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    Phone: 888-963-7111
    Fax: 512-776-7711

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    General Info: registrar@dshs.texas.gov

Emergency Assistance Regarding Replacement Birth Certificates


Note: The Vital Statistics Section is still allowing free birth certificates based on disaster-affected areas.  However, it is not through the Governor’s office, but FEMA. Please use the current list of counties at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/.

GUIDANCE DATE: September 12, 2017 

In accordance with section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, the Office of the Governor has approved DSHS’s request to suspend portions of 25 TAC 181.22, Health and Safety Code 191.0045(d) and (e), and Health and Safety Code 191.022(f) in order to allow the state to waive fees for mail-in or walk-in birth certificate issuance requests, and local registrars to waive fees for walk-in birth certificate issuance requests, for individuals from hurricane-affected counties.     

Below is a list of counties that FEMA has designated affected counties for individual assistance.

Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Caldwell, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, and Wharton counties.  

Local Registrars are authorized to waive issuance fees at any statewide local registration office.  Individuals should contact the local registration office in their area to obtain information on waived fees.


Obtaining a DSHS State issuance fee waived certified copy 

Individuals in the affected counties listed above can request one replacement certified copy of a birth certificate with the DSHS State issuance fee waived either by mail or in person at the Department of State Health Services main office in Austin.

To obtain a certified copy by mail, please submit the VS 142.3 - Mail Application for a Certified Copy and identification to our physical address at: 

Texas Vital Statistics 

Attn: – VSS – Hurricane Harvey Relief Department of State Health Services – MC 1966 1100 W. 49th Street Austin, TX 78756 

NOTE: Please indicate the county of residence and write “Hurricane Harvey Relief” at the top of the application.

You can download a copy of the application at the following webpage: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/vs/reqproc/forms.shtm  

Identification of Applicant 

For a list of acceptable identification that can be used to prove identity please see the following webpage: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/vs/reqproc/Acceptable-IDs/ 

Local Registrars 

DSHS suspension of portions of 25 TAC 181.22, Health and Safety Code 191.0045(d) and (e), and Health and Safety Code 191.022(f) and subsequent waiver of state fees allows local registrars to waive fees for walk in customers seeking a replacement certified copy of a birth certificate for the affected counties.  

The Vital Statistics Section will be waiving the fee associated with the remote issuance system.  Please submit a copy of each application for certified copy that you issued free of charge when invoiced for payment and we will issue a credit on your next invoice.  

If you have questions regarding remote site payment, please email field services at fieldservices@dshs.texas.gov

Helpful Links: 

Federal link to determine if an address is in an area that has been declared for Individual Assistance www.DisasterAssistance.gov  

Federal Guidance on How to Replace Other Vital Documents https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-harvey#item-213436 

Texas Counties FEMA has designated federal disaster areas https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4332 

Governor Abbott’s Declaration: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-again-adds-additional-counties-for-hurricane-harvey-disaste  

DSHS's Page on Hurricane Harvey http://dshs.texas.gov/news/updates.shtm#Harvey

Last updated October 10, 2018