New birth record forms offeredIn an effort to stop the widespread illegal copying of birth records, Kathleen Walsh, St. Croix County register of deeds, said Thursday her office is distributing new forms.
In an effort to stop the widespread illegal copying of birth records, Kathleen Walsh, St. Croix County register of deeds, said Thursday her office is distributing new forms.
The forms, created by the state vitals office, allow agencies that require documentation or proof of age to take the required information from the birth certificate without making a photocopy or keeping a certified copy of a birth certificate.
Walsh said the Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association is continually working to prevent identify theft, and birth records are one of the most commonly used documents for fraud.
It is illegal under Wisconsin law to photocopy a vital record such as birth, marriage or death certificates and use them for a legal document.
Birth records have a multitude of uses: for children starting school, work permits and driver’s licenses. They also serve as a proof of age for participation in sports and other activities.
The document will become more important as federal mandates make birth certificates the only acceptable proof for any federal program, such as acquiring passports and registering for Social Security, said Walsh.
Walsh advises people to keep vital records in a secure place such as a safe deposit box because they are useful to identity thieves. Persons are also reminded to retrieve the certified copy of a vital record after it has been presented to an agency for proof of age.
The new forms are available online at www.wrdaonline.org from the Wisconsin Register of Deeds. For more information, contact the St. Croix County register of deeds office at (715) 386-4652.