It’s so easy to get certified copies of birth certificates in Vermont that the state no longer will accept them as identification for fear of identity theft. In fact, I have personal experience with that.
I lived in Vermont for several years and my daughter was born there. A few years ago, she lost her birth certificate during a burglary in which an entire box of jewelry and papers, including her passport and birth certificate, were stolen and never recovered. A few months later, she and I were in Vermont together on vacation. We visited the town clerk's office in the town where she was born and my daughter asked for a copy of her birth certificate.
I was surprised at the informality of the process. The clerk did ask for date of birth and name at birth, but did not ask for any other information. There was no request for any form of identification nor did the clerk ask why a new copy was needed. A new, certified copy of birth was produced within two or three minutes, a fee was paid, and we walked out with a certified birth certificate. It now serves as legal proof of her identification.
Anyone else could have done the same. If any young lady of the approximate age as my daughter was to visit the office and ask for the birth certificate, she, too, would receive a certified copy. So could anyone else, male or female, of any age, if they make the request by mail. So much for the security of requiring a birth certificate for proof of identification!
Admittedly, even a certified birth certificate isn't really proof of identification. It simply is a certification that a birth occurred. There is no claim that the person who possesses the certificate at this moment is the same person that is named on it. However, the birth certificate is routinely accepted as "proof" when applying for a driver's license, a passport, or other identification.
Vermont is one of only three states that allows anyone to obtain a certified copy of a birth or death certificate, said Richard McCoy, the state Health Department’s public health statistics chief. Legislation expected to pass the Vermont House will change that, restricting who can ask for certified copies of birth and death records.
The House bill, which the Health Department sought, would allow only the person on the certificate or specific close family members to obtain a certified copy. Others who are merely interested in the information on the records — when or where someone was born or the person’s cause of death, for example — will be able to obtain uncertified copies.
You can read more in an article by Terri Hallenbeck in the Burlington Free Press at http://goo.gl/wGiTl
I would suggest the remaining states should adopt similar procedures.
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