Texas birth records become public domain after 75 years, so any record older than that is freely accessible to anyone who makes a request. For more recent records, you must be an immediate family member or requesting your own birth certificate. Acceptable relations are children, parents, siblings, grandparents and spouses. If you have a notarized statement from one of these family members giving you permission, that will also suffice.
To make a request for a Texas birth record, you need to submit a completed form along with the proper search fee to the Vital Statistics office in Austin. Their office has in-person counter service and they also accept applications sent in by mail. When applying at the counter, you may be able to get your records while you wait but sometimes you have to come back 1 or 2 days later. Mailed in applications will take 6 to 8 weeks.
The office address is the Texas Vital Statistics Office, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin TX, 78756 USA. They are open for public business during regular weekday business hours. For mailing purposes, they prefer that you send your applications to Texas Vital Records, PO Box 12040, Austin TX, 78711-2040 USA.
The Texas birth record request forms can be printed from their website (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/reqproc/forms/vs142.31.pdf). The same form is used for death record requests as well, so make sure you check off the type of record you are looking for. You have to provide the name, birth date, place of birth and parent's names of the person on the record you are seeking. You also need your own contact information and a photocopy of your photo ID when you are requesting any records.
There is a fee to search for a Texas birth record, and it is not refunded even in the case where the record is not found. The current cost is $22 USD. You can pay in cash if you are at the office counter, otherwise you will have to have a check or money order for that amount. The payments need to be made out to "DSHS".
Records at the Vital Statistic office typically date back to 1903, though there may be incomplete records earlier than that. Some counties may have further Texas birth records as far back as 1873. You will have to get in touch with the registrar office for the county where the birth took place in order to make a request for records. The Texas State Archives doesn't have any additional birth records beyond 1903 though their collections of archived newspapers and census records may be of value for research.
These steps will help you to order Texas birth certificates by standard mail:
Complete the downloadable Texas Birth Certificate request form.
If the request is for a record less than 75 years old, then you must include a photocopy of your government-issued photo ID.
Return the above information to the Department, along with a check or money order covering the appropriate fees. Standard mail fees are $22 per copy. Additional fees apply if you would like expedited services.
For additional questions regarding the access of Texas birth records, you can contact:
Texas Department of Health
Texas Vital Records
Department of State Health Services
P.O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711-2040
Requesting Texas Birth Records
Texas birth records are available through the Texas Department of State Health Services. Records less than 75 years of age are considered protected and are only available to select persons.
Ways To Order Your Records
If you meet certain qualifications, including having a government-issued photo ID, and are willing to pay an expedited fee, you can order Texas birth records online. You can also order offline by mailing in an application or by visiting the Department in person.
Texas birth records are considered to be private records, and therefore, access to them is restricted. If the record is less than 75 years old, you must be the person listed on the record or an immediate family member. Otherwise, you must be able to provide legal documentation supporting your request.