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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 101 : VITAL RECORDS GENERALLY

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 5016)
  • § 5016. Birth and death certificates; copies; inspection

    (a) Access and issuance generally.

    (1) Except as provided in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection:

    (A) only the State Registrar and issuing agents may issue certified copies of birth and death certificates registered before July 1, 2019, and such certificates shall only be issued from the Statewide Registration System; and

    (B) only the State Registrar and issuing agents may issue certified or noncertified copies of birth and death certificates registered on or after July 1, 2019, and such certificates shall only be issued from the Statewide Registration System.

    (2) Copies of birth and death certificates registered prior to January 1, 1909 shall not be issued from the Statewide Registration System. Any town clerk may issue a certified copy of a pre-1909 birth or death certificate, provided he or she fulfills the requirements of subsection (b) of this section and such additional requirements as the State Registrar may prescribe as necessary to track antifraud paper used to produce such copies.

    (3) A certified or noncertified birth or death certificate shall only be issued as authorized and prescribed in this section, except that in either of the following circumstances, a public agency may issue a noncertified copy even if it does not follow the requirements of this section governing noncertified copies:

    (A) if the public agency is an agency other than the Office of Vital Records, the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration, or the office of a town or county, and the public agency has custody of a birth or death certificate acquired in the course of its business; or

    (B) if the birth or death certificate was filed in the records of a town or county office, such as land records, for a reason unrelated to its official role under law as a repository of registered birth or death certificates.

    (4) The word "illegitimate" shall be redacted from any certified or noncertified copy of a birth certificate.

    (5) If necessary to prevent fraud, the State Registrar may limit the issuance of a certified or noncertified copy of a certificate of live birth for a foreign born child in the same manner as copies of birth certificates are limited under this section.

    (b) Certified copies.

    (1) The State Registrar and issuing agents may issue certified copies of birth and death certificates only upon receipt of a complete application accompanied by a form of identification prescribed in rules adopted by the State Registrar. The State Registrar and issuing agents shall record in a database maintained by the State Registrar any application received.

    (2) Only the following persons shall be eligible for a certified copy of a birth or death certificate:

    (A) the registrant or his or her spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, or guardian; a person petitioning to open a decedent's estate; a court-appointed executor or administrator; or the legal representative of any of these;

    (B) a specific person pursuant to a court order finding that a noncertified copy is not sufficient for the applicant's legal purpose and that a certified copy of the birth or death certificate is needed for the determination or protection of a person's right; or

    (C) in the case of a death certificate only, additionally to:

    (i) the individual with authority for final disposition as provided in section 5227 of this title or a funeral home or crematorium acting on the individual's behalf;

    (ii) the Social Security Administration;

    (iii) the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; or

    (iv) the deceased's insurance carrier, if such carrier provides benefits to the decedent's survivors or beneficiaries.

    (3) Certified copies of birth and death certificates shall be issued only on unique paper with antifraud features approved by the State Registrar.

    (4) A certified copy of a birth or death certificate shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

    (c) Noncertified copies.

    (1) Form. A noncertified copy of a birth or death certificate issued from the Statewide Registration System shall indicate the term "Noncertified" on its face and shall not be issued on antifraud paper.

    (2) Legal effect. A noncertified copy of a birth or death certificate shall not serve as prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein, except that it may be recorded in the land records of a municipality to establish the date of birth or death of a person with an ownership interest in property.

    (d) Inspection. In addition to the provisions of the Public Records Act, the State Registrar may prescribe procedures governing the inspection of birth and death certificates if necessary to protect the integrity of the certificates or to prevent fraud. (Added 2018, No. 11 (Sp. Sess.), § I.5, eff. July 1, 2019.)