Law:Title 3. Vital Statistics (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 191. Administration Of Vital Statistics Records

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  191.001.  Definitions.

In this title:

(1)  "Board" means the Texas Board of Health.

(2)  "Department" means the Texas Department of Health.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.002.  Powers And Duties Of Department.

(a) The department shall administer the registration of vital statistics.

(b)  The department shall:

(1)  establish a bureau of vital statistics with suitable offices that are properly equipped for the preservation of its official records;

(2)  establish a statewide system of vital statistics;

(3)  provide instructions and prescribe forms for collecting, recording, transcribing, compiling, and preserving vital statistics;

(4)  require the enforcement of this title and rules adopted under this title;

(5)  prepare, print, and supply to local registrars forms for registering, recording, and preserving returns or otherwise carrying out the purposes of this title; and

(6)  propose legislation necessary for the purposes of this title.

(c)  The department may use birth records and provide those records on request to other state agencies for programs notifying mothers of young children about children's health needs.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.003.  Powers And Duties Of Board.

(a) The board shall:

(1)  adopt necessary rules for collecting, recording, transcribing, compiling, and preserving vital statistics;

(2)  supervise the bureau of vital statistics; and

(3)  appoint the director of the bureau of vital statistics.

(b)  In an emergency, the board may suspend any part of this title that hinders the uniform and efficient registration of vital events and may substitute emergency rules designed to expedite that registration under disaster conditions.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.004.  State Registrar.

(a) The director of the bureau of vital statistics is the state registrar of vital statistics. The director must be a competent vital statistician.

(b)  The state registrar shall prepare and issue detailed instructions necessary for the uniform observance of this title and the maintenance of a perfect system of registration.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.0045.  Fees.

(a) The bureau of vital statistics may charge fees for providing services to the public and performing other activities in connection with maintenance of the vital statistics system, including:

(1)  performing searches of birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, annulment, and other records;

(2)  preparing and issuing copies and certified copies of birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, annulment, and other records; and

(3)  filing a record, amendment, or affidavit under this title.

(b)  The board by rule may prescribe a schedule of fees for vital statistics services. The aggregate of the amounts of the fees may not exceed the cost of administering the vital statistics system.

(c)  The bureau of vital statistics shall refund to an applicant any fee received for services that the bureau cannot perform. If the money has been deposited to the credit of the vital statistics fund, the comptroller shall issue a warrant against the fund for refund of the payment on presentation of a claim signed by the state registrar.

(d)  A local registrar or county clerk who issues a certified copy of a birth or death certificate shall charge the same fees as charged by the bureau of vital statistics, including the additional fee required under Subsection (e), except as provided by Subsections (g) and (h).

(e)  In addition to fees collected by the bureau of vital statistics under Subsection (b), the bureau shall collect an additional $2 fee for each of the following:

(1)  issuing a certified copy of a certificate of birth;

(2)  issuing a wallet-sized certification of birth; and

(3)  conducting a search for a certificate of birth.

(f)  Repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 263, Sec. 5(1), eff. May 30, 2005.

(g)  A local registrar or county clerk that on March 31, 1995, was charging a fee for the issuance of a certified copy of a birth certificate that exceeded the fee charged by the bureau of vital statistics for the same type of certificate may continue to do so but shall not raise this fee until the fee charged by the bureau exceeds the fee charged by the local registrar or county clerk.  A local registrar or county clerk to which this subsection applies shall charge the additional fee as required under Subsection (e).

(h)  In addition to other fees collected under this section, a local registrar or county clerk may collect a fee not to exceed $1 for the preservation of vital statistics records maintained by the registrar or county clerk, including birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, and annulment records.  A fee under this section shall be collected by the registrar or county clerk on the issuance of a vital statistics record, including a record issued through a Remote Birth Access site.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 52, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 651, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 9.62, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 305, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 975, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 263, Sec. 5(1), eff. May 30, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 400, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  191.0046.  Fee Exemptions. (

a) On the request of a child's parent or guardian, the state registrar shall issue without fee a certificate necessary for admission to school or to secure employment. The certificate shall be limited to a statement of the child's date of birth.

(b)  The state registrar shall issue without fee a certified copy of a record not otherwise prohibited by law to a veteran or to the veteran's widow, orphan, or other dependent if the copy is for use in settling a claim against the government.

(c)  On court order, the state registrar may issue without fee a certified copy of a birth record in cases related to child labor or the public schools.

(d)  The state registrar on request shall issue without a fee a copy of a birth or death record that is not certified to a child fatality review team or the child fatality review team committee established under Subchapter F, Chapter 264, Family Code.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept.1, 1989. Renumbered from Sec. 191.054 and amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 52, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 11, Sec. 1, eff. May 3, 2005.



Section 191.0047.  Birth Information For Department Of Family And Protective Services.

