In Utah, a person can change a name on a birth record with a court order or an affidavit. An affidavit is a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation. A court-ordered amendment, or change, requires that the person submit a certified copy of the order with their request and pay the appropriate fee.
After the Utah Office of Vital Records makes the change, the record status changes from “registered” to “amended.” The amendment history becomes part of the record as a second page.
Changes by Affidavit Process
The correction of a minor spelling error or data entry error in a party’s name can be made with an affidavit. An applicant should submit the affidavit to amend a vital record, a birth certificate application, a copy of the requester’s ID and a check or money order for the correct filing fee.
A change for a new name made using an affidavit must be signed by the certificate holder, meaning the person who was born, as well as by an immediate family member.
Utah Name Change Process for a Minor
If the person listed on the birth record is under 18 years of age, both parents of record must sign the affidavit. If only one parent is listed, the second witness must be an immediate family member of the listed parent. If the person listed on the birth record is 18 years of age or older, they must sign as one of the witnesses. The second witness must be their immediate family member.
For a newborn to a one-year-old, a parent can change any part of the child’s name without documentation using the affidavit process. For a child over the age of one, items left blank can be filled through the affidavit process as a correction at any time.
Correction of Errors
Items with incorrect information can be corrected with documentation of the error through the affidavit process at any time. All other changes to the name must be made by court order.
An item on a birth record may be corrected by affidavit only once. A court order is required for gender or subsequent changes. An affidavit for a birth certificate cannot be used to correct medical information. A person should mail an affidavit with the correct fees, proof of ID and an application for a new certificate.
What to Include in Affidavit
On the form for an affidavit to amend a record, the applicant should provide:
- Certificate holder’s first, middle and last name.
- Certificate holder’s sex.
- Date of event, meaning the birth.
- Place of occurrence of the birth, city and county where certificate holder was born.
- Full name of the first parent, using first parent’s maiden name if applicable.
- Full name of second parent, using second parent’s maiden name if applicable.
The applicant should then provide the item number from list of items 1 to 6 that will be changed on the birth certificate. Next, the applicant should enter the information as stated on the original record, then enter the correct information as it should be stated.
The applicant should provide the reason for the change and enter the proofs used to support the change. The proofs must match the asserted facts exactly.
Submitting the Change of Name Documents
The proofs must be submitted with the affidavit. The applicant should also provide witness information and mail the form to the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics, P.O. Box 141012, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-1012. They can contact this office at 801-538-6105 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amendment by Court Order
On the form for amendment by court order, the applicant should provide the same information for items 1 to 6 as on the form for an affidavit. In the second section of the court order form, the applicant should provide:
- Name of court.
- Court case number.
- County in which the court sits.
- State in which the court sits.
- Date of court order.
- Number of the item to be corrected.
- Corrected information from the court order.
In the third section of the court order form, the registrant or their parent, legal guardian or attorney should sign the form. The signatory must provide their address and relationship to the certificate holder. The applicant should mail this form to the same address as above for an affidavit.
Changes Involving Parent’s Name
A party can correct a minor spelling error or data entry error in a parent’s name using the affidavit process. If the parents were married before the child’s birth, they can use an affidavit to add the second parent. The applicant should provide a certified copy of the marriage certificate as documentary evidence.
To add a biological father when the parents were not married, the mother must start the request, and the father should make a voluntary declaration of paternity. The applicant should submit the father’s worksheet, a birth certificate application completed by the mother, a copy of the mother’s ID and the correct fees.
Amendment Involving Parent’s Name
When an applicant wants to change a parent’s name due to a court order, they should provide a certified copy of the court order and a certified copy of the parent’s corrected birth certificate.
They should submit these documents with the completed court order, the court order amendment form, a birth certificate application, a copy of the requester’s ID and a check or money order for the correct fee.
When an applicant wants to change a parent’s name due to naturalization, they should provide a certified copy of the court order and the original naturalization certificate. They should submit these documents with the court order amendment form, a birth certificate application, a copy of the requester’s ID and a check or money order for the correct fee.
