what to do if birth certificate has no name

My Birth Certificate Has No Name, What do I do?

In January 15, 2018

It may sound surprising that after the birth of a new family member, some parents leave the hospital with their newborns unnamed. There are several reasons an infant’s name may be missing from a birth certificate: the parents haven’t been able to decide on the perfect name;some religions practice ceremony and traditions that revolve around naming infants weeks and even months after their birth; or perhaps a separation or absent parent may be the reason that no name appears on a birth certificate. Regardless of the reason, this missing name scenario has the potential to cause problems as the child approaches adulthood.. Obtaining a passport and marriage certificate are the two most common situations in which having your name on your birth certificate is important. If you’re searching for answers on what to do if your birth certificate has no name on it, we’ve got some for you!


birth certificate name correction

Regardless the reason you were issued a birth certificate with no name on it, a legal name change is the most efficient and permanent method to fixing the issue.


My birth certificate has no name, what do I do?

Whether the name line on your birth certificate is blank or your name has been misspelled or is incorrect, the most thorough and practical solution when it comes to resolving the issue permanently is to go through a legal name change. Assuming you or the person you may be helping is over the age of one, changing your name will require a notarized affidavit for correction of name from one or both of your parents. Generally a simple process, you’ll want to first start by obtaining a certified copy of your original birth certificate. Next, you’ll need to file a petition for a legal name change with your local vital records office. Because name change laws and regulations can vary a great deal from state to state, check your state’s name change laws for petition information. The petition may take anywhere from a few days to a few months to process before you are assigned a court order and are granted a date to stand in front of a judge.When you appear before the judge, make sure you bring all your legal documents, including affidavits explaining why you desire a legal name change, with you. Once your petition is granted, the judge will provide you with legal documentation stating that you have been granted a legal name change. At this point, you’ll need to contact the vital records office that issued your birth certificate and inquire about the associated fees and forms you’ll need to complete a birth certificate name change.

What you’ll need regarding an affidavit for correction of name on a birth certificate.

An affidavit is a written statement signed under oath that can be used as evidence in a courtroom.  In this situation where there is no name on your birth certificate, you have most likely gone by a specific name your entire life. The affidavit from your parents will provide proof that you have gone by this name and have established an identity using it. In the event that your parents are not able to provide an affidavit, older relatives may provide one for you. If your parents or older relatives are unable to assist you with an affidavit, you can attempt to provide your personal affidavit. In this case, be sure to include public record documentation showing that you have established an identity using this name from birth.

Documents you might be able to use to establish proof that you have used this name in your identity include:

  • Census records
  • Hospital and vaccination records (generally pertaining to postnatal care)
  • School records from early years
  • Baptismal certificate


Do I have to get a legal name change if there is no name on my birth certificate?

The answer is no. You are not required to legally change your name to add it to your birth certificate, even in the event of marriage or the need to obtain a passport. However, the process to prove you are who you say you are… that you are the person who is referenced on a birth certificate issued without a first or last name (or both!) is similar. You will have to submit much of the same legal documentation you would have had to when seeking a court order.


It is safe to say that a majority of legal name change petitions are granted, especially in cases where you are attempting to correct the name (or lack thereof) on a birth certificate. As long as the petitioner is not attempting to impersonate anyone or attempting to change their name for fraudulent purposes, adding a name should be a breeze. Going through a legal name change might seem like a long and drawn out process, but in the end you will be able to use your corrected birth certificate for all matters of identification moving forward.


  1. My Birth certificate d per not have my 1st name on it and I am planning to get married soon. Will I have a problem using it to get married? I have tried to get it fixed but I’ve been getting the run around

    1. Hello Kareem. If your name on your birth certificate does not match your name on your other documents such as your social security card and driver’s license, it has the potential to cause problems in the future when you need your marriage license, passport or other documentation. It is possible you will need a legal directive to add your first name to the birth certificate. We suggest you contact the vital records agency that issued your certificate originally to determine the procedure for amending your birth certificate.

  2. I live in the state of Florida. My birth certificate and social security card were stolen. I was hospitalized (psych) for longer than 4 years. While i was in the hospital My state I.d expired. It has been expired since May 06, 2005. Because I have no way of identifying myself except for my expired I.d, I cannot get a birth certificate or social security card. Can anyone help me with any info on what to do about this situation. I’ve never commented on anything like this before and will check back to see if anyone answers. I don’t know what to do any more about my situation

    1. Hello Pam. We are sorry to hear about your predicament. You may want to contact the vital records office in the city/state where you were born to find out if they allow any alternative documents for identity purposes (ie: an expired ID in conjunction with a utility bill, a work/school ID, paystub, vehicle registration, court document, voter registration card, etc.) We hope you can find a solution so you can get your replacement documents.

  3. I live in New York. my birth certificate never had a name on it.
    Now i’d like to add my name because i want to have the freedom to make a passport, drivers license etc. etc.
    What do i need in order to make that happen?
    i once went into Manhattan for this but i lost the paper they gave me.
    I remember it said something about a student I.D. and a copy of my Social Security card, but I don’t remember what
    else, just that there were more things i required in order to send it in to get fixed.
    I’d really appreciate if you can help me out and tell me what i need so i can send my birth certificate in and get it fixed once
    and for all. Thank You!!

    1. Hello Rosie. New York City Vital Records issues certified copies of New York City birth certificates for events that occurred in the five (5) boroughs of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island) If you were born in NYC, you can get more information about amending your birth certificate by calling 311 or 212 NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) if you are calling from outside NYC. You can also email the Corrections and Amendments Unit at correctionsunit2@health.nyc.gov. For more information, you can click here to visit the NYC Health website

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