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Tangible Interest Marriage License
Birth Certificate Death Certificate

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Tangible Interest

What is the Tangible Interest Law and when is it effective?
Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225, subdivision 7, restricts access to a certified birth or death certificate to a person who has a tangible interest in the requested certificate. This is a new law that is effective August 1, 2000.
       
Who has Tangible Interest?
You have tangible interest in a certificate:
  if you are the subject of the certificate;  
  if you are the child, grandchild, spouse, parent, grandparent, legal custodian, or guardian of the subject;  
  if you are a personal representative of the estate of the subject; or  
  if you are the person who filed or a representative of the organization that filed the birth or death information with the Minnesota  Department of Health (MDH) or a local registrar.
 
You may also be issued a certificate if a person who has tangible interest authorized you to receive the certificate or if you can demonstrate to the state registrar that the certificate is necessary for the determination or protection of a personal or property right.
 
A local, state, or federal government agency may be issued a certificate if it is necessary for the governmental agency to perform its authorized duties.
 
Why Tangible Interest?
Tangible interest is a fraud protection measure. The prevalence of fraud is on the rise and most Minnesota birth and death records are public data. Tangible interest helps protect people who are born in Minnesota and the families of people who die in Minnesota by restricting access to the certificates that are used for most legal purposes such as school registration, applying for a passport or a social security number, or settling an estate.
 
Tangible interest does not change the classification of the data. Public data is still public. Access to private or confidential data is still restricted.
 
For more information, contact the Office of Vital Records at (651) 201-5980, by email at health.issuance@state.mn.us  or by mail to:
  Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, 85 East 7th Place, P.O Box 64499, St. Paul, MN  55164-0499.
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Birth Certificate

How to obtain a Certified Birth Certificate

In Person:
You may request a Certified Birth Certificate from a local registrar at a county office or from MDH.
If you request the certificate in person, you will be asked to complete and sign an application stating that you have Tangible Interest in the certificate. You will be asked to show identification.

By Mail:
  1. Print and complete the Birth Certificate Application Form    Spanish Version
  2. If you are ordering certificates for more than one birth record, complete a separate application form for each record.
  3. Access to some birth records is restricted. See confidential birth information for  more information. A birth certificate cannot be mailed to you unless you demonstrate tangible interest. You demonstrate tangible interest by checking the appropriate box on the application and by having your signature notarized on the application. Applications that are not notarized will not be processed.
  4. Make your Cashier's Check or Money Order payable to Mower County Auditor-Treasurer. Checks returned for nonpayment will be charged a $30 fee according to Minnesota Statutes, subdivision 2, and civil penalties may be imposed for nonpayment.
  5. Mail the completed form and payment to:
      Mower County Auditor/Treasurer
      201 1st ST NE, Suite 5
      Austin MN 55912
 Allow 1 week for processing applications.
 
Non-certified copy of a birth record
 
What is a non-certified copy of a birth record?
A non-certified copy of a birth record is a plain paper copy of the birth record. Changes made to the birth record after 2000 may not be reflected on the non-certified copy if the birth took place before 2001. 
A non-certified copy is for information only and will not be accepted for any legal purpose such as school enrollment or obtaining a drivers license or a passport. If you need a copy for a legal purpose, see certified birth certificate.
Demonstration of tangible interest is not required to obtain a non-certified copy of a birth record. However, release of non-certified copies of confidential birth records is restricted so you will be required to have your signature notarized on the application.
For births that took place prior to 2001, the non-certified copy of the birth record will not include any health information. For births that took place during 2001 and later, the non-certified copy may be requested with or without health information. Health information is classified as private data by Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225, subdivision 2a. If you do not indicate that you are the mother named on the birth record, the health information will not be released. If you request health information, you will be required to have your signature notarized on the application.
   
How to obtain a non-certified copy of a birth record
In Person:
You may request a Non-Certified Birth Certificate from a local registrar at a county office or from MDH.
If you request the certificate in person, you will be asked to complete and sign an application stating that you have Tangible Interest in the certificate. You will be asked to show identification.


