(1) The department, as the State Registrar, shall preserve permanently and index all certificates received. The department shall supply to any applicant for any proper purpose, as defined by rules and regulations of the department, a certified copy of the record of any birth, death, marriage, annulment, or dissolution of marriage or an abstract of marriage. The department shall supply a copy of a public vital record for viewing purposes at its office upon an application signed by the applicant and upon proof of the identity of the applicant. The application may include the name, address, and telephone number of the applicant, purpose for viewing each record, and other information as may be prescribed by the department by rules and regulations to protect the integrity of vital records and prevent their fraudulent use. Except as provided in subsections (2), (3), (5), (6), and (7) of this section, the department shall be entitled to charge and collect in advance a fee of sixteen dollars to be paid by the applicant for each certified copy or abstract of marriage supplied to the applicant or for any search made at the applicant's request for access to or a certified copy of any record or abstract of marriage, whether or not the record or abstract is found on file with the department.
(2) The department shall, free of charge, search for and furnish a certified copy of any record or abstract of marriage on file with the department upon the request of (a) the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or any lawful service organization empowered to represent veterans if the copy of the record or abstract of marriage is to be issued, for the welfare of any member or veteran of the armed forces of the United States or in the interests of any member of his or her family, in connection with a claim growing out of service in the armed forces of the nation or (b) the Military Department.
(3) The department may, free of charge, search for and furnish a certified copy of any record or abstract of marriage on file with the department when in the opinion of the department it would be a hardship for the claimant of old age, survivors, or disability benefits under the federal Social Security Act to pay the fee provided in this section.
(4) A strict account shall be kept of all funds received by the department. Funds received pursuant to subsections (1), (5), (6), and (8) of this section shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Health and Human Services Cash Fund. Money credited to the fund pursuant to this section shall be used for the purpose of administering the laws relating to vital statistics and may be used to create a petty cash fund administered by the department to facilitate the payment of refunds to individuals who apply for copies or abstracts of records. The petty cash fund shall be subject to section 81-104.01, except that the amount in the petty cash fund shall not be less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one thousand dollars.
(5) The department shall, upon request, conduct a search of death certificates for stated individuals for the Nebraska Medical Association or any of its allied medical societies or any inhospital staff committee pursuant to sections 71-3401 to 71-3403. If such death certificate is found, the department shall provide a noncertified copy. The department shall charge a fee for each search or copy sufficient to cover its actual direct costs, except that the fee shall not exceed three dollars per individual search or copy requested.
(6) The department may permit use of data from vital records for statistical or research purposes under section 71-602 or disclose data from certificates or records to federal, state, county, or municipal agencies of government for use in administration of their official duties and charge and collect a fee that will recover the department's cost of production of the data. The department may provide access to public vital records for viewing purposes by electronic means, if available, under security provisions which shall assure the integrity and security of the records and data base and shall charge and collect a fee that shall recover the department's costs.
(7) In addition to the fees charged under subsection (1) of this section, the department shall charge and collect an additional fee of one dollar for any certified copy of the record of any birth or for any search made at the applicant's request for access to or a certified copy of any such record, whether or not the record is found on file with the department. Any county containing a city of the metropolitan class which has an established city-county or county health department pursuant to sections 71-1626 to 71-1636 which has an established system of registering births and deaths shall charge and collect in advance a fee of one dollar for any certified copy of the record of any birth or for any search made at the applicant's request for such record, whether or not the record is found on file with the county. All fees collected under this subsection shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund.
(8) The department shall not charge other state agencies the fees authorized under subsections (1) and (7) of this section for automated review of any certificates or abstracts of marriage. The department shall charge and collect a fee from other state agencies for such automated review that will recover the department's cost.