Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 7. Vital Records
3/4/2021

Chapter 7. Vital Records.

Article 1. Definitions and Administrative Provisions.

§ 32.1-249. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

"Dead body" means a human body or such parts of such human body from the condition of which it reasonably may be concluded that death occurred.

"Fetal death" means death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of human conception, regardless of the duration of pregnancy; death is indicated by the fact that after such expulsion or extraction the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles.

a. "Induced termination of pregnancy" means the intentional interruption of pregnancy with the intention to produce other than a live-born infant or to remove a dead fetus and which does not result in a live birth.

b. "Spontaneous fetal death" means the expulsion or extraction of a product of human conception resulting in other than a live birth and which is not an induced termination of pregnancy.

"File" means the presentation of a vital record provided for in this chapter for registration by the Department.

"Final disposition" means the burial, interment, cremation, removal from the Commonwealth or other authorized disposition of a dead body or fetus.

"Institution" means any establishment, public or private, which provides inpatient medical, surgical, or diagnostic care or treatment, or nursing, custodial or domiciliary care, or to which persons are committed by law.

"Live birth" means the complete or substantial expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of human conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, which, after such expulsion or extraction, breathes or shows any other evidence of life such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached.

"Substantial expulsion or extraction" means, in the case of a headfirst presentation, the infant's entire head is outside the body of the mother or, in the case of a breech delivery, when any part of the infant's trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother.

"Physician" means a person authorized or licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in this Commonwealth.

"Registration" means the acceptance by the Department and the incorporation of vital records as provided for in this chapter into its official records.

"System of vital records" means the registration, collection, preservation, amendment, and certification of vital records; the collection of other reports required by this chapter; and related activities.

"Vital records" means certificates or reports of births, deaths, fetal deaths, adoptions, marriages, divorces or annulments and amendment data related thereto.

Code 1950, § 32-353.4; 1960, c. 451; 1975, c. 267; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 2003, cc. 961, 963; 2020, c. 922.

§ 32.1-250. Duties of Board.

A. The Board shall install, maintain and operate the only system of vital records throughout this Commonwealth.

B, C. [Repealed.]

Code 1950, §§ 32-353.5, 32-353.6; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-251. State Registrar; appointment.

The Commissioner shall appoint a State Registrar of Vital Records hereinafter referred to as "State Registrar."

Code 1950, § 32-353.7; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-252. State Registrar; duties; delegations.

A. The State Registrar, under the supervision of the Commissioner, shall:

1. Administer the provisions of this chapter and the regulations of the Board in a manner that will ensure the uniform and efficient administration of the system of vital records.

2. Direct and supervise the system of vital records and be custodian of its records.

3. Direct, supervise and control the activities of all persons when pertaining to the operation of the system of vital records.

4., 5. [Repealed.]

6. Conduct training programs to promote uniformity of policy and procedures throughout the Commonwealth in matters pertaining to the system of vital records.

7. Inspect vital records which have been sealed as provided by law whenever such inspection will facilitate the administration of this chapter without violating the confidentiality of such records.

8. Perform such other duties as may be required by law.

9. Develop, furnish and distribute, in accordance with the regulations of the Board, forms as required by this chapter and such other means for transmission of data as may be necessary for the purpose of complete and accurate reporting and registration.

10. Develop and provide a means for obtaining a social security number in conjunction with the issuance of a birth certificate.

11. Develop, furnish and distribute a surrogate consent and report form as described in § 20-162.

B. The State Registrar may delegate functions and duties vested in him to designated assistants and to county, city and special registrars as he deems necessary or expedient.

C. The Department of Motor Vehicles, when issuing a certified copy of a vital record, shall be subject to the State Registrar's rules, regulations, and audit requirements, including the provisions of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 32-353.8; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1990, c. 576; 2000, c. 890; 2013, c. 534.

§ 32.1-253. Same; establishment of registration districts.

The State Registrar shall from time to time establish registration districts throughout the Commonwealth. He may consolidate or subdivide such districts to facilitate registration.

Code 1950, § 32-353.9; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-254. County and city registrars designated; deputies; special registrars.

A. Each county and city health director shall be the county or city registrar of vital records and health statistics for his jurisdiction and shall appoint one or more deputies in the county or city health department. Any county or city registrar may recommend that the State Registrar appoint a special registrar when necessary to facilitate registration in his county or city.

B. When there is no duly appointed county or city health director, the State Registrar shall appoint a county or city registrar to serve pending the appointment of a health director.

Code 1950, § 32-353.10; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-255. Duties of county, city and special registrars and deputies.

A. The county, city or special registrar with respect to his jurisdiction shall:

1. Perform his duties pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and regulations issued hereunder.

2. Transmit twice monthly the certificates, reports, or other records filed with him to the State Registrar or more frequently when directed to do so by the State Registrar.

3. Maintain such local records, make such reports and perform such other duties as may be required by the State Registrar.

B. Deputies shall perform the duties of the registrar in the absence or incapacity of such registrar and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the State Registrar.

Code 1950, § 32-353.11; 1954, c. 346; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-256. Fees of special registrars.

A. Each special registrar not employed by any federal, state or local agency shall be paid the sum of one dollar for each certificate of birth, death or fetal death registered by him and transmitted to the county or city registrar of vital records.

B. If no birth, death or fetal death is registered by him during any calendar month, such special registrar shall report that fact to the county or city registrar of vital records and shall be paid the sum of one dollar for each such month.

C. The State Registrar shall certify to the treasurer of the county or city quarterly the number of birth, death and fetal death certificates registered by such special registrar, with the name of such special registrar and the amount due. Upon such certification, the fees due such special registrar shall be paid by the treasurer of the appropriate county or city.

Code 1950, §§ 32-353.12, 32-353.13; 1952, c. 705; 1952, Ex. Sess., c. 22; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

Article 2. Birth Certificates.

§ 32.1-257. Filing birth certificates; from whom required; signatures of parents.

A. A certificate of birth for each live birth that occurs in the Commonwealth shall be filed with the State Registrar within seven days after such birth. The certificate of birth shall be registered by the State Registrar if it has been completed and filed in accordance with this section.

B. When a birth occurs in an institution or en route thereto, the person in charge of such institution or an authorized designee shall obtain the personal data, and prepare the certificate either on forms furnished by the State Registrar or by an electronic process as approved by the Board. Such person or designee shall, if submitting a form, secure the signatures required by the certificate. The physician or other person in attendance shall provide the medical information required by the certificate within five days after the birth. The person in charge of the institution or an authorized designee shall certify to the authenticity of the birth registration either by affixing his signature to the certificate or by an electronic process approved by the Board, and shall file the certificate of birth with the State Registrar within seven days after such birth.

