To err is human, they say. But to err in a legal, official document is irritating. You can forgive, but you cannot forget.
Although it is not uncommon to see mistakes in official documents, it should have been avoidable. That is, if we are referring to today’s processing of certificates, papers, and all forms of documents in which not a single one can be released without having checked by a computer. In the old days, the way it was done was so different. There was no computer then, and verification of names was not really a practice, plus the fact that you have a clerk who has not finished college.
But even in today’s high standards, mistakes still happen. When it does, the best thing you can do is forgive, but not forget. Enter affidavit of correction, and your worries are all gone. But what exactly is an affidavit of correction?
An affidavit is any written statement for use in court, usually with signatures from the concerned party, and a lawyer. So an affidavit of correction is a written statement with affirmation from two parties, one the concerned individual and the other the lawyer who verifies that a certain individual has some clerical errors in his documents and that a correction has been made so as to make any current or upcoming transactions valid.
So back to your problem having an error in your official document. Let us use the scenario wherein the name of your birth certificate has a wrong spelling; it was written “Join” instead of “John.” The problem is not that the spelling of your name in your birth certificate is wrong but that your names across different documents got messed up, and you actually do not know which one to follow.
But culture dictates that the name John is more nuance and correct than the name Join, and so, you have been using John instead of Join in many of your informal signatures. But it is Join in your birth certificate, and it is an official document, what should you do? Well, you can cry. But you do not stop there. There is a remedy. And that is where an affidavit of correction comes in.
An affidavit of correction is used when you have, in previous records, a faulty document. By faulty, it is a document with clerical errors and usually, an honest mistake either by the one typing—the secretary, or from the individual telling the clerk to input the name—you or your parents, the client.
Now you have an affidavit of correction, to state, with a witness on a written document, that you want to revalidate the error, and probably make some changes in it.
How does an affidavit of correction work and how does it differ from any other affidavit? An affidavit of correction differs from any other affidavit in that an affidavit of correction has that aim of changing something. Yes, the keyword is change.
An affidavit of correction has that tendency to request the court to change or correct the mistakes of your official document. Whereas the other documents just make it a sense of ownership, relationship, being, an affidavit of correction is sort of active, tending to change one thing to another.
As the word suggests, it is always about correction. In an affidavit of domicile, the document only states the residence of the person, and that is all. With an affidavit of correction, the one considered as error is stated, along with the intended correction.
Some names of affidavit of correction are Correction Affidavit and Affidavit of Correction of Title. By correction, it does not only mean correction of name, such as name of persons, but correction of titles as well, such as lot titles, title as properties, and even names of properties.
Can you make corrections on the name of your car? Yes.
Can you make corrections on your full name? Yes.
Can you make corrections on the size of your lot area? Yes.
Almost anything in legal terms can be changed, and corrected, as long as it for honest and good reasons. Can you change your sex gender from male to female? Well, your sex organ can verify that before a lawyer can. But the point is clear, an affidavit of correction helps the person make correct clerical errors in a legal document.
In all forms of affidavit, the affidavit of correction is the most abaxial, the most different. We may simply call it Affidavit of Name Change. This only makes it more complicated because changing one thing into something not only requires individuals to be truthful and honest, but also to not authorize another erroneous titles or statement.
If you change number 3 to number 4, you have to attest that the 3 as a number is not only erroneous but also stating that number 4 as correct when it is not, because the correct one is 5, making it worse. You are adding another false statement. And that is perjury, an intentional act of falsifying something that is not. You do not want that to happen.
But if you are honest with your intentions, if changing your name is for the good of your being, why not. If it does not violate anyone, go on, change your name from Peter to Porter, why not.
There are cases when your names vary from one document or certificate to another. And that is confusing when you make an official business transaction. It was not your mistake, but probably your parents, or the town’s clerk. But the only person who can change it is no one but you, only you. You have the authority to do it and no one else.
But changing your name is also confusing. What do you want to retain? What name would you want to use? Which is more viable: Peter, Pete, or Pedro? The best answer is to check across all your documents, see to it which of these variations occur the most. If the name Peter is more common in most documents, then go with it. The reason is, you want to be as efficient as possible.
Going for the name Peter may not likely require you too much task because, after all, that is the name being used in many of your certificates. You save more time and money. But you actually have the freedom to choose which name you prefer. You can be called Pete by your friends when you were kids, but suddenly you are now Peter. And that is just fine. Nothing wrong with that, except for maybe, it sounds awkward for some.
But you save going through the pain of getting stuck every time you transact business, especially in any national agency. Is not it a good thing? Yes, it is.
The weirdest thing you can do in an affidavit of correction is probably a change of gender. Again, like a mistake in the spelling of your name, a mistake of assigning your sex gender is not impossible. The sex gender assigned to you in your certificate may be male, when in fact you are female. What can you do? Well, if it is true that you are actually female and not a male, you should have no worries asking for a correction of your gender. It was an honest mistake. And you have good intentions for the correction, so there is no need to worry. Same process, ask for an affidavit of change, stating that your previous gender assignment was male, and that you wanted it changed to female, because you are actually, in reality, a female.
Or how about a your lot area that was marked off a little in measurement than it actually is. For example, in the lot title, it only says 5 acres when it is actually 6 acres. Again, it was a clerical error in the part of the people measuring your lot. But that can not go on. It needs to be corrected. In the affidavit of correction, it goes like this: the erroneous declaration that the lot area is only 5 be changed to a new declaration stating that the correct one is 6 acres.
Or how about the number of kids you have. In your certificate, it states that you have 4 kids when actually you have 5. The same process is applicable.
So that is just some of the nuances when dealing with an affidavit of correction. It is a bit complicated than many other form of affidavits. But that is exactly what makes it more interesting, its unique feature. You can have a play of changes, change of name, change of whatever you want to change. But an affidavit of correction is not there for the mere sake of changing one thing to another. It is there for a reason. It is there for correction, for a sound purpose. One does not change gender assignment from male to female simply because one feels like it. No, it does not work like that.