I was thrilled yesterday when Samara’s birth certificate arrived. I tore open the envelope excitedly and surveyed its contents. There was her name, the hospital she was born in, and her time of birth: 10:07 am. Wait a second, I thought to myself, that is completely wrong. She was born at 8:06 pm. 10:07 is not even close.

My friend Josina pointed out that this must happen a lot, errors associated with birth certificates, because The Department of Vital Records encloses a correction form in the envelope with the birth certificate. In fact, there was an error on her son, Nelson’s, birth certificate.

Okay, I thought to myself, I’ll just fill out the correction form and send it back, no problem. But then I noticed that the good old Department of Vital records was asking for a processing fee of $15. $15 to fix their error, not mine? I don’t think so.

I had two more cognizant individuals supervise me fill out the birth certificate form after I had my baby so that a situation like this would not occur.

I appreciate the fact that people make mistakes, and I’m sure the workers at The Department of Vital Records fill out hundreds of forms a day. But what am I paying $15 for? Someone else’s mistake? Printer toner and paper to print my official document with?

Plus, getting the post office to mail the form back is going to be so annoying with a newborn and a 2 3/4 year old.

Tell me about your last governmental office experience!