C. When a birth occurs outside an institution, the certificate shall be prepared on forms furnished by the State Registrar and filed by one of the following in the indicated order of priority, in accordance with the regulations of the Board:

1. The physician in attendance at or immediately after the birth, or in the absence of such physician,

2. Any other person in attendance at or immediately after the birth, or in the absence of such a person,

3. The mother, the other parent, or, in the absence of the other parent and the inability of the mother, the person in charge of the premises where the birth occurred.

C1. When a birth occurs on a moving conveyance within the United States of America and the child is first removed from the conveyance in this Commonwealth, the birth shall be registered in this Commonwealth and the place where the child is first removed from the conveyance shall be considered the place of birth. When a birth occurs on a moving conveyance while in international waters or air space or in a foreign country or its air space and the child is first removed from the conveyance in this Commonwealth, the birth shall be registered in this Commonwealth although the certificate shall indicate the actual place of birth insofar as can be determined.

D. If the mother of a child is not married to the natural father of the child at the time of birth or was not married to the natural father at any time during the 10 months next preceding such birth, the name of the father shall not be entered on the certificate of birth without a sworn acknowledgment of paternity, executed subsequent to the birth of the child, of both the mother and of the person to be named as the father. In any case in which a final determination of the paternity of a child has been made by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 20-49.8, from which no appeal has been taken and for which the time allowed to perfect an appeal has expired, the name of the father and the surname of the child shall be entered on the certificate of birth in accordance with the finding and order of the court.

Children born of marriages prohibited by law, deemed null or void, or dissolved by a court shall nevertheless be legitimate and the birth certificate for such children shall contain full information concerning the other parent.

For the purpose of birth registration in the case of a child resulting from assisted conception, pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 20-156 et seq.) of Title 20, the birth certificate of such child shall contain full information concerning the mother's spouse as the other parent of the child and the gestational mother as the mother of the child. Donors of sperm or ova shall not have any parental rights or duties for any such child.

In the event that any person desires to have the name of the father entered on the certificate of birth based upon the judgment of paternity of a court of another state, such person shall apply to an appropriate court of the Commonwealth for an order reflecting that such court has reviewed such judgment of paternity and has determined that such judgment of paternity was amply supported in evidence and legitimate for the purposes of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States.

If the order of paternity should be appealed, the registrar shall not enter the name of the alleged father on the certificate of birth during the pendency of such appeal. If the father is not named on the certificate of birth, no other information concerning the father shall be entered on the certificate.

E. Either of the parents of the child shall verify the accuracy of the personal data to be entered on the certificate of birth in time to permit the filing within the seven days prescribed above.

Code 1950, § 32-353.15; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1984, c. 189; 1991, c. 611; 1994, cc. 796, 919; 2020, c. 900.

§ 32.1-257.1. Parents to report social security account number at time of child's birth.

Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405, as amended, the social security account number of each parent shall be reported in the manner prescribed and on forms furnished by the State Registrar.

1991, c. 95.

§ 32.1-258. Report of foundling; constitutes birth certificate.

A. Whoever assumes the custody of a living infant of unknown parentage shall report on a form and in the manner prescribed by the Board within seven days to the registrar of the county or city in which such child was found, the following information:

1. The date and place of finding;

2. Sex, race and approximate birth date of such child;

3. Name and address of the persons or institution with whom such child has been placed for care;

4. Name given to such child by the custodian of the child; and

5. Such other data as may be required by the Board.

B. The place where such child was found shall be entered as the place of birth.

C. A report registered under this section shall constitute the certificate of birth for such infant.

D. If such child is identified and a certificate of birth is found or obtained, any report registered under this section shall be sealed and filed and may be opened only by order of a circuit court of the Commonwealth or in accordance with subdivision A 7 of § 32.1-252.

Code 1950, § 32-353.16; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-258.1. Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth; requirements.

Upon the request of either individual listed as the parent on a report of fetal death in the Commonwealth as defined in § 32.1-264, the State Registrar shall issue a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth for unintended, intrauterine fetal deaths occurring after a gestational period of 20 weeks or more. The requesting parent may, but shall not be required to, provide a name for the stillborn child on the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. The Board of Health shall prescribe a reasonable fee to cover the administrative cost and preparation of such certificate. This section shall apply retroactively to any circumstances that would have resulted in the issuance of a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth, as prescribed by the Board.

2003, cc. 537, 552; 2020, c. 900.

§ 32.1-259. Filing and registration of delayed birth certificates; refusal of registration; notice of right of appeal.

A. When the birth of a person born in this Commonwealth has not been registered, a certificate may be prepared and filed in accordance with regulations of the Board. Such certificate shall be registered subject to such documentary evidence requirements as the Board shall by regulation prescribe to substantiate the alleged facts of birth.

B. A certificate of birth registered one year or more after the date of birth shall be recorded on forms prescribed and furnished by the Board, marked "Delayed" and shall show on the face the date of the delayed registration.

C. A summary statement of the evidence submitted in support of the delayed registration shall be endorsed on the certificate.

D. 1. When an applicant does not submit the documentation required in the regulations for delayed registration or when the State Registrar finds reason to question the validity or adequacy of the proposed certificate or the documentary evidence, if the deficiencies are not corrected, the State Registrar shall not register the delayed certificate of birth and shall notify the applicant of the reasons for this action and shall also advise the applicant of his right to petition for a court order pursuant to § 32.1-260.

2. The Board may by regulation provide for the dismissal of an application which is not actively pursued.

Code 1950, § 32-353.17; 1954, c. 201; 1956, c. 260; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-260. Petition for court order establishing record of birth when delayed certificate rejected; hearing; notice; findings; registration of court order.

A. If a delayed certificate of birth is rejected under the provisions of § 32.1-259, a petition for an order establishing a record of the date and place of the birth and the parentage of the person whose birth is to be registered may be filed with the circuit court of the county or city in which the person resides; or if the person is a citizen of this Commonwealth without a fixed residence or a resident of another state, the petition may be to the circuit court of the county or city in which such person's birth occurred. In case of a minor who has no parent or guardian, the application may be made by his next friend.

B. Such petition shall allege:

1. That the person for whom a delayed certificate of birth is sought was born in this Commonwealth;

2. That no record of birth of such person can be found in the records of the State Registrar or the county or city registrar;

3. That diligent efforts by the petitioner have failed to obtain the evidence required by regulations pursuant to § 32.1-259; and

4. That the State Registrar has refused to register a delayed certificate of birth; and

5. Such other allegations as may be required.

C. The petition shall be accompanied by the notice of the State Registrar made in accordance with subdivision D 1 of § 32.1-259 and all documentary evidence which was submitted to the State Registrar in support of such registration.

D. The court shall fix a time and place for hearing the petition and the petitioner shall give the State Registrar five days' notice of said hearing. The State Registrar, or his authorized representative, may appear and testify in the proceeding.

E. If the court finds from the evidence presented that the person for whom a delayed certificate of birth is sought was born in this Commonwealth, it shall make findings as to the place and date of birth, parentage, and such other findings as may be required and shall issue an order to establish a record of birth on a form furnished by the State Registrar. This order shall include the birth data to be registered, a description of the evidence presented in the manner prescribed by § 32.1-259, and the date of the court's action.

