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Amending a Record

 

DCVRD notices

10/16/2020: The DC Health Vital Records Division (DCVRD) will be available for the following types of services as of Wednesday, October 21, 2020:

 

Walk-up Appointments:

  • Masks are required. Customers must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth before entering the building.
  • Only the appointment holder and one additional guest will be allowed into DC Vital Records.

Birth and Death Certificates; Domestic Partnership Registration- Click to Make an Appointment or call (202) 442-9303 option 1 and then option 9

Out of Institution Birth Registration - [email protected]

Delayed Birth Registration - [email protected]

 

Appointment holders will be given a 15 minute grace period. If you arrive after the grace period, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment in consideration of other scheduled customers.

 

Remote Order Options:

Online Certificate Orders - https://dchealth.dc.gov/vital-records (click the "Remote ordering service provider" section for all online ordering options) Phone Certificate Orders - 1-877-572-6332

Mail Birth Certificate Orders - https://www.vitalchek.com/Fax-Phone/DC_Birth_Application.pdf

Mail Death Certificate Orders - https://www.vitalchek.com/Fax-Phone/DC_Death_Application.pdf

Mail Certificate Amendment Orders - Email us at [email protected]

 

Funeral Home Certificate Orders:

Funeral Home Portal Orders (shipping only) - https://funeralhome.vitalchek.com

 

Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing time. Shipping times will vary based on shipping method selected by customer.

If you have scheduled an appointment, a representative from DCVRD will contact you to advise next steps. You may also call (202) 442-9303 to ask DCVRD-related questions.

Amending a Record

Amendments to vital records include modifications made to filed records. Only certification items on the current DC birth certificate format may be amended.

 

Excluding Acknowledgements of Paternity, amendments to vital records may only be requested through remote order services*. Information regarding how to request amendment services remotely may be found in the “How to Request an Amendment” section below.

 

Vital records data are reported by data providers. For birth records, this includes the medical facility where the child was born or the out of institution birth attendant. For death records, this includes a medical facility, physician certifier, funeral services provider and, at times, the DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. For domestic partnership records, this includes the registered domestic partners.

 

If you see something on a certificate that has been entered incorrectly by a data provider or that needs to be updated, you may be able to have it changed.

 

Check first — are you eligible to amend this record?

To protect the identity and privacy of citizens, DC Health only allows certain people to amend vital records. These questions will help you know if you are able to make changes:

  • For birth certificates: Are you the registrant (18 years of age or older or emancipated minor), parent of the registrant, legal guardian or physician certifier? If not, do you have an original DC Superior Court** order naming you as an entitled person to support this request?
  • For death certificates: Are you the legal next-of-kin, informant or funeral director? If not, do you have an original DC Superior Court** order naming you as an entitled person to support this request?
  • For domestic partnerships: Are you one of the people in the domestic partnership? If not, do you have an original DC Superior Court** order naming you as an entitled person to support this request?

 

If the answer is yes, you can request a change to these certificates.

*Until further notice, all amendments, including Acknowledgements of Paternity, must be requested through our remote order process. See the “How to Request an Amendment” section below for more information regarding the remote order process.

**Excluding orders to amend the legal name of the registrant, court orders obtained from other jurisdictions must be domesticated through DC Superior Court.

 

How to request an Amendment

To request an amendment, you’ll need to meet our identification requirements, be able to provide specific supporting documents, complete an application and submit the completed application packet and payment via mail to the DC Vital Records Division (DCVRD).

To do this, please follow these steps:

  1. Download and complete the amendment application form.
  2. Have your signature(s) on the form authenticated by a notary public.
  3. Prepare your check or money order fee made out to “DC Treasurer.” Please note that you must pay both the amendment and certificate fee if you wish to obtain a copy of the amended certificate.
  4. Mail in copies of the required identity documents and supporting documentation to the
    DC Health Vital Records Division, Customer Service and Certification Operations Unit
    899 N. Capitol Street NE,1st Floor,
    Washington, DC 20002
    .

If you are unable to meet the requirements, the DCVRD will issue you a rejection letter stating why the request could not be processed. This letter will be required should you decide to petition DC Superior Court to order the DCVRD to make the amendment as requested.

What do I need to bring with me to prove my identity?

You must mail in clear and legible photocopies of the required identity documents to ensure that DCVRD employees are able to verify your identity.

For a printable version of the below requirements, please review our Identity Guidelines Information Sheet.

If the name on your identification does NOT match the name on the certificate, you must prove evidence of a legal name change. This may include a certified marriage certificate, certified divorce decree or a certified legal name change court order that reflects the history of the changes to the name(s) on the certificate(s) requested.

All applicants must provide at least ONE Primary Photo ID (which must be valid and unexpired) PLUS Two Forms of Additional Identification:

Primary Photo Identification: (Must provide ONE of the below forms of ID)
  • State-issued driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card
  • Passport or passport card
  • Permanent resident card
  • Employment authorization card
  • Department of State card
  • Military ID Card
  • Law enforcement ID (must also present DC Superior Court subpoena)
  • Government employee ID (applies only to licensed social workers or government representatives with pre-existing approval from the State Registrar)
Additional Identification: (Must provide two of the below forms of ID)
  • Signed Social Security card or Social Security Disbursement Statement
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • Utility bill (dated within the last 60 days)
  • Sealed court documents
  • W2 from the previous year
  • Hospital Newborn Discharge document related to a birth occurring within the last year
  • Official correspondence from US Citizenship and Immigration Services

You’ll also need to provide documentation to support each requested amendment:

Birth Certificate Amendment Requirements

What information are you allowed to amend?

For birth certificates, you may be able to:

  • Amend the child’s name
  • Amend the baby’s weight, date of birth, time of birth or place of birth (hospital or birth facility)
  • Amend Sex or gender designation
  • Remove, add, amend the father/second parents name
  • Remove, add, amend the mother’s name
  • Amend the mother or father/second parents date of birth
  • Amend the mother or father/second parents place of birth
Birth Certificate Field* Required Documentation to Amend
First or Middle Name (Minor correction to misspelled name) Certified elementary school record– OR – early Baptismal record (original only) showing use of name as entered at prior to the age of 6 years old. Minor corrections include correcting 1-2 letters of a first or middle name.
First or Middle Name (Name change) Certified legal name change court order.
Last Name/Surname or Suffix Certified legal name change court order
Date of Birth Letter from physician certifier or delegated authority on medical facility letterhead attesting to the institutional error – OR –Certified DC Superior Court Order.
Sex Letter from physician certifier or delegated authority on medical facility letterhead attesting to the institutional error – OR – Completed gender designation application – OR –Certified DC Superior Court Order.
Place of Birth Letter from physician certifier or delegated authority on medical facility letterhead attesting to the institutional error – OR – Certified DC Superior Court Order.
Mother’s Name/Surname or Father/Second Parent’s Name**** Name**
(Minor correction to misspelled name)
An original copy of the mother’s or father’s certified birth record – OR – Certified DC Superior Court Order.
Mother’s Name/Surname or Father/Second Parent’s Name**** Name**
(Legal name change)
If the mother or father have changed names since the birth of the child – OR – if the name was incorrect on the original certificate and the applicant wishes to have the new name reflected, the applicant must present a copy of a Certified DC Superior Court order to support a request to change the mother’s or father/Second Parent’s name on the child’s record.
Mother’s or Father/Second Parent’s Place of Birth or Date of Birth An original copy of the mother’s or father’s certified birth record – OR – Certified DC Superior Court Order.
Child’s time of birth, place of birth, date of birth or weight A letter requesting the amendment on the medical facility’s letterhead signed by the birth certifier.

All supporting documentation not presented in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation. If any of the above documents cannot be obtained, you may petition DC Superior Court (DCSC) to order the DCVRD to process the amendment as requested. With the exception of a legal name change order, orders obtained from other jurisdictions must be domesticated through DCSC.