(a) The Department of State Health Services shall implement an efficient and effective method to verify birth information or provide a certified copy of a birth record necessary to provide services for the benefit of a minor being served by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

(b)  The Department of State Health Services shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Family and Protective Services to implement this section.  Subject to Subsection (c), the terms of the memorandum of understanding must include methods for reimbursing the Department of State Health Services in an amount that is not more than the actual costs the department incurs in verifying the birth information or providing the birth record to the Department of Family and Protective Services.

(c)  The Department of State Health Services may not collect a fee or other amount for verification of birth information or provision of a certified copy of the birth record under Subsection (a) for a child in the managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services if parental rights to the child have been terminated and the child is eligible for adoption.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1406, Sec. 23, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 758, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  191.005.  Vital Statistics Fund. (

a) The vital statistics fund is in the state treasury.

(b)  The legislature shall make appropriations to the department from the fund to be used to defray expenses incurred in the administration and enforcement of the system of vital statistics.

(c)  All fees collected by the bureau of vital statistics shall be deposited to the credit of the vital statistics fund.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 53, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  191.006.  Records Of Persons In Hospitals And Institutions.

(a) This section applies to each public or private hospital, almshouse, or other institution to which persons are committed by process of law or voluntarily enter for treatment of disease or for confinement.

(b)  When a person is admitted to the institution, the superintendent, manager, or other person in charge of the institution shall record, in the manner directed by the state registrar, the admitted person's personal and statistical data required by certificate forms under this title. If the person is admitted for the treatment of disease, the physician in charge shall specify for the record the nature of the disease and where, in the physician's opinion, the disease was contracted.

(c)  The personal information required under Subsection (b) shall be obtained:

(1)  from the person admitted to the institution, if practicable; or

(2)  from the person's relatives or friends or from other persons acquainted with the facts, in as complete a manner as possible, if the information cannot be obtained from the person admitted to the institution.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.007.  Regulation By Certain Municipalities.

The governing body of a Type A general-law municipality may:

(1)  regulate the registration of marriages; and

(2)  direct the return and maintenance of bills of mortality.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section 191.008.  Sorting Collected Data.

(a) The department shall compile the information relating to births, deaths, and fetal deaths collected under this chapter and organize the results, to the extent possible, according to the following geographic areas:

(1)  the Texas-Mexico border region;

(2)  each public health region;

(3)  rural areas;

(4)  urban areas;

(5)  each county; and

(6)  the state.

(b)  The department may release the information relating to births, deaths, and fetal deaths in accordance with the way it is compiled under this section.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1034, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.



Subchapter B. Records Of Births, Deaths, And Fetal Deaths

Section  191.021.  Registration Districts.

(a) The state is divided into registration districts for the purposes of registering births, deaths, and fetal deaths. The registration districts are:

(1)  each justice of the peace precinct; and

(2)  each municipality with a population of 2,500 or more.

(b)  To facilitate registration, the board may combine or divide registration districts.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.022.  Local Registrars.

(a) The justice of the peace is the local registrar of births and deaths in a justice of the peace precinct. However, the duty of registering births and deaths may be transferred to the county clerk if the justice of the peace and the county clerk agree in writing and the agreement is ratified by the commissioners court.

(b)  The municipal clerk or secretary is the local registrar of births and deaths in a municipality with a population of 2,500 or more.

(c)  Each local registrar shall appoint a deputy registrar so that a registrar will be available at all times for the registration of births and deaths.

(d)  The local registrar shall sign each report made to the bureau of vital statistics.

(e)  If a local registrar fails or refuses to register each birth and death in the district or neglects duties under this title, the county judge or the mayor, as appropriate, shall appoint a new local registrar and shall send the name and mailing address of the appointee to the state registrar.

(f)  A local registrar who collects a fee for a certified copy of a birth certificate shall deduct 20 cents of that fee to apply to the registrar's administrative costs and remit $1.80 of that fee to the comptroller.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 305, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 263, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 2005.



Section  191.023.  Consolidation Of County And Municipal Maintenance Of Birth And Death Records.

(a) The duties imposed by law relating to the maintenance of birth and death records of a municipality with a population of 2,500 or more may be transferred to the county in which the municipality is located, as provided by this section.

(b)  If the commissioners court adopts a resolution to transfer the duties and the governing body of the municipality subsequently adopts a concurring resolution, the county and municipality shall agree on a timetable for the transfer and shall execute the transfer in an orderly fashion.

(c)  Before a commissioners court may adopt a resolution under Subsection (b), the official to whom the duties would be transferred must attest in writing that the official has sufficient resources and finances to assume those duties.

