Thursday, June 9, 2011

Important Information You Also Need to Know about LD 1781

From Helen Shaw, CG, MGS member and one who testified at the hearing:

Anyone planning to do research into vital records in Maine town offices will need to bring proof of their identity -- something with a photo: drivers liscence, passport, military ID, etc. They should expect to be asked to fill out a form stating what records they want to access. Right now, I think there is one form for each record they want to look at, but Kathy should be able to tell you more on that. Also, I am not sure if that applies to records before 1892. Again, Kathy should be able to enlighten us.

If they want to access a vital record within the current 100 year closure period they will have to provide proof of relationship to the person(s) whose record(s) they want to access. If someone wants vital records for their parent(s) they will need to bring their birth certificate naming the parents. This means if the researcher is female and has a different married name, she will need her marriage certificate showing the maiden and married name. I suppose if the marriage certificate names her parents that would be sufficient to access their records.

The issue of the state researcher ID card is up in the air. According to current law family members only have to prove the relationship -- they do not need the state card. Anyone else trying to access records within the 100 year closure period will need the state ID card. Beyond that, I have no idea; the rules committee did not finish its work on LD 1781 before LD 258 was passed and I had an e-mail recently from the committee coordinator saying it could be a good while before the committee meets again.

From Kathy Montejo, City Clerk, MGS member and one who attended the LD 1781 meetings:

Yes - forms are available at every town office and forms need to be filled out for any and all records ordered - birth, marriage, death - regardless of the age of the document. There is a standardized form designed by the state clerks association and approved by the state Vitals Office, so I believe every town office is using the same order form. Even if towns have formatted their forms differently, the forms all require the same info (name, date, person acquiring, etc.)

Helen is also correct about the need for family acquiring records other than their own to show documentation on the linkage to that record - their birth certificate for their parent's birth certificate, etc. We just need to see a paper trail for proof of eligibility to obtain the record. The marriage licenses do contain a bride's maiden name and the names of both of her parents, so that is covered.

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