How to Correct Birth Certificate Errors

A birth certificate is one of the most important documents you’ll need to prove your identity and your nationality, apply for certain types of jobs, and secure government-issued documents like a passport.

But what happens when one of the details on your birth certificate needs to be corrected?


Ways to Correct your Birth Certificate

In the Philippines, there are two ways to change errors in one’s birth certificate:

  • First, through R.A. 9048, as amended by R.A. 10172. Under these laws, your city or municipal registrar can change clerical or typographical errors.
  • Second, through a judicial order, which means going to court.

Only the following can file for the changes in your birth certificate:

  • You
  • Your spouse
  • Your children
  • Your parents
  • Your brothers and sisters
  • Your grandparents
  • Your guardian
  • Anyone authorized by law or by you

Changes with the Civil Registrar

To make a simple change to typographical errors, simply file a petition with the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) in the city or municipality that keeps your birth certificate.

If you’ve moved away and now live in a place that’s some distance away from your old municipality (let’s say you’ve relocated from Manila to Cebu), then you can file your petition at the LCRO closest to you.

If you were born abroad, you will need to have errors corrected in the Philippines Consulate where your birth was recorded.

Clerical or typographic errors include:

  • A first name or nickname
    The name change can only be allowed if:
    • Your name is “ridiculous” or taints your honor
    • Your name is too difficult to write or pronounce
    • You’ve used your new name continually and have been known as that name within the community
    • The change avoids confusion
  • Place of birth
  • The day and month of birth
  • The gender of a person

To prove the errors you want corrected, submit any or all of the following documents:

  • Earliest school records
  • Medical records
  • Baptismal certificates or other religious records
  • NBI, PNP, or employer clearance

To correct a clerical error regarding gender, submit a medical certification stating that you have not undergone gender reassignment.

However, in the case of the “Republic of The Philippines vs. Cagandahan (G.R. No. 166676),” the Supreme Court ruled that anyone born intersex, such as those suffering from congenital adrenal hyperplasia, may change the gender indicated on their birth certificate.

To correct a clerical error regarding gender, a petition may be filed to the civil registrar where the birth is registered in the Philippines. The petition for birth certificate correction shall be based on the correction of clerical or typographical errors, including the correction or change of birth or sex. If the gender on your birth certificate is registered incorrectly, you may submit a medical certification stating that you have not undergone gender reassignment. 

The correction shall be based on supporting documents like a baptismal certificate or any legal document that shows the correct name. The name correction may also be done if the name written in your birth certificate is incorrect, and a petition for name correction may be filed in the municipality where the birth was reported.

Once the petition is approved, the civil registrar will issue a corrected birth certificate with the proper gender and name. It is important to ensure that all personal documents, such as the birth certificate and any legal identification, reflect the correct information to avoid any discrepancies. In case of a clerical error on the birth certificate, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to make the correction as soon as possible to ensure accurate records.

Changes that Require a Judicial Order

If you need to make changes that involve more than just a typographical error, you have to obtain a judicial order in accordance with the procedures set out in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.

The correction of clerical errors in Philippine civil registry records such as a misspelled last name, incorrect middle name, or erroneous day or month of birth must be duly authorized by law. In order to make a correction to your PSA birth certificate or marriage certificate, you need to file a petition for correction with the Philippine Statistics Authority, the appropriate local Civil Register office, or another place within the Philippines upon which the correction shall be based.

In terms of the documents upon which the correction may be filed, you need to provide valid evidence to support the petition for correction of clerical errors in your birth certificate or marriage certificate. This may include administrative correction of your birth certificate without the need for a judicial order. The petition for change of first name or correction of your birth certificate can only be based on valid grounds and must be filed with the PSA or the local Civil Register office.

Changes that require a court order include:

  • Citizenship
  • Legitimacy of paternity or filiation
  • Legitimacy of marriage

File your petition at the Regional Trial Court where your civil registry office is.

If you need expert legal advice on this and other matters, call Duran & Duran-Schulze Law at (+632) 478 5826 or email today.

We are a sister-team of lawyers who founded Duran & Duran-Schulze in the spirit of entrepreneurship. It is this same spirit that inspires us to provide our clients with the legal expertise they need in establishing and running their business.

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