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Should you be using the OVERS System?
If you require access to Oregon birth or death records in the course of your work, you must use the Oregon Vital Events Registration System (OVERS). OVERS is a secure, web-based system, so you must establish a user account before accessing vital events.
At this time, marriage and divorce records remain on the Mainframe system.
For assistance, contact the OVERS Help Desk: 971-673-0279
We can help with password resets, training, and signing new users up for the system.
To gain access to OVERS:
If you used the Mainframe to access vital records as of December 2012, you may already have an OVERS account under your OR number or Mainframe ID. Speak to your supervisor. Otherwise, follow the steps below to sign up.
- Complete the OVERS Enrollment Form for state users (updated 01/2013). You must include your state email address. Please do not alter this form. Handwritten signatures only.
- Fax the form to 971-673-1201.
- A Center for Health Statistics employee will notify you by email when your account is created. You can start using OVERS upon receiving your username and password.
- For easy access to the system, create a shortcut on your computer's desktop to the OVERS website.
- After you have created the shortcut, you may choose to add the OVERS icon to it. Follow these instructions to show the OVERS icon on your desktop.
Confidentiality of Information
Confidentiality of vital records is different from most client records. Usually, the client can authorize the release of any information in their file. However, under Oregon law, the information contained on a vital record can only be released by the Center for Health Statistics. The Center for Health Statistics has authorized use and release of vital records information in circumstances where the employee is required to use the information for official duties.
For example, if an employee is representing a child in the custody of the State, the employee may release a birth certificate to the child’s school so they may be enrolled. However, if a client requests a copy of their child’s birth certificate to enroll their child in school, the employee must direct the client to obtain the record from the Center for Health Statistics.
The Oregon Vital Events Registration System (OVERS) was updated on April 22. The update significantly changes the way you search for and view birth and death records in OVERS. Everyone who verifies birth and death records using OVERS is affected. For an overview of the changes made to the system, please review the OVERS orientation PDF linked below.
All state users are welcome to view the OVERS Orientation for State Users (updated 04/2013) for a general overview about searching for records in OVERS.
Recorded webinars for DHS employees are available through the DHS/OHA Learning Center. After logging in, click Courses & Registration, then Find a Course & Register. Enter the word OVERS or vital in the Keywords box to find the recording.
Child Support Program employees can access training materials on the Child Support Central website.
Once you gain access to OVERS and begin viewing birth and death records, the following documents will be helpful to you. We suggest printing them and having them available for your use.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I'm having problems logging on to OVERS. What do you suggest?
- How do I search for a record in OVERS?
- Where is the birth certificate number?
- What if the SFN is blank on the record?
- How long does it take for a record to appear in OVERS?
- I know the child was born in Oregon, but I can't find the child in OVERS.
- How can I locate the birth records for a mother's children?
- A child was adopted. Will I see that information in OVERS?
- Something is missing on my screen. / A button or link isn't working when I click on it.
- Why aren't all records in OVERS?
- There are blank fields on a record, but the last record I looked at was complete.
- A client wants a copy of the vital record. How do they order it?
I'm having problems logging on to OVERS. What do you suggest?
Both your Username and Password are case sensitive.
- Make sure the letters in your Username are typed in upper case (capital) letters.
- Type your password slowly to assure accuracy.
If your account is locked, the OVERS Help Desk at 971-673-0279 is available during business hours to reset your password.
How do I search for a record in OVERS?
The OVERS search tool allows a number of different methods to search for records. OVERS search features include:
Wildcard (%) – OVERS allows the use of a wildcard key (%) which can be used at the end of a partially entered phrase. The wildcard will return all matches to the partial entry. For instance, if the phrase “Sm%” is entered, all items that begin with “Sm” will be returned as results. This can be useful when searching for individuals with hyphenated or two last names, or when searching using a middle initial. Do not use the wildcard (%) at the beginning of a partially entered phrase because doing so will significantly hinder the system’s performance speed.