F. The clerk of court shall forward each such form to the State Registrar not later than the tenth day of the calendar month following the month in which the order was entered. Such form shall be registered by the State Registrar and shall constitute the certificate of birth, from which certifications may be issued in accordance with § 32.1-272.

Code 1950, § 32-353.18; 1954, c. 201; 1956, c. 260; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-261. New certificate of birth established on proof of adoption, legitimation or determination of paternity, or change of sex.

A. The State Registrar shall establish a new certificate of birth for a person born in the Commonwealth upon receipt of the following:

1. An adoption report as provided in § 32.1-262, a report of adoption prepared and filed in accordance with the laws of another state or foreign country, or a certified copy of the decree of adoption together with the information necessary to identify the original certificate of birth and to establish a new certificate of birth; except that a new certificate of birth shall not be established if so requested by the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents, or the adopted person if 18 years of age or older.

2. A request that a new certificate be established and such evidence as may be required by regulation of the Board proving that such person has been legitimated or that a court of the Commonwealth has, by final order, determined the paternity of such person. The request shall state that no appeal has been taken from the final order and that the time allowed to perfect an appeal has expired.

3. An order entered pursuant to subsection D of § 20-160. The order shall contain sufficient information to identify the original certificate of birth and to establish a new certificate of birth in the names of the intended parents.

4. A surrogate consent and report form as authorized by § 20-162. The report shall contain sufficient information to identify the original certificate of birth and to establish a new certificate of birth in the names of the intended parents.

5. Upon request of a person and in accordance with requirements of the Board, the State Registrar shall issue a new certificate of birth to show a change of sex of the person and, if a certified copy of a court order changing the person's name is submitted, to show a new name. Requirements related to obtaining a new certificate of birth to show a change of sex shall include a requirement that the person requesting the new certificate of birth submit a form furnished by the State Registrar and completed by a health care provider from whom the person has received treatment stating that the person has undergone clinically appropriate treatment for gender transition. Requirements related to obtaining a new certificate of birth to show a change of sex shall not include any requirement for evidence or documentation of any medical procedure.

6. Nothing in this section shall deprive the circuit court of equitable jurisdiction to adjudicate, upon application of a person, that the sex of such person residing within the territorial jurisdiction of the circuit court has been changed. In such an action, the person may petition for the application of the standard of the person's jurisdiction of birth; otherwise, the requirements of this section shall apply.

B. When a new certificate of birth is established pursuant to subsection A, the actual place and date of birth shall be shown. It shall be substituted for the original certificate of birth. Thereafter, the original certificate and the evidence of adoption, paternity or legitimation shall be sealed and filed and not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of the Commonwealth or in accordance with § 32.1-252. However, upon receipt of notice of a decision or order granting an adult adopted person access to identifying information regarding his birth parents from the Commissioner of Social Services or a circuit court, and proof of identification and payment, the State Registrar shall mail an adult adopted person a copy of the original certificate of birth.

C. Upon receipt of a report of an amended decree of adoption, the certificate of birth shall be amended as provided by regulation.

D. Upon receipt of notice or decree of annulment of adoption, the original certificate of birth shall be restored to its place in the files and the new certificate and evidence shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of the Commonwealth or in accordance with § 32.1-252.

E. The State Registrar shall, upon request, establish and register a Virginia certificate of birth for a person born in a foreign country (i) upon receipt of a report of adoption for an adoption finalized pursuant to the laws of the foreign country as provided in subsection B of § 63.2-1200.1, or (ii) upon receipt of a report or final order of adoption entered in a court of the Commonwealth as provided in § 32.1-262; however, a Virginia certificate of birth shall not be established or registered if so requested by the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents or the adopted person if 18 years of age or older. If a circuit court of the Commonwealth corrects or establishes a date of birth for a person born in a foreign country during the adoption proceedings or upon a petition to amend a certificate of foreign birth, the State Registrar shall issue a certificate showing the date of birth established by the court. After registration of the birth certificate in the new name of the adopted person, the State Registrar shall seal and file the report of adoption which shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of the Commonwealth or in accordance with § 32.1-252. The birth certificate shall (i) show the true or probable foreign country of birth and (ii) state that the certificate is not evidence of United States citizenship for the child for whom it is issued or for the adoptive parents. However, for any adopted person who has attained United States citizenship, the State Registrar shall, upon request and receipt of evidence demonstrating such citizenship, establish and register a new certificate of birth that does not contain the statement required by clause (ii).

F. If no certificate of birth is on file for the person for whom a new certificate is to be established under this section, a delayed certificate of birth shall be filed with the State Registrar as provided in § 32.1-259 or 32.1-260 before a new certificate of birth is established, except that when the date and place of birth and parentage have been established in the adoption proceedings, a delayed certificate shall not be required.

G. When a new certificate of birth is established pursuant to subdivision A 1, the State Registrar shall issue along with the new certificate of birth a document, furnished by the Department of Social Services pursuant to § 63.2-1220, listing all post-adoption services available to adoptive families.

Code 1950, § 32-353.19; 1956, c. 259; 1960, c. 451; 1972, c. 823; 1977, c. 531; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1984, c. 219; 1991, c. 600; 2003, c. 985; 2011, cc. 486, 784; 2014, c. 621; 2015, cc. 5, 17; 2020, cc. 465, 466.

§ 32.1-261.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 95.

Article 3. Records of Adoptions.

§ 32.1-262. Records of adoptions.

A. For each adoption decreed by a court in this Commonwealth, the court shall require the preparation of a report of adoption on a form furnished by the State Registrar. The report shall (i) include such facts as are necessary to locate and identify the original certificate of birth of the person adopted or, in the case of a person who was born in a foreign country, evidence from sources determined to be reliable by the court as to the date, place of birth and parentage of such person; (ii) provide information necessary to establish a new certificate of birth of the person adopted; and (iii) identify the order of adoption and be certified by the clerk of court.

B. Information in the possession of the petitioner necessary to prepare the report of adoption shall be furnished with the petition for adoption by each petitioner for adoption or by his attorney. In all cases where a child is placed for adoption by a child-placing agency, the report shall be completed and filed with the court by a representative of the agency. A final order of adoption shall not be entered until the information required by this section has been furnished unless the court, for good cause shown, finds the information to be unavailable or unnecessary.

C. On or before the tenth day of each month, the clerk of such court shall forward to the State Registrar all records of decrees of adoption entered in the preceding calendar month, together with such related reports as the State Registrar may require.

D. When the State Registrar receives a report of adoption, annulment of adoption, amendment, or amendment of a decree of adoption for a person born outside this Commonwealth, such report shall be forwarded to the appropriate registration authority in the state of birth. When the State Registrar receives a report of adoption from a court in this Commonwealth for a person born in a foreign country, a birth certificate shall be registered for such person in accordance with the provisions of § 32.1-261, and a copy of the report of adoption shall be transmitted to the appropriate federal agency.

