Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen
An updated IAJGS Legislative Alert dated February 17 has been posted to the IAJGS website (www.IAJGS.org and click on legislation tab on left then on latest alert) . It includes new and updated information on the following states: Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Maine LD (2012) 1627 will have amendatory language to include marriage applications be compliant with the researcher card for genealogists in order that genealogists will not have to wait the prescribed 50 years to obtain those records.
New Jersey (2012) A 461 was introduced which would make available vital records to the public after the prescribed waiting periods of 100 years for birth records , 50 years for marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships, and 40 years for deaths and fetal deaths. There is no provision for genealogical copies. Members of the press are exempt from the waiting period.
Pennsylvania (2011) SB 361 Act 110 of Laws of 2011 became effective February 13, 2012 and the Department of Health has a website where records may be ordered.
Virginia (2012) SB 660 requires birth records after 100 years and marriage, divorce and annulment, death and fetal death records to become public after 25 years. There are several other bills that address similar issues with vital records and it is not yet known if SB 660 or one of the other bills will be the final vehicle.
While these are all bills within the United States, if those located outside the US know of vital records legislation or regulations being proposed, please let us know and they will also be monitored and reported upon.
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee