Certificate Corrections

Correct a Birth Certificate

[Español] (PDF)

If your child is under 12 months of age, the fastest way to correct a birth certificate is to bring the original certificate and a completed correction application (PDF) [Español] to the hospital where your child was born. You cannot correct a birth certificate online.

If the hospital where your child was born made a mistake on the birth certificate, you must submit your application and the newborn certificate you received to the hospital.

People have many reasons for correcting a birth certificate, often because they haven't decided on a name when the child is born. Answers to basic questions about the correction process below are followed by instructions for specific kinds of common corrections. These instructions also are included with the application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long will it take to process my order?+

Below are the average processing times to complete your order. The average times can take longer during our peak seasons. Our busiest times of the year are February, March, July, and August.

Please note that the times below do not include delivery time, which can take an additional 10 to 15 business days.

Average Processing Times
Service Requested Method for
Submitting Order
Processing Times
Certified copy of a New York City birth certificate Internet

www.vitalchek.com
5 business days. Does not include mailing time, which can take an additional 10-15 business days. Note that requests for the confidential medical report/cause of death will be mailed to you separately, after the death certificate .
Certified copy of a New York City birth and death certificate Mail 15 business days from date of receipt. Does not include mailing time, which can take an additional 10-15 business days.
Correction to a New York City birth certificate Mail and walk-ins 4 weeks from date of receipt. Does not include mailing time, which can take an additional 10-15 business days.

*Please allow an additional ten (10) business days for vault copies of NYC birth and death certificates and any other record that requires searching. Vault copies are generally used for international purposes, including dual citizenship, international adoptions and international marriage.

If you have not received your order after the estimated processing times noted above, including 10-15 business days for mailing, please contact us at:

  • 311 if you are calling from within New York City
  • 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675), if you are calling from outside of New York City.
  • You can also email the Office of Vital Records Services at nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov

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Who can apply for a correction? +

  • The person named on the certificate if he/she is at least 18 years old
  • Parents or legal guardians of the person, less than 18 years of age, named on the certificate

Anyone applying must submit current (Not expired), signed photo identification. If both parents' names appear on the record, both must sign the application and submit a photocopy of their photo identification. If applicant is 18 years old or older, he/she must submit a photocopy of his/her own photo identification.

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How do I make a correction? +

  • Download a birth certificate correction application [Español]. If you are unable to download the application, please call 311 or 212-639-9675 outside of New York City to request one.
  • Complete the application by following the instructions on the form and sign it. If the names of both parents appear on the birth certificate, both parents must sign the application if child is under 18 years of age.
  • Get the required photo identification. If the names of both parents appear on the birth certificate both parents must submit their photo ID. If you are submitting the application by mail, make a photocopy.
  • Submit original documents (for example, a marriage record or a religious document) on official letterhead or with an original seal depending on the kind of correction you want (photocopies, altered documents, or notarized copies are not accepted). See FAQs on common corrections below for more information specific to the correction that you want to make on your birth certificate.
  • Submit one photocopy with each of the original documents. Original documents will be returned to you.
  • Calculate the fees on the form. Each corrected certificate costs $15. Most corrections require a $40 processing fee; some are made without charge (see FAQs on common corrections below). The processing fee may cover multiple corrections submitted at the same time.
  • Follow the instructions on the form to apply in-person or by mail or see instructions below.

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What are the identification documents I need to correct a birth certificate? +

Please submit any one of the following, if it includes your photo, and your signature and is unexpired. Photocopies are acceptable for mail orders.

  • Driver's License or non-driver's ID from any state or U.S. territory
  • IDNYC – Municipal ID
  • Public benefit card
  • U.S. or foreign passport
  • U.S. certificate of naturalization
  • Military ID card
  • Employee ID with photo, verifiable employer and recent pay stub
  • MTA reduced-fare Metro Card
  • Student ID and current transcript from accredited and verifiable institution
  • Inmate photo ID with release papers

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What kind of supporting documents do I need? +

Aside from identification documents, you must send original documentation on letterhead or certified copies with your application.Certified copies are documents issued by a government office that have a raised seal, like birth certificates or marriage certificates. Usually a fee is required to obtain a certified copy from an office or agency. Notarized copies, photocopies, or altered documents are unacceptable. See FAQs on common corrections below for more information specific to the correction that you want to make on your birth certificate.

