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How to Amend Your Birth Certificate

application to amend birth certificate of a minor for The District of Columbia

A birth certificate is one of the most critical pieces of information used to prove your identity. Because of this, you'll want to ensure all listed information is accurate. If you've legally changed your name or a mistake is present, it's imperative to update your birth certificate immediately. However, the process of amending your birth certificate varies from state to state.

State Vital Records covers all the information you need on how to amend your birth certificate in this week's post. Keep reading to find out more!

How to Amend Your Birth Certificate

Correcting an error on your birth certificate or if you need to add information requires only a minor amendment and doesn’t require a court appearance. Marginal errors can include a misspelling of a child or parent's name or information wrongly entered by the hospital staff.

Who Can Request an Amendment to a Birth Certificate?

Individuals responsible for filing a vital record can request an amendment to a birth certificate, such as a hospital, birth registrar, and funeral director. The following parties are also eligible to request a correction to a vital record:

  • - For births: A registrant at least 18 years of age or a minor registrant's parent or legal guardian.
  • - For marriages: A married couple can request if the marriage is still intact and both spouses are alive. If one of the spouses is deceased, the surviving spouse can make an individual request for the correction. Each spouse may request a modification or amendment if the marriage has dissolved.
  • - For deaths: the next of kin, the informant, certifier, medical examiner, or funeral director named on the death certificate
  • - For fetal deaths One of the parents, medical certifier, medical examiner, or funeral director

How Do I Request A Correction or an Amendment To a Vital Record?

To request to amend a birth certificate, you must send the registrar of the jurisdiction where the vital event took place a notarized affidavit affirming that the existing information on your birth certificate is incorrect and that the newly provided information is accurate. In addition to your affidavit, you’ll need to submit any supporting documentation that proves the new information you’re supplying is accurate.

Contact the Vital Records Office in the jurisdiction where the vital event occurred for further information to determine what type of documentation will be needed to support the requested amendment or correction.

How to Legally Change Your Name

Typically, name changes stemming from marriage or divorce will not warrant you to change your name on your birth certificate. However, it's important to note that individuals looking to change their name on their birth certificate legally will need a judge's consent.

To change the name of an infant younger than 1-years-old, parents will need to send a completed and signed birth certificate correction to the local Vital Records Office where the birth occurred. In order to legally change the name of a child over 1-years old, parents must petition the local county court before submitting the birth certificate correction form.

The process of legally changing your name depends on the state. Some states like California require you to publish a notice of your name change petition in a local newspaper before explaining to a court the reason for requesting to change your name.

After you have submitted the document for a legal name change, you must provide the following items to the town clerk or vital record agency (in person or through the mail):

  • - A certified Legal Name Change court order (original can be returned upon request)
  • - A notarized affidavit:
    • - For a minor, only a legal parent can complete the affidavit (i.e., legal guardian or listed parent)
    • - For adults, only that individual can complete the affidavit
  • A government-issued photo ID from the requestor

Minors are not permitted to petition to change their names, and an adult must petition on their behalf. Several states require those requesting a name change to supply additional documentation. Some states will need other documentation for those changing their name due to gender reassignment surgery.

No Name on Birth Certificate

If your name is not on your original birth certificate, you’ll need a court order to have it added. This also includes those with the name Baby Boy/Girl or Infant Boy/Girl, and for those individuals looking to change their name or surname. If this should happen to occur, use the following steps to update your birth certificate:

  • - Obtain official state forms for changing your name from the jurisdiction where the event occurred.
  • - Fill out the forms, process them, and pay any necessary fees.
  • - Get any documents notarized from the courthouse, city hall, or online through NotaryLive.
  • - Appear in court on the date assigned for your case hearing.
  • - Submit your court order as well as a certified copy of your birth certificate, photo ID, and the document for the name change request to a vital records office.
  • - Collect additional documents such as your marriage license or a letter of explanation if necessary.

Looking for more information on vital records?

Check out our other blogs on how to get a Texas birth certificate