Public Law No: 108-458
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004
Sec. 7211. Minimum standards for birth certificates.
(a) Definition.--In this section, the term ``birth certificate'' means a certificate of birth--
(1) for an individual (regardless of where born)--
(A) who is a citizen or national of the United States at birth; and
(B) whose birth is registered in the United States; and
(A) is issued by a Federal, State, or local government agency or authorized custodian of record and produced from birth records maintained by such agency or custodian of record; or
(B) is an authenticated copy, issued by a Federal, State, or local government agency or authorized custodian of record, of an original certificate of birth issued by such agency or custodian of record.
(b) Standards for Acceptance by Federal Agencies.--
(1) In general.--Beginning 2 years after the promulgation of minimum standards under paragraph (3), no Federal agency may accept a birth certificate for any official purpose unless the certificate conforms to such standards.
(2) State certification.--
(A) In general.--Each State shall certify to the Secretary of Health and Human Services that the State is in compliance with the requirements of this section.
(B) Frequency.--Certifications under subparagraph (A) shall be made at such intervals and in such a manner as the Secretary of Health and Human Services, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Commissioner of Social Security, may prescribe by regulation.
(C) Compliance.--Each State shall ensure that units of local government and other authorized custodians of records in the State comply with this section.
(D) Audits.--The Secretary of Health and Human Services may conduct periodic audits of each State's compliance with the requirements of this section.
(3) Minimum standards.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall by regulation establish minimum standards for birth certificates for use by Federal agencies for official purposes that--
(A) at a minimum, shall require certification of the birth certificate by the State or local government custodian of record that issued the certificate, and shall require the use of safety paper or an alternative, equally secure medium, the seal of the issuing custodian of record, and other features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or otherwise duplicating the birth certificate for fraudulent purposes;
(B) shall establish requirements for proof and verification of identity as a condition of issuance of a birth certificate, with additional security measures for the issuance of a birth certificate for a person who is not the applicant;
(C) shall establish standards for the processing of birth certificate applications to prevent fraud;
(D) may not require a single design to which birth certificates issued by all States must conform; and
(E) shall accommodate the differences between the States in the manner and form in which birth records are stored and birth certificates are produced from such records.
(4) Consultation with government agencies.--In promulgating the standards required under paragraph (3), the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall consult with--
(A) the Secretary of Homeland Security;
(B) the Commissioner of Social Security;
(C) State vital statistics offices; and
(D) other appropriate Federal agencies.
(5) Extension of effective date.--The Secretary of Health and Human Services may extend the date specified under paragraph (1) for up to 2 years for birth certificates issued by a State if the Secretary determines that the State made reasonable efforts to comply with the date under paragraph (1) but was unable to do so.