Mayor's Office of Communications
Ceremonial Documents Policies and Procedures
A ceremonial document is a proclamation, letter or certificate that may congratulate, honor or recognize a city of Houston resident or organization.
Ceremonial Documents Criteria
Ceremonial documents are reserved for people, places or events that positively contribute to the economic, social and/or cultural fabric of the City of Houston.
Ceremonial documents will not be issued if:
- The request promotes campaigns, events or ideological and political beliefs that are contrary to the policies or laws of the City of Houston.
- The request is for commercial/for-profit purposes.
- The request conflicts with federally recognized months, weeks or days of observance.
- The request takes a side/position regarding international disputes or is a subjective statement of ideology.
- The request is for an event that is expected to happen but has not yet been confirmed.
- The request is on behalf of individuals/groups of which the requester has no proven affiliation.
- The request is to replace a damaged or missing document from a previous administration.
TYPES OF DOCUMENTS
- Civic celebrations
- Fund-raisers benefiting the citizens of Houston
- Organizations and individuals who have made a significant contribution to society
- Retirements (If you are City of Houston employee please fill out a Retiree Proclamation Request Form (.doc format or .pdf) and submit it through email)
- Significant birthdays (starting at 50th birthdays and the years thereafter)
- Significant clergy and house of worship anniversaries (5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc.)
- Significant events or anniversaries of major Houston-based institutions and companies
Letter of Welcome
A letter of welcome is a document on City of Houston letterhead that will be emailed to you (pdf format) once complete, and may be requested for the following occasions:
- Class Reunions for schools and institutions that are located in Houston, or for reunions that are held in Houston
- Family Reunions (we do not provide welcome bags or gifts)
Required information: You should provide the title or reason for your event, a date, a brief history of the organization, or information about the person, and any other information you feel is significant. Nicknames normally not be included in proclamation titles.
Letter of Congratulation or Celebration
A letter of congratulation or celebration is a document on City of Houston letterhead that will be emailed to you (pdf format) once complete, and may be requested for the following occasions:
- Professional celebrations
- Religious anniversaries and celebrations
- Significant birthdays or anniversaries
- Eagle Scout Award
- Girl Scout Gold Award
- Grand Openings
- Book Releases
- Religious Installations
Required information: You should provide the title or reason for your event, a date, a brief history of the organization, or information about the person, and any other information you feel is significant.
A certificate is an 8.5 by 11.5 inch document on special stationary that is issued for the following reasons:
- Honorary Citizenship - foreign dignitaries, prominent individuals, entertainers, or artists
- Appreciation - outstanding contributions to the City and citizens of Houston
- Congratulatory – graduation, accomplishment/achievements
Required information: A brief summary about the individual to be honored and his/her accomplishments, highlights of his/her accomplishments, highlights of his/her involvement in the community, the date of recognition, and type of event planned.
Questions Before Requesting a Document
How do I submit a ceremonial document request?
You may submit a request in the following ways:
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By mail:
ATTN: Ceremonial Documents Office
P.O. Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251
NOTE: Please be aware that if you have a timely request, it is best to submit your request via email.
Do I provide contact information?
Yes, you must provide the following:
- Contact person first and last name
- Telephone number
- Email address of the contact person
How long is the processing time?
All requests sent via email have a two week processing time unless there are unforeseen circumstances such as death. At that time, you will be notified by the end of business day. If a request is mailed to the office, be aware that the processing time will be delayed due to the post office carrier schedule.
How often can I request a ceremonial document?
You or your organization may submit a request only once per year. The only exception to this rule is for certificate requests.
Who can request a ceremonial document?
Any person who resides in Houston and surrounding areas may request a ceremonial document.
Can I send a draft of proposed wording for the ceremonial document?
Yes. While it is not necessary, we do encourage you to send any proposed wording. However, please note that we reserve the right to edit your proposed text to fit our editorial and formatting standards. It is highly unlikely that we will use a draft verbatim.
Can I request a preview of my ceremonial document?
No, you cannot preview ceremonial document text before we print the document.
Questions After Requesting a Document
What happens after I submit my request?
Your request will go through an internal review and approval process.
When can I pick up my ceremonial document?
After you have received a completion email, you must pick up your document between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Is there a time limit to pick up a document?
No, however we do strongly encourage that completed documents are picked up from our offices in a timely manner.
Can I have the proclamation mailed to me?
No, we do not mail ceremonial documents except in circumstances of individuals requiring special accommodations.
Can I request a scanned version of my proclamation or certificate?
No, we do not provide scanned/digital copies of proclamations.
Where do I pick up my ceremonial document?
You or a designated person may pick up your ceremonial document only in person at the following location:
901 Bagby Street, 3rd floor reception,
Houston, TX 77002
You or the designated person must provide the reference number and your name at the time of pick up.
NOTE: We do not provide pdf copies of proclamations or certificates. This can be done at your local print shop or office supply store.
What if I want to make changes to a ceremonial document after picking it up?
We retain full editorial control of all documents that leave our office. With the exception of grammatical, spelling or statistical errors, we will not make any changes to a document after it is picked up.
Questions About Other Types of Requests
Can I also submit a request for the mayor to present my ceremonial document?
No, we do not handle scheduling the mayor for events and presentations. You must submit a scheduling request at www.houstontx.gov/myrscheduling. If the mayor is unable to attend, you are encouraged to reach out to the council member for your district.
Can I request that a photo be taken when I come to pick up my ceremonial document?
No, when you pick up your document, it will not entail special presentations or photo sessions.
Can I also submit a request for a key to the city?
No, presentation of a key to the city is at the discretion of the Mayor only. The ceremonial key honors exceptional civic contributions of distinguished citizens and honored guests.
If you have additional questions or concerns, you may contact: