Authorization to Issue Disposition Permits

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Prior to the implementation of the electronic system of vital statistics (MN VRV2000), the filing of a death certificate and issuance of a disposition permit were a manual process. A death certificate form was initiated by a funeral director and then forwarded to a physician to provide cause of death information. It would be several days or weeks before the physician would return the certificate form to the funeral director.

Since most dispositions would take place within a few days after the death, a designated mortician was then permitted to issue a disposition permit. When the completed death certificate was returned to the funeral director it was then filed with the local registrar at a county office and certified death certificates could then be issued to the family. The Office of the State Registrar at MDH would receive the filed death certificate 1-2 months after the death occurred. The MN VRV2000 allows for the direct filing of all death events with MDH at the Office of the State Registrar.

A funeral director enters the demographic information of the decedent into the system and designates a physician who will provide cause of death. Upon immediate filing the funeral director is able to generate a disposition permit from the MN VRV2000. The action of issuance of the disposition permit is no longer that of the designated mortician, but of the MN VRV2000, under the direction of the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. The ability to capture the demographic information in a more immediate manner allows for the issuance of a death certificate, containing fact of death information within minutes of filing.

This allows the family of the deceased to access accounts, close out accounts, transfer titles, and handle various other legal matters without having to wait several weeks until the entire record has been filed. It also allows for agencies such as Social Security Administration to receive more immediate notification of death to either start or stop a benefit.

How does this legislation address the issue?

We are requesting that MS 144.221 subd. 1 be amended and MS 144.214 subd. 4 repealed to reflect current practice for death registration and issuance of disposition permits via an electronic system of vital statistics.

Who is affected?

It codifies the changes that the new technology has allowed, and affects local registrars, funeral directors, and families of descendents.

For more information

MDH contact: MDH Office of the State Registrar at 651-201-5970.


Updated Tuesday, 16-Nov-2010 12:27:52 CST