The State of Texas began keeping Birth and Death Records in 1903. Some counties have some Birth and Death
Record Books that go back to about 1850. For the first few years (1903-1925) as many as 20% of the deaths
and births were not reported to the state. Birth and Death Indexes (name, date, location) are maintained at
the State Archives, Austin, Texas.
NOTE: All of the TXGenWeb Project databases shown on this page are located elsewhere so you will
have to leave this website to access the material.
Texas Vital Record Laws at a Glance
Birth Records: Chapter 1192 (Senate Bill No. 861), 78th Legislature, Regular Session (2003) took effect on
September 1, 2003. A birth record now becomes public information and available to the public on and after
the 75th anniversary of the date of birth as shown on the record filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Death Records: Death records become public information after the 25th anniversary of the date of death as
shown on the record filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Marriage and Divorce Records: Both are considered public records and have no time restrictions.