New Jersey Vital Records Bill

New Jersey has introduced legislation pertaining to access to vital records. Bill A326 “establishes guidelines for dissemination of vital records,” and can be found at:

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp?BillNumber=A326

It keeps the same guidelines for genealogical (non-certified) copies: available 80 years after a birth, 50 years after a marriage, and 40 years after a death.

However, Section 2 states, “Vital records shall not be deemed to be a public or government record pursuant to P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) or P.L.2001, c.404 (C.47:1A-5 et seq.).”

Further, Section 5 states, “A person or entity that uses, transfers, sells, shares or otherwise discloses any information as described in subsection b. of section 3 of this act in a manner that is not authorized under the provisions of this act or any other law shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and shall thereafter be prohibited from making application to obtain any such information pursuant to this act.” It is unclear what would be the implications would be to genealogists using or sharing vital records.

Bill A326 is sponsored by Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley (District 32, Bergen and Hudson) and Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (District 35, Bergen and Passaic); it is co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle.

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