Frequently Asked Questions for Funeral Homes

Why is the family required to call Carnes Funeral Home first?

Carnes Funeral Home is the sole designated agent of the State of Texas responsible for decedent removal, autopsy transportation (if applicable) and filing of the death certificate with the state.

Why does the family have to sign a release form?

Just as medical examiners and morgues require a release, the State of Texas requires a signed release to provide proof record of authorization to claim and direct the disposition of an inmate.

*No decedant will be released without proper family signature and Carnes Funeral Home representative signature.

Who initiates the death certificate?

The State of Texas initiates and completes the death certificate on all inmates through it's sole agent for TDCJ mortuary and burial service, Carnes Funeral Home.

Why is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Prison the informant on the death certificate?

The State of Texas is ultimately responsible for final disposition of offenders in the State's custody at the time of death.

How do we obtain a burial transit permit?

If the death certificate has been certified, Carnes Funeral Home will provide other funeral homes with a burial transit permit.

If the autopsy is pending, and a waiver must be obtained from the proper authority in the county in which the death occurred, a facts of death verification will be provided to the contracting funeral home.

If you choose to have Carnes Funeral Home obtain the waiver and burial transit permit, there will be a fee of $50.

How do we change an error on the death certificate?

All death certificate amendments are handled through TDCJ Death Records. Their number is 936.439.1341.

How do we obtain a copy of the autopsy report?

Facilities performing autopsies on TDCJ inmates send autopsy reports directly to TDCJ Death Records. Carnes neither performs autopsies nor orders that autopsies be performed. For instructions on obtaining a copy of an autopsy report, call TDCJ Death Records. Their number is 936.439.1341.