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Birth certificates and death certificates are not open records. Access to birth certificates is restricted to qualified applicants for 75 years from the date of birth, and access to death certificates is restricted for 25 years from the date of death. An ID is required to prove your identity and to prove that you are a qualified applicant.
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For births within the past 75 years and deaths within the past 25 years, only the immediate family members to the person whose name is on the birth certificate or death certificate are eligible to request a copy. All those with any other relationship to this person must provide legal documentation, such as a court order establishing guardianship. If you are the legal representative of a qualified applicant, send us a release which documents a direct and tangible interest in the record you are requesting.
Any of the following relationships by blood or marriage are considered to be immediate family members:
When a spouse or step-parent is requesting a birth certificate they must bring in a certified copy of the marriage license to prove the relationship in order to request their spouse’s or step-children’s birth certificate.
If you would like to request vital records from other states, visit the National Center for Health Statistics website for more information.
A photocopy of the applicant’s valid government-issued photo ID. The following are some examples of acceptable forms of ID:
If the applicant does not have a photo ID, an alternative would be to send a photocopy of the photo ID of an immediate family member, who will then become the applicant. Another option is to send photocopies of two documents with the applicant’s name, such as a utility bill, a recent paycheck stub, an employment or organizational ID, or a Social Security card. One of the documents must have the applicant’s signature. Applications received without photo ID or acceptable alternatives cannot be processed.
Our office has records from the present to the mid 1800s for births or deaths that were filed in Victoria County. Out of county birth records dating back to 1926 may also be available. A death certificate for a death that occurred in another Texas county are not available from our office, but can be purchased in the county in which the death occurred or from the State. If you need a certificate for an out-of-state birth or death, visit the National Center for Health Statistics website for more information.