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Request Procedures for Vital Statistics Data

 Vital statistics data release is controlled by the Texas law:

            1) Under Texas Government Code Section 552.115, birth records are public on and after the 75th anniversary of the date of birth and death records are public on and after the 25th anniversary of the date of death.

            2) Abortion data are confidential and are not open records. Abortion information may not be released or made public, except that release may be made for statistical purposes, but only if a person, patient, or abortion facility is not identified (Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 139A, Rule 139.4 (d).

            3) Parts of the fetal death data are confidential and are not open records under the Medical Practice Act, and Texas Government Code  §552.101 accordingly to the Texas Attorney General ruling OR2008-12014.

There are different procedures to be followed depending on the type(s) of vital statistics data you are requesting.

1. For paper copies of birth or death certificates and verification of a marriage or divorce, contact the Vital Statistics Unit by calling toll-free number 1-888-963-7111 or by e-mail to Registrar .

2. For statistical information, refer to multiple statistical data sources available on the Department web site:

            Texas Vital Statistics Annual Reports.  Click on a year that you need and it will bring you to the birth, death, fetal death, abortion, marriage, and divorce data tables, narratives, and

maps.

            Texas Health Data query allows the user to customize statistical reports by querying vital records and other health related databases.

            Texas Infant Mortality Rate Analyzer provides interactive capability for analyzing infant mortality rates for geographic areas of Texas by race/ethnicity.

            Texas Health Facts Profiles provide demographic, socioeconomic and vital statistics information for Texas counties, Public Health Regions and other geographic areas.

            Texas Health Currents system combines many sources of health related data with the most up to date information available.

            Texas Health Indicators provide access to public health datasets and information on Texas priority health issues.

If you did not find statistical information that you need, send your request to the Center for Health Statistics by calling 512-776-7509 or by email to VSTAT .

3. Open record requests for vital statistics data are limited and controlled by the Texas law. For the current data, only summary birth, death, marriage and divorce indexes are public and consist of the items listed in the Section 181.1 (15) of the Texas Administrative Code: name of the registrant, date of event, county of occurrence, sex of registrant. To obtain the index data, follow the instructions on How to Purchase a Birth, Death, Marriage License Application, and Report of Divorce Index.

4. For an electronic data file, send your request to the Center for Health Statistics by email to VSTAT .  To help determine the correct process for your request, complete the data item checklist(s), answer the following questions and include these in your email:

  • Which specific data elements are requested and for which year(s),
  • From which data source,
  • The level of individual identification associated with the requested data,
  • Who is requesting those specific data,
  • The purpose or intended use of those specific data,
  • Applicable federal or state regulations.

5. If your request for research data meets the requirements of section 25 TAC §181.11 of the Texas Administrative Code, you may request the current data through the Department’s data review committees: Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Committee on Requests for Personal Data (CORPD). The IRB application and the CORPD application are to be used in combination when requesting vital statistics data.

Please send all questions regarding IRB/CORPD data requests by email to vstat@dshs.state.tx.us.

Last updated August 15, 2014