Perhaps you’ve found a mistake on your birth certificate. Or perhaps you don’t have a birth certificate, and you need one.
Both situations can be unfortunate. You need an accurate birth certificate to obtain many benefits, and if you don’t have one, you should take steps to remedy the situation. In this post, I’ll explain: 1) How to change your birth certificate if there is an error, and 2) How to get a birth certificate if you don’t have one.
How to Change Your Birth Certificate
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (the state agency that handles birth certificates) has a page on how to ask for corrections to your birth certificate here. For a minor correction, it’s probably sufficient to write to the Department of Health, explain the error, and ask the Health Department to correct it.
For a major change to your birth certificate, you’ll likely need a court order. In some cases, it will be enough to get a court order from an administrative law judge who works for the Health Department. In other cases, you’ll need an order from a state district court judge. If you’re Indian, you may be able to get a court order from a tribal judge. The Health Department may be able to tell you what type of court order will be sufficient.
How to Get a Birth Certificate If You Don’t Have One
First, ask the Health Department if they have a birth certificate on file. Many people who think they don’t have birth certificates, actually do.
If the Health Department can’t find a birth certificate on file, then you’ll need to get a “delayed birth certificate.” A delayed birth certificate is a birth certificate that was recorded later that one year after your birth.
To get a delayed birth certificate, gather all of the evidence you can regarding your birth. Include affidavits from people who know about the circumstances of your birth. Include school records, medical records, religious records, and anything else you can think of that documents your identity, age, or birth date. Then send all of the evidence off to the Health Department. To read the state law on delayed birth certificates, click here.
If the Health Department deems your evidence sufficient, they’ll give you a delayed birth certificate. If they deem your evidence insufficient, or if they have reason to question the authenticity of your evidence, then they will tell you to get a court order.
The process for getting a court order for a delayed birth certificate is available here. You’ll have to file a petition in the appropriate county and submit your evidence to the judge. The judge may set a hearing and require you, and other people with knowledge of your birth, to appear in court and give testimony. If the judge finds that evidence of your birth is sufficient, the judge will sign an order directing the Department of Health to produce a delayed birth certificate. Send this order to the Health Department. The Health Department is required to follow a court order to give you a birth certificate.
Do you need help changing, or obtaining, a birth certificate? Contact the Persaud Law Office.
The process of obtaining a court order for a delayed or changed birth certificate is complicated, so if you need a court order, you’ll probably need a lawyer. Even if you don’t need a court order, you may wish to speak to a lawyer to ask what you need to do to change your birth certificate or get a delayed birth certificate.
The Persaud Law Office has helped a number of people who struggled with obtaining the evidence to prove their identity. If you would like assistance, please contact us today.