Adding a Parent with a Court Order
To add a parent with a court order, the applicant must submit the certified copy of the court order with a birth certificate application for adoption or court order paternity, the requester’s ID and a check or money order for the correct fee. The certified court order will be retained by the Utah Office of Vital Records. The court order must contain:
- Child’s full name as listed on the birth record. If order lists only the child’s initials, applicant should include a certified copy of the non-public minor information worksheet.
- Child’s date of birth.
- Full name of the parent(s) as these currently listed on birth certificate.
- Full name of parent being added or removed.
- Order for the Office of Vital Records to add or remove the parent from the child’s birth record/certificate.
- Child’s full new name, if applicable.
Fees for Processing Record Change
As of July 1, 2021, the fee for amendment of a vital record such as a birth record is $5. The fee for a certified birth certificate is $22. The total for the amendment and the certified birth certificate is $27.
Additional certificate copies requested at the same time are $10 each. If a corrected certificate is reissued within 90 days of issuance, the new certificate fee will be waived.
Parent Change Due to Adoption
Updating a state of Utah birth record after an adoption requires a certified report of adoption. This form is submitted to the courts when the adoption petition is filed. The parent/s or their attorney will complete the first and second parts. The court clerk completes and certifies the third part and usually mails this report to the Utah Office of Vital Records.
The Utah Office of Vital Records will email or mail a letter to the parent/s or their attorney when it has received the report. If the office sent correspondence to the parent/s or attorney, they can order the certificate online. This involves following the prompts for “Attention Adoptive Parents” before choosing this type of certificate.
Ordering by mail requires submitting the certified report of adoption or the email or letter from the Office of Vital Records with a birth certificate application for adoptions/court order paternity, a copy of the requester’s ID and a check or money order for the correct fee.
Documents When Minor is Unrelated to Parents
If the adoptive parents are not related to the minor child and/or the child is under 18, the parents need to supply the non-identifying health history form or a health history not available form.
If the adoptive child was born out of the U.S. and the adoption was finalized out of the U.S., the office needs a foreign report of adoption.
Court Order Must Be Dated Prior to 16th Birthday
The court order must be dated prior to the child’s 16th birthday. If the adoptive child was born out of the U.S., and the adoption was finalized in Utah, the office needs a report of adoption and a court order establishing facts of birth. The court order must be dated prior to the child’s 16th birthday.
Name Change After Divorce
After a child’s parents get divorced, one or both parents may want to get a name change and they may want to change the name on the child’s birth record. Any changes to a marriage record must be filed with the county clerk where the marriage license was issued.
A divorce decree is often the final document in a divorce record, aside from later modifications regarding spousal support and/or child support. Any amendments to a divorce record must be filed with the district court where the divorce decree was filed.
Updating Driver’s License and More
After an adult or minor undergoes a name change, they can change their name on their Social Security card as well as their driver’s license or state ID. As to Social Security, a person may be able to change their name online depending on their situation.
They should provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) with their original or certified copy of a marriage document, divorce decree, certificate of naturalization or court order with the name change. The SSA can issue a new Social Security card.
A person can update a Utah driver’s license by visiting their local driver license office. They will have to take a photo, pass the eye test and submit the fee, which as of March 2023 is $23. They should bring their current Utah driver's license if they have it, or another document with their name on it.
Updating Address Information
If their Utah residence is different from what is noted on their current driver's license, they will be required to provide two documents showing their current Utah residence address.
They can submit the address change online to avoid having to provide proof when coming into the office. The process of getting a new driver's license also includes completing the license application online.
Scheduling Driver License Office Appointment
After finishing the application, the person will schedule a duplicate appointment for their visit to a driver license office. If the person’s name on their driver's license or state ID is different from the name on their identity document, like a birth certificate, the person must bring in legal documentation authorizing the name change.
This can include a certified state marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption, citizenship, guardianship or other court documents indicating the name change.
After they complete all requirements to get a new license, they will receive a temporary license with a photo on the same day. The completed license with the same expiration date as their prior license will be mailed to them in approximately four to six weeks.
- Utah State Courts: Name change forms & instructions (adults and minors)
- Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics: Amend a vital record
- Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics: Affidavit to amend a record
- U.S. Social Security Administration: Change Name With Social Security
- Utah Department of Public Safety: Adult replacement
- Utah Department of Health & Human Services: Complete an adoption
- Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics: Father's worksheet
Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.