Substitute Senate Bill No. 301
          Substitute Senate Bill No. 301

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-258

AN ACT CONCERNING  ACCESS  TO GENEALOGICAL RECORDS
AND THE VALIDATION OF CERTAIN MARRIAGES.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Section   7-41a  of  the  general
statutes, as amended  by  sections  12  and  21 of
public act 95-257,  is  repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    All  records  of  vital  statistics  including
births, marriages and deaths in the custody of any
registrar of vital statistics or of the Department
of Public Health shall be open for research to any
member  of  a   [legally  incorporated]  genealogy
society INCORPORATED OR  AUTHORIZED TO DO BUSINESS
OR  CONDUCT  AFFAIRS   IN   THIS  STATE  and  such
societies  shall  be   permitted   to  incorporate
statistics    derived    therefrom     in    their
publications.
    Sec. 2. Section  7-51 of the general statutes,
as amended by  sections  12  and  21 of public act
95-257,  is  repealed   and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    With  the exception  of  the  chief  executive
officer  of the  municipality  or  his  authorized
agent, the local  director of health, attorneys at
law,  title  examiners  and  members  of  [legally
incorporated] genealogical societies  INCORPORATED
OR AUTHORIZED TO DO BUSINESS OR CONDUCT AFFAIRS IN
THIS STATE, no  person,  except  the  person whose
birth is recorded,  if over eighteen years of age,
HIS  CHILDREN  OR   SPOUSE  or  his  parent,  [or]
guardian OR GRANDPARENT if a minor, shall have any
access to or  be permitted to examine the original
or any copy  of  the  birth  certificate  or birth
record, of any  person,  nor shall he disclose any
matters  contained  therein   or  any  information
concerning such birth,  which  original,  copy  or
information is in  the custody of any registrar of
vital statistics or  of  the  Department of Public
Health, or shall he be entitled to any copy of any
such certificate, record  or  information,  except
upon written order  of  a  court of record or upon
written  request of  a  state  department  or  the
federal government when approved by the Department
of Public Health.
    Sec. 3. Section  7-51a of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    [Notwithstanding  the  provisions  of  section
7-51, persons acting  under  the  direction  of  a
legally incorporated genealogical society shall be
permitted to copy  the  vital  records,  including
birth,  death  and   marriage  records  and  their
indexes, of any  municipality.  The  provisions of
this  section shall  apply  only  to  those  vital
records of a  municipality  which are not included
in the Barbour  Collection  and  which  relate  to
events which occurred  prior to the year 1900. All
copies made under  the  provisions of this section
shall be reduced  to microfilm and shall be placed
in  the custody  of  the  state's  Public  Records
Administrator who shall make such microfilm copies
available   to  the   public   for   purposes   of
genealogical research at the State Library. If any
vital records for  the  periods  specified in this
section have been  microfilmed,  the person having
custody of the  microfilm  negatives  shall permit
their use for  the  purposes  of  this section. No
expense arising from  activities  permitted  under
this section shall  be  paid  by  the state or any
municipality. Nothing in  this  section  shall  be
construed to be  in  derogation of any other right
of public access to vital records conferred by any
other  provision of  the  general  statutes.]  ANY
PERSON EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER MAY PURCHASE
COPIES OF MARRIAGE  AND  DEATH RECORDS, AND COPIES
OF  RECORDS OF  BIRTHS  WHICH  ARE  AT  LEAST  ONE
HUNDRED YEARS OLD, IN THE CUSTODY OF ANY REGISTRAR
OF VITAL STATISTICS.  DURING  ALL  NORMAL BUSINESS
HOURS,   MEMBERS   OF    GENEALOGICAL    SOCIETIES
INCORPORATED  OR  AUTHORIZED  TO  DO  BUSINESS  OR
CONDUCT AFFAIRS IN  THIS STATE SHALL (1) HAVE FULL
ACCESS TO ALL  VITAL RECORDS IN THE CUSTODY OF ANY
REGISTRAR   OF   VITAL    STATISTICS,    INCLUDING
CERTIFICATES, LEDGERS, RECORD  BOOKS,  CARD FILES,
INDEXES    AND    DATABASE    PRINTOUTS,    EXCEPT
CONFIDENTIAL FILES ON  ADOPTIONS, (2) BE PERMITTED
TO  MAKE  NOTES  FROM  SUCH  RECORDS  AND  (3)  BE
PERMITTED TO PURCHASE COPIES OF SUCH RECORDS.
    Sec.  4.  Section   46b-22a   of  the  general
statutes, as amended  by  section  1 of public act
95-6, is repealed and the following is substituted
in lieu thereof:
    All  marriages,  celebrated  before [April 13,
1995] THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF  THIS  ACT,  otherwise
valid except that the justice of the peace joining
such persons in marriage  did  not  have  a  valid
certificate of qualification, are validated.
    Sec. 5. This  act  shall  take effect from its
passage, except that  sections  1 to 3, inclusive,
shall take effect October 1, 1996.

Approved June 10, 1996