Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–231.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Amendment" means a change to a certification item on a vital record after a vital record has been filed.

(2) "Applicant" means an individual who files information necessary to create a vital record, seeks to amend an existing vital record, or seeks to obtain a copy of, or information from, a vital record.

(3) "Application" means a formal request to an authority for access to vital records, vital event data, and other related documentation. The application requirements for services to be obtained from the Vital Records Division shall be defined by rules issued pursuant to § 7-231.29.

(4) "Attending physician" means the physician who was in charge of the decedent's treatment during the decedent's hospitalization at the time of death.

(5) "Certificate" means the document, paper, or electronically formatted vital record, issued by the Registrar that contains all or a part of the information on the original vital record, that, when issued by the Registrar, has the full force and effect of the original vital record.

(6) "Certification" means an attestation to the accuracy of information contained in a vital record or on a vital event report.

(7) "Certificate item" means any item of information that appears on a certificate that is issued to an applicant.

(8) "Certifier" means an individual required to attest to the accuracy of the information submitted in a vital record or on a vital event report.

(9) "Correction" means a change to a non-certification item on a vital record.

(10) "Court" means the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or an equivalent court from another jurisdiction.

(11) "Day" means a calendar day.

(12) "Dead body" means a human body or the parts of a human body that have been pronounced deceased.

(13) "Death certifier" means either the physician providing treatment at the time of death or the medical examiner investigating the cause and manner of death.

(14) "Department" means the Department of Health.

(15) "Designated representative" means an agent identified in a written and witnessed statement signed by the registrant or a qualified applicant to act on the registrant's or applicant's behalf.

(16) "Disclose" or "disclosure" means to make available or make known personally identifiable information contained in a vital record, by any means of communication.

(17) "Disinter" or "disinterment" means the act of removing a dead body from the place of interment.

(18) "Domestic partner" means an individual who has registered either in accordance with § 32-702(a), or in another jurisdiction that recognizes a substantially similar relationship pursuant to § 23-702(i) . The term "domestic partner" shall not include a domestic partner who is the parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle of a woman who gives birth to a child.

(19) "Domestic partnership" means a relationship between 2 domestic partners as defined in paragraph (18) of this section.

(20) "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by an individual with the intent to attest to the accuracy of the facts in the contract or record.

(21) "Expected death" means a death from a previously diagnosed illness after a prognosis of death in less than 6 months.

(22) "Facts of live birth" means a child's name, date of live birth, place of live birth, and sex, as well as the name or names of no more than 2 parents appearing on the record of live birth.

(23) "Fetal death" means death before the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of human conception, regardless of the duration of pregnancy. Fetal death is indicated when, after the expulsion or extraction, a fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, including beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles. The term "fetal death" shall not include an induced termination of pregnancy.

(24) "File" means a presentation to the Registrar of a vital event report, whether by electronic or other means, for registration in the system of vital records.

(25) "Final disposition" means a burial, interment, cremation, removal from the District, or other authorized disposition of a dead body or fetus.

(26) "IV-D agency" means the organizational unit of the District government, or any successor organizational unit, that is responsible for administering or supervising the administration of the District's State Plan under title IV, part D, of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1975 (88 Stat. 2351; 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.), pertaining to parent locator services, paternity establishment, and the establishment, modification, and enforcement of support orders.

(27) "Funeral director" means an individual licensed by the District to perform the practice of funeral directing or acting under the authority of such an individual, including morticians, undertakers, and embalmers who perform duties included in the practice of funeral directing for which licensure is required in the District.

(28) "Gender identity or expression" means a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual's assigned sex at birth.

(29) "Health research" means a systematic study conforming to or conducted in accordance with generally accepted scientific standards or principles to gain information and understanding about health with the goal of finding ways to improve human health.

(30) "Human remains" means a dead body, or any part of the body of a deceased human being. The term "human remains" shall not include human ashes recovered after cremation.

(31) "Individual" means a natural person.

(32) "Induced termination of pregnancy" means a purposeful interruption of an intrauterine pregnancy with the intention other than to produce a live-born infant, and that does not result in a live birth.

