As of July 12, 2010 a new law preventing fraudulent use of vital records went into effect. The State now requires an application be submitted along with photo ID, and proof of lineage or direct and legitimate interest when requesting vital records. Vital records include birth certificates, fetal death, and death certificates, marriage certificates, and domestic partner registrations.Vital Records are categorized in the following areas:
Completely Open records – these are the records a municipality houses that have an occurrence date prior to January 1, 1892.
Open records – the following records are “open” once the number of years has passed since the date of the occurrence – Births 75 years; Marriages 50 years; Deaths 25 years; and Fetal Deaths 50 years. No identification or documentation is required in order to purchase a non-certified copy of a birth, death or marriage record that is considered "open". Certified copies of these birth, death or marriage records do require identification and documentation establishing their direct and legitimate interest in order to be purchased.
Closed records – the following records are “closed” until the number of years has passed since the date of occurrence to classify them as open - Births 75 years; Marriages 50 years; Deaths 25 years; and Fetal Deaths 50 years. Identification and documentation establishing their direct and legitimate interest is required in order to purchase a certified or non-certified copy of a "closed" birth, death, or marriage record.
Birth, Marriage, and Death records are available by submitting a vital records request form to the City Clerk’s Office along with the proper fee, photo ID, and proof of lineage or direct and legitimate interest. The fee for a record is $15 for the first copy and $6 for each additional copy of the same record purchased at the same time. Pay in person or pay online.
More information on this issue may be found at http://www.mainepublichealth.gov/.