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Extract from Dick Eastman's today's online Newsletter.
For the interest of those members whose research takes them to South Dakota.
Compromise Reached on South Dakota Public Records
A stalemate has been broken in South Dakota. The state Health Department
wanted to restrict access to birth, death, and marriage certificates. Their
reasoning was "to help prevent identity theft and increase the security of
some public records for anti-terrorism purposes."
Genealogists and South Dakota media outlets argued that such restrictions
would bar those who have legal access needs. Representing the State
Genealogical Society, Virginia Hanson explained that copies of birth, death
and marriage records are important to those who are doing historical
research or just trying to trace their family histories. She added that
genealogy is the fastest growing hobby in the country, and people seeking
those records for honorable purposes should not be cut off.
"Don't punish the innocent as well as the guilty," Hanson said.
A Health Department amendment to the pending legislation will allow people
to obtain copies of the original records, but not certified copies that
could allow for identity theft or be used for other fraudulent purposes.