Code 1950, § 32-353.32; 1964, c. 99; 1977, cc. 135, 531; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1988, c. 431; 2003, c. 504; 2004, c. 88.

Article 4. Death Certificates and Out-of-State Transit Permits.

§ 32.1-263. Filing death certificates; medical certification; investigation by Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

A. A death certificate, including, if known, the social security number or control number issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-342 of the deceased, shall be filed for each death that occurs in the Commonwealth. Non-electronically filed death certificates shall be filed with the registrar of any district in the Commonwealth within three days after such death and prior to final disposition or removal of the body from the Commonwealth. Electronically filed death certificates shall be filed with the State Registrar of Vital Records through the Electronic Death Registration System within three days after such death and prior to final disposition or removal of the body from the Commonwealth. Any death certificate shall be registered by such registrar if it has been completed and filed in accordance with the following requirements:

1. If the place of death is unknown, but the dead body is found in the Commonwealth, the death shall be registered in the Commonwealth and the place where the dead body is found shall be shown as the place of death. If the date of death is unknown, it shall be determined by approximation, taking into consideration all relevant information, including information provided by the immediate family regarding the date and time that the deceased was last seen alive, if the individual died in his home; and

2. When death occurs in a moving conveyance, in the United States of America and the body is first removed from the conveyance in the Commonwealth, the death shall be registered in the Commonwealth and the place where it is first removed shall be considered the place of death. When a death occurs on a moving conveyance while in international waters or air space or in a foreign country or its air space and the body is first removed from the conveyance in the Commonwealth, the death shall be registered in the Commonwealth but the certificate shall show the actual place of death insofar as can be determined.

B. The licensed funeral director, funeral service licensee, office of the state anatomical program, or next of kin as defined in § 54.1-2800 who first assumes custody of a dead body shall complete the certificate of death. He shall obtain personal data of the deceased necessary to complete the certificate of death, including the social security number of the deceased or control number issued to the deceased by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-342, from the best qualified person or source available and obtain the medical certification from the person responsible therefor.

If a licensed funeral director, funeral service licensee, or representative of the office of the state anatomical program completes the certificate of death, he shall file the certificate of death with the State Registrar of Vital Records electronically using the Electronic Death Registration System and in accordance with the requirements of subsection A. If a member of the next of kin of the deceased completes the certificate of death, he shall file the certificate of death in accordance with the requirements of subsection A but shall not be required to file the certificate of death electronically.

C. The medical certification shall be completed and filed electronically with the State Registrar of Vital Records using the Electronic Death Registration System within 24 hours after death by the physician in charge of the patient's care for the illness or condition which resulted in death except when inquiry or investigation by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is required by § 32.1-283 or 32.1-285.1, or by the physician that pronounces death pursuant to § 54.1-2972. If the death occurred while under the care of a hospice provider, the medical certification shall be completed by the decedent's health care provider and filed electronically with the State Registrar of Vital Records using the Electronic Death Registration System for completion of the death certificate.

In the absence of such physician or with his approval, the certificate may be completed and filed by the following: (i) another physician employed or engaged by the same professional practice; (ii) a physician assistant supervised by such physician; (iii) a nurse practitioner practicing in accordance with the provisions of § 54.1-2957; (iv) the chief medical officer or medical director, or his designee, of the institution, hospice, or nursing home in which death occurred; (v) a physician specializing in the delivery of health care to hospitalized or emergency department patients who is employed by or engaged by the facility where the death occurred; (vi) the physician who performed an autopsy upon the decedent; (vii) an individual to whom the physician has delegated authority to complete and file the certificate, if such individual has access to the medical history of the case and death is due to natural causes; or (viii) a physician who is not licensed by the Board of Medicine who was in charge of the patient's care for the illness or condition that resulted in death. A physician described in clause (viii) who completes a certificate in accordance with this subsection shall not be required to register with the Electronic Death Registration System or complete the certificate electronically.

D. When inquiry or investigation by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is required by § 32.1-283 or 32.1-285.1, the Chief Medical Examiner shall cause an investigation of the cause of death to be made and the medical certification portion of the death certificate to be completed and filed within 24 hours after being notified of the death. If the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner refuses jurisdiction, the physician last furnishing medical care to the deceased shall prepare and file the medical certification portion of the death certificate.

E. If the death is a natural death and a death certificate is being prepared pursuant to § 54.1-2972 and the physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant is uncertain about the cause of death, he shall use his best medical judgment to certify a reasonable cause of death or contact the health district physician director in the district where the death occurred to obtain guidance in reaching a determination as to a cause of death and document the same.

If the cause of death cannot be determined within 24 hours after death, the medical certification shall be completed as provided by regulations of the Board. The attending physician or the Chief Medical Examiner, an Assistant Chief Medical Examiner, or a medical examiner appointed pursuant to § 32.1-282 shall give the funeral director or person acting as such notice of the reason for the delay, and final disposition of the body shall not be made until authorized by the attending physician, the Chief Medical Examiner, an Assistant Chief Medical Examiner, or a medical examiner appointed pursuant to § 32.1-282.

F. A physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or individual delegated authority to complete and file a certificate of death by a physician who, in good faith, files a certificate of death or determines the cause of death shall be immune from civil liability, only for such filing and determination of causes of death on such certificate, absent gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Code 1950, § 32-353.20; 1960, c. 451; 1978, c. 308; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1993, c. 965; 1997, cc. 794, 898; 2003, c. 484; 2004, c. 124; 2008, c. 137; 2011, c. 613; 2012, c. 213; 2013, c. 799; 2014, c. 583; 2017, c. 784; 2018, cc. 207, 208, 776; 2019, cc. 213, 224.

§ 32.1-264. Reports of fetal deaths; medical certification; investigation by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; confidentiality of information concerning abortions.

A. A fetal death report for each fetal death which occurs in this Commonwealth shall be filed, on a form furnished by the State Registrar, with the registrar of the district in which the delivery occurred or the abortion was performed within three days after such delivery or abortion and shall be registered with such registrar if it has been completed and filed in accordance with this section, provided that:

1. If the place of fetal death is unknown, a fetal death report shall be filed in the registration district in which a dead fetus was found within three days after discovery of such fetus; and

2. If a fetal death occurs in a moving conveyance, a fetal death report shall be filed in the registration district in which the fetus was first removed from such conveyance.

B. The funeral director or person who first assumes custody of a dead fetus or, in the absence of a funeral director or such person, the hospital representative who first assumes custody of a fetus shall file the fetal death report; in the absence of such a person, the physician or other person in attendance at or after the delivery or abortion shall file the report of fetal death. The person completing the forms shall obtain the personal data from the next of kin or the best qualified person or source available, and he shall obtain the medical certification of cause of death from the person responsible for preparing the same as provided in this section. In the case of induced abortion, such forms shall not identify the patient by name.

