How to Correct Information on a Marriage Certificate

marriage image by Mat Hayward from

When your marriage certificate arrives in the mail, make sure no mistakes were made on it. Neglecting to notice any mistakes on your marriage certificate could affect you negatively in the future, such as when you need to change your name. Contact the state health department where your marriage certificate was issued right away to amend the mistakes on your marriage certificate.

Call your state’s Health Department before you visit, to find out what type of documentation you need to bring with you to prove the mistake on your marriage certificate. To find the health department nearest your home, visit the Website of your state Health Department, to view a listing of all county health departments in your state. The process of amending a marriage certificate differs in each state. It is important to check with your state for complete details.

Obtain the application for an amendment of a marriage certificate from the health department, either in person or on the health department's Website. Fill out the required information the application in full, including all of the information on your current marriage certificate and your reason for wanting to amend the certificate. You can only amend a marriage certificate to correct errors, not to change or delete other information.

Visit the State Health Department, or the nearest county Health Department with your proof of error. Acceptable forms of proof include a driver's license, passport, marriage license application or other certified document. Present the document to the clerk--along with your application for amendment--to begin making the changes. You can also mail this information to your state health department.

Pay for the amendment to your marriage certificate. The fee is different in every state. Yet, if you can prove the mistake is not one made by you, the fee is waived. For example, if you can provide a copy of your marriage license to the clerk at the Health Department that shows correct spelling of all names, the fee is waived, as the mistake is clearly one made by the department.

Take home a new copy of your corrected marriage certificate, or wait for your new certificate to arrive in the mail.