With thanks to Jan Meisels Allen for the following update on pending legislation in California:
> California AB 130
> In 2002 the California legislature enacted, at the request of the
> County Recorders Association, the use of informational copies of birth
> and death records and that indices would be created without mothers’ maiden names.
> AB 130 addresses the same issue for marriage records. The rationale
> again is protection against identity theft. This bill passed the
> Assembly and is going through the Senate. There is a hearing
> scheduled in Senate Appropriations on August 17. The International
> Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies ( IAJGS) submitted a
> written statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee before its
> hearing, which the committee passed out unanimously, and has submitted
> a statement to be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
> IAJGS in speaking with the lobbyist for the County Clerks Association,
> who is the sponsor of the bill, explained that the genealogy community
> supports the informational copies, but at least IAJGS is opposed to
> the elimination of mothers’ maiden names from the index as it makes it
> difficult or not impossible to determine if one is ordering the
> correct record for those with common names. For tracing medical
> history, it is imperative to have the mothers’ maiden names to trace
> back for studying possible genetic diseases that might have been
> passed down. The fact that some County Recorders are already
> eliminating mothers’ maiden names from marriage indices does not mean
> codifying poor practice makes good public policy. It is expected that
> the bill will pass and probably be signed by the governor. It would
> become effective January 1, 2010.
> California VRIRSA System
> Part of the same 2002 legislation mentioned under AB 130, required
> developing a single, state-wide system for accessing redacted records.
> Information to be included on informational copies permitted under the
> 2002 legislation called for certain data elements to be redacted on
> informational copies. The system, Vital Records Image Redaction and
> Statewide Access is known by its acronym, VRIRSA. The information
> that is being redacted from birth and death records under VRIRSA are:
> Social Security Numbers, signatures and sensitive medical information.
> At present, the VRIRSA system fulfills public requests for
> Informational copies of birth certificates from 1985 to present, and
> for death certificates from 1996 forward. As additional birth and
> death records are converted to computerized images over the next
> several years, more informational copy requests will be handled by
> VRIRSA. “Manual redaction is not required for records that predate the
> range of records currently in VRIRSA. However, informational copies
> must still contain the legend “INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO
> ESTABLISH IDENTITY.”
> If AB 130 relating to marriage records is signed into law, marriage
> records will probably also be covered under the VRIRSA system.
> CA SB 40
> This bill as originally introduced would have redacted Social Security
> Numbers from any document filed with the county recorder. Due to
> VRIRSA, birth and death records are no longer included in this bill.
> As of this report, the bill has passed its house of origin and is
> awaiting the final floor vote before it goes to the governor for signature.