April 2015 Vital Records News

April 2015

Vital Records News

New payment instructions for security paper

Sekuworks, the vendor that provides Minnesota vital record certificate paper recently changed the address where counties should direct payment for paper orders.

Sekuworks, the vendor doing business as Northern Bank Note, sent notices to Minnesota counties from North Mill Capital LLC in February, 2015, about the payment change. The notices were accurate, but premature.

After those county notices were sent, Sekuworks notified and provided the Minnesota Department of Administration, the holder of the state contract, documentation required to officially change payment instructions for payment of security paper used for Minnesota vital records.

In early March, the Office of Vital Records was informed that the payment changes were official and the state security paper contract was amended. The contract had previously been extended through January 31, 2016.


Payment for security paper should now be made to the following address:

Sekuworks, LLC
P.O. Box 786506
Philadelphia, PA  19178-6506

Overnight delivery via courier should be sent to:

Sekuworks, LLC
Lockbox No. 786506
401 Market Street
Wells Fargo Bank MACY1372-045
Philadelphia, PA  19106

Wire Transfer, ACH or other electronic funds transfer should be sent to:

Wells Fargo Bank, National Association
ABA#121000248 OR
Account No. 4194359741
Reference:  Sekuworks, LLC

Please cal the Local Issuance Support line at OVR if you have questions, 651-201-5998.

Morticians report cremation more frequent than burial

Death is inevitable and certain activities are important for disposition. Morticians and funeral directors assist with funeral arrangements in some way for nearly all of the deaths in Minnesota. They care for the dead and also the living. The Minnesota Department of Health, Mortuary Science Section, licenses and regulates funeral establishments, crematories, alkaline hydrolysis, morticians, interns and funeral directors. They conduct unannounced routine inspections of all funeral establishments and crematories around the state and enforces Minnesota Statute 149A; Funeral Industry Law.

As in most states there are different means for the disposition of human remains. In Minnesota, traditional burial is common. However, there has been an increase in cremation rates throughout most of the state.

In 2014, based on the most current preliminary data, there were 41,493 deaths in Minnesota and 57 percent of those decedents, or 23,355, were cremated. In 2013, the counties with the highest rates of cremation were: Cook, 80 percent; Lake, 77.9 percent; Koochiching, 74.2 percent; Saint Louis, 66.8 percent; and Washington, 66.4 percent.

The Mortuary Science Section also licenses 565 funeral establishments, 61 crematories and two alkaline hydrolysis facilities. Alkaline hydrolysis, popular in Europe and gaining acceptance here, is a chemical form of cremation. The first alkaline hydrolysis unit for funeral home use was licensed in 2012. The only other alkaline hydrolysis unit is used exclusively used by the Mayo Clinic for the disposition of human remains through their Anatomy Bequest Program.

Alkaline hydrolysis uses a combination of heat, pressure and alkali to reduce human remains into a form that can be further mechanically reduced to finer particles.  Although alkaline hydrolysis is not offered by most licensed funeral homes in Minnesota it may become more available as cremation demand increases and funeral establishments expand their services.

MDH also issues individual licenses to practices; currently there are 1,291 licensed Morticians, 26 Interns and five funeral directors. The number of Minnesota funeral directors is low because MDH no longer issues funeral director “only” licenses. Morticians are licensed to perform all aspects of licensed activity including the preparation and the transportation of human remains.

Like funeral directors, morticians meet with families to arrange for the funeral and disposition of their loved ones, complete paperwork, file the death certificate, apply for veteran’s burial benefits, social security benefits, and assist families with insurance assignments, pension and annuities on behalf of the survivor(s).

These staff often help with the transportation of human remains and fetal dispositions. They are an important resource in explaining options and information even to the small number of families and survivors who chose to have home funerals.

More information about home funerals is available in the “Choices” document on the MDH Mortuary Science Section website.

NCHS Records Close Out

Demand is increasing and accurate vital records data is needed faster and faster each year. This year, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) asked all states to report 2014 preliminary vital records numbers by February, 2015. This was an effort to provide a more timely and higher quality preliminary national file.  NCHS contracts with 57 states and jurisdictions for birth, death, and fetal death data to help produce the nation’s official vital statistics.

Minnesota’s first contract date for final close of birth data was March 15, 2015. The Office of Vital Records (OVR) worked with birth registrars and resolved all outstanding issues for validations and verifications as well as any statistical inconsistencies related to the 69,167 births filed last year. To close out a data year all quality issues need to must be resolved according to NCHS standards.

NCHS’s date for final close of death and fetal death data is May 15, 2015. All death records must have both the fact of death and the cause of death completed and they must have any outstanding quality issues resolved. OVR staff worked with funeral directors, physicians, medical examiners and their staff and anticipates no problems in achieving this deadline for the 41,493 deaths in 2014.

The fetal death data has already been resolved and closed out two months ahead of schedule! There were 459 fetal deaths in 2014.

OVR is in good standing with NCHS and is proud to close out 2014 data. We extend a sincere thank you to our partners in vital records for their dedication and commitment in providing accurate and timely data. Together we can all help achieve a better tomorrow one record at a time.

Mission and vision guide Vital Records work

The Office of Vital Records oversees and maintains a reliable statewide system to register, certify, and report vital events. The office works with important partners such as hospitals and funeral establishments to document births and deaths. And the office works with local county vital records offices to provide customer services and assure that death, fetal death, and birth certificates are issued conveniently and without delay.

Our work informs public health and improves lives. Together, we make a difference!



NPHW will be observed from April 6-12, 2015. Organized by the American Public Health Association (APHA), NPHW brings together communities across the U.S. to recognize the contributions of public health workers.

The Minnesota Office of Vital Records (OVR) celebrates your contributions to gathering and registering information to record vital events. Your efforts help Minnesotans navigate life one record at a time while informing public health and improving population outcomes.


State Registrar
Molly Mulcahy Crawford

Deputy State Registrar
Heidi Granlund

Issuance Unit Supervisor and Anti-Fraud Coordinator
Brenda Shinaul

Registration & Amendments Supervisor
Krista Bauer

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