Since birth and death certificates are legal documents, the State of West Virginia has strict rules concerning making any changes to them. The rules vary depending on how long ago the vital event occurred and what is being changed. There are two types of changes to certificates. A correction is the process of changing incorrect information on the birth or death certificate, like misspelled names. Amendments are changes to the information itself. Examples are adding fathers, legal name changes, adding information missing from original document, etc.
Applications for corrections must be supported by documentary evidence. When submitting the above forms, please include a minimum of two original items of documentary evidence which support the alleged facts and were established at least five years prior to the date of application for amendment, or within seven years of the date of the event.
Documentary evidence must include the full correct name and date of birth or age. Examples include but are not limited to marriage license, child's birth certificate, voter registration, expired driver’s license or ID, driving record, passport issued more than 5 years ago, elementary school enrollment record, military discharge (DD-214), early childhood medical records, county vaccination records, parent marriage certificate, etc.
In the event you are unable to obtain documentary evidence, the correction you are seeking may only be completed by petitioning a court and providing this office with a certified copy of the court order. West Virginia residents may petition a court in the county where they reside. Non-residents may petition in their local jurisdiction court or may petition the Kanawha County Circuit Court in West Virginia.
Amendments require a fee of $10.00. There is no fee for amendments made within the first year after the vital event, court ordered paternity, nor paternity affidavits submitted within the first year of birth. Make check or money order payable to Vital Registration (WV Legislative Rule: 64CSR51 Appendix D, Effective 7/1/2023)
Each certified copy of the vital record is $12.
To change the sex designation on your birth certificate, please have your physician fill out the Sex Designation Form and also provide the appropriate affidavit found above.