(33) "Informant" means an individual authorized by relationship to the registrant to provide information to complete vital event registration.

(34) "Institution" means any establishment, public or private, that provides in-patient or out-patient medical, surgical, diagnostic care or treatment, nursing, custodial, or domiciliary care, or to which individuals are committed by law.

(35) "Inter-jurisdictional exchange" means a process pursuant to which registration areas agree to exchange vital records, vital events, or vital statistics with the Registrars of other states, territories, and neighboring countries.

(36) "Inter" or "Interment" means the final disposition of human remains by entombment or burial.

(37) "Legal representative" means a licensed attorney representing a registrant or an applicant.

(38) "Live birth" means the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of human conception, regardless of the duration of pregnancy, that, after expulsion or extraction, breathes, or shows any other evidence of life, including beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached.

(39) "Mother" means either a woman who gives live birth to a child in the District or a woman who experiences a pregnancy that results in fetal death.

(40) "Non-certificate item" means any item of information that does not appear on a certificate that is issued to an applicant.

(41) "Order" or "order of the court" means a directive to the Register, signed by a judge of the court, to establish or amend a vital record or produce information contained in a vital record, including a subpoena submitted in accordance with § 13-433.

(42) "Personally identifiable information" means data or other information that, alone, or in combination with other data, can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, including a Social Security number, biometric records, address, place of birth, or mother's maiden name.

(43) "Physician" means an individual authorized to practice medicine or osteopathy in the District.

(44) "Record" means a report of information related to a vital event that the Registrar has accepted for registration.

(45) "Registrant" means an individual to whom a vital record relates.

(46) "Registrar" means the individual appointed by the Director of the Department to administer the system of vital records for the District government.

(47) "Registration" or "register" means the process the Registrar adopts for accepting reports of vital events and incorporating the information into the official records of the Vital Records Division.

(48) "Report" means a document, paper or electronic file, record, or data transmission, containing information related to a vital event submitted by an individual or entity required to submit the information to the Registrar for the purpose of registering a vital event.

(49) "Reportable vital event" means a live birth, death, fetal death, or induced termination of pregnancy.

(50) "Resomation" means a process for the disposal of human remains that produces less carbon dioxide and pollutants than cremation.

(51) "Sealed record" means the original record of a reportable vital event and the evidence submitted to support a change by the Registrar for the purpose of the administration of vital records, that shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of the court or as provided by rules issued pursuant to § 7-231.29.

(52) "Second parent" means a father or same-sex parent that has acknowledged parentage pursuant to § 16-909.01(a), or whose parentage has otherwise been determined pursuant to § 16-909.01(d).

(53) "Security paper" means paper authorized by the Registrar for the issuance of a vital record to authenticate a document or deter manipulation or copying that contains special characteristics including dithered patterns, special inks, watermarks, metallized threads, phosphorescent fibers, holographic images, or microprinting.

(54) "System of vital statistics" or "vital statistics system" means the collection, registration, preservation, amendment, certification, verification, and maintenance of the security and integrity of vital records, vital event data, the collection of other required reports, and related activities, electronic or otherwise, including tabulation, analysis, publication, and dissemination of vital statistics.

(55) "Verification" means a confirmation of information on a vital record based on the facts included in a report.

(56) "Vital event" means either a live birth, death, fetal death, induced termination of pregnancy, marriage, divorce, dissolution of marriage, or annulment.

(57) "Vital record" means a report of live birth, death, fetal death, induced termination of pregnancy, marriage, divorce, dissolution of marriage, or annulment, and data related thereto that have been accepted for registration and incorporated into the official records of the Vital Records Division.

(58) "Vital Records Division" means the Division of the Department or any successor agency that is responsible for the vital statistics system.

(59) "Vital statistics" means the data derived from the records and reports of live birth, death, fetal death, induced termination of pregnancy, marriage, divorce, dissolution of marriage, or annulment and supporting documentation, and related reports.


(Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-164, § 101, 65 DCR 9324.)