State of Texas Certificate of Death
STATE FILE NUMBER
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES - VITAL STATISTICS UNIT
CAUSE OF DEATH
INFORMATION BELOW IS FOR STATISTICAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE INCLUDED ON CERTIFIED COPIES
All information except signatures should be typed. If it is not possible to type the information, print legibly using durable black or blue ink. All signatures must be handwritten in durable black or blue ink (unless signed electronically in Texas Electronic Registrar described below). Rubber stamps or facsimile signatures are not permitted [HSC §191.025(d)] for funeral directors and certifiers. Complete each item following the requirements for that specific item. These instructions can be found online at www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/fie/d/handbooks/deacont.shtm or in the Texas Vital Statistics
Handbook on Death Registration.
Do not leave a space blank unless specifically instructed to do so. Avoid using correction fluid. Do not make alterations, erasures, or strike-overs. Obvious changes affect the validity of a certificate. Altered certificates may be rejected by the local registrar or Texas Vital Statistics. Avoid abbreviations except for those suggested in the item-by-item specific instructions. Verify the spelling of all names and numbers with the informant.
A Certificate of Death must be filed within ten (10) days of the date of death for every death in Texas. It must be filed with the local registrar in the district where the death occurred or the body was found [HSC §193.003(a)].
The Certificate of Death must be filed by the person in charge of interment or disposition, or by the person in charge of removing the body from the registration district for disposition [HSC § 193.002].
The certifier is responsible for verifying the date of death in Item 2 and completing the medical certification portion of the Texas Certificate of Death (Items 26 through 39). The certifier must complete the medical certification not later than five (5) days after receiving the record or provide notification to the funeral director, or person acting as such, explaining the reason for the delay [HSC §193.005(b)(g)].
If the manner of death is other than natural, the justice of the peace or medical examiner should be called immediately. Physicians should not certify suicides, homicides, or accidental deaths. A medical examiner should also be notified if a death occurs within 24 hours of admission to a hospital (regardless of the manner of death).
A current death certificate can only be filed within one year of the date of death. If a death certificate has not been filed within one (1) year, a Court-Ordered Delayed Certificate of Death should be filed.
If the cause of death is pending investigation, the certifier should enter "Pending Investigation" and file the certificate immediately. Upon determination of the cause of death, an Amendment to Medical Certification of Certificate of Death (VS-174) should be filed by the physician, medical examiner, or justice of the peace who originally certified the death.
TER (Texas Electronic Registration) - Death is a free online Internet death registration system available through the Texas Vital Statistics office. A user can start and complete his or her portion of the Certificate of Death without having to leave the office or wait for the other parties to complete their portions.
Licensed funeral directors, physicians, justices of the peace, medical examiners, and local registrars may complete their portion of the Certificate of Death and electronically sign it at their own computer. Timeliness prompts will warn users to complete their portion so that the Certificate of Death will be filed in a timely matter. The Social Security number of the deceased is verified by the Social Security Administration in real-time. A Report of Death is sent electronically to the local registrar and funeral directors may print a paper copy of that report for themselves.
More information on participating in online death registration is available at: www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/edeath or contact the Texas Vital Statistics office at 888-963-7111 ext.3303.
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Document Name: State of Texas Certificate of Death
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