Birth and Death Certificates > Birth Certificates > Corrections to Birth Certificates

Guidelines to Correct Birth Certificates


The individual requesting a correction must include a completed application, legible copy of his/her valid government issued photo ID, such as state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID verifying his/her current mailing address, and the required fee or Armed Forces information.

 

An application form may be downloaded by selecting the application form link.


·         Mail requests are processed in approximately ten to twelve weeks from the date of receipt. 



How to Correct Minor Errors on a Newborn's Birth Certificate

How to Correct Minor Errors on the Birth Certificate of a Child Over the Age of 1

How to Correct the Last Name on a Child's Birth Certificate from Birth to Age 18

How to Correct a Child's Birth Certificate Subsequent to the Marriage of the Biological Parents

How to Add the Father’s Name to a Certificate Record for a Child Born to an Unmarried Woman

How to Obtain a New Birth Certificate for an Adopted Child

How to Correct the First Name on a Birth Certificate for an Individual 18 Years of Age or Older

How to Correct the Middle Name on a Birth Certificate for an Individual 18 Years of Age or Older

How to Correct the Last Name on a Birth Certificate for an Individual 18 Years of Age or Older

How to Correct a Birth Certificate with a Court Order

If a Correction to a Birth Certificate is not Addressed Above




How to Correct Minor Errors on a Newborn's Certificate

Minor errors in the child or parents' names, such as spelling and typographical errors, the sex of the child, day of birth of the child, can usually be corrected. The Division of Vital Records provides a complimentary Certification of Birth to the parents shortly after a child's birth. Please list the information to be corrected on the reverse side of this Certification of Birth under "Corrections Desired." It will be necessary for the mother to sign in the designated area; however, it does not require notarization if it is returned to the Division within six months of the date filed.

The individual requesting the correction must include the Certification of Birth with the correction and signature of parent(s), a legible copy of his/her valid government issued photo ID verifying current mailing address and a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

If you do not have a Certification of Birth, you may download a correction form.

The individual requesting the correction must include the correction form with the correction and signature of parent(s), an application form, a legible copy of valid government issued photo ID verifying current mailing address, the required fee or Armed Forces information and a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

[Back to Top]



How to Correct Minor Errors on the Birth Certificate of a Child Over the Age of 1

Minor errors in the child or parents' names, such as spelling and typographical errors, the sex of the child, day of birth of the child, can usually be corrected. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, please list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under "Corrections Desired." It will be necessary for both parents to sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary.

The individual requesting the correction must include the Certification of Birth or correction form with the correction and signature of parent(s), an application form, a legible copy of valid government issued photo ID verifying current mailing address, the required fee or Armed Forces information and a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

If you do not have a Certification of Birth, you may download a correction form to submit with your application, photo ID and fee.

[Back to Top]



How to Correct the Last Name on a Child's Certificate from Birth to Age 18

If the name of a minor child has not previously been amended, the parents listed on the birth certificate may be able to amend the minor child's last name.  If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, please list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under "Corrections Desired." It will be necessary for both parents to sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary. No supporting documents are required.

The individual requesting the correction must include the Certification of Birth or correction form with the correction and notarized signature of parent(s), an application form, a legible copy of valid government issued photo ID verifying current mailing address, the required fee or Armed Forces information and a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

If you do not have a Certification of Birth, you may download a correction form to submit with your application, photo ID and fee.

[Back to Top]



How to Correct a Child's Birth Certificate Subsequent to the Marriage of the Biological Parents

The biological parents of a minor child who marry after the birth of their child may be able to correct their child’s birth certificate. This procedure includes changing the child’s last name and may include adding the father’s name to the birth certificate. This procedure is applicable only if the mother did not name someone other than the biological father at the time of birth.

It will be necessary to complete a Change in Civil Status form. Be certain to list the complete names of the child and father exactly as they are to be recorded on the amended birth certificate. It will be necessary for both parents to sign the Change in Civil Status form in the presence of a notary. A photocopy of the parents' marriage certificate  and any Certification(s) of Birth you have in your posession must also be submitted.

The individual requesting the correction must include a completed Change in Civil Status form with the correction and notarized signature of parents, marriage certificate, an application form, a legible copy of valid government issued photo ID verifying current mailing address, the required fee or Armed Forces information and a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

[Back to Top]



How to Add the Father’s Name to a Birth Certificate for a Child Born to an Unmarried Woman

As a result of Act 1997-58 that became effective January 1, 1998, a father cannot be listed on the birth record of a child born to an unmarried woman unless an Acknowledgment of Paternity has been filed with the Department of Public Welfare or there has been a court determination of paternity. If the parents wish to file an Acknowledgment of Paternity to list the father, it will be necessary to contact the Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement at 800-932-0211, for forms and instructions. If both parents are unable to file an Acknowledgment of Paternity to list the father, a certified court order bearing the raised seal of the court and signature of the judge that establishes paternity, i.e. a Waiver of Trial, Support Order, or Custody Order should be obtained through their local Domestic Relations office.

