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.


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