C. The medical certification portion of the fetal death report shall be completed and signed within 24 hours after delivery or abortion by the physician in attendance at or after delivery or abortion except when inquiry or investigation by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is required.

D. When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance upon the mother at or after the delivery or abortion or when inquiry or investigation by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is required, the Chief Medical Examiner shall cause an investigation of the cause of fetal death to be made and the medical certification portion of the fetal death report to be completed and signed within 24 hours after being notified of a fetal death.

E. The reports required pursuant to this section are statistical reports to be used only for medical and health purposes and shall not be incorporated into the permanent official records of the system of vital records. A schedule for the disposition of these reports may be provided by regulation.

F. The physician or facility attending an individual who has delivered a dead fetus shall maintain a copy of the fetal death report for one year and, upon written request by the individual and payment of an appropriate fee, shall furnish the individual a copy of such report.

Code 1950, § 32-353.21; 1960, c. 451; 1975, c. 267; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1987, c. 405; 2014, c. 583.

§ 32.1-265. Transit permits; permits for disinterment and reinterment.

A. The funeral director or other person who first assumes custody of a dead body or fetus shall obtain an out-of-state transit permit prior to removal from the Commonwealth of the body or fetus.

B. Such out-of-state transit permit shall be issued by the registrar of the district where a satisfactorily completed certificate of death or fetal death was filed.

C. A transit permit issued under the law of another state which accompanies a dead body or fetus brought into this Commonwealth shall be authority for final disposition of the body or fetus in this Commonwealth.

D. No permit shall be required where disposal of dead bodies or fetuses for deaths or fetal deaths which have occurred in this Commonwealth is to be made in this Commonwealth.

E. A permit for disinterment and reinterment shall be required prior to disinterment of a dead body or fetus except as authorized by regulation of the Board or otherwise provided by law. Such permit shall be issued by the State Registrar or the registrar of the county or city where the body or fetus is interred to a licensed funeral director.

Code 1950, § 32-353.22; 1960, c. 451; 1970, c. 699; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-266. Extending time for filing death certificates and obtaining out-of-state transit permits.

The Board may provide by regulation for the extension, upon conditions designed to assure compliance with the purposes of this chapter, of the periods prescribed in §§ 32.1-263, 32.1-264 and 32.1-265 for the filing of death certificates, fetal death reports and medical certifications of cause of death and for the obtaining of out-of-state transit permits in cases in which compliance with the applicable prescribed period would result in undue hardship.

Code 1950, § 32-353.23; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711.

Article 5. Marriage Records and Divorce and Annulment Reports.

§ 32.1-267. Records of marriages; duties of officer issuing marriage license and person officiating at ceremony; blocking of social security number.

A. For each marriage performed in the Commonwealth, a record showing personal data, including the age of the married parties, the marriage license, and the certifying statement of the facts of marriage, shall be filed with the State Registrar as provided in this section.

B. The officer issuing a marriage license shall prepare the record based on the information obtained under oath or by affidavit from the parties to be married. The parties shall also include their social security numbers or other control numbers issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-342 and affix their signatures to the application for such license.

C. Every person who officiates at a marriage ceremony shall certify to the facts of marriage and file the record in duplicate with the officer who issued the marriage license within five days after the ceremony. In the event such officiant dies or becomes incapacitated before completing the certificate of marriage, the official who issued the marriage license shall complete the certificate of marriage upon the order of the court to which is submitted proof that the marriage was performed.

D. Every officer issuing marriage licenses shall on or before the tenth day of each calendar month forward to the State Registrar a record of each marriage filed with him during the preceding calendar month.

E. The State Registrar shall furnish forms for the marriage license, marriage certificate, and application for marriage license used in the Commonwealth. Such forms shall be configured so as to cause the social security number or control number required pursuant to the provisions of subsection B to appear only on the application for marriage license retained by the officer issuing the marriage license and the copy of such license forwarded to the State Registrar pursuant to the provisions of subsection D.

F. Applications for marriage licenses filed on and after July 1, 1997, and marriage registers recording such applications, which have not been configured to prevent disclosure of the social security number or control number required pursuant to the provisions of subsection B shall not be available for general public inspection in the offices of clerks of the circuit courts. The clerk shall make such applications and registers available for inspection only (i) upon the order of the circuit court within which such application was made or register is maintained, (ii) pursuant to a lawful subpoena duces tecum issued to the clerk, (iii) upon the written authorization of either of the applicants, or (iv) upon the request of a law-enforcement officer or duly authorized representative of the Division of Child Support Enforcement in the course of performing his official duties. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to restrict public access to marriage licenses or to prohibit the clerk from making available to the public applications for marriage licenses and marriage registers stored in any electronic medium or other format that permits the blocking of the field containing the social security or control number required pursuant to the provisions of subsection B, so long as access to such number is blocked.

Code 1950, § 32-353.34; 1968, c. 318; 1972, c. 92; 1979, c. 711; 1997, cc. 794, 898; 2001, c. 836; 2002, c. 832; 2003, c. 504; 2004, c. 88; 2005, c. 679; 2020, cc. 209, 210, 211.

§ 32.1-268. Reports of divorces and annulments.

A. For each final decree of divorce or annulment of marriage granted by a court in the Commonwealth, a report shall be certified and filed by the clerk of court with the State Registrar. The information necessary to prepare the report, including the social security number of each party or the control number issued a party by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-342, shall be furnished, with the petition or when filing the decree, to the clerk of the court by the petitioner or his attorney on forms prescribed by the Board and furnished by the State Registrar. Information on the report shall include the age of the parties and the number of minor children involved in the divorce or annulment.

B. On or before the tenth day of each month the clerk of court shall forward to the State Registrar the report of each final decree of divorce and annulment granted during the preceding calendar month and such related reports as the State Registrar may require.

Code 1950, § 32-353.33; 1964, c. 99; 1972, c. 312; 1977, c. 135; 1979, c. 711; 1997, cc. 794, 898; 2002, c. 353; 2004, c. 88; 2005, c. 679; 2020, cc. 209, 210, 211.

§ 32.1-268.1. Compilation and posting of marriage, divorce, and annulment data.

The State Registrar shall compile, publish, and make available to the public aggregate data on the number of marriages, divorces, and annulments from the year 2000 forward that occurred in the Commonwealth. The data shall be organized according to the locality in which the marriage license is issued or in which the divorce or annulment report is certified and shall include the age of the parties. In addition, the data on divorces and annulments shall include information regarding the number of minor children involved. The State Registrar shall post, update, and maintain this information on the Department website. Names, addresses, social security numbers, and any other personal identification information shall not be included.

2005, c. 679; 2020, cc. 209, 210, 211.

Article 6. Amendments to Vital Records.

§ 32.1-269. Amending vital records; change of name; acknowledgment of paternity.

A. A vital record registered under this chapter, with the exception of a death certificate, may be amended only in accordance with this section and such regulations as may be adopted by the Board to protect the integrity and accuracy of such vital records. Such regulations shall specify the minimum evidence required for a change in any such vital record.

