Code of Virginia

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

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.