How can I fix errors in my birth certificate? There are two errors in it. First, my last name is misspelled. The second is that my mother’s first and last names are incorrect. I don’t know what to do. Please help!
The error in your last name in your certificate of live birth may be easily corrected through an administrative proceeding, without going to the court. Instead, a petition to correct the error can be filed directly with the concerned civil register where the birth was recorded. After proper evaluation, the civil register is vested with the power to make the necessary correction even without a court order.
Administrative correction of entries in the civil registry is a remedy available to correct clerical or typographical errors in entries in the records of the civil register. As defined by the pertinent law, clerical or typographical errors refer to mistakes in writing, copying, transcribing or typing that are harmless and innocuous, visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed by reference to other existing record or records (Sec. 2(3), Republic Act (RA) 9048, as amended). These include misspelled name or misspelled place of birth, mistake in the entry of day and month in the date of birth, the sex of the person and the like (Ibid.).
You mentioned that the problem with your name in your certificate of live birth is the misspelling of your surname. Such could be classified as a clerical or typographical error that may be corrected administratively by simply filing a petition with the local civil registry office where your birth was recorded, which is presumably your birth place.
The errors in the name of your mother in your certificate of live birth require further assessment. As mentioned, the administrative correction of entries in the civil register is available to correct clerical or typographical errors.
Considering that different names—first and last names—are entered in your certificate of live birth, it does not appear that the mistake is merely clerical or typographical. In fact, a proposal to completely change the name of your mother in your certificate of live birth may even be viewed as a way to create a relationship or filiation with another person whose name you wish to put in your birth certificate. Hence, unless it can be demonstrated that the mistake in the name of your mother is harmless or innocent, and there are existing records to prove the same, then the administrative remedy to correct the error cannot be availed of.
In case administrative correction is not available, resort to judicial correction of entries in the civil registry prescribed by Rule 108 of the Rules of Court will be necessary. Judicial correction of entries in the civil registry is a remedy available to rectify erroneous entries in the civil registry that are considered substantial. These include those affecting citizenship, legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or legitimacy of marriage (Onde vs. Office of the Local Civil Registration of Las Piñas City, G.R. No. 197174, September 10, 2014). Such remedy is undertaken by filing a verified petition for correction of the entry with the Regional Trial Court of the province where the corresponding civil registry office is located (Sec. 1, Rule 108, Rules of Court).
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org