B. Except in the case of an amendment provided for in subsection D, a vital record that is amended under this section shall be marked "amended" and the date of amendment and a summary description of the evidence submitted in support of the amendment shall be endorsed on or made a part of the vital record. The Board shall prescribe by regulation the conditions under which omissions or errors on certificates, including designation of sex, may be corrected within one year after the date of the event without the certificate being marked amended. In a case of hermaphroditism or pseudo-hermaphroditism, the certificate of birth may be corrected at any time without being considered as amended upon presentation to the State Registrar of such medical evidence as the Board may require by regulation.

C. Upon receipt of a certified copy of a court order changing the name of a person as listed in a vital record and upon request of such person or his parent, guardian, or legal representative or the registrant, the State Registrar shall amend such vital records to reflect the new name.

D. Upon written request of both parents and receipt of a sworn acknowledgment of paternity executed subsequent to the birth and signed by both parents of a child born out of wedlock, the State Registrar shall amend the certificate of birth to show such paternity if paternity is not shown on the birth certificate. Upon request of the parents, the surname of the child shall be changed on the certificate to that of the father.

E. When an applicant does not submit the minimum documentation required by regulation to amend a vital record or when the State Registrar finds reason to question the validity or sufficiency of the evidence, the vital record shall not be amended and the State Registrar shall so advise the applicant. An aggrieved applicant may petition the circuit court of the county or city in which he resides or the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, Division I, for an order compelling the State Registrar to amend the vital record; an aggrieved applicant who was born in Virginia, but is currently residing out of State, may petition any circuit court in the Commonwealth for such an order. The State Registrar or his authorized representative may appear and testify in such proceeding.

Code 1950, § 32-353.24; 1956, c. 259; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1985, c. 86; 2016, c. 496; 2020, cc. 465, 466.

§ 32.1-269.1. Amending death certificates; change and correction of demographic information by affidavit or court order.

A. Notwithstanding § 32.1-276, a death certificate registered under this chapter may be amended only in accordance with this section and such regulations as may be adopted by the Board to protect the integrity and accuracy of such death certificate. Such regulations shall specify the minimum evidence required for a change in any such death certificate.

B. A death certificate that is amended under this section shall be marked "amended," and the date of amendment and a summary description of the evidence submitted in support of the amendment shall be endorsed on or made a part of the death certificate. The Board shall prescribe by regulation the conditions under which omissions or errors on death certificates may be corrected.

C. The State Registrar, upon receipt of an affidavit and supporting evidence testifying to corrected information on a death certificate, including the correct spelling of the name of the deceased, the deceased's parent or spouse, or the informant; the sex, age, race, date of birth, place of birth, citizenship, social security number, education, occupation or kind or type of business, military status, or date of death of the deceased; the place of residence of the deceased, if located within the Commonwealth; the name of the institution; the county, city, or town where the death occurred; or the street or place where the death occurred, shall amend such death certificate to reflect the new information and evidence.

D. For death certificate amendments other than the correction of information by the State Registrar pursuant to subsection C, the surviving spouse or immediate family, as defined by the regulations of the Board, of the deceased; attending funeral service licensee; or other reporting source may file a petition with the circuit court of the county or city in which the decedent resided as of the date of his death, or the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, requesting an order to amend a death certificate, along with an affidavit sworn to under oath that supports such request. A copy of the petition shall be served upon (i) the State Registrar pursuant to Chapter 8 (§ 8.01-285 et seq.) of Title 8.01 and (ii) any person listed as an informant on the death certificate, unless such person provides an affidavit in support of such petition. The clerk shall submit such petition and any evidence received with the petition to the judge for entry of an order without the necessity of a hearing, unless the judge decides a hearing is necessary. The clerk shall transmit a certified copy of the court's order to the State Registrar, who shall amend such death certificate in accordance with the order. The matters for which a petition may be filed include changing the name of the deceased, the deceased's parent or spouse, or the informant; the marital status of the deceased; or the place of residence of the deceased, when the place of residence is outside the Commonwealth.

E. When an applicant, as defined by the regulations of the Board, does not submit the minimum documentation required by regulation to amend a death certificate or when the State Registrar finds reason to question the validity or sufficiency of the evidence, the death certificate shall not be amended and the State Registrar shall so advise the applicant. An aggrieved applicant may petition the circuit court of the county or city in which he resides, or the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, for an order compelling the State Registrar to amend the death certificate; an aggrieved applicant who is currently residing out of state may petition any circuit court in the Commonwealth for such an order. A copy of the petition shall be served upon (i) the State Registrar pursuant to Chapter 8 (§ 8.01-285 et seq.) of Title 8.01 and (ii) any person listed as an informant on the death certificate, unless such person provides an affidavit in support of such petition. The clerk shall submit such petition and any evidence received with the petition to the judge for entry of an order without the necessity of a hearing, unless the judge decides a hearing is necessary. The State Registrar or his authorized representative may appear and testify in such proceeding. The clerk shall transmit a certified copy of the court's order to the State Registrar, who shall amend such death certificate in accordance with the order.

2016, c. 496; 2017, cc. 284, 285.

Article 7. Miscellaneous Provisions.

§ 32.1-270. State Registrar may reproduce records; disposition of documents from which permanent reproductions made.

To preserve original documents, the State Registrar is authorized to prepare typewritten, photographic, electronic, or other reproductions of original vital records in his custody. Such reproductions when certified by him shall be accepted as the original records.

The documents from which permanent reproductions have been made and verified may be disposed of as provided by regulation.

Any vital record issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles shall be on security paper provided by the State Registrar and shall be considered a certified vital record and accepted as the original record.

Code 1950, § 32-353.25; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 2013, c. 534.

§ 32.1-271. Disclosure of information in records; when unlawful; when permitted; proceeding to compel disclosure; when certain records made public.

A. To protect the integrity of vital records and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the system of vital records, it is unlawful, notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 2.2-3700 through 2.2-3714, for any person to permit inspection of or to disclose information contained in vital records or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such vital records except as authorized by this section or regulation of the Board or when so ordered by a court of the Commonwealth.

B. Data contained in vital records may be disclosed for valid and substantial research purposes in accordance with the regulations of the Board.

C. Any person aggrieved by a decision of a county or city registrar may appeal to the State Registrar. If the State Registrar denies disclosure of information or inspection of or copying of vital records, such person may petition the court of the county or city in which he resides if he resides in the Commonwealth or in which the recorded event occurred or the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, Division I, for an order compelling disclosure, inspection or copying of such vital record. The State Registrar or his authorized representative may appear and testify in such proceeding.

