DC VITAL RECORDS - IMPORTANT NOTICES
- 1/19/2023: The District of Columbia’s Department of Health (DC Health) Vital Records office will be closed on Monday, February 20, 2023 in observance of the George Washington Holiday. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to serving you again on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
Providing Record Data
If you are a medical professional, funeral director or other professional in charge of providing information to the DC Vital Records Division (DCVRD), here’s a quick overview of reporting requirements and responsibilities.
The information provided below is for general knowledge purposes. All reports of birth, death and fetal loss must be generated within our vital statistics system.
Filing a birth record:
- Medical facilities must file a birth record within five days of birth using the Electronic Birth Registration System (EBRS).
(D.C. Code § 7–231.08)
- If you are reporting a birth outside of an institution like a hospital, you must make an appointment to begin the application process. This appointment must allow the birth record to be filed within five days of the birth, as required by law. Once all requirements are met, the birth registration process will be completed within 48 hours.
- Supporting documentation such as Consent to Parent, Acknowledgment of Paternity and/or Alternate Surname Form(s), if applicable, must also be filed within five days of the birth.
For birth certificates, the person in charge of the place of birth (or a designee) or the medical provider must:
- Sign a confidentiality agreement.
- Register to use the DCVRD EBRS.
- Use the DCVRD Mother’s Worksheet and Facility Worksheet to collect the required birth data.
(D.C. Code § 7–231.08(e)(1))
- Collect supporting documents if applicable.
- Enter required birth data into the EBRS and complete the EBRS birth record within five days of the date of birth.
- Submit original copies of any supporting documents to the DCVRD within five days of the date of birth.
Filing a fetal death, early-term stillbirth or induced termination of pregnancy:
- Medical facilities must report fetal losses of more than 350 grams or fetal deaths resulting from pregnancies of 20 weeks or greater gestation (as calculated from the mother’s last normal menses period to the date of delivery) within five days of the delivery via the DC Vital Records Division Electronic Fetal Death Registration System. (D.C. Code § 7–231.14)
- Data providers must report induced termination of pregnancy (when deliberate steps are taken to end a pregnancy) to the DCVRD within five days after delivery, completing all required demographic and medical fields in the Electronic Fetal Death Registration System. Data providers should select “elective abortion” to redact child and parent names and addresses from these records and click “validate/complete” once the record is completed. (D.C. Code § 7–231.15)
- Early-term stillbirths resulting from pregnancies between eight to 19 weeks gestation (as calculated from the mother’s last normal menses period to the date of delivery) shall be filed with the DCVRD using the Electronic Fetal Death Registration System.
- If the parents want a funeral services provider to dispose of remains, the medical facility must provide a copy of the fetal death certificate and disposition transit permit to the funeral service provider upon release of the remains.
Filing a death record:
- A death record must be filed within five days of death and before final disposition of the deceased’s remains.(D.C. Code § 7–231.12)
- A disposition transit permit is required before removing remains from the place of death (hospital, nursing home, residence, etc.).
- If you are planning cremation or donation, the funeral director must obtain a disposition approval from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner via the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS).
For death certificates, medical professionals and funeral directors must:
- Sign a confidentiality agreement.
- Register to use the DCVRD Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS).
- Within 48 hours of the death, the medical certification, which includes manner and cause of death, must be completed and signed in the EDRS (D.C. Code § 7–231.12(f)) by the physician certifier (the physician in charge of patient care for the condition resulting in the death or an associate physician, a chief medical officer, the physician who performed the autopsy, or a medical examiner).
- If the death is expected and out of institution, the physician certifier or a registered nurse delivering treatment may sign the pronouncement of death, which includes date, place and time of death.
- Funeral directors can obtain personal data from the next of kin or best qualified person or source available. They must facilitate completion of medical certification by entering the physician’s name into the EDRS and informing the physician of how to contact the DCVRD to gain EDRS access. (D.C. Code § 7–231.12(b))
Useful resources for data providers
You do not need to provide the actual certificate to show proof of a relationship. The DC Department of Health can use the certificate number to verify information.
- DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Website
- US Standard Birth Certificate Format (sample of US standards, not for actual use)
- US Standard Death Certificate Format (sample of US standards, not for actual use)
- US Standard Fetal Death Certificate Format (sample of US standards, not for actual use)
- EBRS Mothers Worksheet for Child’s Birth Certificate
- EBRS Facility Worksheet for Child’s Birth Certificate
- Birth Record Alternate Surname Form
- Disinterment Permit Application and Instructions
- Birth Amendment Application and Requirements
- Death Amendment Application for Funeral Directors and Requirements
- OCME Death Amendment Application
Training for funeral service providers and medical facility staff
Training modules to assist system users and improve the quality of data derived from birth and death records are accessible via the Electronic Birth and Death Registration Systems. The modules are designed for nurses, birthing center staff, physicians, hospital administrators, supervisors, midwives, and the staff of funeral services providers, especially those who are responsible for collecting and entering the birth and death information into the system.
EBRS users can also access a Birth Certificate e-Learning Training, which the National Center for Health Statistics developed to work with the updated Guide to Completing the Facility Worksheets for the Certificate of Live Birth and Report of Fetal Death.
To schedule a live training or for help accessing the training modules, please contact [email protected]