Disinterment Permit

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The Disinterment Permit issued by VSU serves as the authority to disinter, transport, and reinter a body within this state. If the body is to be removed from the state, transported by common carrier within the state, or cremated, a Burial-Transit Permit must also be obtained. [HSC §694.001, §711.004, 25 TAC §181.6]

A Disinterment Permit shall not be required if a body is to be disinterred and reinterred in the same cemetery.

The Application for a Disinterment Permit (VS-271) (doc 39k), must be signed by the funeral director or embalmer licensed by the Texas Funeral Commission making application for the permit. The Disinterment Consent Form (VS-271.1) (doc 24k) must also be completed with signatures of consent from the cemetery, the owner of the plot, and the deceased's next-of-kin. The sole responsibility for obtaining the consent rests with the funeral director or embalmer making application for a Disinterment Permit. The application, consent forms, and $25.00 required fee must then be sent to VSU.

Next-of-kin

The third portion of the form entitled Next-of-kin Consent Form must be completed by the next-of-kin in order of priority [HSC §711.004 (a)]:

  1. the decedent's surviving spouse;
  2. the decedent's surviving adult children;
  3. the decedent's surviving parents;
  4. the decedent's adult siblings; or
  5. the adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent.

 

Please Note: A person listed above may consent to the removal only if there is no person in a priority listed before that person. [HSC §711.004(b)]

 

The State Registrar issues the Disinterment Permit in four parts. The funeral director to whom the permit is issued shall retain a copy, a copy is to be filed by the sexton of the cemetery in which the reinterment is to be made, a copy shall be filed by the local registrar with the local registrar's copy of the Certificate of Death, and a copy will be filed by the State Registrar with the original Certificate of Death.

A Disinterment Permit is good for one (1) year from the date of issuance.

The Application for Disinterment Permit: Form VS-271 (doc 39K).
The Disinterment Consent Form: Form VS-271.1 (doc 24K).

 

Please see the Handbook on Death Registration for instruction on completing the application and consent form.

 

Click here for information on viewing files.

 

Send the completed application, along with the required documentation (listed in the form) and the correct fee amount, to Texas Vital Statistics, via one of the two methods in the table below. Add 10-12 weeks to the processing time if the birth or death has occurred less than 6 months ago. Please make checks or money orders payable to DSHS.

 

 

Application methods Instructions Cost Payment methods accepted Processing time for most requests
Expedited service
Overnight mail service
such as UPS, FedEx, or USPS express mail

Do NOT use USPS priority or certified mail*
Send by overnight mail to:
Texas Vital Statistics
Department of State Health Services
1100 W. 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756

Returned by UPS or USPS express mail.
$25 for the Disinterment Permit

+ $5 expedited processing fee

+ delivery cost of $8 for UPS overnight or $17.50 express mail**

Check

Money order
7-10 business days

Please note: this estimate applies only to complete and acceptable applications. Incomplete or unacceptable applications will require additional processing time.
U.S. Postal Service regular mail
Mail request to:
Texas Vital Statistics
Department of State Health Services
P.O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711
$25 for the Disinterment Permit

Check

Money order
6-8 weeks

* Please do not send expedited requests via U.S. Postal Service priority or certified mail because such mail can take up to three weeks to be delivered to our office through our routing system.

**The cost of UPS overnight to most U.S. locations is $8.00. Please contact UPS for the shipping cost if the certificates need to be mailed outside the continental U.S. The cost of express mail delivery to a post office box, Hawaii, Alaska, U.S. territories or U.S. commonwealths is $17.50. The cost of Priority Mail delivery to a military address is $4.95. These delivery methods offer security and tracking capabilities that are not available with regular mail.

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to people with disabilities.

 

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Last updated September 21, 2010