Correcting a Tennessee Birth Certificate

Stephen Andrew Lund

Written by

Litigation Lawyer - Nashville, TN

Contributor Level 6

Posted almost 5 years ago. Applies to Tennessee, 2 helpful votes

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1

Identify errors.

The type of error wil determine whether you need a court order to correct the certificate. "Minor" corrections, such as typos, omissions, or incorrect dates, can be accomplished without court order. "Major" corrections, such as change of name, must be accomplished by court order. A correction to a minor error will appear as a line through the error, with the correct information re-printed. If you want the original error to be erased, a court order is necessary.

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Minor corrections

In order to obtain a minor correction, you will need to fill out an affidavit that specifies: the error(s) that need to be corrected, what the certificate should state, and the person's name and birthdate. The affidavit must be notarized. After preparing the affidavit, you need to submit an application to the Department of Health's Office of Vital Records. The Office has applications in its lobby. The Office charges a $15 fee to correct a birth certificate. Should you desire a copy of the corrected certificate, you will need to pay an additional fee. The application, affidavit and fees can be submitted in person or by mail. The new certificate will be mailed to you.

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Major corrections

The Office of Vital Records will not perform a major correction without a court order. To obtain a court order, you must file a sworn petition in the county where you reside. The petition should state what changes you seek and why. Your petition should be as specific as possible. The court may require a hearing. There is a filing fee that must be paid when you file the petition. Call the court clerk's office to find out the correct amount. If the court grants your petition, then you must submit an application with the Office of Vital Records. The application should include a certified copy of the court's order granting your petition. The fee for the correction is $15. There is an additional fee for a copy of the corrected certificate. The new certificate will be mailed to you.

Additional Resources

Office of Vital Records: http://health.state.tn.us/vr/

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