Section 22-9A-22

Copies or data from the system of vital statistics.

(a) In accordance with Section 22-9A-21 and any rules adopted pursuant to that section:

(1) The State Registrar and other custodians of vital records authorized by the State Registrar to issue certified copies shall upon receipt of an application issue a certified copy of vital records in his or her custody or a part of the record. The vital records may be in the form of originals, photographic, microfilm, digital, electronic, or other reproductions, or data filed by digital or electronic means. Each copy issued shall show the date of registration and copies issued from records marked "DELAYED REGISTRATION" or "AMENDED" shall be similarly marked and show the effective date. All forms and procedures used in the issuance of certified copies of vital records in this state shall be provided or approved by the State Registrar.

(2) A certified copy of a vital record or any part of the record, issued in accordance with this section, shall be considered for all purposes the same as the original and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the copy, provided that the evidentiary value of a certificate or record filed more than one year after the event, or a record which has been amended, shall be determined by the judicial or administrative body or official before whom the certificate is offered as evidence.

(3) The federal agency responsible for national vital statistics may be furnished copies of records or data from the system of vital statistics as it may require for national statistics, if the federal agency shares in the cost of collecting, processing, and transmitting the records or data, and the records or data are used only for purposes provided for in the agreement between the federal agency and the State Registrar. Any additional uses of the records or data shall be approved by the State Registrar.

(4) Federal, state, local, and other public or private agencies in the conduct of their official duties may, upon request and payment of a reasonable fee, be furnished copies of records or other data from the system of vital statistics for statistical or administrative purposes, if the copies of records or data are used only for purposes for which they were obtained, unless specific approval for the additional use is authorized by the State Registrar.

(5) The State Registrar may, by agreement, transmit copies of records and other reports required by this chapter to offices of vital statistics outside this state, when the records or other reports relate to residents of those jurisdictions or persons born in those jurisdictions. The agreement shall specify the statistical and administrative purposes for which the records may be used, and the agreement shall provide further instructions for the proper retention and disposition of the copies.

(b) To protect the integrity of vital records and to prevent the fraudulent use of birth certificates of deceased persons, the State Registrar may match birth and death certificates, in accordance with rules of the board, and to post the facts of death to the appropriate birth certificate. Certified copies issued from birth certificates marked "DECEASED" shall be similarly marked.

(c) When the State Registrar receives information that a vital record was registered through misrepresentation or fraud, he or she may withhold the issuance of certified copies of the vital record until a determination of the facts has been made. If after investigation, the State Registrar determines that the vital record was registered through misrepresentation or fraud, he or she shall place the vital record and the evidence which supports the finding of misrepresentation or fraud in a special file. This file shall not be subject to inspection, except by order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by the State Registrar for purposes of properly administering the Office of Vital Statistics.

(d) No person shall prepare or issue any certificate which purports to be an original, certified copy, or copy of a vital record except as authorized in this chapter or rules adopted pursuant to this chapter.

(Acts 1992, No. 92-607, p. 1255, §22.)