Generally, a document must have been established prior to the child's 7th birthday or it must be at least 10 years old. This helps establish that the documentation you are submitting is legitimate. Documents should include the following:

  • Child's name
  • Listed date of birth
  • Parent's name(s)

If your documents are in a language other than English, you also must obtain an official English translation of documents needed. Embassies and foreign consulates often will translate official documents for you. We also accept translations from established translation services.

If you can't provide the required supporting documents, call 311 to ask us for help.

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Fees: How much does it cost to make a correction? +

The Health Department charges a non-refundable $40.00 application processing fee to make most corrections. Where fees apply, the application is only $40 even if more than one item is corrected.

Copies of corrected certificates cost $15 each. This $15 is waived if you enclose a certified copy of a certificate that has been issued within the past 3 months and you ask to exchange it for 1 corrected certificate.

Birth Certificate Corrections

$40 Processing Fee Applies:

  • Adding a child's given name by family more than 60 days after birth.
  • Family's errors and omissions, except adding a given name within 60 days of birth.
  • Hospital and licensed midwife errors and omissions after 12 months.
  • Adoptions (Court Order).
  • Correct gender marker on birth certificate.
  • Re-submitting an application more than 1 year after rejection.

No Fee Applies:

  • Acknowledgements of Paternity.
  • Orders of Filiation/Order of Paternity.
  • Adding a parent who was married prior to the birth of the child.
  • Adding a child's given name.
    • If submitted by family within 60 days of birth to the Health Department.
    • If submitted by family to the hospital within 12 months of date of birth.
  • Correcting hospital errors and omissions.
    • If submitted by the hospital of birth within 12 months of birth.
  • If applying for Delayed Registration of Birth use form VR34.

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How do I apply for a correction by mail? +

To correct a birth certificate by mail, please:

  • Complete and sign the birth certificate correction application [Español]. If you are unable to download the application, please call 311 or 212-639-9675 outside New York City to request one.
  • Enclose copies of identification indicated on the form.
  • Enclose original documents to support the correction + 1 copy of each of these documents.
  • Calculate the fees and enclose your payment (see below)
  • Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
  • Mail your correction application package to the address below.
  • Note that standard first-class U.S. postal service mail is not tracked.

Payment Methods (cash is NOT accepted):

  • Check or money order made payable in US dollars to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. For international orders, only bank money orders (not postal money orders) are accepted.

Mail your application package to:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Office of Vital Records
125 Worth St., CN-4, Rm 144
New York, NY 10013

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How do I apply for a correction in-person? +

Bring a completed birth certificate correction application [Español] with identification and original documents to support the correction.

Payment Methods (cash is NOT accepted):

  • Credit or debit card
  • Money order made payable in US dollars to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Personal check

Location:
125 Worth Street, Room 144
New York, NY 10013
Use the Centre Street entrance to access the Corrections Lobby.
Hours:
Monday – Friday, except holidays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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How do I add the name of another parent to a birth certificate? +

Adding the name of another parent to a birth certificate, typically the father, depends on the marital status of the mother. Married same sex parents also can add their names to birth certificates. See table below to find out what you must do.

Marriage records or other documents must be submitted with the application. In cases where the parent has been married more than once, divorce records also must be submitted.

New York State recognizes same sex marriage performed in other states, Washington DC and abroad. It does not recognize common law marriage.

How Do I Add the Name of Another Parent? Look below to see which description fits your situation.

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Marital Status of Parent You Need To
Mother not married during pregnancy and not married now and wants to add a father Complete an Acknowledgement of Paternity form (DSS 4418) or go to Family Court for an Order of Filiation
Mother married during pregnancy, want to add spouse's name (male or female) If you were married at the time of your child's birth, complete Section 4 on page 4 of the application
Mother not married during pregnancy but now married to biological father Complete an Acknowledgement of Paternity form (DSS 4418) or go to Family Court for an Order of Filiation
Mother married after birth but not to biological father Go to Family or Supreme Court for an Order of Adoption
Mother married to a male during pregnancy but not to biological father Go to Family Court for an Order of Filiation
Same Sex Parents (Female) not married Go to Family or Supreme Court for an Order of Adoption
Same Sex Parents (Male) married or not married Go to Family or Supreme Court for an Order of Adoption
Acknowledgement of Paternity Forms (LDSS 4418) are available in the Corrections Department lobby and enclosed with all applications ordered by mail or online (PDF).

