April 2018 Vital Records News

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Vital Records News

April 2018

Parents need current application to get certificates to claim tax credit

Hospitals must report fetal deaths of 20 weeks or more gestation to the Office of Vital Records. Parents who experience these fetal deaths may request a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth—a legal document that is available only from the Office of Vital Records. The certificates print on security paper that meets the same fraud prevention standards as other vital records certificates. Parents who have experienced a fetal death (stillbirth) in Minnesota may be eligible for a refundable credit of $2,000 from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. To claim the tax credit, the parents must have a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.

Hospitals please note—parents who request this certificate must use the current (12/2017) application for a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. When the Office of Vital Records receives a request made on an out-of-date form, it must reject the request because required language about the tax credit is missing on old forms. Please help parents get the correct application so that OVR can fulfill their request without delay. Some of the parents who have had their requests rejected have told OVR that they got the old form from well-meaning staff at the hospital.

Help parents going through this difficult experience find success. Check to make sure that the forms you give to parents are current. See the Minnesota Department of Revenue Credit for Parents of Stillborn Children page for information about the tax credit. The Office of Vital Records Birth Resulting in Stillbirth page has detailed information about requesting a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.

MR&C password management changes coming

Did you read ‘Forgot your MR&C password?’ or MDH Technology Moving to the Cloud’ in the March and February issues of Vital Records News? If you have not read these articles, or the information below, and you use MR&C, take a moment to prepare for password management changes coming in mid-May.

OVR is using Keycloak, a new tool to manage MR&C passwords.

MR&C and Keycloak work seamlessly together. When MR&C starts to use Keycloak, all users must create new passwords before logging into MR&C. If you know your user name, this will be very easy:

  1. Click on the “Forgot password” link on the MR&C login page.
  2. Enter your user name and ‘Submit’.
  3. Within moments, find an email with a link to Keycloak in your inbox – click on the link.
  4. Enter your new password, confirm it and ‘Submit’.
  5. Go back to MR&C and log in as usual.

Once you have confirmed your user account with a new password, Keycloak is invisible – until you need to change your password, you forget it, or it expires. No secret questions. No waiting through a weekend or holiday until OVR staff are back in the office to unlock or reset your password. As long as you know your user name, you will be able to change your password for any reason at any time.

Keycloak is scheduled to “go live” mid-May. Watch for more information.

Possible law change to address long-standing inequity

Minnesota legislation that would grant American Indian tribes the same access to vital records information as currently granted to local public health and local units of government, is working its way through the legislative process. 

The bill, HF 3366 (Zerwas) and SF 3019 (Nelson), has been heard in committees and is awaiting action by the full House and Senate bodies. The bill addresses a provision in Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225 that prohibits tribal health professionals and tribal child support workers from accessing critical information about births in their communities and using that information to provide effective services to at-risk mothers and babies and support to families. The bill also allows tribal governments tangible interest to get legal birth certificates issued from public records as other local, state, and federal government programs do.

The legislature has until May 21, 2018, to approve the bill and send it to the Governor for his signature. 


Cremation approval subject to fees

Effective for 2018, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office charges a $50 fee for cremation approvals. This move follows other large offices such as Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office that implemented fees in prior years. Minnesota Statutes, section 390.15 allows coroners and medical examiners to charge fees to approve cremations and fees for reports, other administrative functions, and to recover reasonable expenses, such as bags to transport decedents.

Please direct all questions about medical examiner and coroner fees to the medical examiner or coroner’s office in the jurisdiction where the death occurred.

In Brief...

Birth document translations


The ‘Birth Certificate Application’ and the ‘Worksheet and instructions for creating your child’s birth record’ Hmong, Karen, Somali and Spanish translation drafts are at the Office of Vital Records (OVR).

If you are fluent in any of the languages above, or know someone who is, OVR is looking for individuals to review the translations. We want to determine if the translations are clear and the text sounds natural in the target language before accepting the documents. Please contact Kirsti.taipale@state.mn.us if you or someone you know can assist.

Medical Examiners / Coroners – new form

MR&C has a ‘table’ of medical examiners and coroners by county.

The function of the ‘table’ is to get email messages to the appropriate MEs or coroners when death records are ‘Referred to ME’ or when final disposition needs approval. The ‘table’ is also behind the Coroner/M.E. Lookup function on the Office of Vital Records webpages for medical certifiers and morticians.

There is a new Medical Examiner / Coroner Update form. Please use the form to:

  • Add a medical examiner or coroner (physicians only) to a county
  • Inform the Office of Vital Records (OVR) about jurisdiction changes, and,
  • Authorize OVR staff to remove the names of the former medical examiners/coroners for the county from the table
  • Help OVR maintain an accurate MR&C listing of coroners and medical examiners

MCRA Summer Conference - June 12 -15, 2018

The Minnesota County Recorders Association (MCRA) Summer Conference is June 12-15, 2018 in Deerwood, Minnesota.

The Vitals session is on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 from 9 a.m. to noon. The interactive session with the Office of Vital Records promises to be lively.

The session on MOMS/DADS/VAC is on Tuesday, from 1:00 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Register for the MCRA Summer Conference to attend the sessions above.

On Facebook, look for MCRA Conference.

Office of Vital Records Outreach

  • April 19, 2018 - Saint Paul - Birth Registration 101 - there are a few seats left - to register email health.MRCAdmin@state.mn.us with Birth Registration 101 in the subject line
  • April 24, 2018 - Proctor - Arrowhead Funeral Directors Conference - OVR presentation
  • April 25-27, 2018 - Prior Lake - Minnesota Health Information Management Association Annual Meeting - OVR presentation and exhibit
  • May 21-23, 2018 - Bloomington - Minnesota Funeral Directors Association Annual Convention - OVR presentation and exhibit
  • May 24, 2018 - Rochester - Olmsted Medical Center - Cause of death training
  • June 4-7, 2018 - Miami - National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) Annual Meeting