If you have filed an Acknowledgment of Paternity for a child born after January 1, 1998
The Department of Public Welfare will notify Vital Records that an Acknowledgment of Paternity has been filed. The Division of Vital Records will then add the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate. If you have previously returned an incorrect Certification of Birth or submitted a fee, you will receive a corrected birth certificate listing both parents’ names. We suggest you review the instructions on obtaining a certified copy for information on how to apply for an additional certified copy of the birth certificate.

If you have filed an Acknowledgment of Paternity for a child born prior to 1998
It is the responsibility of the parents to notify the Division of Vital Records approximately eight weeks after they have filed the Acknowledgment of Paternity if they wish to amend the paternity item on the child’s birth certificate. Please see the section "If a Correction to a Birth Certificate is not Addressed Above" for information on contacting the Division of Vital Records. The Division of Vital Records will verify the Acknowledgment of Paternity is on file and amend the paternity section on the child’s birth certificate, if necessary. If you have previously returned an incorrect Certification of Birth or submitted a fee, you will receive a corrected birth certificate listing both parents’ names. If you have not, we suggest you review the instructions on obtaining a certified copy of the birth certificate.

[Back to Top]



How to Obtain a New Birth Certificate for an Adopted Child

After an adoption is finalized, the court submits a certified order of adoption to the Vital Records office in the state where the child was born. If the child was born in Pennsylvania, we suggest you review the instructions on obtaining a certified copy of the birth certificate. Please be certain to list the child’s name and parents’ names, including mother's maiden name, after adoption as well as the date this adoption was finalized.

[Back to Top]



How to Correct the First Name on a Birth Certificate for an Individual 18 Years of Age or Older  

An individual who has reached the majority age of eighteen (18) may be able to correct the first name on his/her birth certificate. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, please list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under "Corrections Desired". It will be necessary for you to sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary. In addition, a photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the use of the first name must be submitted. Acceptable documents include a baptismal record, school record, marriage record, driver’s license or Social Security card.  


[Back to Top]



How to Correct the Middle Name on a Birth Certificate for an Individual 18 Years of Age or Older  

An individual who has reached the majority age of eighteen (18) may be able to correct the middle name on his/her birth certificate. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth and wish to correct the spelling of the middle name, add a middle name, or change the middle name entirely, please list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under "Corrections Desired." It will be necessary for you to sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary.

The individual requesting the correction must include the Certification of Birth or correction form with the correction and notarized signature of individual, an application form, a legible copy of valid government issued photo ID verifying current mailing address, the required fee or Armed Forces information and a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

If you do not have a Certification of Birth, you may download a correction form to submit with your application, photo ID and fee.

[Back to Top]



How to Correct the Last Name on a Birth Certificate for an Individual 18 Years of Age or Older  

An individual who has reached the majority age of eighteen (18) may be able to correct the last name on his/her birth certificate. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, please list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under "Corrections Desired." It will be necessary for you to sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary. In addition, a photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the use of the correct last name for at least the last fifteen (15) years must be submitted. Acceptable documents include a baptismal record, school record, military record, employment record, immunization record or marriage record (a Social Security card or driver’s license is not an acceptable document to support the correction of a last name.)  


[Back to Top]



How to Correct a Birth Certificate with a Court Order

If an individual has obtained a court order changing his/her name, submit a certified copy of the court order bearing the raised seal of the court and signature of the judge. A photocopy or facsimile copy of a court order is not acceptable.

The individual requesting the correction must include the Certification of Birth, a certified copy of the court order, an  application form, a legible copy of his/her valid government issued photo ID verifying current mailing address, the required fee or Armed Forces information and a self-addressed stamped envelope.

[Back to Top]



If a Correction to a Birth Certificate is not Addressed Above

If the correction you desire is not addressed above or you require additional information, you may contact the Division of Vital Records by one of the methods listed below:

Telephone: 1-877-PA-HEALTH or (724) 698-2366

Mail:

Please submit a completed application form and specify the correction(s) desired to the birth certificate. You may download the application form for mail and in-person requests.

The individual requesting the correction must include  the completed application form, a legible copy of his/her valid government issued photo ID verifying current mailing address, the required fee or Armed Forces information and a self-addressed stamped envelope.  

Please mail your request to:

Division of Vital Records
Attn: Corrections Unit
101 S. Mercer Street, Room 401
PO Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16101

[Back to Top]