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Request for Use of Data with Identifiers and Statement of Assurances

 

DC VITAL RECORDS - IMPORTANT NOTICES

 

DC Health VITAL RECORDS is moving.  Effective, Tuesday, February 27, 2024, our new location is 2201 Shannon Place SE 1st Floor.

 

  • The District of Columbia’s Department of Health (DC Health) will be closed on Monday, February 19, 2024,  in observance of President's Day.
    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to serving you again on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

    • El Departamento de Salud del Distrito de Columbia (DC Health) estará cerrado el lunes 19 de febrero de 2024, en conmemoración del Día del Presidente.  Nos disculpamos por cualquier inconveniente que esto pueda causar y esperamos atenderlo nuevamente el martes 20 de febrero de 2024.

 

  • The District of Columbia’s Department of Health (DCHealth) Vital Records Office will exclusively offer appointment services from Tuesday, February 20, 2024, to Thursday, February 22, 2024.  Walk-up services will not be available during this period. 

    The office will be closed on Friday, February 23, 2024, and Monday, February 26, 2024, and will return to normal hours of operation on Tuesday, February 27, 2024

    • La Oficina de Registros Vitales del Departamento de Salud (DCHealth) del Distrito de Columbia ofrecerá exclusivamente servicios de citas desde el martes 20 de febrero de 2024 hasta el jueves 22 de febrero de 2024. Los servicios sin cita previa no estarán disponibles durante este período.

      La oficina estará cerrada el viernes 23 de febrero de 2024 y el lunes 26 de febrero de 2024, y volverá a su horario normal de atención el martes 27 de febrero de 2024.

Requesting Vital Records Data for Administrative or Research Purposes

Any person, institution, agency or office can request data from the Vital Records Division. Applicants must demonstrate direct and tangible interest, administrative use or statistical purpose for vital records data. Direct and tangible interest is when a vital record is required for the protection of a personal or property right. Statistical purpose is defined as the use of data to describe, estimate, or analyze the characteristics of groups, without identifying individual respondents.

(D.C. Code § 7–231.24)

WHAT are you allowed to use Vital Records data for?

Unless mandated by federal or District of Columbia law or ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction*, you CANNOT use vital records for legal, administrative, or other actions that directly affect a particular individual or establishment. However, Vital Records Division data ARE often requested for health statistical, epidemiological, and other research activities under strict confidentiality requirements and data security protections.

*Subpoenas and Orders may be required to be domesticated through DC Superior Court.

How do you serve a subpoena on DC Vital Records?

All subpoenas must be served and found legally sufficient by DC Health's General Counsel before an application can be processed.

You may email a completed subpoena to [email protected] for initial review, before mailing or delivering the original. You may mail or deliver your subpoena in person to: Attn: CSCO Vital Records Division District of Columbia Department of Health 899 North Capitol Street, NE 1st Floor Washington, DC 20002

Please review the Subpoena Request Instruction Sheet for details on how to place an order and make payment once General Counsel has found the subpoena sufficient.

HOW are Vital Records data protected?

Each request is reviewed to determine whether the intended use of the data conforms to established standards of confidentiality.

Data kept confidential by law includes births, deaths (including fetal deaths), marriages, divorces, and domestic partnerships, as well as any other supporting document used to amend vital records.

Data permitting the identification of any particular individual or establishment can ONLY be disclosed under specified conditions designed to protect the privacy of, or prevent potential harm to, those who provided the data.

Each use of the data must be approved by the State Registrar. This includes use of data for a different purpose when the original stated use has already been approved.

Vital records are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

HOW do I submit a request for record-level data containing personally identifying information (PII) for research purposes?

  • Download the request form or request a copy by mailing the
    DC Registrar
    899 North Capitol Street, NE , First Floor
    Washington, DC 20002
    or calling 202-442-5955.
  • This form includes a Statement of Assurances that the data will be used only for the proposed study and that the data’s confidentiality will be protected. You will need to sign this.
  • You will also need to get Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from the District of Columbia’s Department of Health Institutional Review Board for Public Health or approval by any IRB constituted according to federal guidelines for the protection of human subjects. You will need to include the approval letter with your request.
  • Send the completed Request Application form (the original form, not a copy) to:
    The Registrar Vital Records Division State Center for Health Statistics
    DC Department of Health
    899 North Capitol Street, NE , First Floor
    Washington, DC 20002

HOW do I submit a request for administrative purposes?

Send an email to [email protected] outlining the purpose and information needed from unidentifiable data.

WHAT should I know about the request process?

  • You must submit a separate request form for EACH project that uses Vital Records Division data.
  • Failure to provide sufficient detail may delay review or prevent approval.
  • Allow 30 days for your request to be processed.
  • For ongoing research projects, you must resubmit each year an IRB approval and signed Statement of Assurances that includes your Vital Records approved request/application number.