Request Procedures for Vital Statistics Data
Vital statistics data release is controlled by the Texas law:
- Under Texas Government Code Section 552.115, birth records are public on and after the 75th anniversary of the date of birth and death records are public on and after the 25th anniversary of the date of death.
- Parts of the fetal death data are confidential and are not open records under the Medical Practice Act, and Texas Government Code §552.101 accordingly to the Texas Attorney General ruling OR2008-12014.
There are different procedures to be followed depending on the type(s) of vital statistics data you are requesting.
- For paper copies of birth or death certificates and verification of a marriage or divorce, contact the Vital Statistics Unit by calling toll-free number 1-888-963-7111 or by email to email@example.com.
- For statistical information, refer to multiple statistical data sources available on the Department web site: Texas Vital Statistics Annual Reports. Click on a year that you need, and it will bring you to the birth, death, fetal death, marriage, and divorce data tables, narratives, and maps. The Texas Health Data query system allows users to create customized statistical reports by querying vital records and other health related databases. This query system now also includes infant mortality statistics. If you did not find statistical information that you need, send your request to the Center for Health Statistics by calling 512-776-7509 or by email to VSTAT.
- Open record requests for vital statistics data are limited and controlled by the Texas law. For the current data, only summary birth, death, marriage and divorce indexes are public and consist of the items listed in the Section 181.1 (14) of the Texas Administrative Code: name of the registrant, date of event, county of occurrence, sex of registrant. To obtain the index data, follow the instructions on How to Purchase a Birth, Death, Marriage License Application, and Report of Divorce Index.
- For an electronic data file, send your request to the Center for Health Statistics by email to HIRBRequests@dshs.texas.gov. To help determine the correct process for your request, complete the data item checklist(s), answer the following questions and include these in your email: Which specific data elements are requested and for which year(s), From which data source, The level of individual identification associated with the requested data, Who is requesting those specific data, The purpose or intended use of those specific data, Applicable federal or state regulations. Does your request involve linkage to another data source? If so, describe.
- If your request for research data meets the requirements of section 25 TAC §181.11 of the Texas Administrative Code, you may request the current data through the Department’s data review committees: Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Committee on Requests for Personal Data (CORPD). The IRB application and our program form are to be used in combination when requesting vital statistics data.
Please send all questions regarding IRB/CORPD data requests by email to HIRBRequests@dshs.texas.gov.