Common Corrections

How do I add child's first and middle name BEFORE his/her first birthday? +

Bring the following documents to the hospital where your child was born:

See PDF for additional details.

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How do I correct child's first or middle name or add child's middle name BEFORE his/her first birthday? +

You must submit photocopies of current, signed photo identification and a check or money order for $40 made payable to the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the original birth certificate (or the $15 fee for new certificate) and one of the following documents:

  • Letter from the hospital where the child was born including the child's correct name, date of birth, and parent's name(s) or
  • Immunization records or
  • First census record taken after birth (federal or state) or
  • Religious document (such as a baptismal certificate) or
  • Child's life insurance policy

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How do I add or correct the spelling of child's first or middle name AFTER his/her first birthday? +

You must submit photocopies of current, signed photo identification and a check or money order for $55 ($40 processing fee plus $15 fee for new certificate) made payable to the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and one of the following documents:

  • Letter from the hospital where the child was born stating that they are responsible for the error. Letter must include the child's correct name, date of birth, and parent's name(s) or
  • Immunization records or
  • First census record taken after birth OR census taken at least 10 years ago (federal or state) or
  • Letter from physician including treatment dates (must be from the last 10 years) or
  • School admission letter including date of admission or
  • Official school transcript or
  • Religious document or
  • Child's life insurance policy

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How do I correct the spelling of child's last name? +

You must submit photocopies of current, signed photo identification and a check or money order for $55 ($40 processing fee plus $15 fee for new certificate) made payable to the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and one of the following documents:

  • Parent's passport or
  • Parent's marriage record if you were married before the child's birth (New York State does NOT recognize common law marriage) or
  • Parent's naturalization certificate (must have been naturalized prior to the birth of the child) or
  • Birth certificate of an older brother or sister

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How do I correct child's date of birth or sex? +

If the child is 12 months of age or younger:

  • Bring the original certificate and a correction application (PDF) to the hospital where your child was born.

If the child is older than 1 year of age:

You must submit photocopies of current, signed photo identification and a check or money order for $55 ($40 processing fee plus $15 fee for new certificate) made payable to the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and one of the following documents:

  • Letter from the hospital, where the child was born, stating that they are responsible for the error. Letter must include the child's correct name, date of birth, and parent's name(s).

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How do I change the gender marker on my birth certificate? +

In December 2014, the NYC Board of Health approved a change in the requirements to change the gender marker on a NYC birth certificate, effective January 2015. The Health Department no longer requires proof of convertive surgery and a name change. Please see below for details on how to apply.

You must submit a photocopy of current, signed photo identification and a check or money order for $55 ($40 processing fee plus $15 fee for new certificate) made payable to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the following documents:

  • A completed Birth Correction Application form (VR-172, PDF).
    • A signed Affirmation/Affidavit from (PDF) one of the following US-licensed providers
      • Physician (MD or DO)
      • Doctoral-level psychologist (PhD or PsyD in clinical or counseling psychology)
      • Social worker (LMSW or LCSW)
      • Physician assistant
      • Nurse practitioner
      • Marriage and family therapist
      • Mental health counselor
      • Midwife

If you would like to change your name, an original court ordered name change request must be submitted. We recommend that you submit this request either before or at the same time as your gender marker change request. If submitted after, the history of the name change will be displayed on the record.

If you have any questions, or need assistance finding a provider, please call 311 or email tgnyc@health.nyc.gov.

For information about transgender health and resources in NYC, please visit the Transgender Health webpage.

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How do I legally change my name or my child's name? +

You must go to Civil Court in the county where you live and request a name change order. This order must include:

  • The certificate number and your child's date of birth or
  • Your child's date of birth and place of birth.

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How do I remove information on the birth certificate? +

You must obtain a State Supreme Court Order unless the hospital of birth made a mistake and the child is 12 months of age or younger. If that is the case, then bring the following document:

  • Letter from the hospital, where the child was born, stating that the hospital made the error. Letter must include the child's correct name, date of birth, and parent's name(s).

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How do I add the name of another parent? +

Please refer to the section above on adding the name of another parent to a birth certificate. See “How do I add the name of another parent to a birth certificate?”

