Birth and Death Certificate Amendments
An Oklahoma birth (or death) certificate may require an amendment if the initial information was:
- recorded in error by the health provider (or funeral director)
- provided in error by the parent (or informant)
- was missing because it was not provided at the time of registration or
- has since legally changed, e.g. name or sex.
In accordance with state law, amended records are marked “amended”. The date of the amendment, as well as a summary description of the evidence, is also indicated on the record.
All requests for amendment are subject to review of the applicant’s legal eligibility to make the request, any previous amendments to the record, any previous court or administrative action, and verification of acceptable supporting documentation. Specific instructions will be issued on a case-by-case basis.
Replacing/Sealing Oklahoma Birth Records
The only time an Oklahoma birth record will be sealed and replaced without being marked as “amended” is when the legal parents are changed, e.g. adoption or paternity. By law, changes to parentage are confidential; the original record is sealed and the final record is not marked as amended.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Request an Amendment
Requests for amendment of a death record should be submitted through the Funeral Home of record when possible. A request can also be submitted by a family member with the legal authority for the decedent’s estate or by a legal representative of the estate.
Fees to Amend or Replace a Record
Amending or replacing a birth record is $40 and includes the processing fee and issuance of one record. Additional copies are $15 each. A convenience fee will be charged for online orders ($13.95) or if priority shipping is requested.
Amendments to the non-medical portion of a death record are $35 and includes the processing fee and issuance of one record. Additional copies are $15 each. Additional costs will be charged if priority shipping is requested.
Minor Correction of an Error (Birth or Death Certificate)
A minor error on a certificate can typically be described as a typographical or clerical error e.g. Mother’s name is Carol not Carole or Father’s birthdate is June 4 not April 6 (reversal of numbers). These types of errors can often be amended based on documentation such as early school records, military records, marriage license, parent birth record, etc. which definitively establishes what the correct version of the information is. These documents must be an official record that can be verified with the issuing source.
- To request a minor correction ONLINE (birth records only), go to https://vitalchek.com/amendments/home/ok. A convenience fee will be charged for on-line orders ($13.95) or if priority shipping is requested.
- To request a minor correction BY MAIL (birth or death), please mail a complete application (birth or death application), a copy of the applicant’s photo ID, applicable fees (Birth or Death), and a brief note explaining what action is requested. You are encouraged to submit any supporting documentation you have for our review. Specific instructions will be provided based on the specifics of your case.
Major Correction of an Error (Birth or Death Certificate)
A major error is information that was provided or recorded completely in error. This may include for example changing Mother’s name from Emily to Jackie, completely changing multiple elements of a parent’s date of birth, or when the sex of subject was recorded in error. These types of errors can be amended with a court order based on documentation such as early school records, military records, marriage license, medical records, parent birth record, etc. which definitively establish what the correct information is. These documents must be an official record that can be verified with the issuing source.
- To request a major amendment ONLINE (birth only), go to https://vitalchek.com/amendments/home/ok. A convenience fee will be charged for on-line orders ($13.95) or if priority shipping is requested.
- To request a major amendment BY MAIL (birth or death), please mail a complete application (birth or death application), a copy of the applicant’s photo ID, applicable fees (Birth or Death), and a brief note explaining what action is requested. You are encouraged to submit any supporting documentation you have for our review.
Specific instructions will be provided on a case-by-case basis as to what documents are recommended and whether a court order can be obtained through the OSDH Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) or if it must be obtained from a district court. District Court orders must be issued by either a U.S. Court or recognized tribal court . [Note: If sex was recorded correctly in the attendant’s opinion, but was actually incorrect due to a condition which made it difficult to determine, we will require a physician’s statement to amend. Please contact our office for the form which needs to be completed by your physician.]
Correction of an Error in the Bottom/Physician Section (Death Certificate Only)
This section includes the cause and manner of death, as well as other pertinent information related to the circumstances of the death. These items may only be amended based on a request from either the medical examiner or the attending physician who indicated on the original death certificate.
Legal Change of Information e.g. Name or Sex (Birth Certificates Only)
A legal change occurs when the information was recorded correctly at the time of birth, but is now being changed by a court action. A legal change of information requires a certified copy of a court order from either a US District Court or a recognized tribal court.
- To request a legal change of information ONLINE, go to https://vitalchek.com/amendments/home/ok. A convenience fee will be charged for on-line orders ($13.95) or if priority shipping is requested.
