June Vital Records News

June 2015

Vital Records News

Social Security EAB

Enumeration at Birth (EAB) is an automated process that works in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Vital Records (OVR) to assign Social Security Numbers (SSNs) to newborns. It's a convenient service option for parents who need an SSN for their child.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two processes to issue social security cards to U.S.-born citizens under age 1.

  • Parents, or other proper applicants on behalf of the child, can apply for SSNs through local SSA field offices by submitting the appropriate evidence of age, identity and U.S. citizenship for the child, as well as evidence of identity for the person applying on behalf of the child;
  • A parent, when providing birth registration information at the hospital or birthing center, may request that an SSN be assigned to the newborn.

A question added to the birth registration form allows parents to voluntarily request a SSN for their newborn child. Hospital or birthing center personnel collect the data necessary for Enumeration and send it to OVR, which then transmits it to the SSA.

Note:  U.S. born children are generally considered to be U.S. citizens, and as such, are eligible for SSNs without regard to their parents’ immigration status.


EAB is voluntary for parents and hospitals. If "Request SSN" is answered ‘yes’ in the Minnesota Registration and Certification (MR&C) System, a social security number is automatically requested for the child when the birth record is filed.  If "Request SSN" is answered ‘no’ in MR&C, then the parents need to go to a Social Security office in person to request a card for their child.

Birth registrars play a vital role in accurately filing the records. It is, therefore, important that they strictly follow SSA guidelines while entering the records in MR&C. Registrars are also notified of any data entry corrections that are made in the SSA file and MR&C to prevent birth records from being rejected.

Common Reasons why SSA can’t issue a card:

  • Baby boy or Baby girl
  • Space after apostrophe
  • Space before and after hyphen between names
  • Period after initials

For more information, please consult the Social Security Administration website or call 1-800-772-1213 for the national office. The Twin Cities Card Center can be reached at 612-870-2040.

Quality Improvements Underway for Death Registration

Group photo

Kaizen Team Members, May 18-22

Front row: Molly Crawford, State Registrar OVR; Roberta Geiselhart, Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office; Otto Hiller, MDH-MN.IT; Lia Katz, Association of State and Territorial Health Organization; Roxane Somers, OVR; Melinda Allen, Arkansas State Registrar.Middle row: Usha Valappil, OVR; Kirsti Taipale, OVR, Andrea Price National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Services; Maria Schaff, OVR; Cindy Coleman, OVR; Cheri Denardo, OVR; Nancy Bollman, OVR; Gloria Haluptzok, OVR; Lynn Pittman, Mississippi Vital Records Office; Larry Winship, MDH MN.IT; Back row: Rick Carlson, Minneapolis Public Health; Heidi Granlund, Deputy Registrar OVR; Matt Rowe, National Center for Health Statistics.

During an intensive week-long process improvement event, staff at the Office of Vital Records (OVR), along with external partners and subject-matter experts, developed an action plan to improve death registration. The event was part of a national quality demonstration project to enable improvement across federal, state, and local public health agencies sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Minnesota Death Data Delivery project provided OVR with resources to examine its current process, identify waste, confirm value, and make improvements to the quality and timeliness of death data.

Given the more than 41,500 deaths occurring in Minnesota each year, and the many steps involved in registering both fact and cause of death, OVR chose to focus on decreasing the time it takes to provide quality death data. For families, that means having more certificates that have both the fact of death and the cause of death available within 10 days—an expected increase from the current 81 percent to more than 91 percent over the next few months.

In addition, the project team expects that local public health staff and users of death data will have data available to them much sooner than ever before. Beginning in mid-June, the project expects to share real-time death data with ICD-10 codes within one week of OVR receiving the codes from the National Center for Health Statistics at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Office of Vital Records will share coded records in real-time by posting a weekly file on a secure site so that public health agencies can access the data. Currently, the Minnesota Department of Health shares only final data files on a routine and regular basis—long after the death occurred. By mid-June the first file will be available, bringing wait time for data down from as long as 22 months to just one week!

The project also expects additional gains from the quality improvement efforts in:

  • Reducing labor and resources necessary through more systemization to automate manual processes.
  • Incorporating disposition into the new process so that cremation authorization approval is better aligned with the death registration process.
  • Maximizing the Minnesota Registration and Certification (MR&C) electronic system by onboarding more physicians and by decreasing the amount of paper processing.

Over the next few months, the OVR will be phasing in new programming and system functionality. And the office will be working to provide better support and tools to funeral establishments so data is accurate, physicians who complete the death record are identified correctly, and data is available to families and public health agencies much sooner.

Look for updates and other communications to announce changes and how they may affect you.


June 9-10: The Office of Vital Records (OVR) will exhibit at the Minnesota Association of County Officers (MACO) summer conference in Deerwood, Minn.

Usha Valappil recently joined OVR as our newest Field Services Representative.

She has worked as a health educator and has a Master of Science degree in Public Health. She also has worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Usha says she is excited to put her public health knowledge and skills to work at OVR.

OVR thanks Lolly Fredrickson from Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel; Barbara Olson from Hennepin County; and Joan Boesen from Olmsted County for hosting site visits and job shadowing for Usha.


State Registrar
Molly Mulcahy Crawford

Deputy State Registrar
Heidi Granlund

Issuance Unit Supervisor and Anti-Fraud Coordinator
Brenda Shinaul

Registration & Amendments Supervisor
Krista Bauer

Adoptions & Birth Amendments
Birth Certificates
Death Amendments
Death Certificates
Local Issuance Help
MR&C Help