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.
Death documents have to exist at least 25 years before they are considered as public documents. And as part of public documents, any member of the public has the right to access them as long as they have the consent of the people, through a notarized statement, that have direct access to them such as family members. However, documents that have not reached 25 years are only accessible by the direct relatives of the dead person or anyone that has the consent from the court. If it has not reached 90 days after the person has died, a document may not be available for request yet.
If you want to request death documents, there is a request form at the Vital Statistics Office. If you cannot head to the office, you may download it from their website as well. For every request submitted, a fee of $22 will be charged to you and you can pay it through check, money order, or cash. If you want to mail your request, you may do so and you will be charged $20 for it. If you personally submit your request at the office, there is a possibility that will get the files on that same day or a few days maximum. For mailed requests, the return period is 6 to 8 weeks and will only be lessened if you pay additional fees. In addition, there are no refunds given to clients even if the files are not located.
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.
In this modern day and age, public documents can now be obtained from online search tools. The court allows certain search tools to supply such documents to the public upon request. There are two kinds of search tools: free search tools and search tools that render fees. If you browse the Internet, there are several search tools you can find. More often than not, you will find one that will fit your search. Make sure that you perform a history check on various search tools to find out how credible they are.
Since death records became available online, more people began to access them. Doing a Death Search is now more convenient because it can be done virtually anywhere as long as there is a computer and an Internet connection. A search can be initiated by providing even just the full name of the deceased and results are displayed on the computer screen in just a matter of seconds.