Skip To Main Content

NC Vital Records: Change a Record

Processing Times

Same-day walk-in (in-person) service is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Please call one of the numbers listed with the change types below for assistance.

Note: Turnaround times for both expedited and non-expedited requests to change a record, such as adoptions, amendments, legitimations, name changes, and types others listed below are all significantly delayed. We are working to process these requests as quickly as possible in the order received.


Certificate Change Types and Processes

+ Expand All | - Collapse All

After acceptance for registration by the State Registrar, no birth certificate can be altered or changed except by a request to the state office. The State Registrar adopts rules governing the form of these requests and the type and amount of proof required.

Availability

Requests for modification of a birth certificate by amendment, correction, court order, or legitimation may be submitted at the following locations.

  1. The county register of deeds where the birth occurred. Some county registers of deeds will provide this service for out-of-county vital events, so please check with your county register of deeds for the services they provide. Note: NC Vital Records is the only office through which you can request to modify or obtain a birth certificate for an adopted child.
  2. N.C. Vital Records By Mail
    • Court Order: For certificate modifications that are requested pursuant to a court-ordered name change:
      • Mail us the completed Birth Certificate Modification Application Form in order to provide information necessary to locate the original birth certificate.
      • Be sure to write in the reason for the modification under Part II.
      • You must include a certified copy of the name change court order along with your request.
      • There is a nonrefundable fee of $39 to perform the record search and process the application to modify the birth certificate. This fee includes a copy of the amended certificate if the application is approved.
      • Please complete the application, have your signature notarized and supply all required identity documents and evidence prior to submission of the application. Search and processing fees are non-refundable.
      • After the modified birth certificate containing the name change has been processed, you may order additional copies of the certificate. Information for how to order may be found on the Order a Certificate page.
      • Note that we cannot modify a field on a birth certificate if that field has been previously modified without a court order. If you are unsure whether the field you are requesting to modify has been previously modified, you may first submit a "Request to Amend a Record" form to our office. However, we encourage you to thoughtfully consider whether submission of this form could be required for your birth certificate, as additional processing time will apply.
        • If you determine that a Request to Amend inquiry is necessary, mail us the completed Request to Amend a Record Form with a $24 search fee (nonrefundable). Note: This form is used only to make a request and does not authorize any changes to the record. Additional processing times will apply.
        • After we receive your form with the requested change and the fee, we will evaluate your request and respond in writing with further instructions.
    • Legitimation: For certificate modifications that are requested pursuant to a legitimation:
      • A legitimation is a legal process for biological fathers to acknowledge their children when they marry the mother after the birth of the child. A new birth certificate may be issued reflecting the father's name, and the child's name can be changed to the father's last name if the parents agree and request the change. In some cases, a court order may be required.
      • Request a "Legitimation Affidavit for New Birth Certificate" at the county register of deeds where the birth occurred or by emailing us at vramendments@dhhs.nc.gov.
      • Mail us the completed Birth Certificate Modification Application Form, including the completed legitimation affidavit and required identity documents indicated on pages 2-3 of the application.
      • Be sure to write in the reason for the modification under Part II.
      • There is a nonrefundable fee of $39 to perform the record search and process the application to modify the birth certificate. This fee includes a copy of the amended certificate if the application is approved.
      • After the modified birth certificate containing the name change has been processed, you may order additional copies of the certificate. Information for how to order additional copies may be found on the Order a Certificate page.
      • Note that we cannot modify a field on a birth certificate if that field has been previously modified without a court order. If you are unsure whether the field you are requesting to modify has been previously modified, you may first submit a "Request to Amend a Record" form to our office. However, we encourage you to thoughtfully consider whether submission of this form could be required for your birth certificate, as additional processing time will apply.
        • Mail us the completed Request to Amend a Record Form with a $24 search fee (nonrefundable). Note: This form is used only to make a request and does not authorize any changes to the record. Additional processing times will apply.
        • After we receive your form with the requested change and the fee, we will evaluate your request and respond in writing with further instructions.
    • See below for details for certificate modifications that are requested pursuant to an adoption, paternity acknowledgment, or paternity judgment.

Phone

919-733-3000, Option 2

  • Please note that we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes. You may experience longer than normal wait times or be given an option to leave a voicemail.
  • Alternatively, you may contact us at NC Vital Records Inquiry. Please allow 3-5 business day response time.

Note: NC Vital Records is the only office through which you can request to modify or obtain a birth certificate for an adopted child.

After acceptance for registration by the State Registrar, no birth certificate can be altered or changed except by a request to the state office. The State Registrar adopts rules governing the form of these requests and the type and amount of proof required.

new birth certificate with the adoptive information can be processed for individuals who were born in North Carolina.

Availability

Requests to modify a birth certificate pursuant to adoption may be made by the adoptive parents or the court. Information required to process the adoption may be submitted by other parties in advance of the request to modify the certificate; however, the request to modify must be supplied and required fee paid before the new certificate may be issued.

