Changing a birth record - MDH

Changing a Birth Record

Accurate birth records are a priority for the Office of Vital Records. State and county vital records staff work closely with hospitals and families to assure that information is correct.

Most births occur in a hospital. Hospital birth registrars file both demographic and health data that is gathered from parents and other sources at the time of a child’s birth. That data is entered into a statewide electronic vital records system where it is securely stored and available to be issued on birth certificates.

Although there is a lot of data associated with a birth record, only a small portion of that data - certification items - are printed on a certificate. These certification items include a subject’s:

  • First, middle, and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Time of birth
  • Plurality (single, twin, triplet, etc.)
  • Sex
  • Place of birth (name of hospital or facility, city, county, state)
  • Parent’s name (first, middle, last)
  • Parent’s name at birth (Mother’s maiden name)
  • Parent’s date of birth
  • Parent’s place of birth

In spite of efforts to ensure accuracy, sometimes information is incorrect and sometimes information changes over time. When a change is needed on a birth record, the change may require a correction, a replacement, or an amendment to the birth record.

Corrections

A correction is a change to any data within one year of the birth provided that no certificate has been issued. A correction can be made at any time to data items that do not print on a certificate such as health information collected for medical and statistical purposes.

Parents often have an opportunity to review demographic data that is collected for a birth record before a record is filed by the hospital. Parents have a second opportunity to review data and make corrections when the county sends them a parent notice soon after the birth of a child.

Hospitals that filed the birth record, local county vital records offices, and the state Office of Vital Records have authority to correct a birth record. Depending on the correction, documentation may be required. No fee is required to make a correction.

Replacements

A replacement is a new birth record that replaces an original or current birth record. Birth records are replaced for adoptions, paternity establishment and adjudications, or by court order. A replaced record shows no indication of a change. Only the state Office of Vital Records is authorized to replace a birth record. Replacements require documentation and a fee.

Amendments

An amendment is a completion or correction made to certification items on a birth record, after a certificate has been issued or more than one year after the birth, whichever occurs first. Amendments require documentation and a fee. More information about amendments is online.

If you have questions about changing a birth record after reading this information, email us at health.amend@state.mn.us or call 651-201-5990.