Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 7. Vital Records
12/1/2021

§ 32.1-269. Amending vital records; change of name; acknowledgment of paternity.

A. A vital record registered under this chapter, with the exception of a death certificate, may be amended only in accordance with this section and such regulations as may be adopted by the Board to protect the integrity and accuracy of such vital records. Such regulations shall specify the minimum evidence required for a change in any such vital record.

B. Except in the case of an amendment provided for in subsection D, a vital record that is amended under this section shall be marked "amended" and the date of amendment and a summary description of the evidence submitted in support of the amendment shall be endorsed on or made a part of the vital record. The Board shall prescribe by regulation the conditions under which omissions or errors on certificates, including designation of sex, may be corrected within one year after the date of the event without the certificate being marked amended. In a case of hermaphroditism or pseudo-hermaphroditism, the certificate of birth may be corrected at any time without being considered as amended upon presentation to the State Registrar of such medical evidence as the Board may require by regulation.

C. Every request for an amendment to a birth certificate shall be reviewed to determine whether the requested amendment can be made administratively in accordance with regulations of the Board or if a judicial order is required for such amendment. The Department shall make information about the process by which amendments to a birth certificate may be requested and reviewed pursuant to this subsection available to the public on its website. Such information shall include a standard form for requests for amendments to a birth certificate.

D. Upon receipt of a certified copy of a court order changing the name of a person as listed in a vital record and upon request of such person or his parent, guardian, or legal representative or the registrant, the State Registrar shall amend such vital records to reflect the new name.

E. Upon written request of both parents and receipt of a sworn acknowledgment of paternity executed subsequent to the birth and signed by both parents of a child born out of wedlock, the State Registrar shall amend the certificate of birth to show such paternity if paternity is not shown on the birth certificate. Upon request of the parents, the surname of the child shall be changed on the certificate to that of the father.

F. When an applicant does not submit the minimum documentation required by regulation to amend a vital record, the State Registrar finds reason to question the validity or sufficiency of the evidence, or the requested amendment requires a judicial order, the vital record shall not be amended and the State Registrar shall so notify the applicant in writing. Such notification shall also include notice to the applicant regarding his right to petition the court for an order in accordance with subsection G.

G. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the State Registrar to deny a request to amend a vital record may petition the circuit court of the county or city in which he resides or the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, Division I, for an order compelling the State Registrar to amend the vital record; an aggrieved applicant who was born in Virginia, but is currently residing out of State, may petition any circuit court in the Commonwealth for such an order. The State Registrar or his authorized representative may appear and testify in such proceeding.

Code 1950, § 32-353.24; 1956, c. 259; 1960, c. 451; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 240; 1985, c. 86; 2016, c. 496; 2020, cc. 465, 466; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 237.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.