(d)  If the governing body of a municipality does not adopt a concurring resolution before the 91st day after the date on which a county adopts a resolution under Subsection (b), a petition by the qualified voters of the municipality may serve as the equivalent of a concurring resolution under Subsection (b). The petition must succinctly describe the intention to consolidate county and municipal maintenance of birth and death records and must be signed by a number of qualified voters equal to at least 20 percent of the number of qualified voters voting in the most recent mayoral election.

(e)  A consolidation under this section affects only the county and the municipality to which the resolutions apply. This section does not affect the apportionment of registration districts under Section 191.021.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.024.  Reports Of Information.

(a) On the state registrar's demand, a person, including a physician, midwife, or funeral director, who has information relating to a birth, death, or fetal death shall supply the information in person, by mail, or through the local registrar. The person shall supply the information on a form provided by the department or on the original certificate.

(b)  An organization or individual who has a record of births or deaths that may be useful to establish the genealogy of a resident of this state may file the record or a duly authenticated transcript of the record with the state registrar.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.025.  Record Books And Certificates.

(a) Forms for the registration of births, deaths, and fetal deaths must be approved by the department.

(b)  A municipality shall supply its local registrar, and each county shall supply the county clerk, with permanent record books for recording the births, deaths, and fetal deaths occurring in their respective jurisdictions. The record books must be in forms approved by the state registrar.

(c)  A local registrar shall supply forms of certificates to persons who need them. The board shall establish and promulgate rules for strict accountability of birth certificates to prevent birth certificate fraud.

(d)  Information required on a certificate must be written legibly in durable blue or black ink or may be filed and registered by photographic, electronic, or other means as prescribed by the state registrar.

(e)  A certificate must contain each item of information required on the certificate or a satisfactory reason for omitting the item.

(f)  The department shall require that the form for the registration of deaths must include the question, "Was the decedent a peace officer or an honorably retired peace officer in this state?".

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 15, Sec. 5.14, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 17, Sec. 1, eff. April 25, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 476, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 744, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  191.026.  Local Records.

(a) The local registrar shall secure a complete record of each birth, death, and fetal death that occurs in the local registrar's jurisdiction.

(b)  The local registrar shall consecutively number birth and death certificates in separate series, beginning with the number "1" for the first birth and the first death in each calendar year. The local registrar shall sign each certificate to attest to the date the certificate is filed in the local registrar's office.

(c)  The local registrar shall copy in the record book required under Section 191.025 each certificate that the local registrar registers, unless the local registrar keeps duplicates under Subsection (d) or makes photographic duplications as authorized by Chapter 181 or 201, Local Government Code. Except as provided by Subsection (e), the copies shall be permanently preserved in the local registrar's office as the local record, in the manner directed by the state registrar.

(d)  The local registrar may permanently bind duplicate reports of births and deaths, if the duplicates are required by local ordinance, and index them in the manner that the state registrar indexes records under Section 191.032.

(e)  The local registrar may, after the first anniversary of the date of registration of a birth, death, or fetal death, destroy the permanent record of the birth, death, or fetal death maintained by the local registrar if:

(1)  the local registrar has access to electronic records of births, deaths, and fetal deaths maintained by the bureau of vital statistics; and

(2)  before destroying the records, the local registrar certifies to the state registrar that each record maintained by the local office that is to be destroyed has been verified against the records contained in the bureau's database and that each record is included in the database or otherwise accounted for.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1997, 74th Leg., ch. 17, Sec. 2, eff. April 25, 1997.



Section  191.027.  Review Of Certificate By Local Registrar.

(a) The local registrar shall carefully examine each birth or death certificate when presented for registration to determine if it is completed as required by this title and by the state registrar's instructions.

(b)  If a death certificate is incomplete or unsatisfactory, the local registrar shall call attention to the defects in the return.

(c)  If a birth certificate is incomplete, the local registrar shall immediately notify the informant and require the informant to supply the missing information if it can be obtained.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.028.  Amendment Of Certificate.

(a) A record of a birth, death, or fetal death accepted by a local registrar for registration may not be changed except as provided by Subsection (b).

(b)  An amending certificate may be filed to complete or correct a record that is incomplete or proved by satisfactory evidence to be inaccurate. The amendment must be in a form prescribed by the department. The amendment shall be attached to and become a part of the legal record of the birth, death, or fetal death if the amendment is accepted for filing, except as provided by Section 192.011(b).

(c)  Not later than the 30th business day after the date the department receives an amending certificate, the department shall notify the individual of whether the amendment has been accepted for filing.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 54, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 758, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  191.029.  Certificates Or Report Sent To State Registrar.

On the 10th day of each month, the local registrar shall send to the state registrar:

(1)  the original certificates that the local registrar registered during the preceding month; or

(2)  a report of no births or deaths on a card provided for that purpose if no births or deaths occurred during the preceding month.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.030.  Records Filed With County.

