Vital Records Access Policy
On July 12, 2010 a new law preventing fraudulent use of vital records went into effect. Maine law now requires a person requesting a copy of records less than 100 years old to provide documentation establishing their direct and legitimate interest in the records. Vital records include birth certificates, fetal death and death certificates, marriage certificates, and domestic partner registrations.
Please see Maine Statutes Title 22 Section 2706 for regulations concerning access to birth, marriage, and death records in the state of Maine. The Vital Records Access Policy summarizes these regulations.
Maine Vital Records are categorized in the following areas:
[Excerpted from Policy for Accessing Vital Records in Maine]:
- Completely Open records – these are the records a municipality houses that have an occurrence date prior to January 1, 1892; “hands on” access is at the discretion of the municipal clerk based upon the condition of the records.
- Open records – the following records are “open” once the number of years has passed since the date of occurrence – Births 75 years; Marriages 50 years; Deaths 25 years and Fetal Deaths 50 years. No identification or documentation is required in order to purchase a non-certified copy of a birth, death or marriage record. Certified copies of these birth, death or marriage records require acceptable identification* and documentation in order to be purchased.
- Closed records – the following records are “closed” until the number of years has passed since the date of occurrence to classify them as open – Births less than 75 years; Marriages less than 50 years; Deaths less than 25 years and Fetal Deaths less than 50 years.
Acceptable Identification* and documentation is required in order to purchase a certified or non-certified copy of a birth, death or marriage record.
Requirements for Acceptable Indentification
will apply whether the records are
requested in person or by mail.
In addition to the vital records request form, we require the requestor to provide positive identification including, but not limited to, a driver's license, passport, or other government issued picture identification.
If no acceptable photo identification is available, the requestor will need to submit photocopies of two items from the following list plus an application form:
- Utility bills, bank statements, car registration, copy of income
- Tax return, personal check with address, a previously issued vital record/marriage license, letter from
- Government agency requesting vital record (e.g., DHHS, WIC), Department of Corrections identification card,
- Social Security card/DD-214, hospital birth worksheet, license/rental agreement, pay stub (W-2), voter
- Registration card, disability award from SSA. Other secondary forms of identification may also be considered.
Alternatively, the record could be obtained for another by a qualifying individual with positive identification, such as a parent for a child.