• For fastest service:
    Order Online 24/7
    What is my processing time?

    Order Records Locally
    Contact local offices for details.

    Identification Requirements

    Check Order Status
    Contact Us

    Office Hours
    Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4 pm
    (Temporarily closed to visitors.)

    Phone: 888-963-7111
    Fax: 512-776-7711

    Addresses | Central Campus Map (PDF)

    General Questions

    TxEVER: Texas Electronic Vital Events Registrar

Birth Record FAQs

Certificate & Verification Orders

How do I get a copy of my birth certificate?

To get a copy of your birth certificate from Texas Department of State Health Services - Vital Statistics Section, you must have been born in the state of Texas. See the Birth Records page for all requirements for ordering a birth certificate.

What birth records are available?

Vital Statistics can provide records for births 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 birth.

What is the difference between a birth certificate and a birth-verification letter?

For descriptions and uses of the various types of birth records, see the Record Types page.

What is the difference between a short form and a long form birth certificate?

For descriptions and uses of the various types of birth certificates, see the Record Types page.

What type of birth certificate do I need to get a passport?

To get a U.S. passport, you must provide a long-form birth certificate. For descriptions and uses of the various types of birth certificates, see the Record Types page.

What is the quickest way to order my birth certificate?

The quickest way is to order online at  Texas.gov.

What are the steps for ordering online (Texas.gov)?

See our Requirements for Online Orders page for complete details.

What are the steps for ordering by mail or in person?

See our Requirements for Mail/In-Person Orders page for complete details.

Where do I mail my application?

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.

Can I place an order over the phone?

No. We accept applications online, by mail, or in-person. We cannot accept requests by telephone. Texas Administrative Code (181.28) requires all requests for birth certificates to be accompanied with an  application approved by the State Registrar.

How can I order records if I am currently in another state or country?

To be able to order online, you must meet the requirements for online orders and your mailing address must match the one listed on your current Driver License or state-issued Identification Card. Otherwise, you must order by mail.

Can I order online if I'm a minor in foster care or homeless?

No, the supporting documents requires you order by mail or in person.

Can you check if there is a birth certificate on file and tell me what information is on there?

Vital Statistics Section (VSS) cannot release any information without an application, payment, and acceptable ID submitted by a qualified applicant. VSS can issue a birth verification letter stating whether a record of birth is on file with the State of Texas with a written request. If a record is filed, the verification letter will include the person's name, the date of birth, and the county where the birth occurred. Verification letters are available for births that have occurred since 1903. Verification letters are not considered legal substitutes for certified copies of birth certificates. VSS strongly recommends that applicants ensure a verification will satisfy its intended use. See the Birth Records page for more information, including methods and requirements for ordering a birth verification.

Can you find my birth certificate for free and tell me if it shows the correct name? Will I have to pay just to find out whether you even have my birth certificate on file?

Vital Statistics cannot search records for free. The fee is a searching fee and is not refundable or transferable, even if the record is not found or is incorrect. See the Costs and Fees page for complete details.

How can I order vital records from other states?

Visit the National Center for Health Statistics website for information on requesting vital records from other states.

Who can request a certified copy of a birth certificate?

For births within the past 75 years, only the immediate family members of the person whose name is on the birth 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.

How do I get a copy of the record if I am not an immediate family member?

You may send in a written, notarized statement signed by an immediate family member. The statement must give permission to the Department of State Health Services - Vital Statistics Section to release a certified copy of the certificate to you and must include a photocopy of the ID of the individual granting you the authorization. The statement must also identify you by your full name, and you must present acceptable ID with the notarized statement. The identification must meet our Acceptable ID requirements.

Who may I authorize to pick up my birth certificate?

As long as you are a person qualified to request a birth 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.

What will you accept as a valid ID?

A list of Acceptable ID can be found on our website in English and Spanish.

My ID is expired. Will you accept my expired ID?

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.

Do I have to provide original ID, or can I provide a photocopy?

For mail-in orders, you must present original ID to get a notary seal on your application. 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.

What if I do not have a form of acceptable ID?

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 birth certificate. See the Persons Qualified to Request or Change Records page for full details, including who is considered an immediate family member.

Why do I have to provide acceptable ID?

Birth certificates are not open records. Access to birth certificates is restricted to qualified applicants for 75 years from the date of birth. An acceptable ID is required to verify your identity and to prove that you are a qualified applicant.

Does my immigration status affect my ability to obtain a copy of a birth certificate?

