2021 Tennessee Code
Title 68 - Health, Safety and Environmental Protection
Chapter 3 - Vital Records Act of 1977
Part 2 - Records — General Requirements
§ 68-3-206. Copies of Records

Universal Citation: TN Code § 68-3-206 (2021)

In accordance with § 68-3-205 and the regulations adopted pursuant to § 68-3-205:

  1. The state registrar and other custodian or custodians authorized by the state registrar to issue certified copies shall, upon receipt of written application, issue a certified copy of a vital record in the state registrar's or custodian's custody or a part of the vital record to any applicant showing a direct and tangible interest in the vital record. Each copy issued shall show the date of registration and copies issued from records marked “delayed” and “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 approved or provided by the state registrar;

  2. A certified copy of a vital record or any part of the vital record, issued in accordance with subdivision (1), shall be considered for all purposes the same as the original and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the vital record;

  3. The federal agency responsible for national vital statistics may be furnished copies or data from the system of vital records it may require for national statistics; provided, that the federal agency shares in the cost of collecting, processing and transmitting the data; and provided further, that the data shall not be used for other than statistical purposes by the federal agency, unless so authorized by the state registrar;

  4. Federal agencies, the state of Tennessee, Tennessee courts and municipal and county law enforcement agencies, upon official request, may be furnished verification of information for statistical or administrative purposes upon such terms or conditions as may be prescribed by regulation; provided, that the copies or information shall not be used for other than the purpose for which it was requested, unless so authorized by the state registrar;

    1. The state registrar may, by agreement, transmit transcripts of records and other reports required by this chapter to offices of vital records outside this state, when the records or other reports relate to residents of those jurisdictions or persons born in those jurisdictions. The agreement shall require that the transcripts be used for statistical and administrative purposes only as specified in the agreement. Any agreement shall provide that the transcripts shall not be retained by the other jurisdiction for more than two (2) years from the date of the event or after the statistical tabulation has been accomplished, whichever time period is shorter;

    2. Transcripts received from other jurisdictions by the office of vital records in this state shall be handled in the same manner as prescribed in subdivision (5)(A);

    1. The department of health shall implement a pilot program to authorize, but not require, county clerks to issue certified copies of computer abstract birth certificates to walk-in customers pursuant to this subdivision (6). The program shall only be implemented in one (1) site within a county.

    2. County clerks may issue certified copies of birth certificates, which copies shall have the force and effect of certified copies issued by the office of vital records. The state registrar may promulgate regulations or emergency rules as may be necessary to effectuate this subdivision (6), including, but not limited to, rules governing the issuance, inventories, and security and confidentiality standards of the birth certificates or certified copies or both, in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

    3. The department shall provide state security paper for issuing copies of birth certificates pursuant to this section. The county clerk shall be responsible for all other expenses including, but not limited to, connectivity, hardware and direct cost of training staff; provided, however, that each county clerk is authorized to charge a reasonable fee in addition to the fee established by regulations and paid to the department to defray any reasonable costs associated with issuing the certificates. From the proceeds collected from the fee established by regulations, the county clerk shall remit to the department the portion of the fee due the state and shall remit to any local health department located within the county the portion of the fee due such local health department in the manner prescribed by contract.

    4. County clerks and the department may utilize existing T-carrier signaling schemes for the purpose of transmitting data.

    5. [Deleted by 2014 amendment.]

  5. Local health departments in counties with a population of two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) or greater, according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census, may issue copies of birth certificates, which copies shall have the force and effect of certified copies issued by the office of vital records. The local health departments in those counties are designated as branch offices of the central office of vital records for the purpose of issuance of copies of birth certificates only, but not for the purpose of alteration of birth certificates;

  6. Local health departments may issue copies of death certificates, which copies have the force and effect of certified copies issued by the office of vital records; and

  7. No person shall prepare or issue any certificate that 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.
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