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Birth and Death Certificates

Birth and Death Certificates
(Bureau of Vital Statistics)

8000 North Stadium Drive
Houston, TX 77054

Phone Number:
3-1-1 for local calls and
(713) 837-0311 for calls outside
the Houston city limits

Lisa Akheituame, Registrar
Cheryl Williams, Deputy Registrar

UREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS
(Birth and Death Certificates)

The Bureau of Vital Statistics customer service hours (main lobby and funeral home services) are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Extended hours on Thursday for main lobby from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and funeral home services 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

 

Birth and Death Certificates - No Checks Accepted

 

Note: vital statistics birth certificate office at La Nueva Casa will be closed on June 11.

satellite sites map

Certificates at a Center near you on selected days per week, 8:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Tuesday - Magnolia Multi-Service Center
  • Wednesday – La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center – second and fourth Wednesday of each month
  • Thursday - Northside Health Center – first Thursday of each month.
  • Acres Homes Multi-Service Center - third Wednesday of each month
  • Fridays, 1st 50 customers only, Southwest Multi-Service Center       

    Note: At these sites, only certified birth records are issued at this time. In addition, the only acceptable forms of payment at these sites are money orders made payable to the City of Houston.

 

Vital Statistics office information for the 8000 North Stadium Drive location

 

Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.
Extended Hours: Thursdays Only
Lobby hours: 8:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m
Funeral home services 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Same day walk-in lobby service for:

*Birth Certificates (generally available 14 business days after birth occurs)
*
Death Certificates (generally available 21 business days after death occurs)
*
Birth Facts (Abstract certificates from State records for all births outside Houston in Texas)

Due to legal concerns telephone, fax-in and verification requests are not accepted.


*
= Identification Required

 

NOTE:  Due to overwhelming request this office does not fax Burial Transit/Cremation permits at this time.  Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Passports

Notice: We are unable to process Passports at this time, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


The Bureau of Vital Statistics is now processing passports.
PICTURES:
Due to technical difficulties we are unable to process pictures at this time. Until further notice please bring your picture with you when you come in to process your application.

Hours:
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Closed for lunch from 11a.m.- 1p.m.

Fees:

**Passport fees can only be paid by check or money order

Please note:  Acceptance Fee: $25 (paid separately by credit/debit/money order/cash only or money orders payable to City of Houston), NO CHECKS

Passport Fee: Varies depending on what type of passport and age of applicant. Please include this link as a reference www.travel.state.gov for current passport information. This fee must be paid by check or money order payable to U.S. Department of State.

 

As of February 10, 2009 the Bureau of Vital Statistics is processing Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) and New Birth Certificate Based on Parentage by appointment only from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday - Friday. Both parents must be present and provide valid identification for notarization. The AOP process establishes legal paternity for a child born to unmarried parents. The AOP is a legal document under Texas Law and has the same effect as a court order establishing paternity. The AOP is a critical process in ensuring the child is eligible for benefits such as Social Security, Veteran assets, child support and health care. The fee to file a new birth certificate based on paternity is $25.00. The additional fee for a certified copy of the updated birth record is $22.00.

Fees are paid directly to the State Vital Statistics Office at Austin, Texas.
Further information can be obtained directly from the State office at www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/reqproc/amendparentage.shtm.

 

Identification Required

 

Notice to Attorneys
Required Documentation

  • Valid bar card
  • Valid personal identification w/picture
  • Letter on company stationery stating the purpose of the request
  • Documentation linking you or your agency, i.e. a, b, c listed below
  • Completed vital statistics application for certified document

 

Third Party Applicants

 

Required Documentation

  1. Documentation linking you or your agency to tangible reason for requesting
    certified document (partial listing):
      a. Legal documents such as contracts, court rulings
      b. Bank statements, deeds, titles showing joint ownership
      c. Letter from party with a copy of their valid picture identification requesting
          that you receive the certified document for them
      d. Business letter on company stationery with a copy of documentation linking individual to your agency, i.e.      a, b, c above

  2. Valid personal identification with picture
  3. Letter on company stationery stating the purpose of the request
  4. Completed vital statistics application for certified documen

 

Payment mode

 

 

 

Directions and Parking

 

Same day walk-in service is provided or you may request the following by mail:

 

  • Apply in person at 8000 North Stadium Drive


  • Applying by Regular mail


Bureau of Vital Statistics,
8000 North Stadium Drive, 1st Floor,
Houston, TX 77054
(No checks are accepted)