(a) Not later than the 10th day of each month, the local registrar shall file with the commissioners court or the county auditor, as appropriate, a copy of each birth, death, and fetal death certificate filed with the local registrar during the preceding month.

(b)  Each copy must show the local registrar's file date and signature.

(c)  The copies shall be deposited in the county clerk's office.

(d)  This subsection does not apply in a municipality that has an ordinance requiring that a copy of each birth, death, and fetal death certificate be permanently filed in the office of the municipality's registrar.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.031.  Review Of Certificates By State Registrar.

(a) The state registrar shall carefully examine the certificates received monthly from the local registrars.

(b)  The state registrar shall require additional information to make the record complete and satisfactory if necessary.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.032.  State Records.

(a) The state registrar shall arrange, bind, and permanently preserve birth, death, and fetal death certificates in a systematic manner.

(b)  The board shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  191.033.  Addenda.

(a) The state registrar may attach to the original record an addendum that sets out any information received by the state registrar that may contradict the information in a birth, death, or fetal death record required to be maintained in the bureau of vital statistics.

(b)  If the state registrar attaches an addendum to an original record, the state registrar shall instruct the local registration official in whose jurisdiction the birth, death, or fetal death occurred to attach an identical addendum to any duplicate of the record in the official's custody.

(c)  In this section, "local registration official" means a county clerk or a person authorized by this title to maintain a duplicate system of records for each birth, death, or fetal death that occurs in the person's jurisdiction.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.034.  Notation Of Death On Birth Certificate.

(a) On receipt of the death certificate of a person younger than 55 years of age whose birth is registered in this state, the state registrar shall make a conspicuous notation on the decedent's birth certificate that the person is dead.

(b)  The state registrar shall provide computer-generated abstracts, transcripts, or copies of the death certificate to the county clerk of the county in which the decedent was born and to the local registrar of the registration district in which the decedent was born. On receipt of the notification of death, the county clerk or local registrar shall make a conspicuous notation on the decedent's birth certificate that the person is dead.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  191.036.  Spanish Surname Information.

(a) The purpose of this section is to:

(1)  enable this state to participate in a study being conducted by a group of southwestern states to obtain information about the birth rates and mortality patterns of persons with Spanish surnames; and

(2)  implement recommendations made by the National Center for Health Statistics for improved methods of maintaining vital statistics.

(b)  In the next official revision of the prescribed forms for birth and fetal death certificates, the department shall include the following questions and instructions:

(1)  Is the father of Spanish origin?

(2)  If yes, specify Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, etc.

(3)  Is the mother of Spanish origin?

(4)  If yes, specify Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, etc.

(c)  In the next official revision of the prescribed forms for death certificates, the department shall include the following questions and instructions:

(1)  Was the decedent of Spanish origin?

(2)  If yes, specify Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, etc.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Subchapter C. Copies Of Records

Section  191.051.  Certified Copies.

(a) Subject to board rules controlling the accessibility of vital records, the state registrar shall supply to a properly qualified applicant, on request, a certified copy of a record, or part of a record, of a birth, death, or fetal death registered under this title.

(b)  A certified copy issued under this subsection may be issued only in the form approved by the department.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.052.  Certified Copy As Evidence.

A copy of a birth, death, or fetal death record registered under this title that is certified by the state registrar is prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the record.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.056.  Copies Collected By National Agency.

(a) The national agency in charge of the collection of vital statistics may obtain, without expense to the state, transcripts of vital records without payment of the fees prescribed by this chapter.

(b)  The bureau of vital statistics may contract with the national agency to have copies of vital records that are filed with the bureau transcribed for that agency.

(c)  The state registrar may act as special agent for the national agency to accept the use of the franking privilege and forms furnished by the national agency.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  191.057.  Records With Addenda.

(a) In this section:

(1)  "Copy" means a reproduction of a record made by any means.

(2)  "Local registration official" means a county clerk or a person authorized by this title to maintain a duplicate system of records for each birth, death, or fetal death that occurs in the person's jurisdiction.

(b)  If the bureau of vital statistics or any local registration official receives an application for a certified copy of a birth, death, or fetal death record to which an addendum has been attached under Section 191.033, the application shall be sent immediately to the state registrar. After examining the application, the original record, and the addendum, the state registrar may refuse to issue a certified copy of the record or part of the record to the applicant.

(c)  If the state registrar refuses to issue the certified copy:

(1)  the state registrar shall notify the applicant of the refusal and the reason for the refusal not later than the 10th day after the date on which the state registrar receives the application; and

(2)  the department shall give the applicant an opportunity for a hearing.

(d)  After the hearing, the state registrar shall notify the local officials who have duplicates of the questioned record of the department's final decision. The department may order the officials to issue or refuse to issue certified copies of the record.

