Most people think that a misspelled name in a birth certificate can be easily rectified by filing a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error, as stipulated in RA 9048. However, there are cases when misspelled names may only be corrected through a court proceeding and with the assistance of a lawyer.
Correcting vs. Changing
A typographical error, a misplaced or missing letter, or an error that causes the name to sound funny, unintelligible, and downright erroneous, can be corrected by filing a Petition for Correction. This is done at the Local Civil Registry office of the person’s birthplace.
If the error causes the name to change, but can still be considered as a valid name, it may not be counted a typo error. This means that you will have to seek the advice of a lawyer and the case may have to undergo a court proceeding in order for the name’s spelling to be corrected.
The child’s name is Lea but the name printed on her birth certificate is Lhea. Both spellings can be considered as ‘correct’ but since the child’s name is Lea and not Lhea, you will essentially be requesting for the name to be ‘changed’ instead of corrected. Changing a name in a birth certificate (whether first, middle, or last name) has to undergo court proceedings; the changes will be applied after the court has decided on the petition.
This is the reason why would-be parents need to carefully check the Certificate of Live Birth document that is usually accomplished by the hospital. Whatever is written there will be considered as true and correct by the LCR and will then reflect in the child’s birth certificate for the rest of his life. Correcting entries can be time-consuming and expensive; this can be avoided by diligently checking all entries in the document before submitting to the LCR and by making sure that the birth certificate owner uses the same information in his or her birth certificate in all of his IDs and transactions, for the rest of his life. Any discrepancy between the entries in the birth certificate and his IDs and other documents could cause delays and denials in his applications and transactions.
Who Shall File the Correction or Change (of first name’s spelling):
- Owner of the record
- Owner’s spouse
- Any other person duly authorized by law or by the owner of the document sought to be corrected;
- If the owner of the record is a minor or physically or mentally incapacitated, the petition may be filed by his spouse, or any of his children, parents, siblings, grandparents, guardians, or persons duly authorized by law.
Where to file the petition for correction:
If born in the Philippines:
- The petition shall be filed with the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where the birth is registered.
- When the petitioner had already migrated to another place within the Philippines and it would not be practical for such party to appear in person with the civil registrar of the place of birth, the petition may be filed with the civil registry office where he/she is currently residing.
If born abroad:
- The petitioner may file at the Philippine Consulate where the birth was reported.
- Certified machine copy of the birth record containing the entry to be corrected;
- Not less than two (2) private or public documents upon which the correction shall be based like baptismal certificate, voters’ affidavit, employment record, GSIS/SSS record, medical record, business record, driver’s license, insurance, land titles, certificate of land transfer, bank passbook, NBI/police clearance, civil registry records of ascendants;
- Notice/Certificate of Posting;
- Payment of Php 1,000 as the filing fee. For petitions filed abroad, a fee of USD 50 or equivalent value in local currency shall be collected;
- Other documents which may be required by the concerned civil registrar.
We have a summary of solutions to the most common PSA birth certificate problems! Read our blog, Common PSA Birth Certificate Problems (and their solutions!).