The new Texas online records system that went live on January 1st has not had an encouraging start. Records offices are continuing to navigate the new vital records system and clerks State wide have been unable to make available birth records (certificate copies). Applicants have been referred to State offices and website posts have made it clear that any one born outside of the local jurisdiction would almost certainly be unable to secure any records. Along with the somewhat fruitless and frustrating efforts applicants have also been advised that if they are able to then drive or make your way by whatever means to their county of birth.

The birth records issues are dependent on the new Texas online records system which was launched at the start of the year by The Texas Department of State Health Services. The system, as always, is well intentioned and will streamline vital records requests as well as preserving more up to the minute accurate data. However the more critical issues prevail such as applying for a driver’s license, a passport application and registering children for athletics. Initial misgivings have also been confirmed by the president of The County and District Clerks Association of Texas who voiced her opinion and doubted the site was ready to go live. The delays have been affecting services such as cremations and adding to family woes by stalling family insurance claims. Medical examiners, doctors and funeral directors confirm same.

Clerks have have found it difficult to access the web based system, changes that now render it difficult to establish where a document is in the Texas online records system process, further that printing appears inconsistent on birth certificates which causes passport problems. Collin County though have overcome a number of issues to begin issuing out of county birth certificates. Other areas claim they do not have the correct paper for printing due to language changes on the certificates. Counties where new clerks have been elected also hit problems as new paper was required with the relevant signature and name.

DSHS has posted that it was endeavouring to overcome all launch issues and “training-related” issues. Some users have been advised to amend account information to gain access to The Texas online Records System. Registrars now also receive State records at the completion of the process. A spokes person also confirmed that certain registrars hadn’t agreed contractually to accessing a remote system for certificate issue. The DSHS also acknowledged the birth records printing issues and suggested applicants request those documents from the State. While problems were being addressed medical examiners were still voicing concerns that delays were placing them in State code violation in that a deadline of 10 days exists for the filing of a death certificate. DSHS advised that licensing bodies had been notified and how time lines had been impacted.

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