(e)  A duty imposed on or a power granted to the state registrar under this section may be performed or exercised by a designee of the state registrar.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Chapter 192. Birth Records

Subchapter A. General Registration Provisions

Section  192.001.  Registration Required.

The birth of each child born in this state shall be registered.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  192.002.  Form Of Birth Certificate.

(a) The department shall prescribe the form and contents of the birth certificate.

(b)  The section of the birth certificate entitled "For Medical and Health Use Only" is not part of the legal birth certificate. Information held by the department under that section of the certificate is confidential. That information may not be released or made public on subpoena or otherwise, except that release may be made for statistical purposes only so that no person, patient, or facility is identified, or to medical personnel of a health care entity, as that term is defined in Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code, or appropriate state or federal agencies for statistical research. The board may adopt rules to implement this subsection.

(c)  The form must include a space for recording the social security numbers of the mother and father and the signatures of the biological mother and biological father. These social security numbers and signatures are not a part of the legal birth certificate, shall be made available to the agency administering the state's plan under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.), and may not be used or disseminated for any purpose other than the establishment and the enforcement of child support orders.

(d)  The social security numbers of the mother and father recorded on the form shall be made available to the federal Social Security Administration.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 25, Sec. 7; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 56, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 69, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.785, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 192.0021.  Heirloom Birth Certificate.

(a) The department shall promote and sell copies of an heirloom birth certificate.  The department shall solicit donated designs for the certificate from Texas artists and select the best donated designs for the form of the certificate.  An heirloom birth certificate must contain the same information as, and have the same effect of, a certified copy of another birth record.  The department shall prescribe a fee for the issuance of an heirloom birth certificate in an amount that does not exceed $50.  The heirloom birth certificate must be printed on high-quality paper with the appearance of parchment not smaller than 11 inches by 14 inches.

(b)  The department shall deposit 50 percent of the proceeds from the sale of heirloom birth certificates to the credit of the childhood immunization account and the other 50 percent to the credit of the undedicated portion of the general revenue fund.  The childhood immunization account is an account in the general revenue fund.  Money in the account may be used only by the Department of State Health Services for:

(1)  making grants to fund childhood immunizations and related education programs; and

(2)  administering this section.

(c)  The department may sell an heirloom birth certificate only for an individual born in this state.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 941, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1265, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 192.0022.  Certificate Of Birth Resulting In Stillbirth.

(a) In this section:

(1)  "Stillbirth" means an unintended, intrauterine fetal death occurring in this state after a gestational age of not less than 20 completed weeks.

(2)  "Certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth" means a birth certificate issued to record the birth of a stillborn child.

(b)  The person who is required to file a fetal death certificate under Section 193.002 shall advise the parent or parents of a stillborn child:

(1)  that a parent may, but is not required to, request the preparation of a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth;

(2)  that a parent may obtain a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth by contacting the bureau of vital statistics to request the certificate and paying the required fee; and

(3)  regarding the way or ways in which a parent may contact the bureau of vital statistics to request the certificate.

(c)  A parent may provide a name for a stillborn child on the request for a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.  If the requesting parent does not wish to provide a name, the bureau of vital statistics shall fill in the certificate with the name "baby boy" or "baby girl" and the last name of the parent.  The name of the stillborn child provided on or later added by amendment to the certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth shall be the same name as placed on the original or amended fetal death certificate.

(d)  A certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth must include the state file number of the corresponding fetal death certificate.

(e)  The department shall prescribe the form and content of a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth and shall specify the information necessary to prepare the certificate.

(f)  The bureau of vital statistics may not use a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth to calculate live birth statistics.

(g)  On issuance of a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth to a parent who has requested the certificate as provided by this section, the bureau of vital statistics shall file an exact copy of the certificate with the local registrar of the registration district in which the stillbirth occurred.  The local registrar shall file the certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth with the fetal death certificate.

(h)  A parent may request the bureau of vital statistics to issue a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth without regard to the date on which the fetal death certificate was issued.

(i)  The executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission may adopt rules necessary to administer this section.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 276, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  192.003.  Birth Certificate Filed Or Birth Reported.

(a) The physician, midwife, or person acting as a midwife in attendance at a birth shall file the birth certificate with the local registrar of the registration district in which the birth occurs.

(b)  If a birth occurs in a hospital or birthing center, the hospital administrator, the birthing center administrator, or a designee of the appropriate administrator may file the birth certificate in lieu of a person listed by Subsection (a).

(c)  If there is no physician, midwife, or person acting as a midwife in attendance at a birth and if the birth does not occur in a hospital or birthing center, the following in the order listed shall report the birth to the local registrar:

(1)  the father or mother of the child; or

(2)  the owner or householder of the premises where the birth occurs.

(d)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), a person required to file a birth certificate or report a birth shall file the certificate or make the report not later than the fifth day after the date of the birth.

