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News & Press: Sacramento Report

Legislation Allowing Accent Marks on Vital Records Moves to Appropriations Committee

Tuesday, August 15, 2017  
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Assembly Bill 82 (Medina) would require the State Registrar to require diacritical marks to be properly recorded on marriage licenses as well as birth and death certificates. The legislation, introduced by Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), looks to overturn a de facto ban on accents, umlauts, and tildes on vital records imposed by the California Department of Public Health subsequent to the passage of Proposition 63 in 1986.

The bill has garnered few “no” votes during its passage through the legislature, but nevertheless faces opposition from several groups, including the California Department of Public Health, which states that the bill is inconsistent with federal law and would create incompatibilities with documents issued by federal agencies that do not allow diacritical marks on federal records or systems.

The CLTA worked with the author’s office early on to amend the bill to specify that the absence of a diacritical mark on a vital record would not render the document invalid, nor affect constructive notice imparted by the document if it were otherwise recorded properly.

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