Service Area Strategic Plan
Department of Health (601)
Service Area 1 of 1
Vital Records (601 404 02)
This service area is responsible for the registration, collection, preservation, amendment and certification of vital records. The vital records system consists of births, deaths, spontaneous fetal deaths, induced termination of pregnancy, marriages, divorces or annulments, adoptions and amendments (alteration to a vital record). This service area is administered by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Division of Vital Records.
Mission Alignment and Authority
Describe how this service supports the agency mission
This service area directly aligns with the VDH mission in promoting and protecting the health of Virginians by serving as the official custodian of all vital records in Virginia. The statistical data collected on these vital records are used by VDH's Division of Heath Statistics to generate annual reports and special reports that address health-related issues.
Describe the Statutory Authority of this Service
Chapter 7 (§§ 32.1-249 et seq.) establishes the administration of the system of vital records. This chapter includes the duties of the State Registrar, filing birth, death, spontaneous fetal death, induced termination of pregnancy, marriage and divorce certificates, amending vital records, issuing certified copies of a vital record and automating the vital records system.
|Agency Customer Group
||Customers served annually
||Potential annual customers
||Governmental Agencies – local, state and federal (request for vital records)
||Individual Requests for Vital Records
||Researchers (requests for vital records)
Anticipated Changes To Agency Customer Base
With the passing of legislation in the 2005 General Assembly grandparents are now able to request a copy of a grandchild’s birth certificate.
The number of requests will increase based on the changes to local, state and federal laws and policies. Before an individual can obtain any type of service from a governmental agency they must produce a certified copy of a vital record. Vital records are used extensively for employment purposes, travel, and obtaining benefits and to obtain other documents used for identification such as driver licenses, social security, and passports.
The number of requests will increase based on the studies from the various hospitals, universities and other entities.
Because of the new travel requirement to leave and re-entry the United States and the requirement for proof of citizenship for Medicaid recipients and applicants there has been an increase in birth certificate requests.
Products and Services
Factors Impacting the Products and/or Services:
The Federal Intelligence Reform Act will increase the number of requests for a vital record. At the end of 2007 or early 2008, this statute will prohibit federal government agencies (i.e. SSA, Passport) from accepting birth certificates that are not issued on security paper that contain certain security features. Because of this legislation, individuals will be unable to use previous issued birth certificates to obtain service from a U.S. government agency.
Anticipated Changes to the Products and/or Services
Security Paper. – The Federal Intelligence Reform Bill requires Vital Records Offices to meet certain security features in the security paper used to issue vital records. Failure to comply with these changes will result in the rejection of the vital record at federal agencies.
Deploy the WEB_EBC (Electronic Birth Certificate) application. This web application will replace the current application used by the hospitals that record and report births to Vital Records.
Expand the website to include items such as the Report of Adoption, Acknowledgment of Paternity and Correction Affidavit forms, information on how to file a delayed birth registration and more answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Develop an on-line tutorial for physicians that will assist them in completing the medical certification on the death certificate.
Develop an on-line tutorial for the local health department deputy registrars that will assist them in filing home births, reviewing and accepting death certificates, preparing acknowledgment of paternity forms, and correction affidavits.
Develop an on-line tutorial for funeral directors that will assist them in the filing of a death certificate.
Listing of Products and/or Services
- Supplies and Forms
The State Registrar prepares prints and supplies all blank paper and forms that are used in registering, recording and preserving vital records. These forms are sent to hospitals, courts, funeral homes, local heath departments, medical examiner offices, attorneys and any individual filing a vital record. The Electronic Birth Certificate (EBC) is an application used by the 63 birthing facilities that file birth certificates.
- Certified Copies of Vital Records
To preserve the original documents, the State Registrar will issue a certified copy of a vital record (birth, marriage, divorce, death or stillbirth) when the applicant has submitted a written request, identification and payment. There are three methods in which an applicant can request a vital record (i) mail, (ii) in person or (iii) Vital Chek express service.
- Amending Vital Records
Upon receipt of a certified copy of a court order changing the name, sworn acknowledgment of paternity, court determination of paternity order, adoption report, surrogate consent form, correction affidavit and change of sex document a new birth certificate will be established or the existing vital record is amended.
- Delayed Birth Registration
When the birth of a person has not been registered, a delayed birth certificate may be prepared and filed. Documentary evidence that establishes the registrant’s name, date of birth, and place of birth and parents names is required before the certificate can be filed.
- Call Center
The Call Center provides assistance to customers seeking information on how to obtain a vital record, hours of operation, cost of a vital record, directions to the office, status of their request, and what type of identification they must submit.
- Help Desk Services - Information Technology (IT)
IT provides technical support for Division of Vital Records staff and Hospital Birth Registrars. This support may include setting up new users, troubleshooting computer problems, granting access to Oracle applications and training.
- Division of Vital Records Website
This website contains information on how to apply for a vital record, list of acceptable identification, hours of operation, a question and answer page, Regulations Governing Vital Records, genealogy information, foreign authentication, link to the Virginia Center for Health Statistics and vital records offices in other states. It also contains the application for a vital record that can be downloaded.
Service Area Objectives
Decrease time required to respond to a citizen’s request for a vital record.
Vital Records are a person’s first and last identity document. For instance, an individual needs a birth certificate to obtain a social security card, enroll in school, and obtain a driver’s license, passport and employment. Governmental agencies use vital records to help establish eligibility for provision of benefits (i.e. social security) and issuance of documents (i.e., driver licenses and passports).
Alignment to Agency Goals
- Screen all requests for acceptability.
- Verify the accuracy of the data that is keyed into CTS.
- Send appropriate letters to customer that lacks the necessary documents to receive a vital record.
Link to State Strategy
Number of business days required to respond to mailed in requests for an automated vital record that requires no amendments to the vital record.
Measure Baseline Value:
Measure Baseline Description: Average number of days
Measure Target Value:
Measure Target Description: Average number of days
Data Source and Calculation: Each request for a vital record is entered into a Correspondence Tacking System (CTS). The data collected from the request consists of the requestor name, identification and address, the registrant name, type of vital record needed, and payment. CTS also allows the collection of the date the request was received and the date the vital record was mailed. A status report is generated to capture all of this information.
The cost of providing certified records by the Division of Vital Records
Measure Baseline Value:
Measure Baseline Description: Cost of issuing a certified record
Measure Target Value:
Measure Target Description: Cost of issuing a certified record
Data Source and Calculation: Divide the total cost of providing certified records by the Division of Vital Records by the number of certified records issued or amended during a fiscal year