How Do I Get New a Birth Certificate After a Name Change?

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

How Do I Get New a Birth Certificate After a Name Change?

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

After obtaining a court order granting a name change, you should update important identification records, including your driver's license or other state-issued identification, Social Security card, and your passport. If you changed your name after gender reassignment surgery or as a result of adoption, you can update your birth certificate. If you got married or divorced and your name changed, there is no need to update your birth certificate.

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If you would like to change your name on your birth certificate, here are the usual steps to do so, though they can vary in some details by state.

1. Obtain a copy of your name change order from the clerk of courts.

When you changed your name, the judge signed and issued a court order. This document is the proof that you legally changed your name. Request a certified copy of this order from the county clerk of courts. Expect to pay a fee to obtain a certified copy, which differs from a standard copy because it bears the court's seal or stamp.

2. Obtain a certified copy of your existing birth certificate.

If you do not have your original, certified copy of your birth certificate, you may need to request one from your state's vital records office. It is common for states to require you to include your existing birth certificate when you request to get a new one after a name change.

In most states, you can apply for a certified copy in person or you can submit a request electronically. You need valid photo identification and supporting documents that verify your identity to get a copy and likely must pay a fee. In some states, requestors can pay an additional fee to expedite requests for certified copies of existing birth records.

3. Gather additional supporting documents.

Your state may require additional supporting documents that show your former name beyond the court order changing it. Check with your state's Department of Health or Vital Records Office to determine what else you need to submit with your request to change your birth certificate. Some states accept the following supporting documents:

  • Military discharge papers
  • School transcripts or school records
  • Passport
  • Marriage certificates
  • Baptism certificate
  • Tribal enrollment record
  • Social Security number history

Your state may not accept all of these or may accept additional supporting document types. When in doubt, check your state's specific requirements.

4. Complete an application for a revised birth certificate.

Obtain an application form, called a petition in some states, to revise the birth certificate. Complete the form carefully, answering all required questions. In some states, applicants' signatures require notarization.

Submit your completed form along with the certified copy of your court-ordered name change, your original birth certificate, additional documentation as required, and the application fee.

Some states issue new birth certificates showing the requestors' new names. In other states, you retain the original birth certificate but the state adds an amendment to it, showing your new name.

If you are ready to change your name, an online service provider can help. Another option is to hire an attorney in your state. After the court grants your request, use the court order to change your name as listed on your driver's license, passport, bank accounts, and other records.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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