State Headliners: New Vermont law seeks to stop birth certificate fraud by identity thieves, immigration rings

By Guy Page

A 2017 law to stop illegal use of Vermont birth certificates by identity thieves and human traffickers took effect Monday, July 1. Certified copies Vermont birth and death certificates will only be provided to family or court-appointed representatives.

“The law, which was passed by the Vermont legislature in 2017, also streamlines the process to create, store, issue and track birth and death certificates through a new electronic Statewide Vital Records System,” the Vermont State Department of Health said in a July 1 press release.

Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership, the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare, and Physicians, Families & Friends for a Better Vermont.

Black market certified copies of Vermont birth certificates were worth as much as $20,000 in 2015, a January, 2015 Vermont Dept. of Health report told the Vermont Legislature:

“It has become increasingly important that Vermont consider taking steps to address these concerns as the black market value of legitimate certificates and their certified copies has continued to rise. In 2003/2004, the reported average value of a modified or an unused birth certificate was approximately $2,000. By 2010, that had risen to $10,000. Today, the average is now $15,000 – $20,000 depending on the characteristics of the person on the certificate (age, name) and whether it is a new identity (never used) or one that is already in use. At these values, Vermont becomes an increasingly attractive target.”

Human traffickers, including illegal immigration rings, have targeted Vermont as a relatively easy place to obtain a genuine birth certificate, the DOH report said:

“Persons and organizations that routinely utilize birth and death certificates of other people include identity theft criminals, drug and human traffickers, fugitives and child support evaders. From the perspective of federal and other law enforcement agencies, there is no debate whether valid certified copies of birth and death certificates are stolen, counterfeited and/or sold, thereby allowing someone to adopt another person’s identity.

“As early as ten years ago (2003), the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (now U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) reported seizing 2,000 birth certificates each month from people whose citizenship claims were determined to be false. The U.S. Department of State calculated a similar rate for birth certificates used in passport fraud. An important, though somewhat outdated, report was issued by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General on the growing issue of birth certificate fraud. The report (Sept. 2000) found that, between 85-90 percent of birth certificate fraud encountered by the Immigration and Naturalization Services and Passport Staff is the result of genuine birth certificates held by imposters – the most difficult fraud to detect.”

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR
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4 thoughts on “State Headliners: New Vermont law seeks to stop birth certificate fraud by identity thieves, immigration rings

  1. Additionally, implementation of the law requires a valid form of government issued identification, or two forms of alternate identification ( utility or tax bill, voter registration card, etc. ) be presented when requesting a certified copy of the birth or death certificates. The requestor will fill out a form to record their request. No ID is required for a non-certified copy. Also, since the vital records are in VRIMS, you can get your certified or non-certified vital records at any town/city clerk office in the State, not just the respective town of the subject’s residence or occurance of the event which was previously the case. Funny how the state can recognize that valid ID may prevent identity fraud, but that it discriminates if used to prevent voter fraud. With that logic, I guess the marginalized and vulnerable populations of Vermont won’t be needing their vital records.

  2. So the buffons in montpiculair have known this for 10 years but only address it recently. I guess banning plastic one use bags and figuring out how to stealthy carbon tax us to death have taken higher priority. Leftarded scum running this state to ruin with no regard for the citizenry.

  3. How about that. Vermont in 2019 finally adopts a system that other states have had since the 1800s. Lets talk about the root cause of the brain drain that led to this.

  4. Sneak across the border, get a black market birth certificate, work under the table !!
    Welcome to America and the DemocRATic party ……………………

    Life is good.

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