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Harris County Death Certificates

This website provides you with help to obtain the death certificates of your loved one.

Please read this entire site since Carnes Funeral Home will file the death certificate with the State of Texas for you. However, Carnes not order or amend it.


Review Death Certificate Information

Harris County officials will interview you or a member of your family about your loved one. The official will ask certain personal information about her/him.  This information is required to file the death certificate.  You can review the questions and complete the information by downloading the information sheet here.


Information needed for death certificate 


Questions regarding Death Certificates

Please review information below


What must happen for the death certificate to be filed?

The information you provide to Harris County must be completed and returned to Carnes Funeral Home. Then the physician must sign the death certificate. Carnes Funeral Home will work on your behalf to have the physician complete this requirement.


How long does it take for physician to sign the death certificate?

Under normal circumstances it takes about 7-10 business days. There are times that it can take longer. Sometimes the physicians do not sign them in a timely manner. Carnes Funeral Home stays on top of this process and works daily to get the death certificate signed on your behalf.


What might make this process take longer?

If your loved one died in an emergency room, expect it to take longer to get the death certificate signed because Emergency Room Physicians do not sign death certificates. Carnes Funeral Home will have to review the circumstances and determine who is the signing phyisician. This process can be time consuming and can cause at least a one week delay.


What happens if the state receives incorrect information that I provided? 

You can file an amendment with the State of Texas. You will need to bring the form to Carnes Funeral Home for a signature from the Funeral Director in Charge of your loved one. After that signature is provided, you can file with the state.  Review and/or print an amendment form on the link below.


Application to amend certificate of death


Who can obtain a certified death certificate?

All people must bring offiical state identification. Those who can obtain a death certificate are:

  • Immediate family members, such as spouses, siblings, grandparents, parents and children. 

  • The registrant, executrix and the loved one's guardian 

  • Common-law spouses with common-law certificates

  • The family and/or estate attorneys with proof of representation

  • Will recipients with official documentation of their status

  • Insurance beneficiaries with the insurance policies



What is a protected death certicate and how do I obtain one?

A protected death certificate has the date of death within the past 25 years. If you need to obtain one you must present: Your current state-issued driver's license or state-issue identification card.  (No photocopies or expired cards.)

  • Your social security number

  • Your date of birth

  • Your current physical address


Where do I go and what are the directions?

You will need to go to vital statistic bureau in Harris County. Follow this link to learn more about visiting the bureau.


Harris County Bureau of Vital Statistics

(Birth and Death Certificates)

8000 North Stadium Drive  Houston, TX 77054


For directions to the bureau click here





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