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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 18 : Health


(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 5000)
  • § 5000. State Registrar; duties; authority; Statewide Registration System; issuing agents

    (a) The Commissioner shall designate a member of the Department as the State Registrar. The State Registrar shall head the Office of Vital Records and shall provide consultation to town clerks, hospital personnel, licensed health care professionals, midwives, funeral directors, clergy, probate judges, and all other persons involved in vital records for the purpose of promoting uniformity of procedures in order to promote the complete, accurate, timely, and lawful creation, registration, processing, modification, and disclosure of vital records.

    (b) The Commissioner may exercise any authority granted to or fulfill any duties conferred on the State Registrar under this part or any other provision of law related to vital records, and the State Registrar may delegate the exercise of his or her authority or the performance of his or her duties to a duly authorized representative.

    (c)(1) The State Registrar shall operate the Statewide Registration System, which shall be the sole official repository of data from birth and death certificates registered on or after January 1, 1909. However, nothing in this part shall be construed to preclude town clerks or other issuing agents from printing from the System and maintaining for public inspection noncertified copies of birth and death certificates. The State Registrar shall create and maintain an index which, at a minimum, will enable the public to search contents of the System by the name of the registrant and by the date of the vital event.

    (2) On and after July 1, 2019:

    (A) upon registration of a birth or death in the Statewide Registration System, the System shall automatically notify the town clerk of the town of occurrence and the town clerk of residence of the registrant;

    (B) upon the correction or amendment of a birth or death certificate registered in the System, or upon issuance of a new birth certificate to replace a birth certificate registered in the System, the System shall automatically notify the town clerk of the town of occurrence and the town clerk of residence of the registrant.

    (3) Birth and death certificates registered prior to January 1, 1909:

    (A) shall not be incorporated into the Statewide Registration System;

    (B) shall be maintained at the offices of town clerks as specified in section 5007 of this title; and

    (C) shall not be eligible for amendment under this part.

    (4) The State Registrar shall investigate and attempt to resolve any known discrepancy between the contents of a vital event certificate in the custody of the State Registrar and a vital event certificate maintained in the office of a town clerk. In addition, the State Registrar shall have the authority to change the contents of a birth or death certificate in the System in order to address a known error or to conform the certificate to the requirements of a court order. The State Registrar shall record and maintain in the System the nature and content of a change made in the System, the identity of the person making the change, and the date of the change.

    (5) Except as authorized under subdivision 5073(a)(3) of this title, and except for corrections, completions, or amendments to address known errors or omissions, the State Registrar shall deny any application under this part requesting a correction, completion, or amendment of a birth or death certificate in order to change a name, and shall change a name only in accordance with a court order.

    (d)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, town clerks in the State shall aid in the efficient administration of the Statewide Registration System and shall act as agents to issue copies of birth and death certificates from the Statewide Registration System in accordance with section 5016 of this title.

    (2) By filing a written notice with the State Registrar, a town clerk may opt out of serving as an issuing agent.

    (e) The State Registrar shall, consistent with the requirements of this part:

    (1) administer the Statewide Registration System and fulfill the duties assigned to him or her under this part;

    (2) provide for the preservation and security of the official records of the Office of Vital Records, and for the matching of birth and death records in order to prevent the fraudulent use of birth and death certificates of deceased persons;

    (3) promote uniformity of policy and procedures pertaining to vital records and vital statistics throughout the State;

    (4) prescribe the contents and form of vital record reports, vital event certificates, and related applications and documents; prescribe the contents and form of burial-transit permits; and distribute the same;

    (5) maintain a Vital Records Alert System in order to track and prevent misrepresentation, fraud, or illegal activities in connection with vital records;

    (6) implement audit and quality control procedures as necessary to ensure compliance with vital records filing and reporting requirements;

    (7) prescribe:

    (A) the contents and form of applications for a certified copy of a birth or death certificate after consultation with the Vermont Municipal Clerks' & Treasurers' Association;

    (B) the manner in which vital records required to be submitted to him or her shall be submitted;

    (C) physical requirements and security standards for storage of vital event certificates and related supplies, after consideration of best practices issued by state and federal law enforcement and public health organizations;

    (D) the manner in which the Department of Public Safety shall furnish lists of missing and kidnapped children to the State Registrar; and

    (E) procedures governing the public's inspection of birth and death certificates, if necessary to protect the integrity of the certificates or to deter fraud;

    (8) adopt rules governing:

    (A) acceptable content and limitations on the number of characters on a birth certificate;

    (B) acceptable forms of identification required in connection with applications for certified copies of birth and death certificates; and

    (C) the process for denying a certified copy of a birth or death certificate based on a Vital Records Alert System match or evidence of fraud or misrepresentation, notifying affected persons of the denial, and investigating and resolving the issue identified.

    (f) The State Registrar may adopt rules as may be necessary to carry out his or her duties under this part. (Added 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 23; amended 2017, No. 46, § 2, eff. July 1, 2019 and § 3, eff. May 22, 2017 and July 1, 2019.)