District of Columbia Council Enacts 2011 Model Vital Records Act

The following announcement was written by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

This is one we missed when it was being debated by the District of Columbia Council in 2017. They enacted the 2011 Model Vital Records Act which became effective October 30, 2018. The new law number is: D.C. ACT 22-434, L22-0164

The signed copy is available at: http://lims.dccouncil.us/Download/37932/B22-0250-SignedAct.pdf. It was published in the DC Register on September 14, 2018 (Vol 65 and Page 13690 ) and transmitted to Congress on September 17, 2018

To access the history see: http://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B22-0250?FromSearchResults=true

Of concern to genealogists is Section 124 (starting on page 27) Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information from vital records or vital reports.

Section 124 (a) vital records, vital reports, indices, related documents and data or information contained therein shall be confidential, and not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act ( emphasis added).

Section 124 (i) (page 29) open records are considered:

(1) live birth record after 125 years of date of birth;

(2) death record after 75 years from date of death or fetal death;

(3) marriage record after 100 years has elapsed form date of marriage, divorce, dissolution of marriage or annulment.

After the prescribed times above the records will be made public and may be transferred to the District of Columbia Archives.

Only Registrar may issue a certified copy. There is no provision for either an informational or genealogical copy.

Section 127 ) (10) on fees (page 34) permits by rule the setting of fees for providing genealogical search services

Thank you to Quinton Atkinson, Ancestry.com for sharing the information with us.

One Comment

Section 127 (a) 10 which discusses Fees, on page 34 says, “(10) Providing genealogical search services;” What does this mean? This is the only phrase where “genealogy” is mentioned.


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