Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-07-01-.11 - DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS

(1) Vital records are public records and information from a record may be provided and verified upon request except that
(a) Information from the "Information for Medical and Health Use Only" section of the birth certificate and information from the "Confidential Information" section of the certificate of marriage or the certificate of divorce or annulment may not be provided except for statistical or research purposes.
(b) Information concerning the cause of death from the death certificate may be provided only to the spouse, children, parents, or other next of kin of the decedent or their respective authorized representative or for one of the following reasons:
1. when a documented need for the cause of death to establish a legal right or claim has been demonstrated;
2. when the request for the information is made by or on behalf of an organization that provides benefits to the decedent's survivors or beneficiaries;
3. when needed for research purposes approved by the State Registrar;
4. when requested by local, state or federal agencies for research or administrative purposes approved by the State Registrar; or
5. upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction ordering such release.
(c) Information from birth records which have been sealed pursuant to T.C.A. 68-3-313 will not be verified. The sealed records are subject to opening only pursuant to T.C.A. 68-3-313, 36-1-126, 36-1-127 and 36-1-138.
(d) To be consistent with the purpose of protecting persons in the federal witness protection program, verified information concerning such person will not be provided to anyone other then the subject person or that person's supervising federal marshal.
(e) In order to protect the personal, identifying information of children who are adopted or legitimated within the first year after birth, requests for listings or copies of the database of birth records that are not for research purposes and are received from non-governmental agencies will not be filled until eighteen (18) months past the end of the calendar year in which the birth occurred.
(2) To maintain the physical security of the documents, the records in the custody of the State Registrar or Local Registrars are not available for hands-on public inspection.
(3) A search for the record will be conducted when the applicant provides sufficient information to locate the record in question, including, but not limited to, the year of the event; for births, the name of the registrant or the father, if named on the record, or the mother, if the father is not named on the record; for deaths, the name of the decedent; for marriages, the name of the groom; and for divorces, the name of the husband.
(4) Both the request and the response may be verbal or written; however, in all cases, the required fee must be paid at the time of inquiry, pursuant to Rule 1200-7-.13.
(5) The State Registrar may respond to an inquiry seeking verification in any of the following ways:
(a) Provision of the requested verified information.
(b) Notification that no record matching the requested information could be located.
(c) Notification that information submitted by the requestor is insufficient and more information is needed in order to locate the record in question.
(d) Notification that more than one record matches the information submitted so that the requestor may either submit additional information to identify the exact record in question or purchase information from all records matching the requested information.
(6) The term "authorized representative" shall include the attorney, physician, funeral director, or other such authorized agent acting in behalf of the registrant or his family.
(7) The natural parents of adopted children or natural parents whose parental rights have been otherwise terminated shall not be considered to have a direct and tangible interest, as required in T.C.A. 68-3-206.
(8) The State Registrar may permit the use of data from vital records for research purposes. No data shall be furnished from records for research purposes until the State Registrar has prepared, in writing, the conditions under which the records or data will be used and has received an agreement signed by a responsible agent of the research organization agreeing to meet with and conform to such conditions.
(9) The State Registrar may disclose data which is not confidential from vital records to any federal, state, county or municipal agencies, courts, or law enforcement agencies which request such data in the conduct of their official duties. The Social Security numbers of the parent(s) as listed on the child's birth certificate may be disclosed for the purpose of child support enforcement.
(10) The State Registrar or Local Registrar shall not issue a certified copy of a record until the applicant has provided sufficient information so that the record can be located. Whenever it shall be deemed necessary to establish an applicant's right to a certified copy of a vital record, the State Registrar or Local Registrar may also require identification of the applicant or a sworn statement as to the identity of the applicant and the applicant's relationship to the registrant.
(11) When 100 years have elapsed after the date of birth or 50 years have elapsed after the date of death, marriage or divorce or annulment of marriage, the records of these events in the custody of the State Registrar may be transferred to the state Library and Archives, if procedures of the State Library and Archives will allow for continued safekeeping of the records and for public access to the information from the records.
(12) Records which have been sealed pursuant to T.C.A. 68-3-313 may be disclosed only pursuant to T.C.A. 68-3-313, 36-1-126, 36-1-127 and 36-1-138.
(a) The requestor must present the original letter of authorization bearing the embossed State Seal from the Tennessee Department of Children's Services or a certified copy of a court order from a court of competent jurisdiction, must identify the record by either name at birth or adopted name, must provide the full date of birth, and must pay the required fee.
(b) The requestor will be provided copies of all documents in the sealed file, except that information from the "Information for Medical and Health Use Only" section of the birth certificate and information from the "Confidential Information" section of the certificate of marriage or the certificate of divorce or annulment shall not be provided.
(c) If, after opening the sealed file, a review of the contents demonstrates to the State Registrar that the file contains records of siblings or other records that do not pertain to the adoption, legitimation or paternity of the individual case being requested, such records will not be copied and released. Such records will be removed and placed in the correct sealed file or in a separate file as appropriate.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-07-01-.11
Original rule certified June 7, 1974. Repeal and new rule filed January 18, 1978; effective February 17, 1987. Amendment filed May 19, 1978; effective June 19, 1978. Amendment filed July 3, 1984; effective August 1, 1984. Amendment filed October 27, 1988; effective December 11, 1988. Amendment filed June 30, 1994; effective September 13, 1994. Amendment filed August 12, 1999; effective October 26, 1999. Amendment filed August 6, 2002; effective October 20, 2002.

Authority: T.C.A. ยงยง 4-5-202, 36-1-126, 36-1-127, 36-1-138, 68-3-103, 68-3-104, 68-3-205, 68-3-206, and 68-3-313.

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