The register of deeds responsible for filing vital records in the county except as provided under par. (b)
The city registrar responsible for filing death records in his or her city.
“Medical certification" means those portions of a death record that provide the cause of death, the manner of death, injury-related data, and any other medically-related data that is collected as prescribed by the state registrar under s. 69.18 (1m) (c) 2.
“Person with a direct and tangible interest" means a person who satisfies the requirements under s. 69.20 (1)
“Place of death" means the place where a pronouncement of a human death occurs or, if a death occurs in a conveyance or a corpse is found in interstate waters and removed in this state, the place where the corpse is removed.
“Registrant" means the subject of a record or declaration which a local registrar has accepted for filing in the system of vital records.
“Registration" means final processing of vital records after filing and review for completeness and correctness by the local and state registrar.
“Registration district" means a county, except that a city approved under s. 69.04
is a registration district for filing death records occurring in the city.
“Research" means a systematic study through scientific inquiry for the purpose of expanding a field of knowledge, including environmental or epidemiological research or special studies, that is conducted by persons who meet criteria for access that are specified in rules promulgated under s. 69.20 (4)
“State registrar" means the state registrar of vital records appointed by the department under s. 69.02 (1) (b)
“System of vital records" means:
The filing, registration, collection, preservation, amendment and certification of vital records under this subchapter.
The collection of records, other than vital records, required under this subchapter.
Activities related to the activities under pars. (a)
, including the tabulation, analysis and publication of vital statistics.
“Vital records" means any of the following:
Records of birth, death, divorce or annulment, termination of domestic partnership, marriage, and declarations of domestic partnership.
Worksheets that use forms that are approved by the state registrar and are related to documents under par. (a)
“Vital statistics" means the data derived from records of birth, death, divorce or annulment, termination of domestic partnership, marriage documents, declarations of domestic partnership, fetal death reports, or related reports.
Department powers and duties. 69.02(1)(a)
Establish a unit called the office of vital records.
Prescribe the form of an affidavit of death for releasing burial agreement trust funds to a beneficiary under s. 445.125 (1) (b) 4. b.
or establishing proof of death for payment of benefits of a life insurance policy sold under s. 632.415 (2)
The department may promulgate administrative rules to administer this subchapter.
The department shall promulgate administrative rules which establish procedures regarding the contents of and acceptance and registration of tribally related vital records submitted to the state registrar by tribal courts and procedures for responding to court orders issued by tribal courts regarding tribally related vital records, as required under s. 69.035
Powers and duties of state registrar.
The state registrar shall:
Administer and enforce this subchapter.
Direct the system of vital records.
Supervise the office of vital records.
Act as custodian of all records in the office of vital records and preserve, index and certify the records by photographic, electronic or other means, as determined by the state registrar.
Under this subchapter, accept for registration, assign a date of acceptance, and index and preserve original marriage documents and records of birth, death, divorce, and domestic partnership. Indexes prepared for public use under s. 69.20 (3) (e)
shall consist of the registrant's full name, date of the event, county of occurrence, county of residence, and, at the discretion of the state registrar, state file number. Notwithstanding s. 69.24 (1) (e)
, the state registrar may transfer the paper original of a vital record to optical disc or electronic format in accordance with s. 16.61 (5)
or to microfilm reproduction in accordance with s. 16.61 (6)
and destroy the paper original of any vital record that is so converted. For the purposes of this subchapter, the electronic format version or microfilm reproduction version of the paper original of a vital record that has been transferred under this subsection shall serve as the original vital record.
Direct any activity related to the operation of the system of vital records.
Conduct training programs to promote uniformity of policy and procedures in this state in the system of vital records.
Prescribe, furnish and distribute forms required under this subchapter and chs. 765
and prescribe any other means for transmission of data necessary to accomplish complete and accurate reporting and registration. When reasonable and possible the state registrar shall base the prescribed forms on the standard forms recommended by the federal agency responsible for administering the national system of vital statistics.
Prepare and publish an annual report of vital statistics.
At the request of a local health department, provide the local health department with vital statistics for local health planning and program activities and establish a schedule with the local health department for transmittal of the vital statistics.
Make available any vital record or court-ordered change of fact prepared by the state registrar under ss. 69.14 (1) (h)
and (2) (a)
and (b) 5.
, 69.16 (2)
or any authorization for an amendment under ss. 69.11
to the register of deeds of the county where the event which is the subject of the vital record, change of fact or amendment occurred and, if the event occurred in a city which is a registration district and responsible for registering the event, to the city registrar of the city.
Accept fetal death reports under s. 69.18 (1) (e)
. The state registrar may record the information on the reports for use in medical research and may use the information to compile statistics. After recording the information on a fetal death report, the state registrar shall destroy the report.
As the state registrar determines necessary, report violations of this subchapter to the district attorney of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred and include a statement of facts and circumstances. The state registrar may request the assistance of the department of justice as he or she determines necessary for the enforcement of this subchapter.
