How to Fix Information on a Birth Certificate

By Irene A. Blake

When a person receives a birth certificate with misspelled or inaccurate birth data, the person must submit an amendment request to the appropriate government office to fix the birth certificate. Requests go to the office of the Registrar, Vital Statistics or Health and Human Services in the state or territory where the birth took place. Typically, the person submitting the request must have an immediate familial relationship to the person named on the birth certificate or have proof of guardianship or legal right to make changes. Most offices accept request in-person, via fax and/or postal mail.

Contact or visit the office of the Registrar, Vital Statistics or Health and Human Services in the state or territory of birth, or go to the division or department web page and obtain or print out the forms required in the state or territory for submitting a birth certificate amendment request. Typically, a person must submit a birth certificate correction/amendment form, a copy of the new birth certificate request form and documentation supporting any statements or claims made. Additionally, review the instructions for submitting the request with a customer service agent or online, as every state and territory has different requirements.

Fill out the paperwork with the original vital statistics information, the required corrections and/or reason an error may have occurred if known and any other information requested by the state or territory to make the change. Typically, the information includes your name and your relationship to the person, the person’s complete name at birth, birthplace (town and/or county), birth date, parents' names and mother’s maiden name (if available) and original birth status (biological child or adopted).

Make a copy of your identification (for example, a driver’s license, passport, military or other government ID) to submit with the request and fill out a check or money order with the correct fees payable to the division or department that processes the requests.

Submit your amendment and new birth certificate forms, supporting documentation (court order, power of attorney, marriage license, school, employment or military records and/or doctor’s statement) proving your relationship to the person named on the birth certificate, your right to make the change and/or showing the correct information used in an official capacity (for example, the correct spelling of a name used on a school record), and fees in-person or via fax or mail.

Tip

If you can't find the amendment instructions on your state or territory’s Web site, perform a keyword search (if available). Type the words "amend birth certificate,” “correct birth certificate” or “change vital information.”

If you faxed the paperwork, contact the Vital Statistics or Health and Human Services office the next day to confirm receipt of the paperwork.

If you don’t receive a new birth certificate within a month and a half, contact the office to find out the status of your request and the reason for any delays.

Warning

Incorrect information, incomplete paperwork or bad handwriting can result in delays and additional fees. Making false statements can result in negative legal consequences.

About the Author

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.