 

Overnight mail is processed on the business day of receipt by our office. Overnight mail is mailed to the customer via overnight courier. Fees in addition to certificate cost are $15.00 expedited processing and $30.00 overnight courier. If customer provides a prepaid return overnight envelope the $15.00 expedited processing fee will be charged and the $30.00 overnight courier fee waived. Provide the following for overnight mail-in request processing

Bureau of Vital Statistics, Payment mode
8000 North Stadium Drive, 1st Floor,
Houston, TX 77054
(No checks are accepted)

 

Birth records are confidential for 75 years and death records for 25 years; therefore, issuance is restricted to qualified applicants. Please attach a photocopy of ID to application. Failure to provide the purpose in obtaining the record and relationship to the applicant in the request, when the applicant is not the person named on the record, will result in the application being rejected or delayed in processing.

Identification Accepted

Due to guidelines from the State of Texas and to deter identity theft, only certain documents are accepted as valid forms of identification for the purpose of obtaining vital statistics records.

As of February 10, 2009 the Bureau of Vital Statistics is processing Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) and New Birth Certificate Based on Parentage by appointment only from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday - Friday. Both parents must be present and provide valid identification for notarization. The AOP process establishes legal paternity for a child born to unmarried parents. The AOP is a legal document under Texas Law and has the same effect as a court order establishing paternity. The AOP is a critical process in ensuring the child is eligible for benefits such as Social Security, Veteran assets, child support and health care. The fee to file a new birth certificate based on paternity is $25.00. The additional fee for a certified copy of the updated birth record is $22.00.

Fees are paid directly to the State Vital Statistics Office at Austin, Texas.
Further information can be obtained directly from the State office at www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/reqproc/amendparentage.shtm.


Paternity: By naming a father on the Texas Birth Certificate or on an Acknowledgment of Paternity Form, a presumption of paternity is established for a child born in this state. This should not be confused with establishing a legal father for the purpose of child support or visitation. For information on how to establish a legal father, contact 832.393.5175. You may also contact the Texas Office of the Attorney General, or see the Attorney General site on Establishing Paternity http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/paternity.shtml. Forms may be completed and mailed directly to the State of Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics at the address below.

 

Bureau of Vital Statistics,
P.O Box 12040
Austin, TX 787711-2040

Application to amend certificate of birth (Adobe PDF)
Application to amend certificate of death (Adobe PDF)

For out-of-state birth or death certificates, see the National Center for Health Statistics' site on Where to Write for Vital Records.

 

A qualified applicant is defined as the registrant, or immediate family member either by blood or marriage, his or her guardian, or his or her legal representative. Local, state and federal law enforcement or governmental agencies and other persons may be designated as properly qualified applicants by demonstrating a direct and tangible interest in the record when information in the record is necessary to implement a statutory provision or to protect a personal legal property right. A properly qualified applicant may also be any person who has submitted an application for a request to release personal information and has been approved as outlined in the Health and Safety Code, Section 181.11, relating to Requests for Personal Data.

 

The City of Houston issues Birth Fact or Birth Abstract certificates for births in Texas, but outside the City of Houston city limits. These documents are issued via remote access directly from Austin, Texas. The Birth Fact or Birth Abstract certificates are legal documents and can be used for the same legal purposes as certificates generated from Houston files for institutional or hospital births. Death certificates for deaths occurring outside the Houston district are available in the district of which the death occurred or from the State of Texas Vital Statistics Office at P.O. Box 12040, Austin, Texas 78711-29040

 

Apostille: Authenticating Birth or Death Certificates

If you are transferred by your employer to a foreign country, wanting to marry in a foreign country, or if you are adopting a child born in a foreign country, you may need to present your birth certificate to an official with the foreign country. If you are taking a deceased family member to a foreign country, or settling an estate of a deceased family member in a foreign country, the government officials with the foreign country will most likely require the death certificate of the decedent. Depending on the country and the circumstance, the documents may not be accepted by the foreign government officials unless they have been authenticated by the Secretary of State's Office. The 1961 Hague Convention established a pre-printed form for the purpose of authenticating documents for the countries that have joined the convention. This form is called an Apostille. If a document is authenticated with an Apostille, it will be recognized and will not need further certification as long as the foreign country requesting the document has joined the Hague Convention. Since October 15, 1981, the United States has been part of the Convention. Call 512-463-5705 for additional information. The mailing address is Texas Secretary of State, Statutory Document Section, P.O. Box 12887, 1019 Brazos, 2nd Floor, Austin, TX 78701.

