2021 Maine Revised Statutes
TITLE 22: HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtitle 2: HEALTH
Part 6: BIRTHS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS
Chapter 701: GENERAL PROVISIONS
22 §2706. Disclosure of vital records
§2706. Disclosure of vital records
Custodians of certificates and records of birth, marriage and death shall permit inspection of records, or issue certified or noncertified copies of certificates or records, or any parts thereof, when satisfied that the applicant has a direct and legitimate interest in the matter recorded, the decision of the state registrar or the clerk of a municipality being subject to review by the Superior Court, under the limitations of this section. [PL 2011, c. 58, §1 (AMD).]
1. Child not born of marriage.
[PL 2009, c. 601, §12 (RP).]
2. Statistical research. The state registrar may permit the use of data contained in vital records for purposes of statistical research. Such data may not be used in a manner that will identify any individual.
[PL 2009, c. 601, §12 (AMD).]
2-A. Reporting data to the Maine Health Data Organization. The state registrar shall report data related to the registration of vital statistics, including personally identifying medical or protected health information, to the Maine Health Data Organization in accordance with the joint rule adopted pursuant to section 8715‑A. The data reported must be assigned a Maine Health Data Organization identifier and integrated with other Maine Health Data Organization data. The data reported may be released only in accordance with the rule adopted by the Maine Health Data Organization on release of data to the public pursuant to section 8707.
[PL 2021, c. 423, Pt. A, §4 (NEW).]
3. National statistics. The national agency responsible for compiling national vital statistics may be furnished such copies or data as it may require for national statistics. The State must be reimbursed for cost of furnishing such copies or data, and such data may not be used in a manner that will identify any individual, except as authorized by the state registrar.
[PL 2009, c. 601, §12 (AMD).]
4. Unlawful disclosure of data. It is unlawful for any employee of the State or of any municipality in the State to disclose data contained in such records, except as authorized in this section and except that a clerk of a municipality may cause to be printed in the annual town report the births reported within the year covered by the report, by number of births and location by city or town where birth occurred, deaths reported within the year covered by the report, by date of death, name, age and location by city or town where death occurred, and marriages reported within the year covered by the report by names of parties and date of marriage. All other details of birth, marriage, divorce or death may not be available to the general public, except as specified in department rules.
[PL 2009, c. 601, §12 (AMD).]
5. Records disclosed. Certified or noncertified copies of vital records of a person must be made available at any reasonable time upon that person's request or the request of that person's spouse, registered domestic partner, descendant, parent or guardian, grandparent, sibling, stepparent, stepchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, mother-in-law, father-in-law, personal representative or that person's duly designated attorney or agent or attorney for an agent designated by that person or by a court having jurisdiction over that person whether the request be made in person, by mail, by telephone or otherwise, if the state registrar is satisfied as to the identity of the requester and, if an attorney or agent, if the state registrar is satisfied as to the attorney's or agent's authority to act as that person's agent or attorney. If the agent or attorney has been appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, or the attorney's or agent's appearance for the person is entered therein, the state registrar shall upon request so ascertain by telephone call to the register, clerk or recorder of the court, and this must be deemed sufficient justification to compel compliance with the request for the record. Certified or noncertified copies of the death certificate of a minor's parent must be made available at any reasonable time upon the request of that minor's living parent, as defined in Title 19‑A, section 1832, subsection 13, if the requester's parental rights with respect to that minor have not been terminated and the state registrar is satisfied as to the identity of the requester. The state registrar shall, as soon as possible, designate persons in the Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics who may act in the state registrar's absence or, in case of the state registrar's disqualification, to carry out the intent of this subsection. A record of birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce or domestic partner registration may be disclosed as necessary for the department to carry out its responsibilities.
[PL 2015, c. 393, §1 (AMD).]
6. Address Confidentiality Program. Access to vital records may be further restricted within the parties listed in subsection 5 according to procedures of the Address Confidentiality Program under Title 5, section 90‑B.
[PL 2009, c. 601, §12 (NEW).]
7. Public records. After 75 years from the date of birth for birth certificates, after 50 years from the date of death for fetal death certificates, after 25 years from the date of death for death certificates, after 50 years from the date of marriage for marriage certificates and after 50 years from the registration of domestic partnerships, any person may obtain noncertified copies of these vital records in accordance with the department's rules. Certificates and records of birth, marriage and death, including fetal death, created prior to 1892 are open to the public without restriction. All persons may purchase a copy on municipal letterhead or a noncertified copy of a vital record created prior to 1892.
[PL 2011, c. 58, §1 (AMD).]
8. Genealogical research. Custodians of certificates and records of birth, marriage and death, including applications regarding notice of intentions to marry, shall permit inspection of records by and issue noncertified copies to researchers engaged in genealogical research who hold researcher identification cards, as specified by rule adopted by the department. The department shall adopt rules to implement this subsection. Rules adopted by the department pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined by Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2‑A.
[PL 2011, c. 511, §5 (AMD).]
PL 1973, c. 127 (AMD). PL 1973, c. 625, §120 (AMD). PL 1973, c. 681, §5 (AMD). PL 1997, c. 537, §56 (AMD). PL 1997, c. 537, §62 (AFF). PL 2001, c. 574, §22 (AMD). PL 2009, c. 601, §12 (AMD). PL 2011, c. 58, §1 (AMD). PL 2011, c. 511, §5 (AMD). PL 2015, c. 393, §1 (AMD). PL 2021, c. 423, Pt. A, §4 (AMD).