My middle name is not "Evgene"
July 3, 2012 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Birth Certificate: Should I bother correcting a non-vital piece of info?

My newborn son's birth certificate: MY middle name is misspelled. His name and stats are fine. This seems a trivial typo to me, and possibly a hassle to get it fixed. My wife is concerned that it could lead to some Brazil-esque bureaucratic nightmare we can't even conceive of sometime in the future. Should we bother trying to fix?
posted by Buffaload to Law & Government (18 answers total)
I'm 47, my father's middle name and town of birth are both wrong on my birth certificate, and it has never been an issue.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:15 AM on July 3, 2012

You know that's what I'm thinking. I am going to go back to checking his breathing every eight minutes.
posted by Buffaload at 9:21 AM on July 3, 2012 [17 favorites]

I doubt it will ever be an issue, but I would at least look into changing it. Much easier to change now than later.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:22 AM on July 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

My daughter had a small typo on her birth certificate, it took only a 5 minute phone call to correct. Contact the people at the hospital who generated it.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 9:27 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

The only thing I can think of is if you get a hardass at the counter when you go in to get your son's first passport. The person who reviewed our son's passport application was quite a stickler for details and much fuss was made over the fact that my (maiden) surname on my driver's license was not exactly the same as my (maiden+married) surname on the birth certificate. Friends who has gone through the same process reported they didn't have this issue though, so luck of the draw I guess or maybe I just looked shifty.
posted by jamaro at 9:28 AM on July 3, 2012

Get it fixed. It will be an issue if there's ever a need for concrete identity verification (passport, military/government clearance, lost social security card, legal issues you can't even think of at this point).

At the very least, do it for the benefit of future genealogical research. It drives me nuts to find an ancestor whose name is spelled in various ways across different documents -- especially when there's a 95% probability it's the same person, but I can't prove it.
posted by erst at 9:35 AM on July 3, 2012 [9 favorites]

I'd get it changed. It's unlikely to be a hassle, never know. I got a passport based on my mother's birth citizenship (so it required matching my mother's name on her birth certificate with her name on mine) and this would be the kind of thing the passport office could be obnoxious about, if they wanted to.
posted by phoenixy at 9:41 AM on July 3, 2012

He'll be fine. The misspelled middle name is peanuts compared to some of the weirdness that goes on with adoptee's birth certificates.

My legal birth certificate had me named "Baby Girl Doe" and no parents. I had a second one issued when I was adopted, and that had my adoptive parents names on it (I was still Baby Girl Doe). And somehow I was able to get a passport, drivers licence, etc. As an adult, I needed a spare copy so I ordered it from the state - and wound up with Baby Girl Doe again...but this time my biological mother's name on it. Huh. I was still able to get a new passport with my actual name on it (old one expired, so I had to order it from scratch).

You know what, I'm changing my mind. Get it fixed. A nice, solid, 100% correct birth certificate is a fine thing to have.
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:42 AM on July 3, 2012 [9 favorites]

I was going to say call your local bureau of vital statistics and ask them. Chances are it's an easy fix and it will be a non issue.

Where is the requisite adorable picture?

posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:21 AM on July 3, 2012

You never know when some bureaucrat will be strict and your son won't be able to prove that you're his parent and there goes his student visa. Worth it to fix it. At least where I live, it's much easier to do now (immediately post-birth), and would be a bigger hassle to do in a year.
posted by Salamandrous at 10:57 AM on July 3, 2012

First time using Imgur. Maybe this will work? Someone please holler if I accidentally didn't anonymize this enough, thx.

But yeah, he's a cute little guy.
posted by Buffaload at 11:05 AM on July 3, 2012

Evgene is a lovely name, but your wife is a wise woman, and is able to see into the future when rules change, things become a hassle, and problems arise where there should be none. Passport applications now require the full names of the applicant’s parent(s) to be listed on all certified birth certificate.

Oh, and here's a link to the pic
posted by sageleaf at 11:06 AM on July 3, 2012

posted by Buffaload at 11:08 AM on July 3, 2012

Typos and errors are usually much easier to fix now when the document is more recent than if time elapses. Probably best to fix it, especially because the error is with a person's legal name.
posted by kuppajava at 11:16 AM on July 3, 2012

I agree with your wife. Also, he IS very cute, and looks like a tiny philosopher with his hand on his chin.
posted by Tarumba at 11:43 AM on July 3, 2012

I'd get it fixed if it's not a big problem. These days, birth certificates come out at weird times -- for example, we had to carry one with us when traveling with our baby overseas; it went along with the passport to verify that we were her legitimate parents and could travel with her. What if somebody noticed that the names on her certificate and my passport didn't match? Stupid, pointless headaches. Right now, a brief beaurocratic correspondance. I'd do it.
posted by acm at 12:40 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Had this exact thing happen with my first son. If you do it within the first 10 days or whatever it was, you just mail the thing back with the correction and it's done.

If you wait longer, then it's the nightmare you fear.

It probably took you much, much more work to ask the question than to just get it fixed. (As a point of perspective.)
posted by TinWhistle at 1:19 PM on July 3, 2012

Someday, your baby will run for president, and someone will file a lawsuit alleging that he's not actually a US Citizen based on his clearly forged birth certificate that couldn't even get your name right.

That's about as likely as any other scenario in which it will cause a problem for him. If you can fix it in under an hour (and it sounds as though you probably can), do. If not, forget about it and enjoy your new family.
posted by decathecting at 5:16 PM on July 3, 2012

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