Governor signs bill to close Maine records

Posted April 05, 2010, at 10:07 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill to restrict the release of Mainers’ birth, marriage and death records has been signed into law. Supporters say the law will prevent fraud and identity theft based on those records.

The bill signed Friday by Gov. John Baldacci would restrict release of those records to the person on the document and that person’s spouse or domestic partner, parents or guardians, descendants and designated agent or attorney.

Maine’s current law allows release of those vital records to anyone who asks for them. The new law allows general release of those records after 100 years.

The bill was amended to allow inspection of vital records by genealogists and researchers who carry researcher identification cards.

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