Skip to Content

How do I get my certificate corrected?

The Office of Vital Records is required to follow Tennessee law when amending birth, death, marriage or divorce certificates. It is important to us and to you that the certificates issued by this office be accurate.  For this reason, each request is given individual attention.

Generally, the documentation listed in the following frequently asked questions is adequate to make the requested correction. However, occasionally we will need additional information.   We understand that each and every request is important and work diligently to complete them quickly.  Please be patient as some amendment requests could take as long as 10-12 weeks.

Amendment Questions

  1. My given or middle name is missing or spelled incorrectly on my birth certificate.  How do I get it corrected?
  2. My name was legally changed. How do I get it changed on my birth certificate?
  3. The date of birth is incorrect on my birth certificate.  What is needed to correct it?
  4. How do I correct the sex on my birth certificate?
  5. The parent’s name, date of birth or place of birth is incorrect on my birth certificate.  How do I get it corrected?
  6. I need my amendment ASAP.  May I get it expedited?
  7. What is a notarized affidavit? What should the affidavit include?
  8. How do I get a court order?
  9. What are some examples of acceptable documentary evidence?

My given or middle name is missing or spelled incorrectly on my birth certificate.
How do I get it corrected?

  1. If any of the following circumstances are true, a court order is needed to make a name change on the birth certificate:
    1. A Voluntary Acknowledgment of PaternityA legal document signed by the mother and father which establishes the father of a child born outside of marriage. is on file in this office.
    2. A new birth certificate was created due to an adoption or a court-order of parentage (this does not apply if the amendment is necessary because of a keying error made when creating the new certificate).
    3. The name on the certificate has been amended previously.
  2. If none of the circumstances listed in item 1 are true and  the child is less than one year old, this office will need:
    1. A notarized affidavit, signed by all parents listed on the birth certificate, which shows the child's full name, date of birth, the incorrect name as it is listed on the certificate and the name as it should be correctly listed.
    2. No fee is required to amend a certificate that is less than one year old.
  3. If none of the circumstances listed in item 1 are true and the registrant is more than one year old , this office will need:
    1. A notarized affidavit showing the child's full name, date of birth, the incorrect name as it is listed on the certificate and the name as it should be correctly listed.
    2. Documentary evidence that supports the change being requested (see examples of acceptable documentary evidence).
    3. A check or money order for the required amendment fee. If you want a certified copy of the amended certificate please include an additional fee for the copy.

(Back to Amendment Questions)

My name was legally changed. How do I get it changed on my birth certificate?

In the event of a court-ordered name change, to amend the birth certificate we require the following:

  1. An original, certified copy of the court order that changed your name.
  2. A check or money order for the required amendment fee. If you want a certified copy of the amended certificate please include an additional fee for the copy.

(Back to Amendment Questions)

The date of birth is incorrect on my birth certificate. What is needed to correct it?

If the date of birth has never been amended on the certificate, you should submit the following:

  1. A signed and notarized affidavit showing the full name, date of birth as it is shown on the certificate and the date of birth as it should be correctly listed.
  2. Documentary evidence supporting the correct date of birth (see examples of acceptable documentary evidence).
    1. If the correction is to the day only, the document must have been created prior to your 21st birthday.*
    2. If the correction is to the month, the document should have been created prior to your 10th birthday.*
    3. If the correction is to the year, the document should have been created prior to your 10th birthday,*
      and we need a list of your siblings names and dates of birth.
    4. A check or money order for the required amendment fee.  If you want a certified copy of the amended certificate please include an additional fee for the copy.

*If the registrant is under the age of 21, the document must be dated at least 5 years prior to the request for amendment.

(Back to Amendment Questions)

How do I correct the sex on my birth certificate?