- To request a legal change of information BY MAIL, please mail a complete birth application, a copy of the applicant’s photo ID, $40 (check or money order), a certified copy of the court order*, and a brief note explaining what action is being requested.
*The court order should identify the subject by the full legal name on the birth certificate, the subject’s current legal name (if different) and the date and place of birth. If the applicant(s) is the parent of a minor child, the parent(s) should also be named in the order. The order should identify what item(s) are being changed, what the original state of that item is, and what it should be shown as after amendment. Note: If name is being amended, there should be no abbreviations or omissions in the final name. The name on the final record will be reflected exactly as indicated in the order. [Note: if sex was recorded correctly at the time of birth but is now being legally changed, we do not require a physician’s statement; however, the judge may require one prior to issuing an order.]
Changing a Parental Title
Historically parents have been identified as either "Mother" or "Father" on a birth certificate. Oklahoma Vital Records now offers parents the ability to choose a personal parental title that best reflects their family. Choices include Mother, Father or Parent and are not limited by the sex of the parent. Both parents may share the same title. If a parent would like to change his/her parental title, we will require a completed application with signature, photo ID, appropriate fees and a brief note explaining what title should be changed from and changed to. The record will be marked as amended, but no court order is required.
- To request a change to a Parental Title ONLINE, go to https://vitalchek.com/amendments/home/ok. A convenience fee will be charged for on-line orders ($13.95) or if priority shipping is requested.
An adoption occurs when one or both of the individuals determined at the time of birth to be the biological parent(s) are legally changed to indicate an individual(s) who is not a biological parent. The parental information as well as the child’s name (if desired) will be updated in accordance with Oklahoma law and upon receipt of the certified court order and other required information.
When an adoption occurs, the original birth certificate is replaced with the new birth certificate that indicates the new legal parents. In accordance with state law, the original birth certificate and court documents are placed in a sealed confidential file. If the adoption was finalized prior to Nov 1, 1997 a court order is required to access the original record. If the adoption was finalized after Nov 1, 1997 the adopted person may request an uncertified copy of the original file if the conditions of OSS Title 10 § 7505-6.6 D. are met.
Note: if a person was born in another state but adopted through a court in the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Vital Records will not have a copy of that court action or the Adoption Decree. We do not maintain birth or adoption records for individuals who born in other states. Oklahoma Vital Records will only have information if the person was born in Oklahoma regardless of where the legal adoption occurred. If you are adopting a child who was born in Oklahoma, check with your attorney or a court to assure the appropriate documents are provided to our office.
When applying for a copy of the birth certificate for a child born in Oklahoma after the adoption was filed, the application should be completed using the adoptive birth facts e.g. the new name of the child (if changed) and the name(s) of the new parent(s).
If a delivering mother agreed to become pregnant in order to carry a child for someone else in accordance with a pre-arranged legal arrangement, the original birth record will be registered with the information of the delivering mother in accordance with state law (OSS Title 63 § 1-311F.). Once the required legal documents are received by Vital Records, the original record will be sealed and the receiving parent(s) will be placed on the new record. The resulting record will not be marked as amended. Please contact the Vital Records office prior to delivery of the baby to assure all required legal documents have been received before any copies of the birth certificate are issued.
Paternity and Parentage
If the delivering mother was married at the time of birth, in accordance with state law the spouse will be entered as the second parent unless both an acknowledgment from the other biological parent and a denial from the spouse are provided. Please refer to the official website for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division for proper information and forms.
If the delivering mother was not married at the time of birth, in accordance with state law an acknowledgment of paternity will be required to add the second biological parent to the record. Please refer to the official website for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division for proper information and forms.
- To submit a paternity form ONLINE, go to https://vitalchek.com/amendments/home/ok. A convenience fee will be charged for on-line orders ($13.95) or if priority shipping is requested.
Requests for amendment which are not accepted by the registrar e.g. ineligible applicant or lack of supporting evidence may be appealed by filing a petition with the Administrative Hearing Clerk pursuant to OAC 310:2 and seek a final decision by an Administrative Law Judge granting the relief requested. The applicant shall bear the burden of proof, by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed change, alteration or amendment sought by the Applicant corrects an error or misstatement of fact. Specific information about the process is available at the link above.
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Office of Vital Records
P.O. Box 248964
Oklahoma City, OK 73124-8964
Phone: (405) 426-8880