Utility Locating Virginia

Virginia Utility Protection Service, Inc.
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days
Advance Notice: 2 working days, excluding the day of call
Marks Valid: 15 working days
Click here to see state laws on the One Call site


We have done our best to make sure that the information below is correct, but due to laws that are subject to change - Utility Locating Headquarters is not responsible for incorrect or missing information. Please contact the one-call center for current information.
Fax Tickets  
Online Tickets  
Coverage Statewide  
Civil Penalties  
Emergency Clause  
Mandatory Membership  
Excavator Permits Issued  
Mandatory Premarks  
Positive Response  
Hand Dig Clause  
Damage Reporting  


Statewide Coverage

In some states, there are multiple One-Call Centers, and in those instances they both have coverage within the same state.

Damage Reporting

If any contact with or damage to any pipe, cable, or its protective covering, or any other underground facility occurs, the excavator causing the contact or damage shall cease excavation and immediately notify the state’s 811 call center and the facility owner. The call center will notify the facility owner(s) (in addition to the excavator notifying the owner) if the facility damage could impact the general public in dealing with hazardous materials or volatile or dangerous facilities like electric or gas.

It's up the excavator to notify all appropriate emergency response entities. It's important to notify the One-Call Center when a facility becomes exposed, impacted, changed or modified to ensure that prior to burial of that facility it is restored and in good condition. Several disasters around the nation have occurred because minor nicks, cuts or scrapes to facilities were not reported. It might not appear to be important at the time, but as years go by and as a facility deteriorates, a catastrophe can happen.

We suggest you also contact the utility owner directly because often, due to additional requirements on their industry, they need additional information beyond just the locate site.

Hand Dig clause

While digging inside the safety zone - cautiously expose the underground facilities by hand before using power equipment.

Mandatory Membership

Some states do not currently require mandatory membership in the state’s 811 program. When it is not required the facility owners are given the option to either participate in state’s 811 or have an in-house program that meets some of the same operational requirements.

Whether they are members or are not of the state’s 811 - excavators are still required to notify all underground facility owners 2 working days prior to start of excavation and otherwise comply with state laws.

Excavator Permits Issued

Issue permits before excavators are allowed to dig.

Notifications Accepted

In an emergency situation where an excavator discovers or causes damage to a subsurface installation - he shall notify the operator and the One-Call Center. If the damage results in the escape of any flammable, toxic or corrosive gas or liquid or endangers life, health or property, the excavator responsible immediately notifies 911 and the facility-owner/operator. The excavator takes reasonable measures to protect themselves and those in immediate danger, public, property and the environment until the facility owner/operator or emergency. Notifications for design and overhead are accepted as well in some states.

Mandatory Premarks (Whitelining)

Delineation of the proposed excavation site is mandatory in some states. Mark the area to be excavated with water soluble or chalk based white paint on paved surfaces or with other suitable markings such as flags or stakes on unpaved areas.

Advance Notice

State laws can differ, but most require that you must wait two working days (up to 14 working days for some states) after notification is made to allow time for the locate request to be acted upon. For example, if notification is made on Monday at 8:00 a.m., your excavation could begin on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m.

However, if after that two working day notice has expired, it is recommended you check to ensure that all visible signs of potentially buried utilities indicate that all lines have been marked. If there are signs of buried facilities that have not been located, we suggest that you initiate a second call to your state 811 so that the locate request can be sent back out to the member facility owners letting them know that all lines have not been marked.

Positive Response

In most states, it means the underground facility owner communicates directly to the excavator, or through the one call center - the current status of their locate request.

Civil Penalties

When a state entity or government agency enforces and issues civil fines to parties that are responsible (ie utility company, excavator, locating company, etc.) for failure to comply with the state’s One Call law. For instance, not calling 811 prior to beginning a digging project, or not locating in the appropriate amount of time are some examples.


These vary from state to state, but if a state has exemptions - they typically fall into 5 categories: 1) DOT - Department of Transportation exemption from being a member with state one call center, 2) Depth - Vertical excavation limit, 3) H/O - Homeowner exemption from calling for locates, 4) R/R - Railroad exemption from being a member with state one call center, 5) AGR- Agriculture exemption from calling for locates.

Emergency Clause

In the case of an emergency (typically defined as a threat to life, health, property or public service), an excavator may excavate as needed to minimize any pending threat, but should notify the utilities as soon as possible before commencing any major repairs.

Tolerance Zone

All states, have a law that requires excavators to observe a tolerance zone for safety reasons. For most states, it will be between eighteen inches to 24 inches on each side of a marked utility line. While digging inside the safety zone proceed cautiously with non-invasive equipment. If you encounter a rigid object, carefully clear away the soil to determine what you've reached. Do not use your hands to clear away the soil. For maximum safety, use an insulated object.

Marks Valid For

This varies for each state, but generally marks are good for 14 days. If marks need to be refreshed, call 811 Call Center at least two business days before the 14 calendar day period has expired. To speed up the process, have your ticket number available when making the call.