet Protocol (IP) address, type of browser used, the date and time of the visit, and the IP addresses of the locations to which the visitor linked during his or her visit to our website. This information is strictly used for statistical reporting purposes.

We collect, retain and use personal information about our customers, other than mentioned above, only when they volunteer to subscribe to a DFS online service. We only collect, retain and use personal information where we believe it is essential (and allowed by law) to administer our business and to provide products, services and other opportunities requested by our customers.

Use of Cookies
“Cookies” are small files either stored on a server or sent back to a visiting computer. In certain applications user information is stored as “cookies” of the type that are then sent back and stored on the user’s computer. This information is handled in the same way as other user information obtained by DFS. No user information is gathered through cookies except for that needed to run the specific application.

Restrictions on the Disclosure of Customer Information
We do not sell or rent our subscribers’ information to any outside company or organization. We do not reveal specific information about subscribers or other personally identifiable data to unaffiliated third parties for their independent use, except if required to do so by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act or other law.

Protection of Information Via Established Security Procedures
We maintain security standards and procedures regarding unauthorized access to customer information to prevent unauthorized removal or alteration of data.

Maintenance of Accurate Information
We have established procedures to ensure that information is as accurate and current as is practical to enable us to conduct business with you. Although we strive to do things right the first time, we also respond to requests to correct inaccurate information in a timely manner.

Limiting Employee Access to Information
Our webmaster is instructed to limit employee access to personally identifiable information to only those employees who need access in order to perform their assigned duties. The webmaster is instructed to enforce with its staff their responsibilities in protecting subscriber’s information.

Privacy Issues Relating to the Federal Child Privacy Act
The Federal Child Privacy Act regulates website’s collection of personal information on users under 18 years of age. Except for registrations of specific events for children, we do not intentionally collect such information on anyone we know to be under 18 years of age. If such information is inadvertently obtained, the minor’s parent or legal guardian may contact DFS for a description of the specific types of personal information collected from the child and the options available to them under law to ensure their child’s safety.

The Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, is emerging as an industry standard providing a simple, automated way for users to gain more control over the use of personal information on websites they visit. At its most basic level, P3P is a standardized set of multiple-choice questions, covering all the major aspects of a website’s privacy policies. Taken together, they present a clear snapshot of how a site handles personal information about its users. P3P-enabled websites make this information available in a standard, machine-readable format. P3P enabled browsers can “read” this snapshot automatically and compare it to the consumer’s own set of privacy preferences. P3P enhances user control by putting privacy policies where users can find them, in a form users can understand, and, most importantly, enables users to act on what they see. The DFS website is P3P compliant.

DFS reserves the right to change this privacy policy as necessary.

Contact Us
We welcome your comments and invite you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns by contacting us:

      1. Department of Forensic Science
      1. ATTN: Webmaster
      1. 700 North Fifth Street
        Richmond, VA 23219
      1. Or