How to Change the Name on a Birth Certificate in Michigan

By Victoria Bailey - Updated July 24, 2018
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Mistakes are made on birth certificates all the time. Names are misspelled, accidentally omitted or even left off intentionally. Just because you have incorrect or incomplete information on your Michigan birth certificate doesn't mean you have to live with it for the rest of your life. If you've got a legitimate reason for changing a name on a birth certificate, the state of Michigan has a procedure to help you do it. A Michigan birth certificate name change isn't an instant process, but you can do it in a short amount of time if you've got the proper documentation.

Who Can Make a Birth Certificate Correction?

For obvious reasons, you can't change the information on just anyone's birth certificate. You've got to have a legitimate reason for doing it, and the legal right to do so. Some of the people allowed to make these changes are:

  • The parent or parents named on the birth certificate.
  • The legal guardian of the child named on the birth certificate.
  • A parent whose name was originally left off the birth certificate, for the purpose of adding his name.
  • The child whose name is on the birth certificate, as long as she is at least 18 years old.
  • An heir to the person named on the document, if the named person and her parents have died.
  • An individual who is responsible for filling out the original birth certificate.
  • The legal representative of any of the people above.

Reasons for Changing the Name on a Birth Certificate

In order to change a name on a birth certificate, you must have a legitimate reason. For instance, when a mother is unmarried, the father's name is sometimes left off of the document. The Michigan name change process offers the opportunity for adding the father to the birth certificate and changing the child's last name.

Some people are still undecided about their child's name after it is born, especially for children who are born prematurely. In this case, the state will record the child's name as Baby Boy. Once the parents decide on a name for the child, they can amend the record to reflect this name.

Accidents happen, especially in the excitement of becoming a new parent. If a parent has misspelled a baby's name or given the names out of order, it's possible to change the birth certificate to show the correct name.

Birth Certificate Name Change Process

The procedure for changing a name on a birth certificate in Michigan depends on what name you want changed and the reason for doing so. In all cases, you'll need to complete the Application to Correct or Change a Michigan Birth Record, including the signatures of all parents named on the document. Along with it, you'll need proof of the reason for requesting the name change. If you're adding a father, you'll need an Affidavit of Parentage, a court determination of paternity or similar documentation.

For spelling changes, you'll need some proof of the correct spelling such as insurance forms, baptism records or school records. For changing the sex of the child, you'll need medical documentation, notarized, determining the sex of the person named on the document. In general, for any change you want to make, you'll have to include documentation to prove why the change is correct.

When you've completely filled out the form and gathered the supporting evidence, mail it all, along with the appropriate fee, to Vital Records Changes, P.O. Box 30721, Lansing, Michigan, 48909. If you have any questions, contact the office at 517-335-8660.

About the Author

Victoria Bailey has a degree in Public Law and Government. She has spoken before state Supreme Court justices and her photograph is on the back cover of Bill Clinton's autobiography. As a former member of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, Bailey worked closely with lawmakers to help set public policy. Bailey's work appears on numerous websites, and she's currently writing the text for a governmental information app.

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