Certified copies of an adopted person's birth certificate are available only to the adoptee, the adoptive parents, the adoptee's children, and the adoptee's spouse, brothers, and sisters (proof of relationship may be required). The terms parent, brother and sister mean the adoptive parent, brother, or sister. Those terms do not mean a natural parent, brother, or sister. Original birth certificates of adoptees showing the adoptee's original name and the birth mother's name are in legally sealed files and are available only by court order.

Request Process and Fees through NC Vital Records

  • NC Vital Records is the only office through which you can request to modify or obtain a birth certificate for an adopted child.
  • If you are requesting to process a new certificate to apply the adoptive parent(s) information and/or change the name of the adoptee on the birth certificate, you must also supply the original, certified adoption decree, court order, or "Report to VR" (sent directly from NC DSS for NC adoptions only).
  • Be sure to write in the reason for the modification under Part II.
  • There is a nonrefundable processing fee of $39 to perform the record search and process the application to modify the birth certificate. This fee includes a copy of the amended certificate if the application is approved.
  • After the new birth certificate containing the adoption information has been processed, you may order additional copies of the certificate from the state office only. Information for how to order additional copies may be found on the Order a Certificate page.

Phone

919-733-3000, Option 2, then Option 2 again

  • Please note that we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes. You may experience longer than normal wait times or be given an option to leave a voicemail.
  • Alternatively, you may contact us at NC Vital Records Inquiry. Please allow 3-5 business day response time.

A paternity acknowledgment is a legal action that determines the biological parentage of a child. Paternity may be established through voluntary acknowledgment by the father and the mother or by court order.

Availability

  • N.C. Vital Records by mail. Request an "Affidavit of Parentage for Child Born out of Wedlock" by contacting us at vramendments@dhhs.nc.gov. For faster response, provide your name, child’s name and date of birth with your mailing address.
  • Contact the local health department in the county where the birth occurred to determine whether they can process the Affidavit of Parentage for Child Born out of Wedlock.
  • Contact the medical facility where the birth occurred to determine whether they can process the Affidavit of Parentage for Child Born out of Wedlock.
  • Obtain a paternity by judgment via the court system.
  • Contact the NC Child Support Services NC DHHS: Child Support Enforcement.
  • Contact the Mecklenburg County Vital Records Office to determine whether they can process the Affidavit of Parentage for Child Born out of Wedlock.

Once the paternity acknowledgment or court paternity judgment has been completed:

Request Process through NC Vital Records

  • Mail us the completed Birth Certificate Modification Application Form, including the completed Affidavit of Parentage for Child Born out of Wedlock and required identity documents indicated on pages 2-3 of the application. This fee includes a copy of the amended certificate if the application is approved.
  • Be sure to write in the reason for the modification under Part II.
  • Include the notarized paternity acknowledgment affidavits (Child Support copy and Vital Records Copy) or court order.
  • Provide the required identification documents as indicated on page 2 of the application.
  • Note that we cannot modify a field on a birth certificate if that field has been previously modified without a court order. If you are unsure whether the field you are requesting to modify has been previously modified, you may first submit a "Request to Amend a Record" form to our office. However, we encourage you to thoughtfully consider whether submission of this form could be required for your birth certificate, as additional processing time will apply.
    • Mail us the completed Request to Amend a Record Form with a $24 search fee (nonrefundable). Note: This form is used only to make a request and does not authorize any changes to the record. Additional processing times will apply.
    • After we receive your form with the requested change and the fee, we will evaluate your request and respond in writing with further instructions.

Phone

919-733-3000, Option 2

  • Please note that we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes. You may experience longer than normal wait times or be given an option to leave a voicemail.
  • Alternatively, you may contact us at NC Vital Records Inquiry. Please allow 3-5 business day response time.

After acceptance for registration by the State Registrar, no death certificate can be altered or changed except by a request. The State Registrar adopts rules governing the form of these requests and the type and amount of proof required.

Processing Locations in NC

This service is available at the following locations.

Request Process and Fees through NC Vital Records

If you want to request a change to a death certificate through our office:

  • Mail us the completed Request to Amend a Record Form with a $24 search fee (nonrefundable). This form is used only to make a request and does not authorize any changes to the record.
  • Be sure to note on the form what type of change is needed.
  • After we receive your form with the requested change and the fee, we will evaluate your request and respond in writing with further instructions.

Phone

919-733-3000, Option 2

  • Please note that we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes. You may experience longer than normal wait times or be given an option to leave a voicemail.
  • Alternatively, you may contact us at NC Vital Records Inquiry. Please allow 3-5 business day response time.

After acceptance for registration by the State Registrar, no fetal death report can be altered or changed except by a request. The State Registrar adopts rules governing the form of these requests and the type and amount of proof required.

Availability

This service is available through N.C. Vital Records by mail.

