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Harris Public Records
Harris County is the most populated county in the state of Texas and the third largest county nationwide. At the time of the 2010 census, the county boasted a total population of approximately 4.1 million residents. Harris is located on the southeastern side of the state and has the city of Houston as its county seat. With a founding date of 1836, this county is the hot spot for much of the history of the state. To dig into a piece of that history, Harris County public records offer important information on the people who lived and died in this area. To search public records in Harris County, it is important to know where the records are stored and access restrictions that are governed by state law for some documents.
Finding free public records in Harris County, TX involves the following:
Restrictions on a Harris County Public Records Search
To protect residents from identity theft, the access to some public records of Harris County, Texas is restricted. Harris County birth certificates may only be requested by the individual on the document, parents and other immediate family members, and those with a direct and tangible interest in the document. These records are restricted for 75 years, and then they are available to the general public.
Harris County death certificates are also restricted for 25 years after the death, and may be obtained by immediate family members of the deceased or those having a direct and tangible interest in the certificate. Identification and relationship to the subject is required in both cases.
Harris County Public Records Sources
When you search public records in Harris County, you quickly discover that there are many potential sources for these documents. The best place to find free public records for Harris County is the Harris County Clerk’s office, which stores birth, death and marriage records. The Clerk’s office also offers a variety of means for gaining access to documents, including in person, by mail and online. Houston Health and Human Services also has birth and death records on file, and can issue official copies of both. However, access to these Texas public records is limited to in person and mail requests.
The Ease of Harris County Public Records Online
To find Harris County, TX public records online, the best source is the Harris County Clerk. This office provides its own online search, which only requires a name and type of document to initiate. The office holds Harris County marriage records from 1949 and birth and death records from 1879.