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Aug 26 2022

Fines of up to $1000 for electronic death registration scofflaws

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A new state law calls for fines of up to $1,000 for any physician, PA or other qualified medical professional who fails to use the state's electronic system for completing death certificates.

The state introduced the NC Database for Vital Events (NC DAVE) to allow death certificates to be submitted online on a pilot basis in Fall of 2020 and implemented the system statewide in 2021. Initially, the NC Office of Vital Records stated that all death certificates were to be submitted via NC DAVE as of Jan. 1, 2022, but slow uptake among the clinicians who certify death certificates has caused the state to push the deadline multiple times, most recently to Sept. 1. If you are not yet registered to use NC DAVE do so now. Enter the code on the screen in the provided field on THIS PAGE to begin the NC DAVE enrollment process.

Session Law 2022-63 gives some teeth to the Sept. 1 deadline by establishing fines for medical certifiers - anyone who completes a death certificate - who "willfully and knowlingly" violate the law by continuing to use paper forms. The law indicates that a first offender may be assessed a fine of $250, while a second offense could result in a $500 fine. A third failure to use NC DAVE, and each failure thereafter, could result in a fine of $1,000 per instance of noncompliance. The law does not specify how fines would be assessed.

Avoid the risk of being fined for noncompliance by ensuring you are set up to use NC DAVE should the need to certify a death arise. When registering with NC DAVE, you may be asked to provide the name of your practice. If you do not see your facility listed, contact the NC DAVE help desk at (919) 792-5996 or email Joseph Watkins with NC Vital Records at

 Comments on this article:

I have spent hours taking the training then finding it impossible to log in.  Still can’t log in.  You need to provide a much easier option than this or no one will want to fill out death certificates.

By cara davis on Aug 30, 2022 at 1:40pm

The IDEA of electronic means to complete death certificates is a great idea and welcomed.  However , NC DAVE has been implemented VERY poorly.

Put together with little input from providers , backed up by both a very poorly executed training program and a help line you cant get through on to get any meaningful help and last but not least a TERRIBLE program that is very user unfriendly.

Now the threat of fines for not using. Wish we could fine the people who were responsible for the creation and implementation of this thing,

I would love to know how much money was paid to create this thing and who got the big $$$
Doctors will of course comply but its insulting that they are trying to scare us with fines when the problem is not the doctors but the creators of this poorly designed program regardless of their intent

By Bart Williams on Aug 30, 2022 at 3:27pm

Dr. Davis - Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment. NCMB has heard from many physicians and PAs who share your frustration. I’m afraid the best contact I have for NC Vital Records is Joseph Watkins at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I encourage you to reach out to him if you have not already to request assistance getting successfully registered.

By Jean Fisher Brinkley on Aug 31, 2022 at 8:34am

Dr. Williams - Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. I know many health systems and practices have successfully converted to the online NC DAVE process, but NCMB has certainly heard similar critiques from many other licensees. You might consider contacting your elected state representatives about your concerns. NCMB will continue to share information as it becomes available.

By Jean Fisher Brinkley on Aug 31, 2022 at 8:43am
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