Legal Information

Notice
Current fees are effective March 13, 2006, in accordance with the 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

Notice to Attorneys 
Required Documentation
  • Valid personal identification with a picture
  • Letter on company stationery stating the purpose of the request
  • Documentation linking you or your agency, i.e. 1, 2, 3 listed below
  • Completed vital statistics application for certified document
Third Party Applicants
Required Documentation
  • Documentation linking you or your agency to tangible reason for requesting certified document (partial listing):
    1. Legal documents such as contracts or court rulings
    2. Bank statements, deeds, titles showing joint ownership
    3. Letter from party with a copy of their valid picture identification requesting that you receive the certified document for them
    4. Business letter on company stationery with a copy of documentation linking individual to our agency, i.e. 1, 2, 3, above
  • Valid personal identification with picture
  • Letter on company stationery stating the purpose of the request
  • Completed vital statistics application for certified document
Restrictions 
Birth records are confidential for 75 years and death records 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 defer identity theft, only certain documents are accepted as valid forms of identification for the purpose of obtaining vital statistics records.

Acknowledgement of Paternity, AOP 
The Bureau of Vital Statistics is processing AOP and New Birth Certificate Based on Parentage by appointments only at City Hall. 

Both parents must be present and provide valid ID. 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.

AOP Fees:
Fees are paid directly to: 
Texas Vital Statistics 
P.O. Box 12040 
Austin, Texas, 78711-2040. 

To file the new birth certificate based on paternity is $25. 
Each requested certified copy of the updated birth record is $22. 
Onsite Notary Fee $5

Further information can be obtained online directly from the Texas Department of Health Services Vital Statistics website.

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. 

Contact: 
Phone: 512-463-5705 for additional information. 
Mailing address: 
Texas Secretary of State 
Statutory Document Section 
P.O. Box 12887 
1019 Brazos, 2nd Floor 
Austin, Texas 78701