January 21, 2021

Correct or Amend a Florida Death Certificate [5-Step Guide]

Posted by | In Elder Law

Errors on Florida death certificates frequently happen. Thankfully, there’s a way to fix these Florida death certificate errors through the Florida Department of Health, State Office of Vital Statistics. This step by step guide will walk you through how to fix some of the most common errors found on Florida death certificates.

Step 1: Filling out the Application for Amendment to Florida Death or Fetal Death Record

You must fill out a DH Form 524, Application for Amendment to Florida Death or Fetal Death Record. This step applies to all death certificate changes.

The DH form 524 can be found here:(http://www.floridahealth.gov/certificates/certificates/_documents/DH524-Death-Amend-1-2019.pdf)

Application for Amendment to Florida Death or Fetal Death Record

Step 2: Florida Death Certificate Change or Amendment Filing Fee

The fee that you must include with your DH Form 524 application depends on whether the Florida Death Certificate amendment or change is a medical or non-medical change. If let’s say you are trying to change the cause of death, then the fee you will submit with the DH Form 524 will be $5.00. If you’re just trying to change the deceased’s name, then the fee will be $20.00.

You must include a check or money order with your DH Form 524 application. The agency does not accept cash. If you have to pay $20.00, the $20.00 fee covers both the amendment or change to the Florida death certificate and one certified copy of the amended or corrected death certificate.

Note: If you need the amendment or change to be rushed, then you can pay an additional $10.00 to have the order processed quicker.

Florida Death Certificate Change or Amendment Filing Fee

Step 3a: Amending or Changing Non-Medical Information on a Florida Death Certificate

This is where amending or changing a Florida Death Certificate gets a little tricky. If you’re amending non-medical information, like the spelling of a deceased’s name, you will then fill out the DH Form 433, Affidavit of Amendment to a Florida Death Certificate. If you’re amending medical information for the deceased, skip to Step 3.2.

The DH Form 433 can be found here: (http://www.floridahealth.gov/certificates/certificates/_documents/dh433-death-amend-affidavit-7-2016.pdf)

Amending or Changing Non-Medical Information on a Florida Death Certificate

You must include this affidavit for amending or changing the following items on the death certificate:

  • Name of the deceased (including fixing a misspelling, changing an initial, or adding a given name);
  • Date of birth;
  • Citizenship from alien to United States citizen;
  • Names of parents;
  • Changing marital status as long as the surviving spouse is not affected by the change; or
  • Changing the name of the surviving spouse

The affidavit must be signed before a notary by the informant or a family member and the funeral director. The department may waive the requirement that the funeral director sign off on the affidavit if the deceased died more than a year prior.

Note: You’ll need a court order if you are trying to change who the surviving spouse is that is listed on the death certificate.

Amending or Changing Non-Medical Information on a Florida Death Certificate

Step 3b: Amending or Changing Medical Information on a Florida Death Certificate

If you’re amending the deceased’s date of death, cause of death, hour or time of death, or the place of the death, then you’ll need a certifying physician or attending physician listed on the death certificate, or the medical examiner within the jurisdiction where the death occurred to fill out the DH Form 434A, Affidavit of Medical Amendment to Florida Certificate of Death, which can be found here (https://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-07193).

The affidavit must be signed and attached to the original death certificate. Amendment fees are not required when amending the medical information. You can also skip Step 4 if you are amending the medical information.

Amending or Changing Medical Information on a Florida Death Certificate

Step 4: Providing Proper Documentation to Change or Amend a Florida Death Certificate

Also, you must provide an original, certified, or notarized copies of the deceased’s birth certificate and two of the following documents to substantiate the change:

  • Court record;
  • Naturalization record;
  • Vital record of parent(s) or child;
  • Military service record;
  • Driver’s license;
  • Census record;
  • Social security application;
  • Marriage or divorce record;
  • Voter registration record;
  • Insurance record; or
  • Passport

Documentation is not required when trying to make the following changes or amendments to the death certificate:

  • Fixing a misspelling of the deceased’s name;
  • Changing the deceased’s initials;
  • Adding a given name to the deceased;
  • Date of birth if the change is less than three months than listed on the death certificate;
  • Fixing a misspelling of a parent’s name;
  • Fixing the transposition of a parent’s name;
  • Changing a parent’s initial; or
  • Adding a given name to a parent

Note: the Florida Administrative Code also allows you to submit any other record that is verifiable and contains the information that can substantiate the change requested.

Step 5: Mail the Forms to the Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics

Finally, you will mail the completed DH 524 application from Step 1, the completed affidavit from Step 3.1 or Step 3.2, and a check with the correct payment amount to the following address:

Department of Health

Office of Vital Statistics

Attn: Correction Unit

P.O. Box 210

Jacksonville, FL 32231

Bishop L Toups

Bishop L. Toups is an estate planning, elder law, and tax attorney in Southwest Florida.

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