How To Request a Change to a Fetal Death Report

If you want to request a change to a death certificate through our office:

  • Mail us the completed Request to Amend a Record Form with a $24 search fee (nonrefundable). This form is used only to make a request and does not authorize any changes to the record.
  • Be sure to note on the form what type of change is needed.
  • After we receive your form with the requested change and the fee, we will evaluate your request and respond in writing with further instructions.

Phone

919-733-3000, Option 2

  • Please note that we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes. You may experience longer than normal wait times or be given an option to leave a voicemail.
  • Alternatively, you may contact us at NC Vital Records Inquiry. Please allow 3-5 business day response time.

If you need to make a change to a birth or death certificate not listed above, please contact us at 919-733-3000, Option 2, or mail in a completed Birth Certificate Modification Application Form.

  • Please note that we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes. You may experience longer than normal wait times or be given an option to leave a voicemail.
  • Alternatively, you may contact us at NC Vital Records Inquiry. Please allow 3-5 business day response time.

Certificate Modifications Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. I have petitioned the court to legally change my name and I was born in North Carolina. What should I do next?

  • If you have received notice of final order from the court, you are required to complete our Birth Certificate Modification Application Form and pay the associated fee of $39. These steps are required before the birth certificate can be amended.
  • If you have not received notice of final order from the court, please follow-up with the court for status of the order.

2. I have petitioned the court to legally change my name, but I was not born in North Carolina. What should I do next?

Please contact the vital records office in the jurisdiction where you were born.  The North Carolina Office of Vital Records does not administer your birth record.

3. I have initiated an adoption proceeding for an adoptee who was born in North Carolina. What should I do next?

  • NC Vital Records is the only office from which you can request to modify or obtain a birth certificate for an adopted child.
  • If you are requesting to process a new certificate to apply the adoptive parent(s) information and/or to change the name of the adoptee on the birth certificate, you must also supply the original, certified adoption decree, court order, or "Report to VR" (sent directly from NC DSS for NC adoptions only).
  • Be sure to write in the reason for the modification under Part II.
  • There is a nonrefundable fee of $39 to perform the record search and process the application to modify the birth certificate. This fee includes a copy of the amended certificate if the application is approved.
  • After the new birth certificate containing the adoption information has been processed, you may order additional copies of the certificate from the state office only. Information for how to order may be found on the Order a Certificate page.

4. I have initiated an adoption proceeding for an adoptee who was not born in North Carolina, but was born in another United States vital records jurisdiction. What should I do next?

Please contact the vital records office in the jurisdiction where the child was born. The North Carolina Office of Vital Records does not administer the birth record.

5. I completed an Affidavit of Parentage for Child Born out of Wedlock at the medical facility where my child was born, at a local health department, or at the state or local vital records office. What happens next?

  • If you have verified that the medical facility, local vital records office or health department have submitted the affidavit to us, you are now required to complete our Birth Certificate Modification Application Form and pay the associated fee of $39. These steps are required before the birth certificate can be amended.
  • If you have not verified, please follow-up with the facility or health department for status.

6. I completed an Affidavit of Parentage for Child Born out of Wedlock with the biological father of my child born in NC. Why is the father’s name not shown on my child’s birth certificate?

A possible reason for this omission is that when a mother is legally married at the time of either conception or birth, NC law requires a court order to add the biological father’s name on the child’s birth record. The order must also find that husband is not the father of the child. Other reasons could include that there was a father on the record prior to submission of the Affidavit of Parentage.

7. How do I remove a parent listed on a birth certificate?

NC law requires a court order to remove a parent from a birth certificate. A DNA Parentage Test Report is not sufficient documentation to provide to this office to remove a parent from a child’s certificate of birth.

8. I completed a Legitimation Affidavit for New Birth Certificate. What should I do next?

  • If you have completed a legitimation affidavit, you are now required to complete our Birth Certificate Modification Application Form and pay the associated fee of $39. These steps are required before the birth certificate can be amended.
  • If you have not completed the affidavit, please complete it prior to submitting an application to amend. If you need an affidavit, request one at the county register of deeds where the birth occurred or by emailing us at vramendments@dhhs.nc.gov.
  • Note: A legitimation is a legal process for biological fathers to acknowledge their children when they marry the mother after the birth of the child. A new birth certificate may be issued reflecting the father's name, and the child's name can be changed to the father's last name if the parents agree and request the change. In some cases, a court order may be required.

9. I applied to amend a North Carolina birth certificate. What happens next?

Processing times vary, depending on the completeness of your application upon submission, specific requirements to amend the original record, and other factors. We appreciate your patience as we process your application.

10. I applied to amend a North Carolina death certificate. What happens next?

Processing times vary, depending on the completeness of your application upon submission, specific requirements to amend the original record, and other factors. We appreciate your patience as we process your application.

11. I submitted a Request to Amend form but have not yet submitted an application to amend a birth certificate. What happens next?

Processing times vary, depending on the completeness of your submission, specific requirements to amend the original record, and other factors.  We appreciate your patience as we process your application.

Last Modified: August 19, 2022