Public records often contain incorrect spellings of names or a wrong address or date of birth. Sometimes the workers who enter your information into a computer make mistakes, or perhaps the error was due to your own hurried inaccuracies. In most cases, the mistakes are relatively easy to fix once you find out which documents contain the incorrect information. But the task could involve visits to several government agencies.
Finding the Mistakes and Fixing Them
Identify which public records might contain incorrect information. The most common ones include: assessments, voter registration, business licenses, and police and court documents.
Visit the city/town clerk's office and ask how you can make sure all records containing your name include correct spellings and numbers. Bring identification and a copy of any bills or receipts from that entity, including property tax, water and sewer. The clerk can start with your marriage license and tax bills and direct you to the assessor's office to check for errors on your property documents. If the information is wrong, ask them to immediately enter the correct information into their database. County offices like the auditor or sheriff's department could also be where the document with the incorrect information is located.
Stop at the local justice department that covers police and courts. Request documents containing your name. Check for mistakes in identifier information, such as name and address. You also want to be sure that your Social Security number, in accordance with federal privacy law, is not listed in their files. If you were ever interviewed as a crime or accident witness, check to see that your name was not accidentally listed in police incident reports as a suspect or defendant.
Check voter registration records at the county Board of Elections, which will note your name, age, address, party affiliation and whether you voted in previous elections. Bring a copy of any previous documents you filed when registering to vote in that county, and ask for any errors to be corrected in the database.