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How do I correct parent's information on child's birth certificate? +

You must submit photocopies of current, signed photo identification and a check or money order for $55 ($40 processing fee plus $15 fee for new certificate) made payable to the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and one of the following documents:

  • Parent's birth certificate
  • Birth certificate of an older brother or sister
  • For last name only: parent's marriage record if parents were married before child's birth (New York State does not recognize common law marriage)

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How do I pay for a correction? +

For requests made by mail, please enclose a check or money order payable to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Walk-in customers may pay using a credit or debit card.

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Correct a Death Certificate

What is the process to correct a death certificate? +

[Español] [中文] [Kreyòl ayisyen] [Русский]

The easiest way to correct a death certificate is to ask the funeral director to do it for you if the death occurred within 12 months of the death.

If you are the next of kin or you are listed as the person who provided the information and you have a copy of the original death certificate, you can request the correction yourself by completing a death certificate correction application [中文] and following the instructions on the form. If you are unable to download the application, please call 311 or 212-639-9675 outside New York City to request one.

Please note:

  • Death certificate correction applications must be submitted in person or by mail.
  • Mailed applications must be notarized.
  • Corrections require a $40 processing fee which covers multiple corrections submitted at the same time.
  • Each corrected certificate costs $15.

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How much does it cost to correct a death certificate? +

The Health Department charges a non-refundable $40 processing fee to correct most death certificates (see below). Copies of corrected certificates cost $15 each.

$40 Processing Fee Applies:

  • Submitted by family or another informant
  • Submitted by funeral director
  • Submitted by hospital more than 12 months after death
  • Resubmitted application more than 1 year after rejection

No Fee Applies:

  • Administrative error by the Health Department
  • Submitted by the hospital within 12 months of death
  • Adding missing information
  • Miscarriage or still birth certificate changes

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What supporting documents are needed to correct/amend a NYC death certificate? +

Death Certificate Correction Instructions:
Other languages: [Español] [中文] [Kreyòl ayisyen] [Русский]

NOTE: If the error was made by the facility/doctor or the funeral home within 12 months of date of death, then contact facility/doctor or the funeral home.

Please use the following chart to determine which documents are needed with your application. For all types of corrections, you must include your signed, unexpired photo ID with your application.

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Item to be Corrected Type of Certified/Original Documentation Applicant Must Submit
Decedent's Legal Name
  • If within 12 months of the date of death, contact the facility or doctor listed on the death certificate.
  • If after 12 months, a letter from the facility or doctor listed on the death certificate is required.
Decedent's Usual Residence Government letter or utility bill, Mortgage Statement, or Lease Agreement dated within 3 months prior to the decedent's date of death.
Service in the U.S. Armed Forces Discharge paper (DD214), Discharge Certificate, or original letter from Veteran's Affairs.
Marital/ Partnership Status Civil Marriage Certificate, Registered Domestic Partnership Certificate, Legal Separation Document, Divorce decree, Notification of no divorce on file from marriage jurisdiction, or Death Certificate of spouse if widowed.
Name of Surviving Spouse/Partner Civil Marriage Certificate, Registered Domestic Partnership Certificate, or Legal Separation Document
Date of Birth/Age or Birthplace Original Birth Certificate.
Social Security (SS) # Original SS card or SS Administration letter
Usual Occupation Employee ID (If occupation is listed) or Letter from Employer
Kind of Business or Industry Employee ID , Letter from Employer, Recent pay stub, W-2 Form
Education Diploma, Degree, Letter from Educational Institution
Aliases or AKAs Legal court document, Marriage Certificate, or Letter from Funeral Home admitting error
Parents' Information Decedent's original Birth Certificate
Informant's Information
  • If removing informant's information, a court order from Surrogate's Court is required.
  • If correcting informant's information, Government letter or utility bill, Mortgage Statement, or Lease Agreement, photo ID, or Letter from Funeral Home admitting error.
Disposition Information Original Letter from Cemetery/Crematory with an authentic letterhead or return to the Funeral Home.
Funeral Home Information Letter from Funeral Home with an authentic letterhead signed by the Funeral Director.

If your documents are in a language other than English, you must provide an English translation. Consulates will often translate official documents for you. The Office of Vital Records accepts translations from established translation services.

NOTE: Documents are subject to verification. If information on the submitted documents is insufficient, then additional documents may be required.