 

Fees:

 

Note:these fees shall be assessed to search for any record regardless of whether a certified copy is issued or not.)

Important Notice

Fees are subject to change without notice.
Each SEARCH and/or CERTIFIED COPY of a Certificate of Birth   $23.00
Each SEARCH and/or CERTIFIED COPY of a Certificate of Birth (wallet size)   $23.00
Each SEARCH and/or CERTIFIED COPY of a Certificate of Birth for births outside of Harris County   $23.00
Each Additional CERTIFIED COPY OF the same birth record ordered at the same time   $23.00
Each SEARCH and/or CERTIFIED COPY of a Certificate of Death   $21.00
Each Additional CERTIFIED COPY OF the same death record ordered at the same time   $4.00
Special Handling/Expedited Processing   $15.00 In addition to certificate cost
Same Day/Overnight Courier   $30.00 Overnight courier fee. In addition to certificate cost and special handling/expedited processing fee.

Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable if a record is not found.  Make cash or money orders payable to the City of Houston. Personal checks are not accepted. If your name does not appear on the credit cards (Debit Card, Discover, Visa, MasterCard), we cannot accept payment. "NO EXCEPTIONS"

 


Fees in Addition to Certificate Fee for Special Handling and Overnight Processing

  • Special Handling/Expedited Processing In addition to certificate fee, $15.00 Special Handling fee (applications are processed day of receipt and mailed to requester in US Post Office Priority Mail envelope)
  • Same Day/Overnight Courier: In addition to certificate fee and $15 special handling fee a $30 Overnight Courier fee is assessed. (applications are processed day of receipt and mailed out via overnight courier)
  • If you provide a prepaid self addressed overnight courier envelope, the certificate cost and the $15.00 special handling fee will apply, the $30 courier fee will be waived.

 

Death records older than 25 years and birth records older than 75 years are, with some exceptions, available to genealogists. Each document search must be paid for and sufficient information must be provided on the application for the document search. Some of the 19th century death records are available for public browsing at the Clayton Library, 5300 Caroline, Houston, Texas. The Texas State Library has research material available specifically for genealogy research.

Birth and death records are not governed by HIPPA. These records fall under Vital Registration Statutes. These statutes mandate that birth and death records only be released to a qualified applicant upon payment of the required fee.

In order to receive a copy of a birth or death certificate an applicant (A person who requests a service pertaining to a record of birth or death, verification of marriage or divorce, or release of personal date [Title 25 TAC 181.1 (1)]) must be a qualified applicant, which is:
Payment mode

Title 25 TAC 181.1 (22): the registrant, or immediate family member either by blood, marriage or adoption, his or her guardian, or his or her legal agent or representative. Local, state and federal law enforcement or governmental agencies and other persons may be designated as properly qualified applicants by demonstrating a direct and tangible interest in the record when the information in the record is necessary to implement a statutory provision or to protect a personal legal property right. A properly qualified applicant may also be a person who has submitted an application for a request to release personal information and has been approved as outlined in §181.11 of this title (relating to Requests for Personal Data).

Note: Effective immediately all research requests for information regarding births and deaths should be forwarded to the Texas Department of State Health Services Institutional Review Board at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/irb/ 

 

  • Notice:

    Current fees are effective March 13, 2006, in accordance with legislation approved during the 79th Texas Legislative session. The new legislation, coupled with Vital Statistics modernization and automation initiatives, led to changes in fees charged for vital record services. These changes are mandated by Texas Administrative Code Title 25 Chapter 181.22

Note:
Death certificates for deaths occurring outside the Houston district are available in the district of which the death occurred or from the State of Texas Vital Statistics Office at P.O. Box 12040, Austin, Texas 78711-29040. 

Cities we do not file in our office: Barrett, Baytown, Channelview, Conroe, Crosby, Galena Park, Galveston, Huntsville, Highlands, Jacinto City, Katy-Fort Bend, Kingwood-Montgomery, McNair, Montgomery, New Caney, Pasadena, Pearland-Brazoria, Porter, Richmond, South Houston, Sugarland-Fort Bend, Tomball