(e)  Based on a parent's religious beliefs, a parent may request that a person required to file a birth certificate or report a birth delay filing the certificate or making the report until the parent contacts the person with the child's name.  If a parent does not name the child before the fifth day after the date of the birth due to the parent's religious beliefs, the parent must contact the person required to file the birth certificate or report the birth with the name of the child as soon as the child is named.  A person required to file the birth certificate or report the birth who delays filing the certificate or making the report in accordance with the parent's request shall file the certificate or make the report not later than the 15th day after the date of the child's birth.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 30, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 519, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(21), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 124, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 81, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 68, Sec. 1, eff. May 17, 2005.



Section  192.0031.  Information Of Birth To School-age Mother.

(a) Notwithstanding Subchapter C, Chapter 552, Government Code, the department shall notify the commissioner of education of each birth to a school-age mother. The commissioner may notify the school district in which a school-age mother resides of each birth to a school-age mother.

(b)  The department may not notify the commissioner of a birth to a school-age mother if:

(1)  the child died at birth; or

(2)  the child was placed for adoption.

(c)  A notification under this section must include the name and address of the mother, the father, if the father is of school age and is named on the birth certificate, and the person born. Reports under this section shall be sent at least quarterly.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 907, Sec. 6, eff. June 19, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(101), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  192.004.  Information Obtained By Local Registrar.

(a) The local registrar shall obtain the information necessary to prepare the birth certificate from the person reporting a birth or from another person with the required knowledge if:

(1)  the birth is reported under Section 192.003(c); or

(2)  a person who files a certificate under Section 192.003(a) or 192.003(b) cannot by diligent inquiry obtain an item of information required for the certificate.

(b)  A person from whom a local registrar requests necessary information shall answer correctly to the best of the person's knowledge. On request of the local registrar, a person who makes a statement under this section shall verify the statement by signing it.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 30, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.



Section  192.005.  Record Of Paternity.

(a) The items on a birth certificate relating to the child's father shall be completed only if:

(1)  the child's mother was married to the father:

(A)  at the time of the child's conception;

(B)  at the time of the child's birth; or

(C)  after the child's birth;

(2)  paternity is established by order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or

(3)  a valid acknowledgment of paternity executed by the father has been filed with the bureau of vital statistics as provided by Subchapter D, Chapter 160, Family Code.

(b)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

(c)  A person may apply to the state registrar for the removal of any indication of the absence of paternity of a child who has no presumed father from the person's birth record.

(d)  If the items relating to the child's father are not completed on a birth certificate filed with the state registrar, the state registrar shall notify the attorney general.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 25, Sec. 8; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 519, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.42, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 21, 23, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  192.0051.  Report Of Determination Of Paternity.

(a) A report of each determination of paternity in this state shall be filed with the state registrar.

(b)  On a determination of paternity, the petitioner shall provide the clerk of the court in which the decree was granted with the information necessary to prepare the report. The clerk shall:

(1)  report the determination on a form or in a manner provided by the department; and

(2)  complete the report immediately after the decree becomes final.

(c)  On completion of the report, the clerk of the court shall forward to the state registrar the report for each decree that became final in that court.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 519, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 70, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  192.006.  Supplementary Birth Certificates.

(a) A supplementary birth certificate may be filed if the person who is the subject of the certificate:

(1)  becomes the child of the person's father by the subsequent marriage of the person's parents;

(2)  has the person's parentage determined by a court of competent jurisdiction; or

(3)  is adopted under the laws of any state.

(b)  An application for a supplementary birth certificate may be filed by:

(1)  an adult whose status is changed; or

(2)  a legal representative of the person whose status is changed.

(c)  The state registrar shall require proof of the change in status that the board by rule may prescribe.

(d)  Supplementary birth certificates and applications for supplementary birth certificates shall be prepared and filed in accordance with board rules.

(e)  In accordance with board rules, a supplementary birth certificate may be filed for a person whose parentage has been determined by an acknowledgment of paternity.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 57, 58, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 71, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  192.007.  Supplementary Certificates For Child Who Dies Before Adoption.

(a) If a child in the process of being adopted in this state dies before the adoption is completed, the persons who attempted to adopt the child may request the state registrar to file supplementary birth and death certificates for the child.

(b)  Persons making a request under this section must include with the request:

(1)  sufficient information to prove that they attempted to adopt the child and that the child died before the adoption was completed;

(2)  a copy of an irrevocable affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights relating to the child;

(3)  a copy of the affidavit of the status of the child, if applicable; and

(4)  any other information required by the department.

(c)  On receipt of the information required by Subsection (b), the state registrar shall complete birth and death certificates as if the child had been adopted by court decree and then died.

