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Assembly Panel Approves McKnight & Chiaravalloti Bill Allowing Jersey City to Resume Issuing Birth Certificates After Security Concerns Prompted Moratorium

An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight and Nicholas Chiaravalloti that would allow Jersey City to resume issuing certified copies of birth certificates after security compromises in 2004 forced the state to mandate that they could only be obtained from Trenton.

“This moratorium has forced Jersey City residents to trudge all the way to Trenton to obtain a copy of their birth certificate, resulting in unwanted delays and added costs,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “This bill will once again allow residents born in Jersey City to obtain a copy in the same simplified manner as other state residents.”

“This is a headache that residents born outside of Jersey City have not been subjected to because they can access their birth certificates quickly and easily by requesting it at their local vital statistics office,” said Chiaravolloti (D-Hudson). “This bill will eliminate that aggravation and allow Jersey City’s Vital Statistics Office to once again service all requests.”

In 2004, the Department of Health (DOH) determined that some birth certificates issued in Jersey City were not valid and the security of the vital records was compromised. As a result, DOH mandated that anyone born in Jersey City, who was seeking a certified copy of their birth certificate for identification purposes, in order to obtain a passport or driver’s license, would have to either obtain the birth certificate directly from DOH in Trenton or use the web-based system available through the DOH website.

The bill (A-3625) would require the Commissioner of Health, no later than September 1, 2017, to authorize the Jersey City Vital Statistics Office to issue certified copies of birth certificates, upon request, to persons born in Jersey City who present all required documentation and pay any required fees for the certificate.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee. It would take effect immediately upon enactment.