New Legislation

88th Legislature

HB 6

HB 6 passed from the 88th Texas Legislative Session and will take effect on September 1, 2023. HB 6 adds subsection (e-1) to Health and Safety Code §193.005 for the medical certification on a death certificate to include either the term “Fentanyl Poisoning” or Fentanyl Toxicity” if:

  • a toxicology examination reveals a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1-B substance present in the body of decedent in an amount or concentration that is considered to be lethal by generally accepted scientific standards; and
  • results of an autopsy performed on the decedent are consistent with an opioid overdose as the cause of death.

This will apply only to a death that occurs or is discovered on or after September 1, 2023.

87th Legislature

HB 4048

House Bill 4048 will take effect on September 1, 2021. It amends Health and Safety Code §193.005(a) regarding who can medically certify the death and fetal death certificates. Prior to HB 4048, a physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse could only certify under specific conditions of hospice or palliative care.

With the HB 4048 changes, these restrictions no longer apply, and a physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse can complete the medical certification for death and fetal death certificates regardless of the circumstances of the natural death.

HB 1264

House Bill 1264 will take effect on September 1, 2021. It changes the timeline of abstract preparation in Texas Election Code §16.001(a). Prior to HB 1264, your offices were required to submit the voter registration abstract no later than the 10th day of the month.

HB 1264 changes this timeline by requiring your office to file each abstract with the voter registrar of the decedent’s county of residence and the secretary of state as soon as possible, but not later than the seventh day after the date the abstract is prepared.

HB 723: Notifying Next of Kin of Certain Death Certificate Medical Amendments

Medical certifiers on death certificates shall provide written notification by email or by mail to the decedents’ next of kin when submitting medical amendments to death certificates that do not have a Pending cause. Medical amendments are submitted in TxEVER for electronic death certificates. 

This update is in accordance with House Bill 723 (Marilyn’s Law), signed into law on May 15, 2021, during the 87th Texas Legislative Session. It applies only to a death certificate for which an amendment to modify the medical certification information is submitted on or after the effective date of this Act, September 1, 2021.

Note: If the next of kin contact information is unavailable in-patient records, the medical certifier may refer to the informant information provided in TxEVER if the informant’s relationship is familial. Informant information, including mailing address, can be found under the TxEVER Demographics 3 tab.

HB 1011: Expedited Death Certificate for Religious Purposes in certain counties

Death certificates may be expedited within 48 hours for religious purposes in counties with an office of medical examiner whose county commissioner's court passed a resolution for an expedited process.

This is in accordance with House Bill 1011, signed on June 4, 2021. It permits an individual to submit a written request for an expedited death certificate to the funeral home or another person required to file a death certificate. The written request must meet the following requirements:

  1. Expedited completion is necessary for religious purposes.
  2. The decedent’s remains will be laid to rest in a foreign country.
  3. The requestor is authorized to obtain a death certificate.

The funeral home, or other person required to file a death certificate, shall provide an official death certificate to the requestor within 48 hours of receiving the request unless an inquest will be conducted for the decedent.

To support the expedited process, a medical examiner may complete the medical certification for deaths due to natural causes, if they have access to the medical history relevant to the death and the death that occurred in their county.

A funeral home must order one death certificate in TxEVER to release the record for automatic registration by the State. The local registrar will then accept the record and issue the expedited death certificate to the funeral home. The death certificate ordered in TxEVER will be issued by the State within regular processing times.

SB 798: Victims of Family or Dating Violence

The state registrar, a local registrar, or a county clerk shall issue, without fee, a certified copy of the birth record to a victim of family or dating violence and their children as defined by Family Code §71.0021 or Human Resources Code §51.002, who are currently fleeing a dangerous living situation.

To qualify for the waiver include the required supporting documentation listed below with your application:

86th Legislature

HB 123: Foster or Homeless Youth

The state registrar, a local registrar, or a county clerk shall issue, without fee or parental consent, a certified copy of the child's or youth's birth record to:

  • A homeless child or youth as defined by 42 U.S.C Section 11434a;
  • A child in the managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services; and
  • A young adult who:
    • is at least 18 years of age, but younger than 21 years of age; and
    • resides in a foster care placement, the cost of which is paid by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

To qualify for the waiver, include one form of supporting documentation with your application such as: