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Kevin O'Flaherty

In this article, we will explain how to correct an Illinois birth certificate.   

Illinois birth certificates can be corrected through the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”).  In order to make a correction to your birth certificate, you must fill out and submit an Affidavit and Certificate of Correction Request, which explains the correction you are seeking to make.

The request must be submitted along with a government-issued photo ID, a filing fee, and documents that provide evidence for the basis of the correction.  

The IDPH reviews correction requests on a case-by-case basis.  Because every situation is unique, there is no hard and fast rule for the types of documents you should submit as evidence.  

However, the IDPH does provide general guidelines for suggested documents for particular types of corrections.  All of these documents must have been created before you turn 19 and show your name and date of birth as exactly as you want them to appear on your birth record.  The guidelines for documentary evidence are as follows:

If you are correcting your first name or middle name, the IDPH suggests submitting any of the following types of documents:

  • Your baptismal records;
  • Your school records;
  • Your marriage or civil union record or license;
  • Your military ID;
  • Your social security records (Note: You are not to send your social security card.  Instead, the IDPH recommends sending your Num ident or earnings statement);
  • Child’s birth record; or  
  • Immunization or clinic records.

If you are correcting your last name, the IDPH suggests:

  • Your parents’ marriage or civil union record (if married prior to your birth)
  • Your father or co-parent’s naturalization certificate;
  • Your father or co-parent’s birth record; or
  • Your older sibling’s birth record.

If you are correcting your parent’s name on your birth certificate:

  • Your parents’ marriage or civil union record or license;
  • Your parents’ birth records; or
  • Your parents’ naturalization certificate.

If you are correcting your date of birth:

  • Hospital records;
  • Your baptismal records;
  • School records; or
  • Your immunization or clinic records.

Once your affidavit and accompanying evidence are submitted, the IDPH will either accept or reject your request. If the IDPH rejects your request, you may be able to obtain a court order requiring the correction.   Working with a lawyer to assist you in correcting your birth certificate is a relatively inexpensive way to ensure that the affidavit is prepared correctly and that your documentary evidence gives you the best possible chance of success.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.


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