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Public Record Update
October, 2010

Alabama Vehicle Record Information Now Online

The Alabama Department of Revenue recently added several online searches for permissible users of vehicle information. Both a Registration Record search and a Title Record search are offered at

Occasional requesters may use a credit card for the $2.00 fee per search. Ongoing users may access as approved, subscribers of Alabama Interactive - the NIC affiliate for the state. Subscribers also may be eligible to use other premium services such as obtaining a driving record, a vehicle VIN check, and a criminal record check, and for filing UCCs. 

More CA Regulations on Consumer Reporting Agencies

With California Governor Schwarzenegger's recent signature of SB 909, more regulations will be placed on consumer reporting agencies (CRAs).  Although the provisions of the bill do not take affect until January 1, 2012, CRAs may need to take time to prepare.


A CRA will be required to must post its privacy practice policies on its Internet site or be prepared to mail a written copy of the policy statement to consumers upon request. Also, the consumer must be provided a separate section in the privacy statement that includes the name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of the CRA's representatives who can assist a consumer with additional information regarding the CRA's privacy practices or policies in the event of a compromise of his or her information.

Perhaps more importantly is a new requirement that demands a CRA to inform a consumer if the consumer's personal information is transferred to third parties outside the United States. This "third party" is defined but, not be limited to, a contractor, foreign affiliate, wholly owned entity, or an employee of the CRA.  A CRA will be liable for any security breaches that occur overseas with their third-party to the extent of the actual damages caused by the breach of security plus attorney fees. 


If you read the bill - or the law - you will note the use of the term Investigative Consumer Reporting Agency throughout. California does not use the definitions established by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). What California defines as an Investigative Consumer Reporting Agency is actually what the FCRA defines as a Consumer Reporting Agency. And the FCRA has a different definition for what constitiutes an entity as an Investigative Consumer Reporting Agency. 

The legislation amends California Civil Code §1786.16 and §1786.20.  View the legislation at (click on Bill Information and then enter SB909).

Fee Increasing for Obtaining CA Birth Certificates

Per California Assembly Bill AB 52, effective November 1, 2010, the current fee for certified copies of birth certificates will increase by $2.00 at both the county and state level. The law does not set the fee level, but merely passed along a $2.00 increase to exisiting fees. For example, Monterey County increases from $14.00 to $16.00, Solano County fee from $19.00 to $21.00, and Sacramento County from $17.00 to $19.00. The fee at the State Department of Health Services increases from $14.00 to $16.00.

Henry County GA Places Superior Court Dockets Online

The Superior court in Henry County Georgia docket index is now searchable online at


Search by name, associated party, or by case number. The DOB is rarely shown, thus it is hard to identify subjects with common names.


Follow-up to NY Tax on Information Services

As we reported last month, effective 09/01/2010 the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued a memorandum to supposedly clarify the types of information services it considers taxable. The Department has interpreted the law to mean that title companies and their vendors are required to collect sales tax on abstracts of title, tax searches and municipal searches.

However, the language used was very ambiguous and has caused many information companies to consult attorneys.  For example the Department also mentioned ''investment reports and services," "Internet-based data services,'' and "survey results" as being taxable.

Thanks to the Government Affairs Committee at NPRRA, we are able to pass along several documents that may be useful for those interested in this situation.
  • An informative article written by Attorney Timothy P. Noonan is viewable to the public, click here.  ?
  • The New York Law Journal published an article by Stephen Saler. "Title Companies Must Collect Sales Tax: How it Works, Are Attorneys Next?" may be viewed at the author's blog at 

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The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for the States Vital Records and Certificates. When requesting a North Carolina death record you will need specific information about the deceased, such as, the name as it was stated on the certificate, the date of death, the location, city, and or county.

You will also, if you are requesting a certified copy, need to be directly related to the deceased, or a legal representation of one of the family members, and you will need to state this relationship on the application for the death certificate. North Carolinas death records go back as far as 1930, for older records you will have to contact the North Carolina State Archives.

For non-certified copies, which will come on standard printer paper as well as being stamped uncertified so that they will not be able to be used under any circumstances for a legal reason.

The State views death records as public information and therefore will provide an uncertified copy to anyone who is willing to fill out the online request form and pay the applicable fee. You will have to fill out a form for either a certified or uncertified copy of the death certificate and it’s important to provide as much information as you have so that they may more easily find the records you need.