Your immigration or citizenship status does not affect your right to obtain a birth certificate.

How much does a birth certificate cost?

See Costs and Fees – Birth Records for a list of the fees associated with each record type.

What forms of payment do you accept?

For mail-in requests: Check, Cashier's Check, or Money Order

For online requests: Credit or Debit Card

For walk-in requests: Check, Cashier's Check, Money Order, Credit Card, or Debit Card

Who do I make the check or money order out to?

DSHS Vital Statistics

Do I need to send a separate check for each fee?

All fees can be combined in one check or money order made payable to DSHS Vital Statistics.

How long will it take to receive my birth certificate?

Walk-in requests are typically processed the same day they are submitted; however, some applications may require 24 hours or more to process. See also the Processing Times for other ordering methods.

How can I check the status of my order?

Complete and submit the appropriate Check Order Status form based on your ordering method, and a Vital Statistics representative will get back to you within two business days.

What do I do if I need a birth certificate to give to a foreign government (an "apostille")?

Visit our  Records for Foreign Governments (Apostille) page for instructions.

How do I get an apostille or authentication to foreign birth certificates?

The apostille or authentication is issued by the district/state/country where the document was issued. For contact information, visit apostilleinfo.com.

Can you send my birth certificate to the Secretary of State for apostille?

Vital Statistics is unable to send records to the Texas Secretary of State. See the Records for Foreign Governments (Apostille) page for more information.

▲ Top


Changes/Corrections/Amendments

I need to change/correct/amend a birth certificate. How can I do this?

See the  Requirements for Changing Vital Records page for detailed instructions and the required supporting documentation you must submit with your amendment application. 

How much does a birth record amendment/correction cost?

The costs of a birth record amendment/correction vary based on the type of change being made. See Costs and Fees – Birth Record Amendments for a listing of the fees associated with the type of change you are requesting.

I already submitted the application to correct a birth record. How do I find out the status of my amendment request?

Complete and submit the Check Order Status – Mail Orders form, and a Vital Statistics representative will get back to you within two business days.

How long will it take to process my correction/amendment?

See the Processing Times page for the most up-to-date information on estimated processing times.

Can I walk into your office and walk out with my corrected birth certificate?

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 birth records. See the  Requirements for Changing Vital Records page for instructions on how to submit an application for a birth record correction/amendment.

Where do I mail my amendment application?

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.

Can I expedite my request to correct/amend a birth record?

Yes, Vital Statistics offers expedited service for birth record amendments. Be sure to review the fees and special instructions for expedited requests before submitting your amendment application packet.

Can I fax or email the amendment application and supporting documents?

No. We must have original signatures and certifications; therefore, we must have the original documents and cannot accept documents via email or fax.

Will my original and/or certified copies of supporting documents be returned to me?

For most changes, yes. Originals and/or certified copies of supporting documents used to correct a record will be returned once the correction is completed.

However, when adding/removing/replacing a parent's name, certified documents submitted will be retained by VS and placed in a sealed file. A court order is required to unseal a file. Parents should keep copies of certified documents for their records and future use before sending them to VS.

Please see the application for other circumstances when the original records are kept by our office.

▲ Top


Delayed Birth Registration

How long does it take to process an application for a Delayed Certificate of Birth?

The processing time varies, because customers must submit supporting documentation from independent sources that Vital Statistics must then verify. The verification process can take several business days.

How do I get a Delayed Certificate of Birth application?

See the Delayed Birth Registration page for detailed instructions.

What is the fee to file a Delayed Certificate of Birth?

See Costs and Fees – Delayed Birth Registration for a listing of all associated fees.

Can a Delayed Certificate of Birth be filed for a deceased person?

No, a Delayed Certificate of Birth cannot be filed for a deceased person.

Why was my Delayed Birth Registration application rejected?

There are many reasons why a delayed birth registration application can be rejected. The most common reasons include:

  • Required number of supporting documents are not submitted, required filing fee not paid, and/or application not actively pursued
  • Out of state or foreign birth record is located and/or more than one Affidavit of Birth Facts is submitted
  • Contradictory documents and/or birth facts are not supported by supporting documents
  • Supporting documents do not include individual's name, date of birth and place of birth, and/or document including parent(s) name(s) is not provided
  • Unable to verify the following supporting documents (within 6 months):
    • Hospital & Medical Record
    • School Records or School Census Records
    • Religious record

▲ Top


Last updated September 8, 2020