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Amending a Record

 

DCVRD notices

8/30/2019: Vital records offices across the country are experiencing high certificate order volumes. Due to the spike in order volumes, DCVRD is experiencing higher than normal wait times. Our peak wait time is from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you plan to visit our office, please consider doing so during off-peak hours. Alternatively, you may order a certificate remotely via mail, online or phone application processing. Visit https://dchealth.dc.gov/vital-records for more information about remote ordering.

Amending a Record

Vital records data are reported by data providers. For birth records, this includes the medical facility where the child was born. 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.

For all amendment requests, applicants must meet our identification requirements, be able to provide specific documents and complete an application with the DC Vital Records Division (DCVRD).

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), 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.

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

We recommend that you bring several forms of ID 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.

During your visit, you will be required to complete an identity verification questionnaire at our self- service kiosks. (Read more under “How do the on-site kiosks work?”)

If the kiosk is able to authenticate your identity, you will be required to present at least ONE of the following forms of primary photo ID (which must be original, valid, unexpired, and undamaged.):

  • 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)

If the name on your identification does NOT match the name on the certificate, you must prove evidence of a legal name change, like an original marriage certificate or an original sealed legal name change order.

If the kiosk is able to authenticate your identity but you do not have a primary photo ID, you will be required to present TWO FORMS of alternate identification from the list below (which must show your full name, current address and/or signature where appropriate):

  • Valid, unexpired employment ID card (with photo) WITH a pay stub (dated within last 60 days)
  • Expired (within last 5 years) state-issued driver’s license, non-driver’s ID card or passport
  • Photo ID from a school in a U.S. state or territory (within last 3 years) WITH a report card, transcript or other proof of school enrollment (within last 3 years)
  • Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons photo ID or probation/discharge papers with photo
  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • U.S. Selective Service card
  • Voter’s registration card
  • Federal Census records
  • Court documents
  • Pay stub (within last 30 days)
  • Utility bill (dated within last 60 days)
  • Valid DC ONE card
  • W2 or federal tax return from the previous year
  • DD214 military discharge/separation document
  • Legible printed copy of primary/secondary photo ID

If the kiosk is unable to authenticate your identity, you will be required to present ONE form of primary photo ID and TWO of the documents from the list below. (These options will appear when you present your primary photo ID.)

  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • Utility bill (dated within the last 60 days)
  • Sealed court documents
  • W2 or filed US tax return from the previous year
  • Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons photo ID or probation/discharge papers with photo

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
  • Sex or gender designation
  • Remove, add, amend the father’s name
  • Remove, add, amend the mother’s name
  • Amend the mother or father’s date of birth
  • Amend the mother or father’s place of birth
  • Other fields as determined
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) Legal name change order with raised seal.
Last Name/Surname or Suffix Legal name change order with raised seal.
Date of Birth Letter from physician certifier or delegated authority on medical facility letterhead attesting to the institutional error – OR – DC Superior Court Order with raised seal.
Sex Letter from physician certifier or delegated authority on medical facility letterhead attesting to the institutional error – OR – Completed gender designation application – OR – DC Superior Court Order with raised seal.
Place of Birth Letter from physician certifier or delegated authority on medical facility letterhead attesting to the institutional error – OR – DC Superior Court Order with raised seal.
Mother’s Name/Surname or Father’s Name**
(Minor correction to misspelled name)
An original copy of the mother’s or father’s certified birth record – OR – DC Superior Court Order with raised seal.
Mother’s Name/Surname or Father’s 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 DC Superior Court order with raised seal to support a request to change the mother’s or father’s name on the child’s record.
Mother’s or Father’s Place of Birth or Date of Birth An original copy of the mother’s or father’s certified birth record – OR – DC Superior Court Order with raised seal.
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, 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 the mother present.
  2. For parents married at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception and birth, the name of the 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:

  • A misspelled name for the deceased
  • The deceased’s mother or father
  • The deceased’s marital status
  • An incorrect date of birth or death
  • A misspelled or erroneously reported informant
  • The deceased’s level of education or occupation
  • Military discharge
  • Social Security Number
  • Cause and Manner of Death
  • Other variables as determined

DOWNLOAD DEATH AMENDMENT MATRIX

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. For all death certificate amendments, 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:

  • File a change of city and state of residence
  • File a legal name change
  • Correct the misspelling of a name
Domestic Partnership Field* Required Documentation to Amend
First or Middle Name(s) of Partners (Name change) Legal name change order with raised seal.
Last Name/Surname or Suffix of Partners Legal name change order with raised seal.
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. For all domestic partnership certificate amendments, 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.

How to request an amendment

You may prepare the required materials and visit our office to make an amendment. An appointment is encouraged but not required. Click here to make an appointment. Amendment requests are typically processed same-day for walk-up customers

You may also mail-in an amendment request. These requests are typically processed in 2-4 weeks.

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 the form with copies of 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.

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 from Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 3:30pm Eastern time or email [email protected] (Plan for the possibility of hold 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.