By Mail:
  1. Print and complete the Birth Record Application - Non-certified Copy Form
  2. Complete a separate application form for each birth record.
  3.
Follow the directions on the application to determine if you are required to have your signature notarized.
  4. Compute the charges for your order.
      Non-certified copy of a birth record is $13.
      Additional copies of the same record purchased in the same order are $6.
    Optional fees include:
      An Expedite fee is a per-record fee that will place your request ahead of other requests. Most expedited requests are processed within one business day.  An Expedite fee does NOT include Federal Express or other special mailing fees.
      Federal Express Mail Service for next day delivery is $16 for most deliveries. Higher rates apply to Saturday or international service and to deliveries to Alaska and Hawaii.
      VitalChek Network User Fee if you fax your application and pay by credit card is $6.
  5. Make your check or money order payable to Mower County Auditor-Treasurer. Checks returned for nonpayment will be charged a $30 fee according to Minnesota Statutes, section 604.113, subdivision 2, and civil penalties may be imposed for nonpayment.
  6. Mail the completed form and payment to:
      Mower County Auditor-Treasurer
      201 1st ST NE, Suite 5 
      Austin MN 55912
Allow 1 week for processing applications.
 
Changing (amending) a Birth Record
If there is incorrect or missing information on your birth record or on your child's birth record, you may make a request for an amendment. A request for an amendment to a birth record must be made by mail to MDH.
Are you sure you need to amend your birth record or your child's birth record?
Amending a birth record may not be easy because you must prove that the change you want to make is accurate and justified. Before you decide to request an amendment, think of the birth record as historical information about the birth. If information about you or your child has changed since birth, you may not need to amend the birth record. For example, an amendment to a birth record is not made if a woman changes her name when she marries.
Special changes
Some changes cannot be made as an amendment. If you want to add a father to the birth record, see Adding the father's name to the birth record when the parents are not married.
If the parents were not married when the child was born, but married after the child was born, you may change the marital status on the birth record. See Changing the parents' marital status on a birth record
Parents have approximately 45 days from the birth to make corrections to their child's birth record without documentation and at no charge. To help parents make these corrections, a Parent Notice is mailed to the parents within 2-3 weeks of the birth. If you have received a Parent Notice, review the information carefully and, if there are changes, return the Parent Notice. If you do not receive a Parent Notice within 2-3 weeks of your child's birth, contact the local registrar in the county where the birth took place.
 
How to request an amendment to a Birth Record
There are two important steps you must take to request an amendment to a birth record:
1. Collect your documents
If you decide to amend your birth record or your child's birth record, the first step is to gather very specific documents that meet the requirements of Minnesota Rules, part 4601.1100. Pay close attention to the requirements. An amendment cannot be made if you do not provide original or authenticated documents that are in good condition and are the right age. We suggest that you print the Requirements for Documents Submitted to Support the Amendment of a Birth Record for reference.
Most amendments require two documents. The following are special amendments that require only one document.
Adding missing information - You may add information that is missing from a birth record by providing one acceptable document. For example, if part of your name or your child's name is missing on the birth record or if the birth record states "Baby Boy" or "Baby Girl" or "Unknown" for the first or middle name, you may add the first or middle name by providing one acceptable documents.
Court order - If you are having or have had information about yourself or your child changed legally, you may be able to use that court order to change a birth record. However, the court order must specifically state that the birth record is to be changed and what specific items on the birth record are to be changed. Submit a certified copy of the court order.
2. Submit your documents for review
To request an amendment to your birth record or your child's birth record by mail to MDH:
  1. Collect your documents that meet the requirements. Remember that most amendments require two documents.
  2. Complete the Application to Amend a Birth Record
  3. Have your signature on the application  notarized.
  4. Include a $40 amendment fee.
  5. OPTIONAL: Complete the Minnesota Birth Record Application - Certified Birth Certificate and have your signature on the application notarized.
The fee for a certified birth certificate is $26. You can reduce the fee you are required to pay if you return a birth certificate that is in error. To determine the reduced fee, look at the date issued on the bottom of the birth certificate. If the date issued is one year ago or less, you may exchange that certificate for the amended certificate at no charge. If the date issued is more than one year ago, you may exchange that certificate for an amended certificate for a $7 fee.
  6. OPTIONAL: Include a $20 expedite fee. An expedite fee is a per-record fee that will place your request ahead of other requests. Most expedited amendment requests are processed within two business days. An Expedite fee does NOT include Federal Express or other special mailing fees.
Mail your documents, the notarized application(s), and the fee(s) to:
  Minnesota Department of Health
  Office of the State Registrar - Amendments Program
  P.O. Box 9441
  Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440-9441
Your documents will be returned to you
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Death Certificate