(d)  In the absence of evidence to the contrary, compliance with this section and the completion of the birth certificate constitute adoption by estoppel.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  192.008.  Birth Records Of Adopted Person.

(a) The supplementary birth certificate of an adopted child must be in the names of the adoptive parents, one of whom must be a female, named as the mother, and the other of whom must be a male, named as the father. This subsection does not prohibit a single individual, male or female, from adopting a child. Copies of the child's birth certificates or birth records may not disclose that the child is adopted.

(b)  After a supplementary birth certificate of an adopted child is filed, information disclosed from the record must be from the supplementary certificate.

(c)  The board shall adopt rules and procedures to ensure that birth records and indexes under the control of the department or local registrars and accessible to the public do not contain information or cross-references through which the confidentiality of adoption placements may be directly or indirectly violated. The rules and procedures may not interfere with the registries established under Subchapter E, Chapter 162, Family Code, or with a court order under this section.

(d)  Except as provided by Subsections (e) and (f), only the court that granted the adoption may order access to an original birth certificate and the filed documents on which a supplementary certificate is based.

(e)  A person applying for access to an original birth certificate and the filed documents on which the supplementary certificate is based is entitled to know the identity and location of the court that granted the adoption. If that information is not on file, the state registrar shall give the person an affidavit stating that the information is not on file with the state registrar. Any court of competent jurisdiction to which the person presents the affidavit may order the access.

(f)  An adult adoptee who is applying for access to the person's original birth certificate and who knows the identity of each parent named on the original birth certificate is entitled to a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate without obtaining a court order.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.43, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 29, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 480, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  192.009.  Certificate Of Adoption, Annulment Of Adoption, Or Revocation Of Adoption.

(a) A certificate of each adoption, annulment of adoption, and revocation of adoption decreed in this state shall be filed with the state registrar.

(b)  When a petition for adoption, annulment of adoption, or revocation of adoption is granted, the petitioner shall supply the clerk of the court the information necessary to prepare the certificate. The clerk shall:

(1)  prepare the certificate on a form furnished by the department that provides the information prescribed by the department; and

(2)  complete the certificate immediately after the decree becomes final.

(c)  Not later than the 10th day of each month, the clerk shall forward to the state registrar the certificates that the clerk completed for decrees that became final in the preceding calendar month.

(d)  If the bureau of vital statistics determines that a certificate filed with the state registrar under this section requires correction, the bureau shall mail the certificate directly to an attorney of record with respect to the petition of adoption, annulment of adoption, or revocation of adoption. The attorney shall return the corrected certificate to the bureau. If there is no attorney of record, the bureau shall mail the certificate to the clerk of the court for correction.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1128, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  192.010.  Change Of Name.

(a) Subject to board rules, an adult whose name is changed by court order, or the legal representative of any person whose name is changed by court order, may request that the state registrar attach an amendment showing the change to the person's original birth record.

(b)  The state registrar shall require proof of the change of name that the board by rule may prescribe.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 59, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 59, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  192.011.  Amending Birth Certificate.

(a) This section applies to an amending birth certificate that is filed under Section 191.028 and that completes or corrects information relating to the person's sex, color, or race.

(b)  On the request of the person or the person's legal representative, the state registrar, local registrar, or other person who issues birth certificates shall issue a birth certificate that incorporates the completed or corrected information instead of issuing a copy of the original or supplementary certificate with an amending certificate attached.

(c)  The department shall prescribe the form for certificates issued under this section.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  192.012.  Record Of Acknowledgment Of Paternity.

(a) If the mother of a child is not married to the father of the child, a person listed in Section 192.003 who is responsible for filing the birth certificate shall:

(1)  provide an opportunity for the child's mother and putative father to sign an acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Subchapter C, Chapter 160, Family Code; and

(2)  provide oral and written information to the child's mother and putative father about:

(A)  establishing paternity, including an explanation of the rights and responsibilities that result from acknowledging paternity; and

(B)  the availability of child support services.

(b)  The local registrar shall transmit the acknowledgment of paternity to the state registrar.

(c)  The state registrar shall record the information contained in the acknowledgment of paternity and transmit the information to the Title IV-D agency.

(d)  The Title IV-D agency may use the information contained in the acknowledgment of paternity for any purpose directly connected with providing child support services under Chapter 231, Family Code.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 72, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Subchapter B. Delayed Registration

Section  192.021.  Delay Less Than One Year.

(a) A birth that occurred more than five days but less than one year before the date of an application for registration may be recorded on a birth certificate and submitted for filing to the local registrar of the registration district in which the birth occurred.

(b)  The local registrar may require evidence to substantiate the facts of the birth and may require a statement explaining the delay in filing the birth certificate. The local registrar may accept the certificate for filing if the evidence required by the local registrar is submitted.

(c)  Registration under this section is subject to board rules.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  192.022.  Delay Of One Year Or More: Application Filed With State Registrar.