Soundex – The Soundex button is a way of searching information based on how the word sounds rather than how it is spelled. It allows for variations in spelling so that a misspelled name entered as the search phrase will retrieve all items that sound like or are close to the spelling of the entered phrase.
A few tips to keep in mind when searching in OVERS:
- The Registrant is the person named on the record. For birth records, the Registrant is the Child on the record. For death records, the Registrant is the decedent.
- A last name is required to search for a record. If you want to use any part of a name to search, you must include the last name of that person. For example, if you enter a father’s first name, you must also include his last name.
- Searches are not case-sensitive, so you do not need to capitalize names.
- Limit your search by using two or more criteria. For example, search by last name and by date of birth. If your search is too broad, you will see a maximum of 200 records, but you will not see all of the records that match your criteria.
- Names including a special character (for example, an ñ or an ö) can be found by using the basic Latin version of the letter instead (n or o, respectively).
- If a name includes a space or hyphen and you aren’t certain how the name is entered in OVERS, use the wildcard (%) at the end of the first half of the name.
Where is the birth certificate number?
The birth certificate number is now shown as SFN, which stands for State File Number.
What if the SFN is blank on the record?
If there is no SFN assigned, do not use a record. Check back periodically to see if a SFN has been assigned.
The SFN, or State File Number, is blank when information on the birth or death certificate is still being collected or if the information needs to be confirmed. During this process, the record is not final and therefore cannot be used to verify information on the record.
How long does it take for a record to appear in OVERS?
External partners, such as birth facilities and funeral directors, must report birth and death events to OVERS within five days of the event. However, it can take longer for all of the information on a record to be final. If the information on the record is not final and there is no SFN, then the record cannot be used.
I know the child was born in Oregon, but I can't find the child in OVERS.
Carefully review the training materials and Question 2 of this FAQ. These tools provide helpful tips for searches in OVERS.
If these resources do not answer your question or help you find the record, you may call the OVERS Help Desk for assistance.
How can I locate the birth records for a mother’s children?
To find a mother’s children who were born in Oregon, you can search using the mother’s maiden name. The search results will display all birth records for children born to a woman with the name you entered. View each record to confirm it applies to the case you are working on. If a child was born outside of Oregon, you will not find that child’s birth record in OVERS. For an example case showing how to identify legal family relationships in OVERS, see our reference guide for Searching for Relatives/Family Relationships.
A child was adopted. Will I see that information in OVERS?
If a child was born in Oregon and adopted, there will be a birth record for the child in OVERS. The birth record will show the legal parents of the child, or the adoptive parents. As a state agency user, there will be no specific notation that an adoption has taken place when you Preview the record.
Something is missing on my screen. / A button or link isn't working when I click on it.
You may need to clean your browser's cache. These instructions provide a walkthrough.
Why aren’t all records in OVERS?
OVERS currently has birth and death records only, and only births and deaths occurring in Oregon are shown. Births occurring from 1920 and deaths occurring from 1971 are available in OVERS. Births prior to 1920 and deaths prior to 1971 were not entered into the Mainframe and therefore could not be transferred to OVERS. Oregon has not yet acquired the marriage and divorce modules for OVERS, but plans to do so by January 2015 pending available resources. Until that time, marriage and divorce records remain available on the Mainframe.
There are blank fields on a record, but the last record I looked at was complete.
Not all records in OVERS will always look the same. Blank fields usually mean the record was converted from the Mainframe and so did not have all the information recorded that is now available on records that were entered directly into OVERS. Birth records with dates of birth before 2008 and death records with dates of death before 2006 were converted from the Mainframe and may have blank fields.
Please review the training materials which are available by clicking on the links provided at the top of this webpage. The Birth Preview Screen Descriptions and Death Preview Screen Descriptions available on this webpage will give you more information about converted records.
A client wants a copy of the vital record. How do they order it?
A client has several options for ordering a vital record. See our Get Vital Records pages for more information.