Tennessee law does not allow for the amendment of a birth certificate due to gender reassignment surgery. If a mistake was made on the certificate when recording the sex of the child, the following should be submitted to this office:

  1. A signed and notarized affidavit showing the full name, date of birth, the sex as it is shown on the certificate and the sex as it should be correctly listed.
  2. Documentary evidence showing the correct sex of the individual (see examples of acceptable documentary evidence).
  3. A check or money order for the required amendment fee.  If you want a certified copy of the amended certificate please include an additional fee for the copy.

(Back to Amendment Questions)

A parent’s name, date of birth or place of birth is incorrect on my birth certificate.
How do I get it corrected?

If any of the following are true, a court order would be required to amend the certificate.

  1. the same information was previously amended
  2. a new certificate was created due to adoption and the request for amendment is not due to a keying error made when creating the new certificate
  3. a new certificate was created due to a court order of parentage, the requested amendment involves the father’s information, and the request was not made to correct a keying error  made when creating the new certificate.
  4. a Voluntary Acknowledgment of PaternityA legal document signed by the mother and father which establishes the father of a child born outside of marriage. is on file in this office, and the requested amendment involves the father’s information.

Otherwise please submit the following:

  1. A signed and notarized affidavit showing the full name, date of birth the data as it is shown on the certificate and the data as it should be correctly listed.
  2. A copy of the parent’s birth certificate which supports the amendment request.
  3. A check or money order for the required amendment fee. If you want a certified copy of the amended certificate please include an additional fee for the copy.

(Back to Amendment Questions)

I need my amendment ASAP. May I get it expedited?

If you include an expedite fee with your request and ask that your amendment be expedited, your request will be given a priority status.

(Back to Amendment Questions)

What is a notarized affidavit?  What should the affidavit include?

A notarized affidavit is a written statement made under oath and signed in the presence of a notary public. The notary public places his/her seal on the document to verify that the signature is authentic. The affidavit submitted to this office must be signed by one of the following persons:

  1. The registrant if he/she is over the age of 18.
  2. If the registrant is under 18, a parent listed on the certificate or
  3. The legal guardian of the child listed on the certificate (A copy of the guardianship papers must be included.)

The affidavit should include the name and date of the event, the incorrect data as it is listed on the certificate and the data as it should be listed.

(Back to Amendment Questions)

How do I get a court order?

For instructions on obtaining a court order contact the court clerk’s office in your county of residence. Contact information for Tennessee court clerks can be found at the Tennessee Bar Association website, www.tba.org/resources/courtclerks.html.

(Back to Amendment Questions)

What are some examples of acceptable documentary evidence?

The documentary evidence submitted in support of an amendment should be the oldest document available.  It must provide all of the following information:

  1. It must support the facts of the amendment request.  For example, if you are asking that your name be amended the documentation must show your name as you wish it to be shown on your certificate.
  2. It must be at least 5 years old (sometimes older documents are required).  If the amendment is for a child under 5, the document must have been created as close to the date of birth as possible.
  3. It must show the date that the document was created
  4. It must show the registrant’s full name and date of birth or age

Examples of acceptable documents are:

  1. A school record - School records can be obtained by contacting the Board of Education in the county or district where you attended school. A list of Tennessee school districts with contact information can be found at the Department of Education website.
  2. A marriage certificate – If the marriage occurred in Tennessee in 1951 or later, provide names of the bride and groom and the date of marriage and we will retrieve the certificate.
  3. The birth certificate of a child – If the birth occurred in Tennessee within the past 100 years, provide the child’s name and date of birth and we will retrieve the certificate.
  4. A parent’s birth certificate or death certificate – If the birth occurred in Tennessee within the past 100 years or the death occurred in Tennessee within the past 50 years, provide names and dates and we will retrieve the certificate.
  5. A DD-214Official release/discharge papers from active duty from the United States Armed Forces
  6. A Social Security NumidentAn electronic record that contains the information contained on an individual's original application for a social security number - Instructions for requesting a numident can be found at the Social Security Administration website.
  7. A Federal Census Record can be ordered through the U.S. Government Archives website, www.eservices.archives.gov/online

(Back to Amendment Questions)