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Under a change beginning this week, birth and death certificates from the Harford County Health Department will only be issued weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon at 120 Hays St. in Bel Air.

Previously, the documents could be requested during normal business hours.

The cost for this service remains $20, payable by cash or credit card only. Personal checks will no longer be accepted.

The change, which took effect Monday, is the result of budget cuts the health department has faced, as well as the retirement of an employee who staffed this service and the need of keeping that vacated position unfilled, according to a press release from the health department.

"Reductions in services are an unfortunate but inevitable result of the severe budget cuts the health department has sustained in recent months,” Health Officer Susan Kelly stated in the press release. "The health department sincerely regrets any inconvenience to the public that this may cause.”

The Division of Vital Records of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene also continues to issue certified copies of birth and death certificates in person or by mail.

The office, which is located at Reisterstown Road at the Reisterstown Road Plaza, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on designated state holidays, and can be reached toll-free at 1-800-832-3277.

For additional information, visit the Harford County Health Department Web site at or call 410-612-1781.

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