(US-WA) Washington State Governor Jay Inslee Signs New Vital Records Bill Into Law #general

Jan Meisels Allen

On April 26 Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed into law ESSB 5332,
the vital records bill. It is Chapter 148, 2019 Laws. The bill as passed the
state legislature may be read at: https://tinyurl.com/y6t2c25p
Original url:

With the exception of Sections 3 and 43 the bill becomes effective January
1, 2020- which includes the effective date for the vital records sections.
Sections 3 and 43 become effective July 28, 2019. Those two sections relate
to rule making authority before the vital records period becomes effective,
so that when the sections regarding vital records become effective the rules
are in place.

The bill includes a 25-year embargo on death records; 100-year embargo on
birth records; expansion of those relatives who may access the vital record
without waiting for the embargo periods, transferring the records to the
state archives within one year and more. The bill permits non-certified
informational copies, albeit without cause of death. The Department of
Health does not have authority over marriage records and therefore, this
legislation did not address embargoes for those records.

The expanded list of relatives who need not wait for the embargo periods
include: spouse or domestic partner, child, parent, stepparent,
stepchild, sibling, grandparent, great grandparent, grandchild, legal
guardian, legal representative, or authorized representative.

An authorized representative can be other relatives or genealogists.

To read more about the bill see the IAJGS Records Access Alert. To access
the IAJGS Records Access Alert go
:http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts/. You must be
registered to access the archives. To register go to:
http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts and follow
the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which
genealogical organization with whom you are affiliated You will receive
an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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