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New sliding scale for noncertified death certificate searches starts April 1

Saturday, March 2, 2013 - 7:25 am

Genealogists and others searching for birth and death certificates will pay a little more after the Allen County Commissioners passed a vital records fee ordinance amendment Friday.

The fees have been adjusted because the Indiana Legislature increased the amount local health departments collect on behalf of the “Coroner's Education Fund.” The fees are taken when death certificates are purchased. The next required increase per certificate occurs July 1. The new ordinance amendment in Allen County will take effect April 1.

Genealogist will be charged on a new sliding scale for death certificates. According to the new amendment, genealogical record search requests and non-certified birth/death records request "will be charged $2 for each non-certified copy as well as a blanket request fee of $20 for up to five searches, $35 for 6-10 searches and $50 for more than 10 name searches. The search fee is non refundable and must be paid prior to the start of the search for the requested records."

Amounts for certified records requested will change as well; birth certificates will cost $11, a $1 increase. Death certificates will cost $11, also a $1increase, plus an additional $2 fee for the “Coroner's Education Fund,” for a total charge of $13 per certificate.

During the January health board meeting, Mindy Waldron, administrator for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health, said the reason for the increase in fees for non-certified death certificate searches is the amount of time it takes staff members to conduct the searches along with the fact that the Allen County Public Library has extensive records where the person making the request could do their own research to obtain the information. In the past year when the fee had been dropped for non-certified copies of death certificates the number of requests had jumped from 189 in 2011 to 409 in 2012.