How to obtain a Certified Death Certificate
In Person:
  You may request a Certified Death Certificate from a local registrar at a county office or from MDH.
  If you request the certificate in person, you will be asked to complete and sign an application stating that you have Tangible Interest in the certificate. You will be asked to show identification.
By Mail:
  1. Print and complete the Death Certificate Application Form
  2. If you are ordering certificates for more than one death record, complete a separate application for each record.
  3.
Complete the Death Certificate Fee Worksheet to compute the charges for your order.  Applications without fees will not be processed.
  4. A death certificate cannot be mailed to you unless you demonstrate Tangible Interest. You demonstrate tangible interest by checking the appropriate box on the application and by having your signature on the application notarized. Applications that are not notarized will not be processed.
  5. Make your check or money order payable to Minnesota Department of Health. Checks returned for nonpayment will be charged a $30 fee according to Minnesota Statutes, section 604.113, subdivision 2, and civil penalties may be imposed for nonpayment.
  6. Mail the completed form, death certificate fee worksheet, and payment to:
      Mower County Auditor-Treasurer
      201 1st ST NE, Suite 5 
      Austin MN 55912
Allow 1 week for processing applications.
 
Non-certified copy of a death record
What is a non-certified copy of a death record?
A non-certified copy of a death record is a plain paper copy of the death record. Changes made to the death record after 2000 may not be reflected on the non-certified copy if the death took place before 1997.
A non-certified copy is for information only and will not be accepted for any legal purpose, such as settling an estate or applying for life insurance benefits. If you need a copy for a legal purpose, see certified death record.
Demonstration of tangible interest is not required to obtain a non-certified copy of a death record. You may request a non certified copy of a death record with or without cause of death information.
 
How to obtain a non-certified copy of a death record
In Person:
  You may request a Non-Certified Death Certificate from a local registrar at a county office or from MDH.
  If you request the certificate in person, you will be asked to complete and sign an application stating that you have Tangible Interest in the certificate. You will be asked to show identification.
By Mail:
  1. Print and complete the Death Record Application - Non-certified Copy Form
  2. Complete a separate application form for each death record.
  3. Compute the charges for your order.
  The charge for a non-certified copy of a death record is $13.
  Additional copies of the same record purchased in the same order are $6.
  Optional fees include:
  An Expedite fee is a per-record fee that will place your request ahead of other requests.  Most expedited requests are processed within one business day. An Expedite fee does NOT include Federal Express or other special mailing fees.
  Federal Express Mail Service for next day delivery is approximately $16 - $20 for most deliveries. Higher rates apply to Saturday or international service and to deliveries to Alaska and Hawaii.
  VitalChek Network User Fee if you fax your application and pay by credit card is $6.
  4. Make your check or money order payable to Minnesota Department of Health. Checks returned for nonpayment will be charged a $30 fee according to Minnesota Statutes, section 604.113, subdivision 2, and civil penalties may be imposed for nonpayment.
  5. Mail the completed form and payment to:
      Mower County Auditor-Treasurer
      201 1st ST NE, Suite 5 
      Austin MN 55912
 Allow 1 week for processing applications.
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Marriage License

Instructions for Completing Marriage License Application
Application to Request a Certified Record of Marriage
Search for a Minnesota Marriage Certificate
(external site)
Marriage License Application
List of Officiants that will perform marriages
Auditor/Treasurers Office
201 1st Street NE, Suite 5
Austin, MN  55912

(507) 437-9535   fax: (507) 434-2646
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