Making changes on a birth certificate or passport

Making Changes on a Birth Certificate or Passport – Steps to Take

For a number of reasons, it may be necessary to modify or amend the information on an official birth certificate or passport. Instances where a correction may be needed, due to incomplete or incorrect information on vital records, include adults trying to obtain secure forms of ID like a passport or registering a child for school activities. Perhaps in looking over your original birth certificate you notice an error like a misspelling of your name or the actual date of birth was incorrect. There are even instances where the gender was printed incorrectly on the certificate, and individuals going through gender transition may also requires making changes on a birth certificate or passport. If you or someone you know needs to make corrections or changes to their vital records or secure IDs,whether it is a name correction, place of birth, or changing gender on a birth certificate, we have compiled a list of steps and resources to assist with this process below.

Making Changes on a Birth Certificate

Needing to change or modify a birth certificate is not uncommon. While some birth certificates require simple corrections because they were issued with incorrect ages, dates, lack of name, locations or simple parent information, there are some more complicated instances where an individual may need to correct or change a birth certificate. In the event of adoption, legal name changes or changing a gender marker on a birth certificate, the process is a bit more complicated than that of the simple amendments.

For simple corrections, you will need to contact the vital records office that issued your original birth certificate and ask what documentation they will need from you. In some cases, you will need to submit proof to validate the change.

In the event that you or your child is undergoing a legal name change, either through adoption or due to parenting arrangements, or changing gender on a birth certificate is in order,  the process is a bit more involved. For legal name changes, you will most likely be required to obtain a court order, and present documentation of a legal name change as proof. For gender change on a birth certificate, you will need to be well versed in the state’s laws and requirements regarding this process. All states vary on process and regulation, and some states do not allow gender changes on birth certificates at this time.

How to Make Changes to a Passport

In the event that you need to make corrections or changes to your current passport, the process is fairly simple. Changing the name on a passport is the most common correction requested, and is the simplest change that can be made. Depending on the reason your name changed and how long you’ve had your current passport, you will be required to fill out one of three State Department forms and submit it correctly. In some instances, you can simply mail in your applications and fees. In other cases, you will be required to schedule an appointment with a passport agency or acceptance facility, so be sure to research your needs so you can have the appropriate documentation on hand.

If you require a correction to your passport due to a printing or data error, you will need to submit form DS-5504 along with your passport and evidence of the error to get a replacement.

Because a person’s birth certificate is a critical form of identification, it is important to ensure the information displayed on it is correct. Amendments and corrections may be an unpleasant or daunting task to take on, but having a correct birth certificate is important in many situations throughout life. If you’re unsure the status of your original birth certificate, you can order a certified copy through VitalChek to get started.

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