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.


  1. Do not use this service!!! I was insulted for simply re-questing an email confirmation of a transaction,
    This “agency” removed funds from my account but did not send an email confirming my transaction therefore I had no way of tracking my request. When I called the number listed on the website, Inwas told to send an email to someone named Robert. I sent an email requesting the original email confirmation or a return of my funds. I also emailed proof that
    they accessed my account. In response I was
    called ignorant an told to send proof that I’d dealt
    with them. Upon resending them proof, I called my banking institution and filed charges of fraud. No
    respectable business would insult a customer the way they did. Save yourself the trouble and go some place else. I wish I had.

    1. Hello Tyra. We are so sorry to hear about the treatment you received when requesting an email confirmation for your transaction. VitalChek’s system automatically sends an email confirmation to the customer when an order is placed so you should have received it promptly. Based on information you have provided, it appears you may have placed an order through another company that has a history of processing orders through our system while purporting to act on the customer’s behalf and charging them additional fees. Please contact us so we can help you get to the bottom of this matter. We can be reached by phone at 800-255-2414, by email at or through private message on our VitalChek Facebook page where you will typically get a response in a matter of minutes.

      1. I legally changed my sons last name after my divorce. He has an amended birth certificate. He went to get passport today and they would t accept it. What documents dies he need to try again? Unfortunately, he needed it expedited for a trip. That he needed to cancel

        1. Hello Lori. Sorry to hear about your son’s predicament. Without all the details, it is hard to say why his passport application was rejected. In 2011, The U.S. State Department changed its requirements for birth certificates used as proof of citizenship for passport applications. All certified birth certificates submitted as proof of citizenship must now include the full names of the parent(s) plus the full name of the passport applicant, his or her date and place of birth, the signature of the registrar, the date the birth certificate was issued and a multicolored, embossed, raised or imprinted seal from the birth certificate’s issuing authority. Therefore, if the copy of the birth certificate he presented to the passport office was issued prior to 2011, he may just need to order a new one either through the original issuing agency or through an online company such as VitalChek. He may also want to contact the passport office for more details about why they rejected his application and what he needs to provide when he applies again.

  2. How can I get a certified copy of my great grand daughter ‘s birth certificate. The court gave me and my husband custody of her ,and we were the ones who brought her home from the hospital. I feel this and her Social Security Card are two places of information that will need at some point in the near future .What is the easiest way to go about obtaining them?
    The mother has a drug problem, and the father has a drinking problem. The mother will not let me borrow her mother’s copy of the baby’s birth certificate, and nobody has heard anything about the Social Security Card that was ordered, unless that was a lie too.
    Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hello Bonnie. Thanks for reaching out with your question. Since you have been awarded legal custody of your great granddaughter, you should be able to order a certified copy of her birth certificate directly from the vital records agency that issued it originally (usually a health department or county clerk’s office in the city/state where she was born). We suggest you contact them to find out more about the process for obtaining her record.

  3. I was born outside the USA and now I have naturalization but my birth certificate was not on hand when I arrived. Now I found it and was different DOB. I need to know if I can change the date of birth.
    Thank you

    1. Hello Nasr. Since you are a naturalized citizen, you will have naturalization papers but not a U.S. birth certificate since you were not born in the U.S.

  4. I HAVE THE SHORT FORM OF MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE FROM man N.Y. IF I give you the birth record number would that help to get my birth record

    1. Hello Helena. Please contact us at VitalChek so we can better assist you. We can be reached by phone at 800-255-2414, by email at or by private message through the VitalChek Facebook page.

  5. I ordered a birth certificate for a family member for a date of June 25, 1962 but received the birth certificate for a date of June 25 1962. Need to get this corrected.

    1. Hello Shirley. Can you please clarify your question since both sates you listed are the same? Did you order the birth certificate through VitalChek? If so, you can contact us at 800-255-2414. Thanks!

  6. Can I use a court order obtained from a foreign country for amending name on my birth certificate? I am using a US passport with amended name but I have not yet updated my birth certificate. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hello Emad. Thanks for reaching out with your question. More than likely, you will need to get an order from a U.S. court. We suggest you contact the vital records agency that issued your birth certificate originally for more information.

  7. I ordered a long form birth certificate for dual citizenship for one of my sons, but when received it, my wife’s full legal name was not printed in full, neither mine. Can you tell me how to add full legal names? I do not want to request another one receive it with same missing information.

    1. Hello Manuel. The types of birth certificates issued and the information included on them may differ from vital records agency to vital records agency. Your best bet will be to contact the vital records agency that issued the birth certificate to determine what you will need to request in order to receive a birth certificate with the necessary information

  8. Ordered my pre Adoption birth certificate On Jan 15th. Said 10-15 days to process. Shipping label was printed on the 15th. No updates, can’t get a person on the phone. The “Contact Us” sends me to DOH. DOH sends me back here. Not to happy about the runaround and misrepresentation on processing and delivery time. Paid alot of money for something that I’m not getting.

    1. Hello Robert. We apologize for the frustrating ordering experience as we assume you are eager to receive your record. Processing times are only estimates and include business days only (weekends are not figured into the 10-15 day time frame.) If you have not received your certificate yet, please contact us with your order number so we can assist you. The quickest way to reach us is via private message at You can also reach us by phone at 800-255-2414 or by email at

Leave A Comment