2011 ORS § 432.121¹
Disclosure and certification of records and reports
  • rules

(1) To protect the integrity of vital records and vital reports, to ensure their proper use and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the system of vital statistics, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information from vital records or vital reports in the custody of the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics, county registrar or local registrar or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record or report unless authorized by this chapter and by rules adopted pursuant thereto or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Rules adopted under this section shall provide for adequate standards of security and confidentiality of vital records and vital reports. The state registrar shall adopt rules to ensure that, for records of dissolution of marriage issued in proceedings under ORS 107.085 (Petition) or 107.485 (Conditions for summary dissolution procedure), Social Security numbers of the parties are kept confidential and exempt from public inspection.

(2) The State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics shall authorize the inspection, disclosure and copying of the information referred to in subsection (1) of this section as follows:

(a) To the subject of the record; spouse, child, parent, sibling or legal guardian of the subject of the record; an authorized representative of the subject of the record, spouse, child, parent, sibling or legal guardian of the subject of the record; and, in the case of death, marriage or divorce records, to other next of kin.

(b) When a person demonstrates that a death, marriage or divorce record is needed for the determination or protection of a personal or property right.

(c) When 100 years have elapsed after the date of birth or 50 years have elapsed after the date of death, marriage or divorce.

(d) When the person requesting the information demonstrates that the person intends to use the information solely for research purposes. In order to receive the information, the person must submit a written request to the state registrar requesting a research agreement. The state registrar shall issue a research agreement if the person demonstrates that the information will be used only for research and will be held confidential. The research agreement shall prohibit the release by the person of any information other than that authorized by the agreement that might identify any person or institution.

(e) To the federal agency responsible for national vital statistics, upon request. The copies or data may be used solely for the conduct of official duties. Before furnishing the records, reports or data, the state registrar shall enter into an agreement with the federal agency indicating the statistical or research purposes for which the records, reports or data may be used. The agreement shall also set forth the support to be provided by the federal agency for the collection, processing and transmission of the records, reports or data. Upon written request of the federal agency, the state registrar may approve, in writing, additional statistical or research uses of the records, reports or data supplied under the agreement.

(f) To federal, state and local governmental agencies, upon request. The copies or data may be used solely for the conduct of official duties of the requesting governmental agency.

(g) To offices of vital statistics outside this state when such records or other reports relate to residents of those jurisdictions or persons born in those jurisdictions. Before furnishing the records, reports or data, the state registrar shall enter into an agreement with the office of vital statistics. The agreement shall specify the statistical and administrative purposes for which the records, reports or data may be used and the agreement shall further provide instructions for the proper retention and disposition of the copies. Copies received by the Center for Health Statistics from offices of vital statistics in other states shall be handled in the same manner as prescribed in this section.

(h) To an investigator licensed under ORS 703.430 (Issuance of license), upon request.

(3) The state registrar, upon request of a family member or legal representative, shall issue a certified copy or other copy of a death certificate containing the cause of death information as provided in subsection (2) of this section or as follows:

(a) When a person has demonstrated through documented evidence a need for the cause of death to establish a legal right or claim.

(b) When the request for the copy is made by or on behalf of an organization that provides benefits to the decedents survivors or beneficiaries.

(4) Nothing in this section prohibits the release of information or data that would not identify any person or institution named in a vital record or a vital report.

(5) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a health care provider from disclosing information contained in the providers records as otherwise allowed by law.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit disclosure of information contained in the Information for Medical and Health Use Only section of the birth certificate, fetal death report or the Information for Statistical Purposes Only section or other confidential section of the application, license and record of marriage or certificate of divorce, unless specifically authorized by the state registrar for statistical or research purposes. The data shall not be subject to subpoena or court order and shall not be admissible before any court, tribunal or judicial body.

(7) All forms and procedures used in the issuance of certified copies of vital records and vital reports shall be uniform and provided by or approved by the state registrar. All certified copies issued shall have security features that safeguard the document against alteration, counterfeiting, duplication or simulation without ready detection.

(8) Each copy issued shall show the date of filing. Copies issued from records marked Amended shall be similarly marked and shall show the effective date of the amendment. Copies issued from records marked Delayed shall be similarly marked and shall include the date of filing and a description of the evidence used to establish the delayed certificate.

(9) Any copy issued of a certificate of foreign birth shall indicate this fact and show the actual place of birth and the fact that the certificate is not proof of United States citizenship for an adoptive child.

(10) Appeals from decisions of the state registrar to refuse to disclose information or to permit inspection or copying of records as prescribed by this section and rules adopted pursuant thereto shall be made under ORS chapter 183.

(11) The state registrar shall adopt rules to implement this section in accordance with the applicable sections of ORS chapter 183.

(12) Indexes of deaths, marriages or divorces that list names, dates of events, county of events or certificate numbers may be disclosed. [1997 c.783 §15 (enacted in lieu of 432.120); 1999 c.254 §1; 1999 c.312 §3; 2001 c.838 §23; 2003 c.380 §8; 2007 c.703 §9]