How Long Does it Take to Get Death Certificates in Texas?
Texas’ new electronic registration system is leaving funeral directors frustrated and families waiting for death certificates for up to six weeks.
On January 1, 2019 the State of Texas launched the Texas Electronic Vital Events Registrar (TxEVER). TxEver replaced the obsolete Texas Electronic Registration (TER) system that had been used since 2007 to register deaths electronically in Texas. The roll out has been anything but smooth. In order to use the new TxEver system, funeral directors and medical certifiers have had to complete training and be reissued new login credentials in order to use the system.
DEATH CERTIFICATION TIMELINE
When a person dies it is the responsibility of the funeral director or person acting as such to file a death certificate (record) with the State of Texas. In Texas the death record must be submitted to the state within 10 days of the date of death. A physician, medical examiner or Justice of the Peace who is required to medically certify the death record has five days to certify the death once he/she is notified and receives the death record.
FILING THE RECORD
Once the medical certification is complete the funeral director must submit the death certificate electronically to the Texas Department of State Health Services – Vital Records Division in Austin, TX. Unfortunately, there is no statutory requirement on the amount of time the State has to issue certified copies of the death certificate.
RECEIVING CERTIFIED COPIES
As of today (February 12, 2019) we are experiencing delays of 4 to 6 weeks from the time we file the record until we receive the certified copies of the death certificate. I can only assume that the delay is due to technical issues with the new TxEver system and staffing shortages at the Department of State Health Services.
At this time there appears to be no short term solution for the delay. Every funeral establishment in Texas is experiencing delays. We at Lone Star Cremation share your frustration! Our goal is to complete the cremation and secure death certificates for the families we serve in a timely and professional manner. This delay from the state is unfortunate; however, rest assured we are monitoring the situation and staying vigilant on the process.
Roy H Kiser, Jr.
Roy is a Texas’ Licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer, Pre-Need Insurance Agent and a Certified Crematory Operator. He is a graduate of Baylor University and Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service. He is the owner of Lone Star Cremation and has been actively involved in funeral service since 1990. Lone Star Cremation provides high value, affordable cremation services in the Dallas, Fort Worth and Waco areas.