How to Change a California Birth Certificate

By Josh Chetwynd - Updated April 17, 2017

Birth certificates are generally changed for one of three reasons in California: to alter a person’s name; to alter a person’s name and gender; or to correct errors or omissions. Learn more about how to change your name or correct errors here.

STEP ONE: Determining the Form to Use

Visit the California Department of Public Health to determine what court documents you to change your birth certificate.

There are a number of different forms, depending on what you want to change on your birth certificate. For instance, if you want to change your name, complete a court order name change document. If you want to change your name and gender, complete this document.

STEP TWO: Determine Requirements

Each form packet includes a list of requirements, including frequently asked questions, what documents you need to fill out, how much a certified copy costs, where to mail your forms, and more. Read each packet carefully as to make sure you don't fill out the forms incorrectly.

Submit all your completed forms to the court clerk in the county where you reside.

STEP THREE: Attend Court

Attend your court date, which will be sent to you in the form of a letter by the court. Be sure to bring proof of publication in the local newspaper of your Order to Show Cause. Also, print out either a copy of the Decree Changing Name (Form NC-130) or a Decree Changing Name and Gender (Form NC-230) – depending on your request. The judge must sign this document.

Obtain a certified copy of the decree changing your name from the court clerk. This document is required for changing your birth certificate.

STEP FOUR: Fill out the Form

Get a VS-23 form (for name change) or VS-24 (for name and gender) from any local California registrar of births office. Fill it out and submit that document with a photocopy of your original birth certificate and a $23 check or money order to the mailing address on the form. For correcting errors fill out the VS-24 form. Also include a notarized sworn statement regarding the claimed errors and omissions; hospital documentation (if the mistake was the hospital’s fault); a photocopy of the parent’s birth certificate (if the change involves the parent); and a copy of the current birth certificate.

About the Author

Josh Chetwynd has worked as a staff reporter for such publications as "USA Today," "U.S. News & World Report" and "The Hollywood Reporter," covering a broad range of subjects. He is a licensed lawyer and has also written three books.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article