If your birth record (AKA birth certificate) or the birth record of your child needs to be changed, there is a process for doing so. Why would a person need to change a birth record? Perhaps the information (the child’s name, a parent’s name, child’s date of birth, etc.) was incorrectly entered at the time the record was created. Perhaps the information was correct initially, but has since changed. Either way, it can be changed, but the difficulty involved depends on how much time has passed since the time of the birth.
Information Which Can Be Amended
Other than some clerical entries on the birth record, all of the information can be amended, including:
- Child’s name (first, middle, and last)
- Date of birth
- Sex (if the child’s sex was incorrectly stated by the hospital)
- Place of birth (name of the hospital, or city, county, and state)
- The names of the parents (first, middle and last)
- The mother’s maiden name at birth
Corrections – Changes Made Within One Year Of Birth
If the child’s birth occurred within the last year, changing the information is simpler and faster. This is called a “correction.” A parent can obtain a correction by making a request to the North Dakota Department of Health – Division of Vital Records. All parents listed on the birth record must agree to the correction. There is no fee. A parent must return any certified copies of the birth record along with the request for correction. With few exceptions, a corrected birth record will be marked “amended.”
Amendments – Changes Made After One Year Of Birth
The more difficult process of an “amendment” must be used if the child’s birth occurred more than one year prior. The parent should first contact the Vital Records Division of the North Dakota Department of Health, to determine whether the amendment can be made. In some cases, a record can be amended in the same manner as with a “correction.”
In the majority of cases, however, a person must obtain an order from the district court directing the Department of Health to make the amendment. This requires the person to file a petition with the court, requesting the change, informing the court of the reason for the change, supplying necessary identification, and possibly attending a hearing. A hearing is less likely if both parents file a notarized consent to the amendment. Following the hearing, the person must obtain a certified copy of the court order and submit it to the Vital Records Division along with payment of a fee as determined by the Department of Health. An amended birth record will be marked “amended.”
Who Can Request The Change?
The individual named on the record can obtain an amendment/correction if he/she is at least 18 years of age. Either parent of the child can have the record changed if the parent is listed on the birth record. A legal guardian of the child can do so as well, but must submit a certified copy of the court order appointing the person as guardian along with the other required documents.
There are penalties for certain conduct regarding birth records. A person can be convicted of a class C felony if he/she:
- Willfully and knowingly makes a false statement or provides false information in a record or application regarding a record.
- Mutilates a record with the intent to deceive or makes/alters a record without lawful authority.
- Attempting to use a falsely altered or mutilated record, or attempting to use a record while knowing that the information is false, with the intent to deceive.
- Willfully and knowingly furnishing a record with the intent that it be used by a person other than the person to whom it was issued.
- Knowingly prepares, delivers, or uses a fraudulent or forged copy of a record.
If you have questions regarding this topic, then seek the advice of a family law attorney. Contact the SW&L family law team at 701-297-2890 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely on the information on this website as legal advice.