To get a copy of a death certificate from Texas Department of State Health Services - Vital Statistics Section, the death must have occurred in the state of Texas. See the Death Records page for all requirements for ordering a death certificate.
Vital Statistics can provide records for deaths that were filed in Texas from 1903 to the present. Visit the National Center for Health Statistics website for certificates for an out-of-state death.
For descriptions and uses of the various types of death records, see the Record Types page.
We cannot release any information on a record without an application, payment, and acceptable ID submitted by a qualified applicant. We can, however, issue a death verification letter stating whether a record of death is on file with the State of Texas. If a record is filed, the verification letter will include the person's name, the date of death, and the county where the death occurred. Verification letters are available for deaths that have occurred since 1903. Verification letters are not considered legal substitutes for certified copies of death certificates. Vital Statistics strongly recommends that applicants ensure a verification will satisfy its intended use. See the Death Records page for more information, including methods and requirements for ordering a death verification.
For deaths within the past 25 years, only the immediate family members of the person whose name is on the death certificate are eligible to request a copy. See the Persons Qualified to Request or Change Records page for full details, including who is considered an immediate family member.
All other applicants must provide legal documentation (such as a court order establishing guardianship, an insurance policy listing the applicant as the beneficiary, etc) that documents a direct, tangible interest in the birth or death certificate.
As long as you are a person qualified to request a death certificate, you may authorize anyone to pick up the certificate on your behalf. The person picking up the certificate would need to bring in a notarized statement, along with a copy of your identification and his/her identification. The notarized statement must correctly identify the record being requested, and it must specifically identify the person picking up the record. The identification must meet our acceptable ID requirements.
A list of acceptable ID can be found on our website in English and Spanish.
In some cases, expired ID is accepted, but only when provided along with another form of non-expired ID. See our Acceptable ID page for complete details.
For mail-in orders, you must present original ID to get a notary seal on your application, and you must include a photocopy of acceptable ID with your application in the mail. Do not send original IDs in the mail.
For in-person orders, you must present the original acceptable ID.
For online orders, your identity is verified using an online database. For details on what information you must provide to verify your identity online, see the Requirements for Online Orders page.
An acceptable form of ID is required to process your application. See the Acceptable ID page for complete details.
If you do not have acceptable ID, an immediate family member with sufficient ID may also obtain the death certificate. See the Persons Qualified to Request or Change Records page for full details, including who is considered an immediate family member.
Death certificates are not open records. Access to death certificates is restricted for 25 years from the date of death. An acceptable ID is required to verify your identity and to prove that you are a qualified applicant.
See the Processing Times page for the most up-to-date information on estimated processing times.
You can submit an amendment application in person at the Vital Statistics central office in Austin; however, Vital Statistics does NOT offer same-day walk-in service for corrections to death records. See the Requirements for Changing Vital Records page for instructions on how to submit an application for a death record correction/amendment.
The address you use for mail-in applications depends on whether you are requesting regular or expedited processing. See the Vital Statistics Mailing Addresses page for more information.