Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records
Are Texas Vital Records Open To The Public?
In accordance with state laws, only selected Texas vital records are open to the public. While all records deemed ‘public’ may be accessed by interested and eligible persons, designated record custodians may restrict disclosure of records where the state’s statutory exemptions apply. Access to these records may also be impacted by the type of record requested, the year in which the vital event occured and/or the legal authority of the requestor.
What Information Do I Need To Search For Texas Vital Records Online?
To search for Texas vital records online, the requesting party will be required to provide any information required to facilitate the record search. This includes:
- The full name(s) of the registrant(s) (including maiden name(s) where applicable)
- The judicial district where the license or decree was issued
- The approximate date of the event
- The case file number of the court record (for divorce records)
- The full name of the registrant's parents and/or legal guardian (if applicable)
Publicly available records are also managed and disseminated by some third-party aggregate sites. These sites are generally not being limited by geographical record availability and may serve as a reliable jump-off point when researching specific or multiple records. However, third-party sites are not government-sponsored. As such, record availability may differ from official channels. To find a record using the search engines on third party sites, the requesting party will be required to provide:
- The location of the record in question including city, county, or state where the case was filed.
- The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
What Do I Need to Obtain Texas Vital Records?
The requirements for obtaining a Texas vital record generally varies depending on the record of interest and the purpose for which the record is being requested. Interested persons may access informational copies of public vital records without any documentation or additional permissions. Where the record is to be used for official purposes, the requestor must present a government-issued I.D to obtain a certified copy of the record. If the record is restricted and/or sealed, the I.D must be accompanied by document(s) proving the eligibility of the requesting party such as a court subpoena and/or proof of relationship documents.
What’s the Difference Between a Certified Record And Informational Copy?
Informational copies of a record are exclusively used for informational or research purposes. They are considered non-official copies with no legal authority and may be issued to members of the general public upon request. On the other hand, certified copies are strictly issued to persons who meet specific eligibility requirements. Certified records are usually notarized by relevant authorities, making them legal documents that are suitable for official functions and for establishing identity.
Are Texas Marriage Records Public Information?
Unless otherwise ruled by a court, Texas marriage records are public information and can be accessed by interested members of the public upon request. However, marriage records can be sealed or deemed confidential following the request of the registrant(s) or a court ruling. Confidential marriage records can be obtained by the parties named on the record or persons authorized by court order.
How Do I Find Marriage Records In Texas?
Texas marriage records can be obtained by querying the office of the county clerk in the county where the marriage license was issued. However, the Vital Statistics Section of the Texas Department of State Health Services maintains a Marriage License Index which can be used to obtain marriage license information. This may not serve as an official document but can aid in locating records or verifying the date and/place of the event. The office also provides marriage verification letters based on the information available on the online index.
The Texas Marriage License Application Indexes are available for public download and can be accessed on Microfiche for a fee of $10/year for the first year and $5 per additional year (only up to 2008). Index searches provide the following information:
- File number
- The full name and age of the husband
- The wife’s maiden name and age
- The date of the marriage
- The place where the marriage was performed.
Upon retrieving the above-mentioned information from the online index, interested persons may proceed to obtain certified copies of the marriage license from the office of the county court clerk concerned. The information retrieved will be used to facilitate the record search. In addition, the requesting party will be required to cover copy and/or certification costs (if applicable).
Are Texas Divorce Records Public Information?
Most Texas divorce records are public information which can be made available to interested members of the public upon request. However, the records available to the public might exclude sensitive information such as details of any financial agreements/settlements (alimony or child support), financial information such as bank statements and account numbers as well as identifying information of domestic violence victims.
How Do I Find Divorce Records In Texas?
Texas divorce records are maintained and disseminated by the office of the district court clerk in the county where the divorce was granted. However, given that the Vital Statistics office of the Texas State Department of Health maintains a public index of divorces granted since 1968, the office can provide divorce verification letters to interested persons. To request this letter, interested persons may follow the instructions detailed on the Divorce Verification Letter request page.
Requests for copies of divorce decrees can be made to the applicable district court clerk's office in person, via mail or online. The requesting party will be required to provide the information needed to facilitate the search. This includes:
- The full name of the parties involved
- The date or approximate date on which the divorce was granted
- The birth date of the registrants
- The case file number of the record.
Additionally, requestors may be required to cover the costs of copies and certification (if applicable). Where the record is confidential, the requesting party will be required to present a government-issued I.D. and a court subpoena.
Are Texas Birth Records Public Information?
Not all Texas birth records are open to the public. In compliance with the Texas public record laws, records of birth that occurred within the past 75 years are not public information and are only available to selected persons. However, Texas birth records which are 75 years or older are public record, provided they haven’t been sealed by court order. Essentially, to be eligible to obtain most Texas birth records, the requestor must sufficiently prove a direct and tangible interest in the record of interest. As such, the following persons are eligible to access these records:
- The registrant
- Parents or legal guardians of the registrant
- The biological or adopted offspring of the registrant
- Siblings and grandparents of the registrant
- The spouse or legally recognized civil union partner of the registrant
- Persons authorized by the registrant or by court order.
How do I Find Texas Birth Records?
Texas birth records are maintained and issued by the Vital Statistics Section of the Texas Department of State Health Services. To obtain a record, interested and eligible persons are required to download and complete the Texas Birth Certificate Application featured on the TDSHS website. Completed applications must be accompanied by the indicated fees and the appropriate I.D requirements, and submitted in person or via mail to:
DSHS Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711-2040
Are Texas Death Records Open To The Public?
Texas Death Records which are 25 years or older are considered public information accessible to interested members of the public. However, records of deaths that occurred within the past 25 years are restricted from public access. Restricted records are only accessible to the registrant, their immediate family members, and persons legally authorized by court order.
How Do I Find Death Records In Texas?
Requests for Texas death records can be made by downloading and completing the Texas Death Certificate Application. Completed forms must be notarized and accompanied by the indicated fees and I.D. requirements and delivered in person or via mail to:
DSHS Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711-2040
How Do I Find Sealed Vital Records in Texas
Sealed Texas vital records can be accessed by legally challenging the document’s restrictions. This can be done by petitioning a Texas-licensed judge to obtain a subpoena or court order. Upon receiving the subpoena, the requesting party may proceed to present the document along with the appropriate application form to the record custodian in charge of disseminating the record of interest.
Similarly, persons who do not meet the eligibility requirements to access Texas birth and death records may obtain the record if permitted by an eligible party. Along with a written and notarized statement issued by an immediate family member, ineligible requestors may submit the appropriate application form to the Vital Statistics Section of the DSHS. These documents must also be submitted along with the suitable I.D. requirements.