CSAC-Sponsored Vital Records Bills Pass Health Committee Unanimously
January 15, 2016
As reported in last week’s Bulletin, CSAC’s Employee Relations
Policy Unit is co-sponsoring two bills related to vital records.
Both bills were heard in the Assembly Health Committee on
Tuesday, January 12. CSAC Legislative Representative Faith Conley
testified in support of both bills (see video
here), and both bills received unanimous approval from the
committee. Next, the bills will head to the Assembly
AB 1238 (Linder) would authorize records officials to accept electronic verifications that requestors of vital records, such as birth or death certificates or marriage licenses, are authorized persons. Existing law requires a notarized affidavit in hard copy. AB 1238 would allow local jurisdictions to provide consumers with the option to complete a knowledge-based authentication method to definitively establish their identity as an authorized person, reducing the amount of time it takes to request vital records and also reducing the costs of the process. The process would also be friendlier to military personnel, people experiencing homelessness, and former California residents who now live elsewhere. The bill simply provides an option for counties, and does not require counties to offer the electronic request process.
AB 1546 (Olsen) requires the State Registrar, in consultation with the County Recorders’ Association of California and other stakeholders, to study the security features used in paper for vital records. Current law requires vital records to be printed on special paper with nine different security features, including intaglio printing. The State Registrar would then report findings and recommendations to the Legislature by January 1, 2018. This bill helps ensure counties won’t have to rely on one paper provider, which puts recorders and health departments at risk of supply issues similar to the one experienced in 2015.