2012 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 7 - Municipalities
Chapter 93 - Registrars of Vital Statistics
Section 7-51a - Copies of vital records. Access to vital records by members of genealogical societies. Marriage and civil union licenses. Death certificates. Issuance of certified copies of electronically filed certificates.


CT Gen Stat § 7-51a (2012) What's This?

(a) Any person eighteen years of age or older may purchase certified copies of marriage and death records, and certified copies of records of births or fetal deaths which are at least one hundred years old, in the custody of any registrar of vital statistics. The department may issue uncertified copies of death certificates for deaths occurring less than one hundred years ago, and uncertified copies of birth, marriage, death and fetal death certificates for births, marriages, deaths and fetal deaths that occurred at least one hundred years ago, to researchers approved by the department pursuant to section 19a-25, and to state and federal agencies approved by the department. During all normal business hours, members of genealogical societies incorporated or authorized by the Secretary of the State to do business or conduct affairs in this state shall (1) have full access to all vital records in the custody of any registrar of vital statistics, including certificates, ledgers, record books, card files, indexes and database printouts, except for those records containing Social Security numbers protected pursuant to 42 USC 405 (c)(2)(C), and confidential files on adoptions, gender change, gestational agreements and paternity, (2) be permitted to make notes from such records, (3) be permitted to purchase certified copies of such records, and (4) be permitted to incorporate statistics derived from such records in the publications of such genealogical societies. For all vital records containing Social Security numbers that are protected from disclosure pursuant to federal law, the Social Security numbers contained on such records shall be redacted from any certified copy of such records issued to a genealogist by a registrar of vital statistics.

(b) For marriage and civil union licenses, the Social Security numbers of the parties to the marriage or civil union shall be recorded in the “administrative purposes” section of the marriage or civil union license and the application for such license. All persons specified on the license, including the parties to the marriage or civil union, officiator and local registrar shall have access to the Social Security numbers specified on the marriage or civil union license and the application for such license for the purpose of processing the license. Only the parties to a marriage or civil union, or entities authorized by state or federal law, may receive a certified copy of a marriage or civil union license with the Social Security numbers included on the license. Any other individual, researcher or state or federal agency requesting a certified or uncertified copy of any marriage or civil union license in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be provided such copy with such Social Security numbers removed or redacted, or with the “administrative purposes” section omitted.

(c) For deaths occurring after December 31, 2001, the Social Security number, occupation, business or industry, race, Hispanic origin if applicable, and educational level of the deceased person, if known, shall be recorded in the “administrative purposes” section of the death certificate. All parties specified on the certificate, including the informant, licensed funeral director, licensed embalmer, conservator, surviving spouse, physician and town clerk, shall have access to the Social Security numbers of the decedent as well as other information contained in the “administrative purposes” section specified on the original death certificate for the purpose of processing the certificate. For any death occurring after July 1, 1997, only the surviving spouse, next of kin or state and federal agencies authorized by federal law may receive a certified copy of a death certificate with the decedent’s Social Security number or the complete “administrative purposes” section included on the certificate. Any researcher requesting a death certificate for a death occurring after July 1, 1997, may obtain the information included in the “administrative purposes” section of such certificate, except that the decedent’s Social Security number shall be redacted.

(d) The registrar of vital statistics of any town or city in this state that has access to an electronic vital records system, as authorized by the department, may use such system to issue certified copies of birth, death, fetal death or marriage certificates that are electronically filed in such system.

(P.A. 80-280; P.A. 96-258, S. 3; P.A. 00-92, S. 3; P.A. 01-163, S. 13; P.A. 08-66, S. 4; 08-184, S. 49.)

History: P.A. 96-258 revised section to provide any person 18 or older may purchase copies of marriage and death records and birth records at least 100 years old and permit full access to all vital records by members of genealogical society; and permit such members to take notes and purchase copies of such records, entirely replacing prior provisions; P.A. 00-92 authorized the purchase of certified copies; P.A. 01-163 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended by adding provisions re fetal deaths, the issuance of uncertified copies of certificates, authorization by the Secretary of the State, confidential files on gender change, gestational agreements and paternity, and incorporation of statistics derived from vital records into genealogical society publications, and added new Subsecs. (b) to (d) re marriage licenses, death certificates and use of electronic vital records system; P.A. 08-66 amended Subsec. (a) by adding records containing Social Security numbers protected pursuant to 42 USC 405 (c)(2)(C) in Subdiv. (1) and adding provision re redaction of Social Security numbers on records issued to genealogist by registrar of vital statistics, amended Subsec. (b) by substituting “parties to the marriage or civil union” for “bride and groom” and “marriage or civil union license” for “marriage license”, by restricting access to licenses containing Social Security numbers to officiator and local registrar, and by specifying that only parties to marriage or civil union may receive certified copy of marriage or civil union license with Social Security numbers included on license, and amended Subsec. (c) by removing commissioner’s authority to allow other persons access to Social Security number of decedent, by allowing specified individuals access to “administrative purposes” section of original death certificate and by restructuring provisions re access to death certificate for death occurring after July 1, 1997; P.A. 08-184 amended Subsec. (b) by providing that entities authorized by state or federal law may receive certified copy of marriage or civil union license containing Social Security numbers on the license and amended Subsec. (c) by providing that state or federal agencies authorized by federal law may receive certified copy of death certificate containing decedent’s Social Security number and complete “administrative purposes” section.

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