144.43  Vital records closed to inspection -- exceptions.

To protect the integrity of vital statistics records, to ensure their proper use, and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the vital statistics system kept by the state registrar, access to vital statistics records kept by the state registrar shall be limited to the state registrar and the state registrar's employees, and then only for administrative purposes. It shall be unlawful for the state registrar to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or permit to be copied all or part of any such record except as authorized by regulation.

However, the following vital statistics records may be inspected and copied as of right under chapter 22 when they are in the custody of a county registrar or when they are in the custody of the state archivist and are at least seventy-five years old:

1.  A record of birth.

2.  A record of marriage.

3.  A record of divorce, dissolution of marriage, or annulment of marriage.

4.  A record of death if that death was not a fetal death.

A public record shall not be withheld from the public because it is combined with data processing software. The state registrar shall not implement any electronic data processing system for the storage, manipulation, or retrieval of vital records that would impair a county registrar's ability to permit the examination of a public record and the copying of a public record, as established by rule. If it is necessary to separate a public record from data processing software in order to permit the examination of the public record, the county registrar shall periodically generate a written log available for public inspection which contains the public record.

Section History: Early form

  [C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, § 144.45; C71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, S81, § 144.43; 81 Acts, ch 64, § 10; 82 Acts, ch 1100, § 2]

Section History: Recent form

  88 Acts, ch 1158, §43; 90 Acts, ch 1025, § 1; 94 Acts, ch 1171, §5; 97 Acts, ch 159, §21

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