How do you change your birth certificate

How to Correct an Illinois Birth Certificate

Video by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
October 28, 2019

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 of suggested documents for particular types of corrections.  All of these documents must have been created prior to the your turning 19 and show your name and date of birth as exactly as you want it to appear on your birth record.  The guidelines for documentary evidence is 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 numident 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.

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