D. When 100 years have elapsed after the date of birth, or 25 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, unless precluded from release by statute or court order, or at law-enforcement request, become public information and be made available in accordance with regulations that shall provide for the continued safekeeping of the records. All records that are public information on July 1, 1983, shall continue to be public information. Original records in the custody of the State Registrar that become public information shall be turned over to the Library of Virginia for safekeeping and for public access consistent with other state archival records, subject to the State Registrar and the Library of Virginia entering into a memorandum of understanding to arrange for continued prompt access by the State Registrar to original records for purposes of amendments to those records or other working purposes. The State Registrar's office may retain copies thereof for its own administrative and disclosure purposes.

E. The State Registrar or the city or county registrar shall disclose data about or issue a certified copy of a birth certificate of a child to the grandparent of the child upon the written request of the grandparent when the grandparent has demonstrated to the State Registrar evidence of need, as prescribed by Board regulation, for the data or birth certificate.

F. The State Registrar or the city or county registrar shall issue a certified copy of a death certificate to the grandchild or great-grandchild of a decedent in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Board in regulation.

G. The State Registrar or the city or county registrar shall disclose data about or issue a certified copy of a death certificate to a nonprofit organ, eye or tissue procurement organization that is a member of the Virginia Transplant Council for the purpose of determining the suitability of organs, eyes and tissues for donation, as prescribed by the Board in regulations. Such regulations shall ensure that the information disclosed includes the cause of death and any other medical information necessary to determine the suitability of the organs, eyes, and tissues for donation.

H. The State Registrar shall seek to enter into a long-term contract with a private company experienced in maintaining genealogical research databases to create, maintain, and update such an online index at no direct cost to the Commonwealth, in exchange for allowing the private company to also provide such index to its subscribers and customers. The online index shall be designed and constructed to have the capability of allowing birth, marriage, divorce, and death entries on the index to be linked to a digital image of the underlying original birth, marriage, divorce, or death record once any such underlying record has become public information, and the index shall be designed to allow the Library of Virginia to create and activate such links to digital images of the original records. Any social security numbers appearing on original birth, marriage, divorce, or death records shall be redacted from the digital images provided to the public in the manner provided by law, which may include bulk redaction of social security fields from the images via automated methods.

Following contract implementation, the State Registrar shall maintain a publicly available online vital records index or indexes, consisting at a minimum of name, date, and county or city of occurrence for births (naming the child), marriages (naming the spouses), divorces (naming the parties to the divorce), and deaths (naming the decedent), which vital records index information, except as otherwise precluded from release by statute, court order, or law-enforcement request, shall be public information from the time of its receipt by the State Registrar and shall be accessible on the State Registrar's website and on or through the Library of Virginia website.

Code 1950, § 32-353.26; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1984, c. 189; 1985, c. 313; 2005, c. 60; 2009, c. 505; 2011, c. 109; 2012, cc. 16, 356; 2020, c. 900.

§ 32.1-272. Certified copies of vital records; other copies.

A. In accordance with § 32.1-271 and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto, the State Registrar or a district health department shall, upon receipt of a written request, issue a certified copy of any vital record in the custody of the State Registrar or of a part thereof.

The Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles shall be authorized to issue a certified copy of a birth, death, marriage, or divorce vital record, or a part thereof, in the custody of the State Registrar.

Such vital records in the State Registrar's custody may be in the form of originals, photoprocessed reproductions or data filed by electronic means.

Each copy issued shall show the date of registration. Any copy issued from a record marked "delayed" or "amended," except a record amended pursuant to subsection F of this section or subsection D of § 32.1-269, shall be similarly marked and show the effective date.

Certified copies may be issued by county and city registrars only while the original record is in their possession, except that at the option of the county or city registrar true and complete copies of death certificates may be retained and certified copies of such records may be issued by the county or city registrar.

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

C. The federal agency responsible for national vital statistics may be furnished such copies or other data from the system of vital records as it may require for national statistics if such federal agency shares in the cost of collecting, processing and transmitting such data. Such data may be used for research and medical investigations of public health importance. No other use of such data shall be made by the federal agency unless authorized by the State Registrar.

D. Other federal, state and local, public or private agencies or persons in the conduct of their official duties may, upon request and payment of a reasonable fee, be furnished copies or other data from the system of vital records for statistical or administrative purposes upon such terms or conditions as may be prescribed by the Board. Such copies or other data shall not be used for purposes other than those for which they were requested unless so authorized by the State Registrar.

In promulgating regulations relating to the terms or conditions for public or private agencies or persons obtaining copies of death certificates in the conduct of their official duties, the Board shall include within its definition of "legal representative" (i) any attorney licensed to practice law in Virginia, upon presentation of his bar number and evidence of need to obtain such copy; and (ii) any funeral director or funeral service licensee licensed to practice by the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, upon presentation of evidence to so practice and evidence of being in charge of final disposition of the registrant's dead human remains or cremains or evidence of need to obtain such copy.

E. No person shall prepare or issue any certificate which purports to be an original or certified copy of a vital record except as authorized in this chapter or regulations adopted hereunder.

F. Certified copies of birth records filed before July 1, 1960, containing statements of racial designation on the reverse thereof shall be issued without such statement as a part of the certification; nor for this purpose solely shall such certification be marked "amended."

Any American Indian or Native American whose certified copy of a birth record filed before July 1, 1960, contains a racial designation that is incorrect may obtain, without paying a fee, one certified copy of his birth record from which such incorrect racial designation has been removed. Such certification shall not be marked "amended" solely for this reason.

G. With the increased fees to be charged for vital records and the additional deposits to the Vital Statistics Automation Fund, the Board of Health shall establish, within the district health departments, a statewide system for decentralizing certification of vital records, when such records are prepared or issued from data in the custody of the State Registrar and the Board of Health. Such system shall include the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to the authorization in subsection A.

Code 1950, § 32-353.27; 1950, pp. 484, 485; 1954, c. 429; 1956, c. 412; 1958, c. 296; 1960, c. 451; 1966, c. 353; 1972, c. 500; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1994, c. 373; 1997, c. 470; 1999, c. 600; 2005, c. 448; 2013, c. 534.

§ 32.1-273. Fees for certified copies, searches of files, etc.; disposition.

A. The Board shall prescribe the fee, not to exceed $12, for a certified copy of a vital record or for a search of the files or records when no copy is made and may establish a reasonable fee schedule related to its cost for information or other data provided for research, statistical or administrative purposes. Whenever any veteran or his survivor requires a certified copy of a vital record to obtain service-connected benefits, one copy of such record shall be provided directly to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs upon their request and one copy shall be provided to the veteran or his surviving spouse, upon request. Upon request of the surviving spouse of a veteran, the funeral director or funeral service licensee providing funeral services for the veteran may obtain one certified copy of the death certificate for service-connected benefits. No charge shall be imposed upon a veteran or his survivor for a copy related to obtaining service-connected benefits.

