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February 14, 13

NEWS / Bill allowing DMV to issue vital records moves forward in Virginia legislature

A bill that would allow the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to issue copies birth certificates, death certificates and marriage licenses has been unanimously approved by a legislative committee and will now be put to vote before the state’s House of Delegates.

The bill, sponsored by Republican state Senator Steve Newman, was approved by the House Transportation Committee in a 15-0 vote on Tuesday. The measure would allow people to receive copies of their vital records from their local DMV office without having to seek those items from Richmond.

Newman originally thought that his bill would meet considerable resistance from record keepers in the state’s Health Department.

“If you asked me week and half ago if this bill would pass, I would have said no,” Newman was quoted by local newspaper The News & Advance as saying.

However, his proposal received the backing of the state’s Health Secretary Bill Hazel, as well as Dr. Cynthia Romero, the new commissioner of the Virginia Department of Health.

Vital records obtained at the DMV office would cost $2 more than those obtained from local health departments. The fee hike would be used to cover the technological costs of modifying the records system. Getting a copy of a birth or death certificate from a local health department currently costs $12.

Some representatives expressed concern that the changeover would deprive their counties of important revenue sources. Henrico County, for example, handles $200,000 worth of death certificate copies every year.

Newman responded to these concerns by saying that funeral homes will continue to request death certificates from local health departments even with new measures in place. This should mitigate any potential losses in the county budget.

The bill would go into effect in March 2014 if it wins approval of the state legislature and receives Governor Bob McDonnell’s signature.

Tags: death certificate copies, birth certificate, death certificat, birth certificat, death certificate, vital records, birth certificates, marriage,


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