November 18, 2005
Fees for Texas birth and death certificates will increase Dec. 1, from $11 to $22 for a birth certificate and from $9 to $20 for a death certificate. State officials said the increases are needed to pay for a massive vital records protection project.
Randy Fritz, chief operating officer for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), said revenue from the increased fees will cover the cost of transferring some 48 million paper and microfilm birth, death and marriage records and other vital documents to electronic files.
“These are irreplaceable records. It's imperative that we get them to a permanent electronic format to protect them should there be a fire, flood or other catastrophe,” Fritz said. “Having electronic documents also will expedite the issuing process.”
Transferring the paper and microfilm records, which date back to 1903, to electronic images will begin in January and is expected to take five years. The cost of the electronic imaging and related improvements is expected to be about $18 million.
The department issues about 300,000 birth and death certificates a year.
Fees for other vital records certificates and services also will increase.
The fee increases will apply to requests processed by DSHS and to those processed by local registrars throughout the state.
(News Media: for more information contact Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7524.)