[USA] Centers for Disease Control [CDC] Revised Proposed Model Vital Statistics Act #general

Jan Meisels Allen

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a US government agency
under the Department of Health and Human Services, develops the Model State
Vital Statistics Act . The National Association for Public Health Statistics
and Information Systems [NAPHSIS] is the professional association of state
vital records and public health statistics offices in the United States. The
CDC proposed a revision to the current Model State Vital Statistics Act
entitled : 2011 Revision of the Model State Vital Statistics Act and
Regulations. The last revision of the model act was in 1992. The current
Model Act may be read at:

The proposed 2011 Revision of the Model Act was developed by a working group
consisting of seven state/local vital statistics executives and one former
chief counsel of a local health department. They sought input >from all State
vital statistics officials The genealogical community was not consulted. A
draft was presented to the states in late 2010 and the revised version was
distributed to the jurisdictions and statistics executives. No public
comment or hearing has been held or scheduled. It is pending Department of
Health and Human Services approval, it is not currently known if they will
hold a public comment period or hearing.

The NAPHSIS home page is: http://www.naphsis.org/Pages/home.aspx

In several jurisdictions we have seen the attempt by states to try to impose
the new and longer wait periods for vital records. The proposed 2011 Model
Act states: it is unlawful for the state registrar to permit access to or
disclosure of personally identifiable information in vital records or issue
a copy of the record unless the person is authorized (and there is no
provision for genealogists). The proposed new Model Act has extended the
length of time to obtain records:125 years have elapsed after the date of
live birth, or 75 years have elapsed after the date of death or fetal death,
or 100 years after the date of marriage, or (divorce, dissolution of
marriage, or annulment).

To read the proposed 2011 model act go to:

The vital statistics of the United States are collected and published
through a decentralized, cooperative system. Responsibility for the
registration of births, deaths, fetal deaths, marriages, divorces and
annulments and the reporting of induced terminations of pregnancy is vested
in the 57 vital registration jurisdictions ( 50 states, DC, 5 territories,
Puerto Rico and New York City). The first Model Law was developed in 1907 by
the Bureau of the Census. Since 1992 NAPHIS believes a number of changes
have occurred-ranging >from increased security on vital records in order to
prevent identity theft for criminal intent or terrorism. In addition, the
widespread adoption by states of electronic birth and death registration
systems has resulted in improved timeliness and data quality of vital

The Model State Vital Statistics Act and Regulations (Model Law) was
developed to serve as a model for states in preparing their own laws and
regulations. The Model Law was designed to improve the quality and
uniformity of state data by establishing standard reporting requirements,
definitions, and procedures for registering vital events.

To read more on the resolution for the proposed 2011 version of the Model
Act go to: http://tinyurl.com/cxrgghf

Original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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