2017 ORS 432.350¹
Vital records exempt from public disclosure
  • exceptions
  • rules

(1)(a) Vital records and reports, and documents, data and information related to vital records and reports, are exempt from public disclosure under ORS 192.311 (Definitions for ORS 192.311 to 192.478) to 192.478 (Exemption for Judicial Department). Except as provided in this section and ORS 432.380 (Issuance of certified copies of records) or rules adopted by the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics as described in paragraph (b) of this subsection, a person may not disclose or allow a person to inspect vital records or reports or related documents, data or information.

(b) The state registrar may adopt rules permitting the disclosure of vital records and reports and related documents, data or information if the disclosure is for public health purposes or if the state registrar otherwise determines that:

(A) The requestor has a valid need for the information;

(B) The information cannot be obtained from other sources;

(C) The requestor is authorized to receive the information; and

(D) The integrity of the vital record or report can be assured.

(2)(a) Personally identifiable information that may be used to identify a natural person named in a vital record or report may be disclosed for health research purposes after submission of a written request for the information by a researcher and the approval of the state registrar through the execution of a written research agreement that:

(A) Describes the research project;

(B) Documents, if necessary, applicable institutional review board approvals; and

(C) Protects the confidentiality and security of the information provided.

(b) An agreement entered into under this subsection:

(A) Must:

(i) Prohibit, except as explicitly permitted in the agreement, the further release of the personally identifiable information by the researcher unless explicitly authorized by the state registrar; and

(ii) Specify that the state continues to own the information provided to the requester; and

(B) May require payment for the use of the requested information.

(3) A government agency may be furnished, upon written request and the approval of the state registrar, with copies of documents or other data from the system of vital statistics, provided that the copies or data are used solely in the conduct of the government agency’s official duties. Before furnishing information under this subsection, the state registrar and the government agency requesting the copies or data shall enter into a data sharing agreement that clearly specifies the uses for the copies or data. An agreement entered into under this subsection:

(a) Must:

(A) Contain measures to protect the confidentiality and security of the copies or data;

(B) Prohibit the further release of any personally identifiable information by the government agency unless explicitly provided in the agreement; and

(C) Specify that the state continues to own the copies or data; and

(b) May require payment for the use of the requested copies or data.

(4) The federal agency responsible for national vital statistics may be furnished with copies of records, reports or other data from the system of vital statistics as necessary for the maintenance of national statistics, provided that the agency shares in the cost of collecting, processing and transmitting the information and that the agency does not use the information for purposes other than statistical purposes unless the use is explicitly authorized by the state registrar. Before furnishing information under this subsection, the state registrar and the agency shall enter into a data sharing agreement that clearly specifies the uses for the information. An agreement entered into under this subsection must:

(a) Prohibit the further release of any information by the agency unless explicitly authorized by the state registrar; and

(b) Specify that the state continues to own the information.

(5)(a) The state registrar, pursuant to an interjurisdictional exchange agreement, may transmit copies of records, reports or other documents or other data from the system of vital statistics to offices of vital statistics in other states or neighboring countries. The exchange agreement must specify the purposes for which the copies or data may be used by the other state or neighboring country and provide instructions for the proper retention and disposition of the copies and data.

(b) Copies of records, reports or other documents or other data received by the Center for Health Statistics as a result of the exchange agreement are confidential and not subject to public disclosure under ORS 192.311 (Definitions for ORS 192.311 to 192.478) to 192.478 (Exemption for Judicial Department), and the state or neighboring country in which the vital event occurred continues to own the copies and data.

(c) An exchange agreement entered into under this subsection may not allow the disclosure of copies of records, reports or other documents or other data of a vital event that did not occur in the state or country that is transmitting the information.

(6) When the death of a person who was born in this state or was a resident of this state at the time of death occurs in a country other than the United States, the state registrar shall receive a report of death from the United States Department of Defense or the United States Department of State.

(7) When 100 years have elapsed after the date of live birth for births occurring after 1914, 50 years have elapsed after the date of death for deaths occurring after 1964, 50 years have elapsed after the date of fetal death for fetal deaths occurring after 1964 or 50 years have elapsed after the date of marriage, domestic partnership, dissolution of marriage or dissolution of domestic partnership for such events occurring after 1964, the record available for disclosure under this section, whether in paper, electronic or other form, may be transferred to the State Archives as a public record in accordance with archival procedures for the continued safekeeping of the vital records. The State Archives may not charge the Center for Health Statistics for the transfer and maintenance of historic vital records under this subsection. The state registrar shall adopt rules to ensure that, for records of dissolution of marriage or dissolution of domestic partnership issued in proceedings under ORS 106.300 (Short title) to 106.340 (Certain privileges, immunities, rights, benefits and responsibilities granted or imposed) or 107.085 (Petition) or 107.485 (Conditions for summary dissolution procedure), the Social Security numbers of the parties are kept confidential and exempt from public disclosure under ORS 192.311 (Definitions for ORS 192.311 to 192.478) to 192.478 (Exemption for Judicial Department). Prior to transferring records of live birth and death, the state registrar shall redact all information identified as having only a medical or health purpose in the United States Standard Certificates of Live Birth and Death and the Report of Fetal Death or by rule of the state registrar.

(8) A decision of the state registrar with regard to the disclosure of vital records, reports and related documents, data and information is a final agency determination. If the state registrar refuses an inspection under this section, the person seeking inspection may proceed in the manner set forth in ORS 183.484 (Jurisdiction for review of orders other than contested cases).

(9) Nothing in this section prohibits the state registrar from publishing statistical compilations or reports for public health purposes if the compilations and reports do not contain personally identifiable information. [Formerly 432.121]

(formerly 432.121)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Applicability to marriage records, (1998) Vol 49, p 21

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 432—Vital Statistics, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors432.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 432, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano432.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.