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Tangible Interest

Tangible Interest

Section 144.225, subdivision 7 of the Minnesota Statutes limits who can have a certified birth or death certificate to a person who has a tangible interest in the requested certificate.
Tangible interest helps protect people who are born in Minnesota and the families of people who die in Minnesota against fraud. Tangible interest helps by limiting who can have a certificate that is used for a legal purpose such as school registration, applying for a passport or for a social security number, or for settling an estate.
Tangible interest only applies to certified birth and death certificates. It does not change the fact that most Minnesota birth and death records are available to the public. If a record is not available to the public you may be refused the record, even if you have tangible interest.
You have tangible interest in a certificate if you are:

  • the subject of the certificate;
  • if you are the child, grandchild, spouse, parent, grandparent, legal custodian, conservator, or guardian of the subject;
  • if you are a personal representative of the estate of the subject;
  • if you are a licensed attorney;
  • if you are the person who filed or a representative of the organization that filed the birth or death information with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) or a local registrar;
  • a successor of the subject;
  • a sibling of the subject if the requested record is a death record;
  • a trustee of a trust and the requested record is a death record; or
  • the representative of an adoption agency.

You may also be issued a certificate if a person who has tangible interest authorized you to receive the certificate or if you can demonstrate to the state registrar that the certificate is necessary for the determination or protection of a personal or property right.
A local, state, or federal governmental agency may be issued a certificate if it is necessary for the governmental agency to perform its authorized duties.
A certificate will be issued pursuant to a court order.

If you have questions about tangible interest, e-mail MDH at or call 612-676-5120.

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