2010 Arkansas Code
Title 20 - Public Health And Welfare
Subtitle 2 - Health And Safety
Chapter 18 - Vital Statistics Act
Subchapter 3 - Records Generally
§ 20-18-305 - Issuance of certified copies and data from the system of vital statistics.

20-18-305. Issuance of certified copies and data from the system of vital statistics.

In accordance with 20-18-304 and the regulations adopted pursuant to 20-18-304:

(1) The State Registrar of Vital Records and other custodians of vital records designated by the state registrar under 20-18-203(b)(2) shall upon receipt of written application issue a certified copy of a vital record in his or her custody or a part thereof to the registrant, his or her spouse, child, parent, or guardian or their respective authorized designated representative. Others may be authorized to obtain certified copies when they demonstrate that the record is needed for the determination or protection of his or her personal or property rights. The State Board of Health may adopt regulations to further define those who may obtain copies of vital records filed under this chapter;

(2) All forms and procedures used in the issuance of certified copies of vital records in the state shall be uniform and approved by the state registrar. All certified copies issued shall have security features that deter persons from altering, counterfeiting, duplicating, or simulating the document;

(3) Each copy or abstract issued shall show the date of registration and copies or abstracts issued from records marked "Delayed", "Amended", or "Certificate of Foreign Birth" shall be similarly marked and show the effective date;

(4) A certified copy or other copy of a death certificate containing cause of death information shall not be issued except as follows:

(A) Upon specific request of a spouse, child, parent, or other next of kin of the decedent or an authorized representative;

(B) When a documented need for the cause of death to establish a legal right or claim has been demonstrated;

(C) When the request for the copy is made by or on the behalf of an organization that provides benefits to the decedent's survivors or beneficiaries;

(D) Upon specific request by local, state, or federal agencies for research or administrative purposes approved by the state registrar;

(E) When needed for research activities approved by the state registrar; or

(F) Upon receipt of an order from a court of competent jurisdiction ordering the release;

(5) A certified copy of a vital record or any part thereof issued in accordance with subdivision (1) of this section shall be considered for all purposes the same as the original and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein, provided that the evidentiary value of a certificate or record filed more than one (1) year after the event, or a record which has been amended, or a certificate of foreign birth shall be determined by the judicial or administrative body or official before whom the certificate is offered as evidence;

(6) The federal agency responsible for national vital statistics may be furnished such copies or data from the system of vital statistics as it may require for national statistics. The state registrar shall enter into an agreement with the federal agency that specifies the statistical or research purposes for which the records, reports, or data may be used. The agreement shall also set forth the support to be provided by the federal agency for the collection, processing, and transmission of such records, reports, or data. Upon written request of the federal agency, the state registrar may approve in writing additional statistical or research uses of the records, reports, or data supplied under the agreement;

(7) Upon request, federal, state, local, and other public government agencies may be furnished copies of records, reports, or data, provided that the copies or data shall be used solely in the conduct of their official duties;

(8) (A) (i) By agreement, the state registrar may 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.

(ii) The agreement shall require that the transcripts be used for statistical and administrative purposes only as specified in the agreement.

(iii) The agreement shall provide instruction for the proper retention and disposition of copies.

(B) Copies received from other jurisdictions by the Division of Vital Records of the Division of Health of the Department of Health and Human Services shall be handled in the same manner as prescribed in this subdivision (8);

(9) When one hundred (100) years have elapsed after the date of birth or fifty (50) years have elapsed after the date of death, marriage, divorce, or annulment, the records of these events in the custody of the state registrar shall become available to the public without restriction, in accordance with regulations which shall provide for the continued safekeeping of the records;

(10) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit disclosure of information contained in the "Information for Medical and Health Use Only" section of the birth certificate or the "Information for Statistical Purposes Only" section of the certificate of marriage or certificate of divorce or annulment, unless specifically authorized by the state registrar for statistical or research purposes;

(11) 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 regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter;

(12) When the state registrar receives information that a certificate may have been registered through fraud or misrepresentation, he or she shall withhold issuance of any copy of that certificate pending an administrative hearing to determine whether fraud or misrepresentation has occurred. The state registrar shall offer the registrant or the registrant's authorized representative notice and opportunity to be heard. If upon conclusion of the hearing no fraud or misrepresentation is found, copies may be issued. If upon conclusion of the hearing, fraud or misrepresentation is found, the state registrar shall remove the certificate from the file. The certificate and evidence shall be retained but shall not be subject to inspection or copying, except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by the state registrar for purposes of administering the vital statistics program.
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