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About certified records

  • Birth and death certificates issued are certified copies printed on special certified paper with a printed and raised seal.
  • You may hear similar terms like "Birth certificate" and "Birth record". They are identical and have the same ordering instructions.

Making changes to birth certificates

You can use the Affidavit for Correction form and required proof for most corrections. The Affidavit of Correction must be returned within 1 year of the issue date to receive a replacement copy for free. If returned after a year, the fee for a birth certificate is $25.

To make a correction:

Please note:

  • Only a parent(s), legal guardian (if the child is under 18), or the named individual (if 18 or older) may change the birth certificate.
  • The proof(s) must match the asserted fact(s). For example, if the affidavit says the name should be Mary Ann Doe, the proof must show the name to be Mary Ann Doe.
  • Documentary proof must be 5 or more years old or established within 5 years of birth.

If you have any questions about processing the Affidavit of Correction, contact the Washington State Center for Health Statistics at 360-236-4300, toll free 1-800-525-0127 for Washington state residents only, or King County Vital Records Office at 206-837-0719.

Making changes to death certificates

You can submit changes to death certificates on the Affidavit of Correction to the Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics. The following people can make changes to a death certificate:

  • The informant (non-medical information).
  • A funeral director, executor/administrator, or family member (family members include spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, sibling, adult child or stepchild) to the non-medical information with one piece of documentary proof.
  • The medical information may be changed only by the certifying physician or the coroner/medical examiner (cause of death).

Marital status requires a certified copy of a court order if someone other than the informant is requesting the change.

The Affidavit of Correction must be returned within 1 year of the issue date to receive a replacement copy for free. King County Vital Records will only exchange 1 copy for free for corrections to the non-medical section on the death certificate. If after the year, the fee for a death certificate is $25. To request changes, email Vital Records or call 206-837-0719.

Parentage - adding or changing parents on a birth certificate

There are only 2 ways to add or change who is listed as a parent on a birth certificate:

  1. Acknowledgment of Parentage
  2. Court order

Note: January 1, 2019 new Parentage laws and rules are in effect. Learn more and access forms for adding or changing parents on a birth certificate.

Sex designation change on a birth certificate

People who were born in Washington State and want to change their sex designation on their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity may do so by completing the Sex Designation Change request form (230 KB). You must sign the form in the presence of a Notary Public. A court order or a letter from your physician will not be accepted.

Your birth certificate will display an “X” as your gender.

“X” means a gender that is not exclusively male or female. These genders include but are not limited to the following:

  • Agender
  • Amalgagender
  • Androgynous
  • Bigender
  • Demigender
  • Female-to-male
  • Genderfluid
  • Genderqueer
  • Intersex
  • Male-to-female
  • Neutrois
  • Nonbinary
  • Pangender
  • Third sex
  • Transgender
  • Transsexual
  • Two Spirit
  • Unspecified

If you have any questions, contact