• A Message from the State Registrar
  • Upcoming Registrar Meetings and Webinars
  • Constituent's Corner: Social Security Administration: Name Change Documentation
  • GAVERS Technical Tips: COVID-19
  • Birth Data Quality Update & Top Facilities for the Month of February
  • Georgia Code and Regulations
  • Contact Information
Greetings from the State Office of Vital Records,
As we begin 2020, our team at the State Office of Vital Records looks forward to continuing our efforts to support all our partners throughout Georgia. We recognize the efforts you make every day to gather information, file certificates and reports, and provide the very best service to our constituents. To share information and best practices, we are expanding the scope of the trainings that we offer, and we hope to include webinar trainings that will be useful for county registrars, birth hospitals and medical staff, funeral directors and funeral home staff, coroners, medical examiners, and physicians. We have added a section to our updated Georgia Department of Public Health website with a listing of available webinar trainings, and we will continue to update this page as more trainings are added. You can view the currently scheduled trainings on our webpage and register for any that are of interest to you. Please stay tuned for more announcements about training and learning opportunities. Also, if you have a suggestion for a new topic, please share that information with our office.
We are also preparing for a new challenge in 2020 with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with the CDC, and state partners to prepare for a potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., including Georgia. For the latest information about COVID-19 and Georgia’s response, please visit the Georgia DPH website . The State Office of Vital Records will share information related Vital Records operations as it becomes available. The first such communication was recently shared about reporting COVID-19 on death certificates, and can be viewed below.

Christopher Harrison
State Registrar & Deputy Director
State Office of Vital Records
Georgia Department of Public Health
The State Office of Vital Records will conduct its annual, spring face to face registrar meetings in April. The Regional Training and Support Team will facilitate these trainings. Please register via the link below. Note: These trainings are only open to the Georgia DPH stakeholders and are closed to the general public. Click here to visit our site and register.

Upcoming Meetings:

April 6, 2020 | 9AM - 12:30PM

April 7, 2020 | 9AM - 12:30PM
The State Office of Vital Records will offer several webinar trainings for you and your staff. Note: These trainings are only open to Georgia DPH stakeholders listed in the description of each event and is closed to the general public. Click here to visit our site and register.

Upcoming Webinars:

March 25, 2020 | 10AM - 12PM

April 29, 2020 | 10AM - 11AM
Social Security Administration: Name Change Documentation
The State Office of Vital Records has experienced an increase in customers being asked to provide additional documentation to SSA regarding a name change or amended certificate. Customers that provide SSA with a certified copy of a birth certificate should not ask Vital Records to provide additional documentation to prove the change occurred. The certified birth certificate is considered enough evidence.

  • The key component of this link is in the first 2-3 sentences, where it says they are to “Accept a US issued amended or corrected Birth Certificate (BC), showing the child’s new name as evidence of a name change. NOTE: The BC may not show that the record is amended or corrected.”
Evidence required to change a name for SSA:

  • For this, the critical part is found in section B, which states that the new name on the BC is evidence of the new name. They shouldn’t need to request additional documents like letters or other proofs.
If customers are not using the birth certificate, the link below discusses other sources of evidence for a name change on the social security card:
Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Death Certificates
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics recently released guidelines for reporting deaths due to Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19. Please share this information with anyone who helps to create, review, and register death certificates.
It is important to emphasize that Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death. We ask that all deaths use the standard terminology COVID-19 . Listing all causes leading to death is also important. For example, in cases when COVID-19 causes pneumonia and fatal respiratory distress, both pneumonia and respiratory distress should be included along with COVID-19. Certifiers should include as much detail as possible based on their knowledge of the case, medical records, laboratory testing, etc.

Here is an example:
For more general guidance and training on cause-of-death reporting, certifiers can refer to the Cause of Death mobile app available through and the Improving Cause of Death Reporting online training module, which can be found at .
If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 as it pertains to death certificates , please contact the Georgia DPH State Office of Vital Records. For the most recent updates regarding COVID-19, please visit our website at .
Top Facilities
Overall there were 25 facilities that earned perfect scores. The following are the top birth facilities in each facility category:
Most Improved Facilities
The following facilities had the largest improvement in their score from December to January , improving by 5 points or more. This month that accounts for 11 facilities who all made substantial improvements and made January 2020 one of the best months we’ve ever seen for birth data quality.
Visit Georgia's General Assembly website to access the Georgia Code . Once there, double click Georgia Code on the left-hand menu from the top. Follow the prompts and scroll down to "Title 31 Health", check the box beside it and select "Chapter 10 Vital Records". Here you will find the Georgia Code. All updates will be made to this site.

Visit the Secretary of State's Office website to access Georgia Rules and Regulations for Vital Records . Enter your first and last name. Enter the correct answer for the human verification. Click agree and you will automatically be redirected to the Rules and Regulations for the State of Georgia. Scroll down and click on " Department 511. Rules of Georgia Department of Public Health ". Select " Chapter 511-1 Administration " and click on " 511-1-3. Vital Records " to gain access to the Rules and Regulations.
Joseph Little, Regional Support Manager
(770) 909-2952 or (404) 863-4832
Kamilah Traylor
(770) 909-2941 or (404) 901-1615
Mannett Foster
(770) 909-2943 or (404) 901-1634

Crystal Myers
(770) 909-2940 or (404) 414-9216
Petra Hood
(404) 679-4745
Shawnketrius Tukes
(404) 679-4745
Michael Valle
(770) 909-5383
Communications Center
(404) 679-4702

 The “Vital Connection” is a production of the Program Administration Compliance, Training, & Communications Unit.

Cynthia Buskey, Interim Director/Deputy Director – Program Administration
Akilah McGhee – Compliance, Training, and Communications Manager
D’Andre Mayberry – Instructional Designer

Christopher Harrison, State Registrar/Deputy Director – Data Integrity & Analytics
Vital Records Staff

Georgia Department of Public Health | State Office of Vital Records | Phone: (404) 679-4702 |
Fax: (404) 679-4730 | |