The Texas Vital Statistics Office of the Department of State Health Services is the office in-charge of storing public records, including Texas Death Records. Death documents since 1903 can be found at the office. They are also stored at the county registrar’s office where they were originally documented. Deaths that were documented before 1903 can be found only at the registrar’s office.
Public files can be accessed by any individual. Death files are deemed as public files 25 years after they are filed. Files that are less than 25 years of age are only given to immediate relatives of the deceased person or other parties that have the approval of immediate relatives and the court. Outside parties need to acquire a notarized statement from immediate relatives. If it has not passed 90 days after the death of a person, it is more likely than not that there is no file created yet.
A request form can be obtained from the Vital Statistics office or downloaded from their website. There is a charge of $22, payable through check money order, or cash for every request and there is no money-back guarantee for documents that are not found. The documents may be received on the same day or a few days depending on its availability. A person may also choose to mail their requests for a charge of $20 each and the return period takes around 6 to 8 weeks. The process can be done faster but there are additional charges involved.
Important fields that need to be filled-out on the request form include the name of the deceased, date and place of death, date they were born, etc. It is easier to locate the files if you can provide more details regarding the files. In cases where the year is not known, include a range of years to be searched.
Nowadays, public records can also be retrieved from private service providers. They have authorization from the court to provide them to the public. They are either for free or they render a certain amount of fee for their service. There are a number of service providers available on the Internet and it is just a matter of finding the right one that suits your search needs. However, be aware that there are fake service providers out there. Do a background check on them before deciding which one to use.
More people are performing a Death Search nowadays because of the ease of accessing them online. With just a computer, a connection to the Internet and knowledge of the full name of the dead person, a search can be performed wherever you feel comfortable. There is no need to wait for long periods of time because results are instantly displayed on your computer.