Fiscal Note & Local Impact Statement

123 rd General Assembly of Ohio

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Sub. H.B. 519


September 20, 2000


As Reported by Senate Judiciary


Rep. Williams


No —

Minimal cost



Eliminates the requirement that social security numbers be included on marriage licenses and requires probate courts under certain circumstances to delete social security numbers on such records when made available for public inspection


State Fiscal Highlights


·        No direct fiscal effect on the state.

Local Fiscal Highlights



FY 2001

FY 2002




- 0 -

- 0 -

- 0 -


  Minimal increase

- 0 -

- 0 -

Note: For most local governments, the fiscal year is the calendar year. The school district fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.


·        The bill will most likely have a minor impact upon probate courts due to the programmatic changes that would be necessary to insure only privileged access to the social security numbers on marriage licenses. The nature and extent of these changes may vary by jurisdiction depending on current administrative and programmatic practices. LBO assumes, however, most of these changes would be one-time in nature, resulting in, at most, a minimal increase in county expenditures for the first year of implementation.
















Detailed Fiscal Analysis


Provisions of the bill


The bill repeals the requirement that a marriage license issued must include the social security number (SSN) of each party to the marriage and specifically prohibits the display of the SSN of either party to the marriage on the marriage license issued. The bill requires a probate court, except under certain circumstances, to delete SSNs from records pertaining to marriage licenses when those records are made available for public inspection.


Existing Law


                Section 3101.05 of the Ohio Revised Code specifies that each marriage license issued must include the SSN of each marriage license application. Under the Public Records Law, (section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code), generally, all probate courts, upon request, must furnish copies of records pertaining to the issuance of marriage licenses. Currently, records of marriage licenses issued reveal the SSN of the parties to the marriage.


Fiscal Impacts of the Bill


                State Fiscal Effects. The bill’s provisions have no direct fiscal effect on state government.


Local Fiscal Effects. Based on discussions with probate courts and judges, the bill will have a minor impact upon probate courts due to the programmatic changes that would be necessary to insure only privileged access to the SSNs on marriage licenses. Several probate courts stated computers are used to generate marriage license information, some of which are accessible to the public. In addition, marriage applications and hard copy records of marriage licenses display SSNs of the parties of the marriage and those records are open to public inspection. The programmatic changes made necessary by the bill may vary by jurisdiction, the full extent of which will depend on current administrative and programmatic practice.


In order to fulfill the SSN access prohibition, probate courts may need to take the following actions: 1) change current marriage license applications to make SSNs optional, 2) change computer programming to “hide” or otherwise remove SSNs from the public accessible computer screens, 3) change computer programming to generate marriage licenses without the display of the parties’ SSNs, and 4) remove SSNs from any hard copies of marriage licenses.  LBO assumes most of these changes would involve a one-time cost, resulting in a potential minimal increase in county expenditures for the first year of implementation.


            Currently, Henschen Associates provides computer services to approximately one-half of the state’s 88 probate courts. According to the manager of Henschen Associates, the maximum total cost to reconfigure the databases to hide SSNs on all of the probate courts they service would be up to $3,000. A second computer consultant, Crawford Consulting, which provides computer services to approximately 20 probate courts, including Cuyahoga County, stated that it would take a total around 300 hours to block SSN from marriage licenses on those courts computer terminals. The total cost of Crawford Consulting’s work for those probate courts is estimated at $30,000 (300 hours x $100 fee per hour = $30,000). If LBO assumes the probate courts outside of Crawford Consulting area are charged rates that are similar to Henschen Associates, then the computer service fees for the remaining probates courts, approximately 24, would be around $1,500 (half the cost of the Henschen Associates estimate for 44 probate courts). Thus, the total one-time cost for counties statewide to implement the bill’s provisions relative to SSNs and marriage licenses, based on estimates from Crawford Consulting and Henschen Associates, would be somewhere around $34,500 ($3,000 + $30,000 + $1,500 = $34,500).







q LBO staff:  Amy Frankart, Budget/Policy Analyst