TUBA CITY, Ariz. – Tribal members around Arizona are taking advantage of a new state policy that makes it easier to get a birth certificate for the first time later in life.
The Arizona Department of Health Services is now accepting tribal enrollment documents, along with another document that contains the same information, such a person's date and place of birth.
Tribal members no longer are required to have a witness testify to their birth.
Coconino County Supervisor Lena Fowler says she approached state and tribal officials about the issue after hearing stories of people getting frustrated with the process and giving up. She says many older tribal members were born at home but now need birth certificates for passports and retirement benefits.
The policy applies to tribal members born before 1970, but it's not permanent. State lawmakers are seeking to incorporate it into law.