How to Use Maine’s New Proposed Bill to Check Public Records

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A new bill has been developed and is going through the proposal process in Maine. Records would only be shown to the person on it, to an agent or their attorney, available in public records for the past 100 years. Although this is regulation, it has rarely been enforced, leading to lax compliance. After 100 years from the date of the death, marriage, or birth certificate, the records would be available to the public with the new bill, LD 1781. LD 1781 is a statute that permits vital records to be filed electronically. It also allows them to be sealed against the possibility of fraud.

Applying LD 1781 to genealogists would mean that they would find it difficult to gain access to the records unless they could prove they were an agent and submit a notarized letter to that effect. This is why ancestry experts would probably charge the family for this additional cost.

The majority of these documents from the past sixty years have been filed electronically already; this is a choice for ancestry experts who must investigate public records. Maine public records on births, deaths, marriages and divorce through 1955 are stored on microfilm. Marriage certificates issued between 1892 and 1966 are available online. A Certificate of Death, listing place and day of expiration, can be found on the web. LD 1781 is not going to impact governmental records or other kinds.

U.S Census and media data have been made available to the common citizens also. This includes the decade of the 1920s. The Maine records can be seen at both, the University of Maine and the Maine State Archives. The record will reveal the name of the person, how old the person is, as well as the birth state. It also was for where individual’s parents were born. Over the last 6 years, Bangor’s Daily News edition published death notices on the web.

Other than genealogists, LD 1781 would affect the Maine tourist business, too. While trying to find public records, tourists often stay in hotels, eat at local restaurants, and frequent shops. If they can’t get certificate information about a birth, death, or marriage, they don’t have a reason to travel to Maine. Individuals might want records for other relatives besides just their grandparents.

Luckily, the bill is yet to reach the House of Representatives or the Senate. Fiscal reviewers must take a look at the bill in order to ascertain what the cost will be. Get in touch with your state representative as well as your senator, and let them know what you think of the LD 1781 before it becomes law.

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