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    TxEVER: Texas Electronic Vital Events Registrar

Death Record FAQs

Certificate & Verification Orders

How do I get a copy of a death certificate?

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.

What death records are available?

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.

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

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

What is the quickest way to order a death 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 received 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.

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

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.

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 death certificate?

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.

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 your acceptable ID with the notarized statement.

Who may I authorize to pick up a 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.

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, 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.

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 death 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?

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.

How much does a death certificate cost?

See Costs and Fees – Death 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 a death 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 track the status of my order?

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

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

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

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Changes/Corrections/Amendments

I need to change/correct/amend a death 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 death record amendment/correction cost?

See Costs and Fees – Death Record Amendments for a listing of all associated fees.

I already submitted the application to correct a death 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 a corrected death 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 death records. See the  Requirements for Changing Vital Records page for instructions on how to submit an application for a death 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 death record?

Yes. Vital Statistics offers expedited service for death 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?

Yes. Originals and/or certified copies of supporting documents used to correct a record will be returned once the correction is completed.

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Last updated September 8, 2020