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Archiver > GEN-NYS > 2004-12 > 1102945535

From: Jean Snow <>
Subject: Bill 2845
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 05:45:35 -0800

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Please note (and perhaps forward to lists you've sent the earlier notice
to) this update, which came from the NYOneida-L. The sender said there is a
problem with the "Thomas" data, as it is not up-to-date:

From: "Pam Anderson" <>
Subject: Re: [NYONEIDA-L] New Bill Will Close Records to Genealogists

There was HR 10 in the House and S 2845 in the Senate. Each passed a
different version so a Conference committee was appointed. This section on
birth certificates was aimed at
preventing terrorists from having multiple identities and thus making them
more difficult to track. I would like to point out that "Thomas" does not
post information in a timely fashion and when I last checked you could not
find the language that passed by checking on S 2845. If you tried, you got
three versions but not the Conference Committee version.
Congress has already passed a version of the National Intelligence Act and
the President has said he will sign it. There is no line item veto at the
federal level so he can't resolve our problem unless he vetoes the entire
bill and that's not going to happen. The actual language appears in the
Conference Committee report at:
You need to look at Section 7211 for the language. This language is
slightly better than the original bill. There may be a chance to amend this
when Congress returns next year to make it clear that obtaining a birth
certificate for genealogical purposes is not for fraudulent purposes. Rep.
James Sensenbrenner was one of those who held up the bill because he wanted
a section to prevent illegal aliens from having drivers licenses because the
hijackers had multiple drivers licenses at the time of 9/11 even with
expired visas. Sensenbrenner had been assured that his bill will come up
for a vote early in the session.

How this part of the bill is interpreted will make all the difference. (3)
MINIMUM STANDARDS.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of
this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall by regulation
establish minimum standards for birth certificates for use by Federal
agencies for official purposes that-- (A) at a minimum, shall require
certification of the birth certificate
by the State or local government custodian of record that issued the
certificate, and shall require the use of safety paper or an alternative,
equally secure medium, the seal of the issuing custodian of record, and
other features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or otherwise
duplicating the birth certificate for fraudulent purposes;
(B) shall establish requirements for proof and verification of identity
as a condition of issuance of a birth certificate, with additional security
measures for the issuance of a birth certificate for a person who is not the

(C) shall establish standards for the processing of birth certificate
applications to prevent fraud;

(D) may not require a single design to which birth certificates issued
by all States must conform; and

(E) shall accommodate the differences between the States in the manner
and form in which birth records are stored and birth certificates are
produced from such records.

If the standards allow for uncertified birth certificates which could not be
used for identification, then there may be no problem. This does allow for
security measures for a certificate going to someone other than the person
named on the certificate. At this point we really need more information
from those who will interpret this language. It is a waste of time to write
to Congress about voting against a bill that has already passed.

Pam Anderson

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