The Texas Department of State Health Service does not maintain or issue certified copies of divorce records, but it will accept requests for verification that a dissolution of divorce occurred. This index and file search applies only to divorces from 1968 to mid-2008. Records for divorces outside of those dates can be found at County Clerks Offices.
The verification is in the form of a letter to the requestor from the State Health Service. This format is suitable for most Texas divorce records background checks, but it is not the legal equivalent of certified record copies. Only certified dissolution of marriage copies fit more formal legal purposes. Certified copies of divorce records can be obtained from the County Clerk’s Office in the county in which the dissolution of marriage was granted.
A list of Clerk’s Offices in all Texas counties from Anderson to Zavala is available on the Texas Department of State Health website. If you do not require certified copies of Texas divorce records, but would prefer a verification as to whether or not a divorce is recorded in the state, the fee is $20.
Checks or money orders are accepted and should be payable to Texas Department of State Health. Cash payment of fees is acceptable when paying in person only as money should not be sent through the mail. As the fee covers the searching of indexes and files, if a record of the Texas divorce is not found, the fee still applies.
Verification search requests are handled in person at the Texas Vital Statistics office in Austin or though mail order at the same location. Orders for verification of Texas divorce records typically take 6 – 8 weeks, while in person wait times are often between 30 and 120 minutes. In person orders placed after 3:30 are subject to next day processing.
Texas Department of State Health Services
Vital Statistics Office
1000 W. 49th St.
Austin, TX 78756
Hours: Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm
Anyone is permitted to request copies of divorce records or verification of dissolution of marriage in Texas. In some states, this is not possible, but Texas divorce records are part of the state’s “open record” approach to public access of government and other information. This makes dating background checks, in which another person’s divorce documents are often viewed for details, easy to do in Texas. For example, you can check whether a person who told you he or she is divorced actually is as well as confirm the date the divorce took place.
According to Texas law, the courts must record all divorce decrees and provide certified copies to the public for a fee. Certified copies of Texas divorce records, available from Count Clerks’ Offices, are suitable for most legal situations, while verifications of dissolution of marriage are not. For this reason, it’s important to request the type of records that best suit your situation.