The process of registering and issuing birth and death certificates can be a daunting task if the process is manual and paper-based. With an average of 5,000 requests a year, the City Secretary’s office in Grapevine (TX), who serves as the local registrar office, looked for a solution to digitize and automate the birth and death certificates process.
To request a copy of a certificate, the process required a staff member to visit the records vault, containing 40 years of vital records in binders, and spend time searching for a specific record – typically covered in dust and suffering from general wear and tear. Due to the time-consuming process, certificates were only issued once a week.
To issue a certificate, the process included:
- Accept an application
- Look up the file number using the STW system
- Pull certificates from binders in the records vault
- Copy certificates onto certified paper
- Write issuance information on back of the original certificate
- Mail copy of the certificate to the applicant
- Refile original certificate
So, how did they do it? The first step was for MCCi to migrate the data from their STW system into Laserfiche. This allowed a central repository for all the data while providing extensive indexing, searching and instant retrieval of the records. Now, the citizen receives certificates immediately.
- New Process
- Accept an application
- Look up file number in Laserfiche
- Print certificate from Laserfiche
- Record issuance information in Laserfiche metadata
- Hand certificate to applicant
When retrieving a new record from the State of Texas TER database, the paper-based process required the record to be printed, stamped with the registrar’s signature, size reduction on the copier to fit the certificate paper, noting the information in the STW system and filing a new copy in the vault.
Now, the office personnel retrieves the new record from the TER database using Laserfiche Snapshot, and Laserfiche QuickFields takes care of the rest. A Quick Fields session reduces the size to fit the certificate, applies the registrar’s stamp, and auto-populates the names and file numbers. All they need to do is click print and save an official copy in the vault.
Once the day-forward process was implemented, it was time to improve the back-file records. Grapevine worked with MCCi’s Scanning Bureau to digitize 40 years of vital records, an estimate of 55,000 certificates. While the project was wrapped up in just three months, Grapevine had access to the records during the scanning project time.
What’s next? The City Secretary’s office will continue moving their legacy systems into Laserfiche and other City departments, such as the Police Department, Finance, and Human Resources are implementing Laserfiche for records management and process automation.