B. Fees collected under this section by the State Registrar shall be transmitted to the Comptroller for deposit. Two dollars of each fee collected by the State Registrar shall be deposited by the Comptroller into the Vital Statistics Automation Fund established pursuant to § 32.1-273.1 for so long as shall be authorized. Ten dollars of each fee shall be credited to a special fund to be appropriated by the General Assembly, as it deems necessary, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter. When the Vital Statistics Automation System is completed, no further deposits into the fund shall be made and all fees collected under this section not credited to the special fund created by this subsection shall be deposited into the general fund of the state treasury.

C. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall collect a fee of $12 for each certified copy of a vital record that it issues and shall transmit all such fees to the State Registrar on a monthly basis to ensure that the State Registrar recovers all costs associated with the issuance of certified copies of vital records at Department of Motor Vehicles facilities. In addition, for each certified copy of a vital record that it issues, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall collect a processing fee of $2 as provided in § 46.2-205.2.

D. Fees collected under this section by county and city registrars shall be deposited in the general fund of the county or city except that counties or cities operating health departments pursuant to the provisions of § 32.1-31 shall forward all such fees to the Department for deposit in the cooperative local health services fund.

E. Fees assessed against local departments of social services for furnished copies of vital records as needed to administer public assistance and social services programs, as defined in § 63.2-100, shall be payable on a quarterly basis.

Code 1950, § 32-353.28; 1950, p. 484; 1954, c. 429; 1956, c. 412; 1958, c. 296; 1960, c. 451; 1978, c. 308; 1979, c. 711; 1981, c. 527; 1983, c. 240; 1986, c. 194; 1988, c. 287; 1994, c. 373; 2002, c. 747; 2011, cc. 94, 148; 2013, c. 534; 2020, c. 360.

§ 32.1-273.1. Virginia Vital Statistics Automation Fund.

For the purpose of fully automating the system of vital records provided for in this chapter, including the statewide system for decentralizing certification of vital records, there is hereby established the Virginia Vital Statistics Automation Fund.

Four dollars of each fee collected by the State Registrar shall be deposited by the Comptroller to this fund to be appropriated for this purpose to the Department of Health by the General Assembly as it deems necessary.

Deposits to this fund shall cease at such time as the system of vital records for Virginia has become fully automated and the fund shall expire. Any funds unexpended at expiration shall revert to the general fund.

1983, c. 235; 1994, c. 373.

§ 32.1-274. Persons in charge of institutions and funeral directors, etc., to keep records; lists sent to State Registrar.

A. Every person in charge of an institution shall keep a record of personal data concerning each person admitted or confined to such institution. This record shall include such information as required for the certificates of birth, death, and reports of spontaneous fetal death and induced termination of pregnancy required by this chapter. The record shall be made at the time of admission from information provided by the person being admitted or confined, but when it cannot be so obtained, the information shall be obtained from relatives or other persons acquainted with the facts. The name and address of the person providing the information shall be a part of the record.

B. When a dead human body is released or disposed of by an institution, the person in charge of the institution shall keep a record showing the name of the deceased, date of death, the name and address of the person to whom the body is released and the date of removal from the institution, or, if final disposal is by the institution, the date, place, and manner of disposition.

C. A funeral director, embalmer, or other person who removes from the place of death or transports or is in charge of final disposition of a dead body or fetus, in addition to filing any certificate, report or form required by this chapter, shall keep a record which shall identify the body, and such information pertaining to his receipt, removal, and delivery of such body as may be prescribed in regulations adopted by the Board.

D. Not later than the tenth day of the month following the month of occurrence, the administrator of each institution shall cause to be sent to the State Registrar a list showing thereon all births, deaths, and fetal deaths occurring in such institution during the preceding month. Such lists shall be on forms provided by the State Registrar.

E. Not later than the tenth day of the month following the month of occurrence, each funeral director shall send to the State Registrar a list showing thereon all caskets furnished, bodies prepared for disposition and transportation and funerals performed where no casket was furnished by the funeral director during the preceding month. Such lists shall be on forms provided by the State Registrar.

F. Records maintained under this section shall be retained for a period of not less than ten years and shall be made available for inspection by the State Registrar or his representative upon demand.

Code 1950, § 32-353.29; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-275. Information as to births, deaths, marriages and divorces to be furnished on demand.

It shall be the duty of any person to furnish such information as he may possess regarding any birth, death, fetal death, marriage or divorce, upon demand of the State Registrar in person, by mail, or through the county, city, or special registrar.

Code 1950, § 32-353.30; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-275.1. Matching of birth and death certificates; marking of certificates and copies.

To protect the integrity of vital records and prevent the fraudulent use of birth certificates of deceased persons, the State Registrar is hereby authorized to match birth and death certificates, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Board, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the fact of death, and to post the facts of death to the appropriate birth certificate. Copies issued from birth certificates marked deceased shall be similarly marked.

1983, c. 240.

§ 32.1-275.2. Notation on birth records of missing children.

Upon receiving a report of the disappearance of any child born in this Commonwealth, the State Registrar shall indicate in a clear and conspicuous manner in the child's birth record that the child has been reported as missing, including the title and location of the law-enforcement agency providing the report. Upon receiving a request for any birth records containing a report of the disappearance of any child, the State Registrar shall immediately notify the local law-enforcement agency which provided the missing child report to the State Registrar. The State Registrar shall transmit any relevant information concerning the applicant's identity, address, and other pertinent data immediately to the relevant local law-enforcement agency. The State Registrar shall retain the original written request until notified of the missing child's recovery or the child attains the age of eighteen. Upon notification that any missing child has been recovered, the State Registrar shall remove the report of the disappearance from the child's birth record.

1990, c. 295.

§ 32.1-276. Penalty imposed for violations.

Any person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a Class 4 felony:

1. Who willfully and knowingly makes any false statement in a report, record, or certificate required to be filed under this chapter, or in an application for an amendment, certification or verification of any such report, record or certificate, or who willfully and knowingly supplies false information intending that such information be used in the preparation of any such report, record, or certificate, or amendment thereof; or

2. Who without lawful authority and with the intent to deceive, makes, counterfeits, alters, amends, or mutilates any report, record, or certificate required to be filed under this chapter or a certified copy of such report, record, or certificate; or

3. [Repealed.]

4. Who willfully and knowingly obtains, possesses, uses, sells, furnishes or attempts to obtain, possess, use, sell, or furnish to another, for any purpose of deception, any certificate, record or report required by this chapter or certified copy thereof made, counterfeited, altered, amended, or mutilated or which is false in whole or part or which relates to the birth of another person whether living or deceased without lawful authority; or

5. [Repealed.]

6. Who is an employee of the State Registrar, the Department of Health, or the Department of Motor Vehicles while engaged in activities pertaining to the operation of the system of vital records who, without lawful authority, willfully and knowingly furnishes or possesses any certificate, report, record, or certification thereof, with the knowledge or intention that it be used for the purposes of deception; or

7. Who, without lawful authority, possesses any certificate, record, or report required by this chapter or a copy or certification of such certificate, record, or report knowing same to have been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained.

Code 1950, § 32-353.31; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 2013, c. 534.