Birth Registration Frequently Asked Questions

For legal questions regarding Texas vital records, please consult with an attorney. For questions about ordering birth and death records online, see the TexasOnline Frequently Asked Questions page.


Does every child born in Texas have to have a birth record?

Yes. According to the Health and Safety Code, the birth of each child born in this state shall be registered. [HSC §192.001]

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How long does the person required the file the birth record have to file the birth certificate?

The person required to file a birth certificate shall file the certificate not later than the fifth day after the date of the birth. [HSC §192.003(d)]

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Who is responsible for filing the birth certificate?

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. 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 the physician, midwife, or person acting as a midwife in attendance of the birth.

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.

  [HSC §193.003]

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Upon subpoena, can the local or state registrar issue a certified copy of a birth certificate that includes the information under the “For Medical and Health Use Only” section?

No. It 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. The only exception to this is if it is for statistics purposes and no personal, patient, or facility is identifies when the information is released. [HSC §192.002(b)]

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If a child is born in an vehicle on the way to the hospital, who would responsible for filing the birth certificate?

If can be confirmed by the hospital that the child was delivered in the vehicle and was not removed from the vehicle until they got to the hospital, the hospital would be responsible for filing the birth certificate. The birth certificate would state the child was born “En-route to facility” (item 7a) and facility were the child was first removed from the vehicle would be listed in the "Name of Hospital" section (7b).

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Last updated December 20, 2017