Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–231.16. Judicial proceedings to register a vital record.

(a) Entitled individuals may submit an application to register an out-of-institution birth, delayed birth, or delayed death. If an application to register a record is denied, the applicant may file a complaint with the court for an order to register the record. The court shall provide notice of the proceeding to the Registrar. A petition filed under this section shall be governed by the Rules of the court.

(b) A petition for the registration of a live birth or the delayed registration of a live birth shall allege:

(1) That the individual for whom a registration of live birth is sought was born in the District;

(2) That no record of live birth of the individual can be found in the vital statistics system or the archives of the Vital Records Division;

(3) That the petitioner has made diligent efforts to obtain documentary evidence as required by statute and regulations and as detailed by the Registrar;

(4) That the Registrar has refused to register a report of live birth; and

(5) Any other information needed to establish the facts of live birth.

(c) A petition for the registration of a death or the delayed registration of a death shall allege:

(1) That the individual for whom a registration of death is sought died in the District;

(2) That no record of death of the individual can be found in the vital statistics system or the archives of the Vital Records Division;

(3) That the petitioner has made diligent efforts to obtain documentary evidence as required by statute and regulations and as detailed by the Registrar;

(4) That the Registrar has refused to register the report of death; and

(5) Any other information needed to establish a death.

(d) The petition for the registration of a live birth or a death shall be accompanied by a statement of the Registrar denying the application as well as all documentary evidence the petitioner used to support the application submitted to the Registrar.

(e) Before issuing findings, the court shall order the petitioner to undergo a criminal background check to be provided to the court at the petitioner's expense. The criminal background check shall be for the purpose of revealing any aliases, the petitioner's citizenship status, and criminal records related to identity theft or document fraud by the petitioner.

(f) If the court finds that a person was born in the District, the court shall issue an order to register the live birth. The court's order shall make findings as to the place and date of live birth, parentage, and other findings to substantiate the facts of live birth in the District. The order shall include the live birth data to be registered, a description of the evidence presented, the court's findings of fact, and the date of the court's action.

(g) If the court finds that an individual died in the District, the court shall issue an order to register the death. The court's order shall make findings as to the decedent's legal name, date of death, place of death, place of live birth, race, ethnicity, sex, Social Security number, marital status at time of death, address at time of death, parents' names prior to first marriage, name prior to marriage, and the information necessary to complete the medical certification, including cause and manner of death. If the death occurred from an injury, the order shall include information on how and when the injury occurred. The order shall also indicate whether any of the required information is unknown.

(h) The court shall forward a certified copy of the order to register the live birth or death to the Registrar no later than the 10th day following the month in which the order was entered. The certified copy of the order shall direct the Registrar to execute the registration.


(Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-164, § 116, 65 DCR 9324.)