Amendments: Frequently Asked Questions

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For legal questions about Texas vital records, please consult an attorney.

Please note that because each situation is different, every application must be reviewed by a specialist to determine whether it is acceptable. If the application is determined to not be acceptable, you will be contacted with additional instructions, which will increase the processing time.


I need to correct a birth certificate or death certificate. The name is misspelled. How can I correct it?
You must have an older relative complete and sign a VS170 Application to Amend Certificate of Birth (pdf 58K) or a VS172 Application to Amend Certificate of Death (pdf 45K) in front of a notary public. If you are a minor, both of your parents must sign the form before a notary public to show they are in agreement to the change or correction.

Some changes or corrections require a supporting document to prove that an error has been made. See page two of the application for a list of corrections that can be made and whether the correction requires documentation. A suggested list of supporting documents is also printed on page two of the application.

There is a fee of $15 to file the amendment (correction) and an additional fee of $22 for a certified copy of the birth certificate once it is corrected. Send the completed application, along with the required documentation (if any) and the correct fee, to our office at:

Texas Vital Statistics
Department of State Health Services
P.O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711-2040

A specialist trained in parentage issues will review your application. However, we cannot file the new application until all aspects of your application have been reviewed. If filing is not possible, Texas Vital Statistics will send you a letter explaining the situation.


I need to change my last name (or my child's last name) on a birth certificate. What do I need to do?
If you are changing your last name or your child's last name to that of the biological father, see the Paternity: Frequently Asked Questions page. If not, then you need a certified copy of a court-ordered name change.

Please submit the certified copy of the entire court order legally changing the name of the registrant. There is a fee of $15 to file the legal name-change amendment and an additional fee of $22 for a certified copy of the birth certificate once the change has been filed.

A specialist trained in parentage issues will review your application. However, we cannot file the new application until all aspects of your application have been reviewed. If filing is not possible, Texas Vital Statistics will send you a letter explaining the situation.


How do I get a court order to change my name?
Our office cannot provide you with legal advice. You must contact an attorney for information about how to obtain a legal name change.


What do I need to do to get a Disinterment Permit?
You will need to send in a VS271 Application for Disinterment Permit (Word 39K) signed by a licensed funeral director and the VS271.1 Three Part Consent Form (Word 24K) signed by the sexton of the cemetery where the body is currently interred, the plot owner, and the next of kin of the deceased being moved. There is a fee of $25 for the permit.

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Last updated April 19, 2013