*** Birth certificate fields may only be amended if those fields are included in the current DC birth certificate format. If you have an older birth certificate format that contains fields not available on the current DC birth certificate format, you may request to have your certificate converted to the current format. Please note that if this request is not made at the time your order is placed, you may be assessed a fee to replace the certificate

**** An amendment to the parents’ name may only be applied when the request is to correct a minor misspelling or apply a legal name change. If the request is to change the names of the mother or father/second parent, the applicant must petition DC Superior Court** to make the amendment. If the request is to change the identity of the mother of father/second parent, the applicant must petition DC Superior Court** to make the amendment. If the request is to add a father or second parent when none had previously been recorded, the following rules apply:

  1. For mothers or fathers unmarried at the time of birth, the father may acknowledge parentage and be added to the birth record by completing an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. The form must be completed in person* at the DCVRD with both parents present.
  2. For parents married at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception and birth, and the child is born during the marriage or domestic partnership, or within 300 days after the termination of marital cohabitation by reason of death, annulment, divorce, or separation ordered by a court, or within 300 days after the termination of the domestic partnership ) the name of the father/second parent may be added to the certificate upon presentation of the marriage license/domestic partnership certificate to the DCVRD and completion of a Presumption of Parentage form (D.C. Code § 16–909). Fathers may also be added to the certificate if, after the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother marry or attempt to marry, (with the attempt involving some form of marriage ceremony that has been performed in apparent compliance with law), though such attempted marriage is or might be declared void for any reason, and he has acknowledged the child to be his (D.C. Code § 16–909(a)(3))..

Death Certificate Amendment Requirements

What information are you allowed to amend?

For death certificates, you may be able to correct or amend:

  • Amend Sex or gender designation
  • Remove, add, amend the father/second parent’s name
  • Remove, add, amend the mother’s name
  • Amend the decedent’s marital/domestic partnership status
  • Amend informant’s name or relationship to decedent
  • Amend the decedent’s level of education or occupation
  • Amend decedent’s military discharge status
  • Amend decedent’s Social Security Number
  • Amend decedent’s Cause and Manner of Death

Death Certificate Amendment Requirements

All supporting documentation not presented in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation. If any of the above documents cannot be obtained, you may petition DC Superior Court (DCSC) to order the DCVRD to process the amendment as requested. With the exception of a legal name change order, orders obtained from other jurisdictions must be domesticated through DCSC.

*** Death certificate fields may only be amended if those fields are included in the current DC death certificate format. If you have an older death certificate format that contains fields not available on the current DC death certificate format, you may request to have your certificate converted to the current format. Please note that if this request is not made at the time your order is placed, you may be assessed a fee to replace the certificate.

Domestic Partnership Certificate Amendment Requirements

What information are you allowed to amend?

For domestic partnerships, you may be able to:

  • Amend city and state of residence
  • Amend the legal name of the partner(s)
Domestic Partnership Field* Required Documentation to Amend
First or Middle Name(s) of Partners (Name change) Certified legal name change court order.
Last Name/Surname or Suffix of Partners Certified legal name change court order.
City and State of Residence Proof of residency.

All supporting documentation not presented in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation. If any of the above documents cannot be obtained, you may petition DC Superior Court (DCSC) to order the DCVRD to process the amendment as requested. With the exception of a legal name change order, orders obtained from other jurisdictions must be domesticated through DCSC.

*** Domestic partnership certificate fields may only be amended if those fields are included in the current DC domestic partnership certificate format. If you have an older domestic partnership certificate format that contains fields not available on the current DC domestic partnership certificate format, you may request to have your certificate converted to the current format. Please note that if this request is not made at the time your order is placed, you may be assessed a fee to replace the certificate.

Gender Marker Amendment Requirements

Birth

Gender Designation Instructions, Application Form, and Model Letter

If you have any questions about Gender Designation, please call us at (877) 572-6332- option #5.

Death

Death Gender Designation Application

If you have any questions about Gender Designation, please call us at (877) 572-6332- option #5.

Questions?

Here is more information if you would like to learn more about establishing parentage and paternity.

If you have questions about amending a birth, death or domestic partnership certificate, call (877) 572-6332 - Option #5 or email [email protected] from Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 4:45pm Eastern time (Plan for possible call wait times).

 

Return of Fees Policy

Please review our return of fees policy. This information will be helpful should you notice an error on your certificate and wish to amend immediately.