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Tuesday, July 12, 2016


County clerk Carmella Sabaugh improves security of vital records

By Macomb Daily Staff

The security of Macomb County birth, marriage, death and business records has been heightened due to a new system installed by the county clerk.

Clerk Carmella Sabaugh said she has implemented a system allowing the holder of a Macomb County birth or death certificate, marriage license or business registration document to immediately verify its legitimacy online.

Sabaugh said in a news release the system will further protect against crimes or torts against residents.

"By using instant online verification and improved security paper, we are making Macomb County documents more secure while reducing the risk of identity theft and forgery," Sabaugh said.

The new system allows anyone in possession of a Macomb County certified copy to verify the document online. The county clerk's website has a link to enter specific information that appears on the document, including the unique security paper serial number. The site will instantly verify whether the document is legitimate.

"If you were born in Macomb County and your birth certificate is not printed on our new security paper, now would be a good time to contact my office to get a new copy," Sabaugh said.

It may be the only system of its kind offered by a Michigan county clerk that lets customers verify certified copies of physical documents that have raised seals, she said.

"This new service ... is an important component in ensuring the security and reliability of vital records documents," said Glenn Copeland, state registrar, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

To confirm the authenticity of a certified copy of a birth certificate, marriage license, business registration or death certificate, go to the Macomb County Clerk's home page and click "vital records verification security check." Records issued after 2007 may be validated by the system.

To see short video demonstrating how to verify a Macomb County birth certificate click

To order a certified copy of a Macomb County birth certificate on the improved security paper, go to,

Features of the upgraded security paper include security watermarks and fibers, security background, embossed seals and thermochromic ink, clerk officials said. If a certified copy is photocopied, "VOID" appears across the document. Each certified copy has a unique red serial number in the lower left corner, which Sabaugh's office tracks. Sabaugh started using the special security paper in 2012, officials said.

In 2015, the Macomb County Clerk issued 11,325 birth certificates, 10,999 marriage licenses and 6,875 business registrations. The statistics include instances when multiple copies of the same record are requested.

In January, Sabaugh partnered with Eastpointe to consolidate birth and death records services for the city.

In 2006, Sabaugh partnered with the Social Security Administration to reduce the risk of Social Security fraud by providing a way for SSA staff to verify the authenticity of birth records for Macomb County residents who apply for a Social Security card.