How to Change a Birth Certificate in Tennessee

••• birth marriage and death image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

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The Vital Records division of Tennessee's Public Health Department maintains birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates. Sometimes individuals need to make changes to a birth certificate for such reasons as adding a father's name to the certificate or changing the person's name on a birth certificate because of adoption. Tennessee offers options for making necessary modifications to birth certificates.

Contact the Office of Vital Records

Add a father’s name to a birth certificate. Parents who were unmarried at the time of the child's birth or 300 days prior to that day, can complete the “Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity” form if the child is less than 19 years of age.

Contact the local child support enforcement office or health department if you reside in Tennessee to obtain this form. If your child was born in Tennessee, both Tennessee and out-of-state residents can contact or visit the Office of Vital Records for assistance. Pick-up the form from the child support enforcement agency or health department and take it to the Office of Vital Records. Bring a valid photo ID and pay the $30 fee by check or money order, as of November 2010.

Receive your birth certificate.

Download the Application

Log on to Tennessee’s Department of Health website. If parents have married since the child was born, both the mother and father must complete the “Application for New Certificate of Birth by Subsequent Marriage of Parents”.

Download and print the application from the website. Complete and sign the necessary sections of the application in the presence of a notary public. Mail the application, along with a $30 check or money order, as of November 2010, to the address listed on the application. Include a certified copy of the parents' marriage certificate, if the marriage occurred outside of Tennessee. Give the date and place of the marriage, if it occurred in-state, so that an agency representative can find the certificate.

Receive your birth certificate.

Call or Write the Office of Vital Records

Contact the Office of Vital Records. Inquire about all other situations and requirements for changing birth certificates. Birth certificate change requirements vary widely, depending on the type and age of the record and the specific change requested.

Write a letter to the agency giving specific details about your birth certificate change request. An agency representative will tell you which forms to use and the fees involved, based on the information provided. Complete all applicable forms according to your particular situation. Include a copy of your photo ID and any fees with your application. Mail to the address listed on the Office of Vital Records website.

Receive your birth certificate.

Warnings

  • If neither the mother nor father wishes to add the father’s name to the birth certificate or if another man is named on the birth certificate, a court order is required to make the necessary changes.

    If the man signing the "Application for New Certificate of Birth by Subsequent Marriage of Parents” is already named on the birth certificate, a new certificate will not be issued.

    Complete the application using black ink only. Applications with erasures and white-out will be rejected.

Tips

  • Bring a valid photo ID for identification purposes. Check the Tennessee Department of Public Health's website for acceptable forms of identification.

    As of November 2010, a shorter version of a new birth certificate can be purchased for $23.