Provide hospitals with a pamphlet containing information for parents about birth records including how to add the name of the father of a child whose parents were not married at any time from the conception to the birth of the child to the birth record under s. 69.15 (3) (b)
or, if the father will not sign an affidavit, through a paternity action; the legal significance and future medical advantages to the child of having the father's name inserted on the birth record; and the availability of services under s. 49.22
Periodically provide to each county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5)
a list of names and, notwithstanding s. 69.20 (2) (a)
, addresses of registrants who reside in that county for whom no father's name has been inserted on the registrant's birth record within 6 months of birth.
Treatment by state registrar of tribal vital records and tribal court orders. 69.035(1)(1)
The state registrar shall accept and register valid vital records submitted by tribal courts, consistent with the manner in which vital records submitted by local registrars or city registrars are handled, and shall recognize and honor orders from tribal courts in this state relating to vital records which pertain to tribally related events.
Wherever this subchapter provides for acceptance and registration by the state registrar of vital records submitted by local registrars, city registrars or clerks of circuit courts, the state registrar shall also accept and register, in a like manner, comparable vital records pertaining to tribally related events submitted by the court of any federally recognized Indian tribe or band in this state.
Wherever this subchapter provides for correction or delayed registration, without court order, of vital records submitted by local registrars or city registrars, the state registrar shall also correct or register, in a like manner, comparable vital records pertaining to tribally related events submitted by any federally recognized Indian tribe or band in this state.
Wherever this subchapter provides for correction, delayed registration, copying or determination of the validity of, or disclosure of information from, vital records, pursuant to an order of a court, circuit court or court of competent jurisdiction, the state registrar shall, in a like manner, correct, register, copy, determine the validity of, or disclose information from, comparable vital records pertaining to tribally related events, pursuant to an order of the court of any federally recognized Indian tribe or band in this state. In order for the state registrar to provide access to an original birth certificate or any accompanying documents in an adoption case, the tribal court which orders access to such records or documents shall be the court with jurisdiction over the adoption.
History: 1989 a. 194
Local registration district. 69.04(1)(a)
The state registrar may approve a city as a registration district for registration of deaths occurring in the city if the state registrar determines that the city has staff, office space, and other resources for the proper administration of death records, makes reasonable use of public health data derived from death records, and suitably preserves and cares for official city death records.
The state registrar may withdraw the approval given under par. (a)
if the city fails to meet the requirements under par. (a)
The county register of deeds office shall be the place for filing vital records except as provided under par. (c)
If a death occurs in a city which is a registration district approved by the state registrar for registering death records, the office of the city registrar shall be the place for filing.
Any city which is not a registration district shall dispose of any vital records which it has filed as follows:
Offer all records of events occurring prior to October 1, 1907, to the state historical society under s. 69.21 (2) (d) 1.
Offer the records of each event occurring after September 30, 1907, to the register of deeds of the county in which the event occurred.
Destroy any record which the state historical society or the register of deeds does not accept under par. (a)
Duties of local registrar.
A local registrar shall:
Be subject to the direction of the state registrar.
Preserve, amend and certify vital records under this subchapter by photographic, electronic or other means as directed by the state registrar, except that a local registrar may destroy vital records on file for more than 365 days if the state registrar determines that the local registrar has access through the state registrar's computer database to the information necessary to issue certified copies under s. 69.21 (1) (b) 2.
Enforce this subchapter in his or her registration district and report to the state registrar in writing any violation upon receipt of knowledge of the violation.
Send a note of the designation of a deputy to the state registrar no later than one working day after the designation takes effect. The notice shall include a copy of the deputy's signature and the effective date of the designation.
A local registrar has no power to adopt procedures that are more stringent than those directed by the state registrar for issuing certified copies of vital records under s. 69.21 (1). 80 Atty. Gen. 35
Duties of city registrars.
A city registrar shall:
Accept for filing, electronically sign and assign a date of acceptance to records of death which he or she has been approved to register under s. 69.04
and which are properly presented in his or her office.
Designate in writing a deputy to perform the city registrar's duties under this section during the city registrar's absence, illness or disability.
Duties of register of deeds.
The county register of deeds shall:
Accept for filing, electronically sign and assign a date of acceptance to vital records presented in his or her office under this chapter.
Designate a deputy appointed under s. 59.43 (3)
to perform the register of deeds' duties under this section during the register of deeds' absence, illness or disability.
Requirements for registration.
The state registrar may not register a vital record unless the record:
Is prepared in the method prescribed by the state registrar.
Is prepared in the method prescribed or is printed legibly in permanent ink applied directly to the paper.
Supplies all items of information required or gives a reason approved by the state registrar for the omission of any item.
Contains proper and consistent data.
Contains electronic signatures required or signatures written in permanent ink applied directly to the paper.