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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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How to correct a mistake on my New York birth certificate

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Iwas born in New York on May 2, 1944. My original birth certificate showed my name as Mary Sheila Toohill. About 10 years ago, I lost my original copy. I need another one to get a passport. New York is telling me my name was never listed as Mary Sheila but rather as just Sheila, Do I have any options to persuade New York to change their records? Everything I have has been under the name Mary Sheila Toohill (or Mary Sheila Fahey, my married name) Banking, Schools, College. Employment, drivers license - I sign my name Mary Sheila. I really need to get this resolved. What do I do?  I was bornin Lying-In hospital in Manhattan.

Hello, and thanks for submitting this question. You are fortunate (I think) that NY State has a specific procedure for correcting information on a birth certificate. It, and the application can be found at:

If this fails to produce a new, correct birth certificate, you might consider doing a legal change of name. I don't know where you live now, but they are usually very easy to do on your own without an attorney.

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