Subject to board rules, an application to file a delayed birth certificate for a birth in this state not registered before the one-year anniversary of the date of birth shall be made to the state registrar.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  192.023.  Delay Of More Than One But Less Than Four Years.

(a) A birth that occurred at least one year but less than four years before the date of the application for registration shall be recorded on a birth certificate in the form prescribed by the state registrar and submitted to the state registrar for filing.

(b)  The state registrar may require evidence to substantiate the facts of the birth and may require a statement explaining the delay in filing the birth certificate. The state registrar may accept the certificate for filing if the evidence required by the state registrar is submitted.

(c)  A birth certificate filed under this section shall be marked "Delayed" and must show on its face the date of registration.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  192.024.  Delay Of Four Years Or More.

(a) A birth that occurred four or more years before the date of the application for registration shall be recorded on a form entitled "Delayed Certificate of Birth." The department shall prescribe and furnish the form.

(b)  The form shall provide for:

(1)  the name and sex of the person whose birth is to be registered;

(2)  the place and date of the person's birth;

(3)  the names of the person's parents;

(4)  the place of birth of each parent;

(5)  the date of registration; and

(6)  any other information required by the state registrar.

(c)  The information on the form must be subscribed and sworn to, before an official authorized to administer oaths, by:

(1)  the person whose birth is to be registered; or

(2)  the person's parent, legal guardian, or legal representative if the person is incompetent to swear to the information.

(d)  The state registrar shall add to a certificate submitted under this section:

(1)  a description of each document submitted in support of the delayed registration, including the title of the document or the type of document;

(2)  the name and address of the affiant if the document is an affidavit of personal knowledge; and

(3)  if the document is a record, or certified copy of a record, of a business entry:

(A)  the name and address of the custodian of the record;

(B)  the date of the original entry; and

(C)  the date of the certified copy.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  192.025.  Supporting Documents.

(a) The state registrar shall accept an application under Section 192.024 if the applicant's statement of date and place of birth and parentage is established to the state registrar's satisfaction by the evidence required by this section.

(b)  The certification of the state registrar shall be added to a certificate accepted for filing under this section.

(c)  If the birth occurred at least four years but less than 15 years before the date of the application:

(1)  the statement of date and place of birth must be supported by at least two documents, only one of which may be an affidavit of personal knowledge; and

(2)  the statement of parentage must be supported by at least one document, which may be a document qualifying for submission under Subdivision (1).

(d)  If the birth occurred 15 or more years before the date of the application:

(1)  the statement of date and place of birth must be supported by at least three documents, only one of which may be an affidavit of personal knowledge; and

(2)  the statement of parentage must be supported by at least one document, which may be a document qualifying for submission under Subdivision (1).

(e)  A document accepted as evidence under this section, other than an affidavit of personal knowledge, must be at least five years old. A copy or abstract of the document may be accepted if certified as true and correct by the custodian of the document.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  192.026.  Rejection Or Return Of Application.

(a) The state registrar may not register a delayed birth certificate if:

(1)  the applicant does not submit the documentary evidence required by Section 192.025; or

(2)  the state registrar finds reason to question the validity or adequacy of the certificate or the documentary evidence.

(b)  On the state registrar's refusal to register a certificate under Subsection (a), the state registrar shall:

(1)  furnish the applicant a statement of the reasons for the refusal; and

(2)  advise the applicant of the right to appeal to the county court for probate matters of the county in which the birth occurred, as provided by Section 192.027.

(c)  If an application to file a delayed birth certificate is not actively pursued, the state registrar shall:

(1)  return the application, supporting evidence, and any related instruments to the applicant; or

(2)  make another disposition of those documents that the state registrar considers appropriate.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  192.027.  Registration By Judicial Order.

(a) If a delayed birth certificate is not accepted for registration by the state registrar, the person may file a petition in the county probate court of the county in which the birth occurred for an order establishing a record of the person's date of birth, place of birth, and parentage.

(b)  The petition must be on a form prescribed and furnished by the department.

(c)  The petition must be accompanied by:

(1)  a statement of the state registrar issued under Section 192.026(b)(1); and

(2)  the documentary evidence submitted to the state registrar in support of the application.

(d)  If the court finds from the evidence presented that the person was born in this state, the court shall:

(1)  make findings as to the person's date and place of birth and parentage;

(2)  make other findings required by the case; and

(3)  enter an order on a form prescribed and furnished by the department to establish a record of birth.

(e)  An order under this section must include:

(1)  the birth data to be registered;

(2)  a description of the evidence presented; and

(3)  the date of the court's action.

(f)  Not later than the seventh day after the date on which the order is entered, the clerk of the court shall forward the order to the state registrar. The state registrar shall register the order, which is the record of birth.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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