Guidelines For Public Access

Birth Records

  • Legitimate births:  Copies (certified or non-certified) of the legal portion of the record must be provided to any member of the public on request.
  • Out-of-wedlock births:  Copies may be provided only to the registrant, parent, or guardian.
  • Access to file or books of records:  If all records of illegitimate births, the original birth records of adopted persons, and the confidential portions of records of legitimate births have been removed or covered from public view, then public access to files or books of birth records must be permitted.

Death Records

  • Public Information:  Only the decendant’s name, age, date of death, and place of death may be released to the general public.  All other information on the death record is confidential.
  • Cause of death and other confidential information:  All information except that specified above is confidential and may be released only to those with direct and legitimate interest in the record.  Municipal clerks may release cause of death information only to members of the decendent’s immediate family or their descendents, the decedent’s legal custodian or guardian, those needing this information for determination or protection of a personal or property right, or their respective authorized representatives.
  • Authorized representatives:  These include: attorneys, physicians, funeral directors, or others such as genealogists authorized in writing by the immediate family or descendants.
  • All others seeking access to the cause of death data must apply to the Office of Vital Records.

Marriage Records

  • Copies:  Copies (certified or non-certified) that exclude any statistical information must be provided to any member of the public on request.
  • Access to file or books of records:  The statistical information section should be masked, deleted, or otherwise removed from public view, if practical.  If not, the entire record must be made available for public inspection.

Records Prior to 1892

All such records are public information and may be examined by anyone.

Reference:  These guidelines are taken from the rule governing the release of information on vital records.

 

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