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Birth Certificate Corrections

Occasionally errors (such as spelling or typographical errors) are made when reporting newborn birth certificate information to the Division of Vital Records. It is usually easy to correct these minor errors. In other instances an error becomes apparent on a birth certificate that was filed many years ago and it has just been noticed. Correcting these types of errors may require documentation, but the process is straightforward. 

If a minor correction is made to a birth certificate within six months of the date the certificate was filed, the Division of Vital Records will reissue a new Certification of Birth after the correction has been finalized. 

If a correction is requested for a certificate that is more than six months past the date the certificate was filed, the individual requesting the correction must request a new Certification of Birth by submitting a properly completed birth certificate application with the required fee. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

Additional information on requesting and processing different types of birth certificate corrections is listed below.

How to Correct Minor Errors on a Newborn Birth Certificate

Minor errors in the newborn or parents' names, such as spelling and typographical errors, the sex of the child or day of birth of the child can usually be easily corrected. The Division of Vital Records provides (for most newborns) a free Certification of Birth to the parent(s) shortly after a child's birth. A corrections form is printed on the reverse side of this certification. List the information to be corrected under the "Corrections Desired" column. The mother/parent must sign in the designated area, however the form does not require notarization if it is returned to the Division of Vital Records within six months of the date filed (top right side of the certificate). If a Certification of Birth is not available, a correction can be requested by using a Birth Correction Form.

  • FORM – The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). The correction statement must include the signature of the mother/parent.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed birth certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID – Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-issued Photo ID form with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.

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

Minor errors in the child or parents' names, such as spelling and typographical errors, the sex of the child or day of birth of the child can usually be easily corrected. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under the "Corrections Desired" column. Both parents must sign (unless one parent is listed on the certificate, then only that parent must sign) in the designated areas in the presence of a notary public. If a Certification of Birth form is not available, a correction can be requested using a birth correction form. If the person requesting the correction wishes to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed birth certificate application must be submitted with the required fee. The fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

  • FORM – The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). Both parents must sign (unless one parent is listed on the certificate, then only that parent must sign) in the designated areas in the presence of a notary public.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Birth Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID – Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-issued Photo ID form with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.

How to Correct the Last Name of a Child from Birth to Age 18

If the name of a minor child has not previously been corrected, the parents listed on the birth certificates may be able to amend the minor child's last name. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under the "Corrections Desired" column. Both parents must sign (unless one parent is listed on the certificate, then only that parent must sign) in the designated areas in the presence of a notary public. No supporting documents are required. If a Certification of Birth form is not available, a correction can be requested using a birth correction form. If the person requesting the correction wishes to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed birth certificate application must be submitted with the required fee. The fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

  • FORM – The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). The correction statement must include the signature of the mother/parent.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Birth Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle PA, 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID – Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-issued Photo ID form with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click on BIRTH CERTIFICATE FEES above for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.

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

An individual who has reached the majority age of 18 may be able to correct the last name on his or her birth certificate. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under the "Corrections Desired" column. You must sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary. If a Certification of Birth form is not available, a correction can be requested using a Birth Correction form. If you wish to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed Birth Certificate Application must be submitted with the required fee. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click the BIRTH CERTIFICATE FEES bar above for more information. 

  • FORMS - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). The individual must sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary.
    A photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the use of the correct last name for at least the last 15 years must be submitted. Acceptable documents include a baptismal record, school record, military record, employment record, marriage record or immunization record (a driver's license or Social Security card is not an acceptable document to support the correction of a last name).
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed birth certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.

How to Correct a Child's Birth Certificate after 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 change the child's last name or add the father's name to the child's birth certificate, only if the mother did not name someone other than the true biological father at the time of birth. If the person requesting the correction wishes to receive an amended Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed birth certificate application must be submitted with the required fee. The fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

  • FORM – The individual requesting the correction must submit a properly completed Change in Civil Status form. Be certain to list the complete names of the child and father exactly as you wish them to be recorded on the amended birth certificate. Both parents must sign in the designated areas in the presence of a notary public.
    A photocopy of the parents' marriage certificate must be submitted. This document will NOT be returned to you.
    Return any Certification(s) of Birth you may have in your possession.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Birth Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID – Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-issued Photo ID form with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.

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

A father cannot be listed on the birth record of a child born to an unmarried woman unless an Acknowledgement of Paternity has been filed with the Department of Human Services or there has been a court determination of paternity. Contact the Department of Human Services, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, at 800-932-0211, for forms and instructions to list the father on a birth record. If both parents are unable to jointly file an Acknowledgement of Paternity form, a certified court order bearing the raised seal of the court and signature of the judge that established paternity (i.e., a Waiver of Trial, support order and custody order) could be obtained through their local domestic relations office. 

If an Acknowledgement of Paternity has been filed for a child born after Jan. 1, 1998, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will notify the Division of Vital Records that such form has been filed and accepted. Upon notification from DHS, the father's name will be added to the child's birth certificate. 

If an Acknowledgement of Paternity has been filed for a child born prior to Jan. 1, 1998, it is the parents' responsibility to notify the Division of Vital Records (approximately eight weeks after the Acknowledgement of Paternity form has been filed with DHS) if they wish to amend the paternity item on the child's birth certificate. The Division of Vital Records will confirm with the DHS that the Acknowledgment of Paternity has been processed and accepted and will amend the paternity section on the child's birth certificate. 

Questions concerning this process can be directed to the Division of Vital Records by telephone at 724-656-3100.

If you wish to receive an amended Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed birth certificate application must be submitted with the required fee. Click Forms to complete the online form or print a copy. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click on BIRTH CERTIFICATE FEES above for more information.

  • FORM - Return any Certification(s) of Birth you may have in your possession.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Birth Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.

How to Correct a Birth Certificate with a Court Order

If an individual has obtained a court order changing his or her name, a certified copy of the court order bearing the raised seal of the court and signature of the judge must be submitted. A photocopy or facsimile copy of a court order is not acceptable. If you wish to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed Birth Certificate Application must be submitted with the required fee.  Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must submit a certified copy of the court order as specified above. The court order will NOT be returned.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed birth certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.

If a correction you require is not listed above or if you need additional information, contact the Division of Vital Records at 844-228-3516 or 724-656-3100.