Ordering Death Certificates by Mail

1.    Obtain and complete an application for a certified copy of a death certificate.

Copies of death certificates for deaths that occurred within the past 25 years can be requested only by immediate family members of the person whose name is on the certificate.  See Section 181.1(13) of the Texas Administrative Code for what qualifies as an immediate family member.  Applicants who are not immediate family members must provide legal documentation (such as an insurance policy listing the applicant as the beneficiary) that documents a direct, tangible interest in the death certificate.

2.    Send the completed application and payment using one of the methods listed in the table below.

The applicant must include a photocopy of his or her valid photo ID issued by a governmental entity.  See Section 181.28 of the Texas Administrative Code for a complete list of acceptable forms of identification.  You also can see VSU's page on acceptable identification in English and Spanish.

Applications for death certificates cannot be processed without a photo ID or alternate IDs and the signature of the applicant.


Processing times are estimates. Please make checks or money orders payable to DSHS.

Order methods



Payment methods

Estimated processing time

In person

Visit our office:

1100 West 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756
8 am – 4 pm

$20–1st certified copy

$3–each additional copy



Credit/Debit Card+

Money order

5minutes–2 hours

Note: Searches may require 24 hours or more to process.

Expedited Service

Texas Death Certificate Application

Orders must be sent to the Texas Department of State Health Services—Vital Statistics Unit via an overnight mail service, such as:

  • Fedex
  • Lonestar
  • UPS

Do not send via United States Postal Service.

$20–1st certified copy

$3–each additional copy 

+ $5 expedited processing fee

+ $8 return delivery for Lonestar (within Texas) or Fedex (outside of Texas) or $22.95 for P.O. Box and express mail (optional)*


Money order

20–25 business days

Note: Incomplete or unacceptable applications will require additional processing time.
U.S. Postal Service

Texas Death Certificate Application

$20–1st certified copy

$3–each additional copy 

+ $8 return delivery for Lonestar (within Texas) or Fedex (outside of Texas) or $22.95 for P.O. Box and express mail (optional)*

Money order
6–8 weeks

 *Additional carrier rates for Saturday and international shipping will apply.

+Credit cards will require a $2.25 processing fee.

Last updated July 24, 2019