Effective March 26, 2014, the Social Security Administration Death Index, also known as the Death Master File (DMF), has significant restrictions to access on newer records. In a nutshell, unless the requester is certified, they cannot be provided death record information within 3 years of a subject's data of death. However, this ban does not affect death records distributed/sold/in use prior to March 26, 2014. Below are details.
The U.S. National Technical Information Service issued an interim final rule to establish a certification program under which persons may obtain immediate access to the publicly available Death Master File (DMF), pursuant to Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (Act).
The Act prohibits disclosure of DMF information during the three-calendar-year period following an individual's death unless the person requesting the information has been certified under a program established by the Secretary of Commerce. This rule, which set forth temporary requirements to become a certified person, provides penalties for disclosing or using DMF information in a manner not in accordance with the Act. This rule also provides for the charging of fees for the certification program. This rule was effective on March 26, 2014. Comments are accepted and due on this interim final rule on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time April 25, 2014. A significant portion of this rule is below:
Section 203, ''Restriction on Access to the Death Master File'' Section 203(a) of the Act directs that the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) shall not disclose to any person information contained on the Death Master File with respect to any deceased individual at any time during the three calendar- year period beginning on the date of the individual's death, unless such person is certified under a program established under the Act. Section 203(b)(1) of the Act directs the Secretary to establish a program to certify persons who are eligible to access the information contained on the Death Master File, and to perform periodic and unscheduled audits of certified persons to determine compliance with the program
Read the details in the Federal Register at: