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Almost everywhere you go, someone is always asking for a birth certificate.
Got hired? HR will request your birth certificate.
Applying for the civil service exam? You need one in case none of your valid IDs has your date of birth.
It is therefore inevitable to find yourself applying for a birth certificate every once in a while. Fortunately, getting this primary document has never been easier.
You can either do the traditional walk-in application at designated offices or eliminate all the hassles by ordering online.
This definitive guide presents four ways to get your birth certificate fast whether you’re in the Philippines or anywhere in the world.
Table of Contents
- What is a birth certificate?
- Four easy ways to get your birth certificate in the Philippines.
- Option 1: Walk-in application.
- Option 2: Online application.
- Tips & Warnings.
- a. The PSA doesn’t have copies of birth certificates of people born before 1945.
- b. You may file for “advance endorsement” if you want to get a copy of your newly born child’s birth certificate.
- c. Filipinos born abroad can also get a PSA birth certificate.
- d. The NSO Birth Certificate is still accepted by DFA for passport application.
- e. There’s a difference between Birth Certificate and Certificate of Live Birth (COLB).
- f. In case of dual birth certificate or double registration, the first one to be registered will be recognized as the official birth certificate.
- Frequently Asked Questions.
- 1. I’m applying for work/immigration abroad. How can I authenticate my birth certificate with DFA red ribbon?
- 2. My baby was born in a hospital/maternity clinic. How do I get his/her birth certificate?
- 3. My baby was born at home with the help of a midwife or a manghihilot. How do I get a birth certificate?
- 4. My child was born abroad and has a foreign birth certificate. Is he/she still qualified to get a Philippine-issued birth certificate?
- 5. I requested for my birth certificate but PSA says it has no record of my birth. How can I get my birth certificate?
- 6. Both the PSA and the local civil registrar don’t have my birth records. How can I apply for late registration of birth?
- 7. I was born abroad to Filipino parents but don’t have a birth certificate with PSA. How can I apply for late registration of birth?
- 8. Is birth certificate still required in Philippine passport application/renewal?
- 9. My birth certificate has typographical errors/misspelling/missing entries/wrong info. How do I correct it?
- 10. I’m not available to personally request for or receive my PSA birth certificate. Can an authorized representative do it on my behalf?
- 11. Do PSA birth certificates have an expiration date?
- 12. How can I process the birth certificate of an illegitimate child? Whose parent’s surname must be used–that of the father’s or the mother’s?
- About the Author.
What is a birth certificate?
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a birth certificate is a “vital record that establishes the birth of a child.”
It enables you to prove your identity, place of origin, and nationality.
A birth certificate contains the following:
- The time, date, and place of your birth.
- Your complete name.
- Your parents’ names.
Shortly after a baby’s birth, the doctor files the report of birth to the local civil registrar (LCR). The birth certificate is then issued to and stored by the LCR. All records of birth certificates are archived at the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly National Statistics Office or NSO).
When you say “birth certificate,” it refers either to the original document or to the certified true copy of the original.
The birth certificate has no expiration date. However, PSA occasionally changes the Security Paper where civil registry documents are printed on to prevent the proliferation of fake birth certificates.
As a result, some government agencies or public institutions require their applicants to only present recent or new authenticated birth certificates. They include:
- Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
- Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
- Department of Education (DepEd)
- Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO)
- Social Security System (SSS)
- Private/public schools
A birth certificate is one of the crucial requirements needed whenever you’re getting a new job, applying for government-issued IDs, proving your nationality, or verifying whether you’re a legitimate child or not.
Four easy ways to get your birth certificate in the Philippines.
In general, there are two ways to obtain your birth certificate in the Philippines: Walk-in or online application. Each option is further divided into two more choices.
In this article, I’ll present all of them in great detail so you can easily pick one that best suits your current schedule or availability.
Option 1: Walk-in application.
A. How to get your birth certificate at Census Serbilis Center.
Step 1: Visit the nearest Census Serbilis Center in your area. For a complete list of PSA or NSO Serbilis branches in the Philippines, please check out this updated directory.
Step 2: Bring the following requirements:
a. One valid ID.
If you’re requesting the birth certificate of someone else, you need to present both your valid ID and that of the person who owns the birth certificate.
The following identification cards are accepted:
- Postal ID.
- Student ID or library card signed by the school authority.
- Current company/employee ID with signature of the employer or authorized representative.
- Driver’s license.
- Senior Citizen ID.
- NBI Clearance.
- Philippine Passport.
- Police Clearance.
- SSS ID.
- GSIS ID.
- License issued by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC).
- Integrated Bar of the Philippine (IBP) ID.
b. Authorization letter of the birth certificate owner if the representative is not one of the following:
- The owner of the birth certificate.
- His/her parent.
- His/her spouse.
- His/her direct descendant.
- His/her legal guardian or institution-in-charge, if minor.
In accordance with the confidentiality clause of Article 7 of The Child and Youth Welfare Code (P.D. 603), those listed above can request for a person’s birth certificate without an authorization letter.
In addition to them, the following are also allowed by law to obtain a copy of the birth certificate on the person’s behalf:
- The nearest of kin, in case of the person’s death.
- The court or the proper public official, if the identities of the child’s parents or other details regarding his birth need to be verified during administrative, judicial, or other official proceedings.
Anyone who violates this confidentiality clause can be imprisoned for at least 2 months or receive a fine of not more than Php 500.
Step 3: Get the birth certificate application form (white) and your queue number from the Information Marshall.
Fill out the application form with the following information:
- Complete name of the birth certificate owner.
- Complete name of the father.
- Complete maiden name of the mother.
- Date of birth (Month, Day, Year).
- Place of Birth (City/Municipality, Province).
- Complete name and address of the requester/requesting party.
- The number of copies needed.
- Purpose of the request.
Step 4: Proceed to the Screener’s Desk to have your application form checked for accuracy, consistency, and legibility. Once approved, the screener will stamp your application form with “Okay for Payment.”
Step 5: Go to the Cashier to pay the fee of Php 230. You will then be issued an Official Receipt with a stamp containing the date and time of release.
Step 6: Proceed to the Releasing Area to receive the requested birth certificate.
Take note that how fast you receive the birth certificate will depend on whether the request is for a converted or unconverted document.
According to PSA (NSO), unconverted birth certificates are not yet converted to digital form and have to be manually searched from paper archives or microfilm rolls. They often take up to 10 working days to be processed.
In contrast, converted birth certificates are already in digital form and easily accessed from their image database. Unless you’re born in the 1940s, your birth certificate most likely falls into this category.
If so, you can get your birth certificate on the same day, specifically within 2 hours after you submitted your application. However, make sure you get there early since applications made after 3 PM will be issued birth certificates the next day.
If you have issues with your birth certificate or if you need any assistance, you can go to the Public Assistance or Customer Service Window.
B. How to get your birth certificate at SM Business Center.
Aside from Serbilis Centers, walk-in applications are also welcome at various SM Business Centers nationwide.
A 2010 tie-up between SM and NSO has enabled the SM Business Center, usually located within SM Department Stores, to process and release civil registry documents like birth, death, and marriage certificates, among others.
SM Business Center is also known for its other services like foreign exchange, bills payment, BDO Remit, and SSS and Pag-Ibig contributions.
The advantage of choosing SM Business Center to get your birth certificate is its accessibility. Almost every town and city in the country has its own SM mall.
However, unlike in Serbilis Centers where you can be issued the document on the same day of your application, birth certificates processed at SM Business Centers may take days before they can be released.
If you’re not in a hurry, you can get your birth certificate from SM Business Center by following the steps below:
Step 1: Go to the nearest SM mall and look for the SM Business Center. It’s usually located inside SM Hypermarket or SM Department Store.
If you need assistance, you can ask any security guard or SM staff for directions. Or, you can check out this SM store directory to confirm whether the SM mall you’ll be visiting has its own SM Business Center.
Step 2: Line up in front of the section that processes civil registry documents.
Present one valid ID (see the previous section for a list of acceptable IDs).
Get the birth certificate application form (similar to the one provided at Serbilis Centers) and fill it out. Make sure all the information are complete and accurate.
You may also be asked to fill out a smaller form asking for the number of copies you need as well as the owner’s personal information. This will serve as SM’s copy of your request.
Step 3: Submit the accomplished form and pay Php 180 to the cashier.
After payment, you’ll be issued the Official Receipt and a claim stub indicating when you can receive the requested document.
It may take 4 to 6 days for birth certificates to be processed and released at SM Business Centers.
Step 4: Return to SM Business Center to claim the birth certificate. Present your valid ID, the receipt, and the claim stub given to you.
In case you’re not available to personally claim it, your representative must provide his/her valid ID, your valid ID, as well as your authorization letter with your signature.
Option 2: Online application.
A. How to get your birth certificate online via e-Census (PSASerbilis).
e-Census (PSASerbilis) is an online portal where you can order birth certificate and have it delivered to the Philippines or anywhere in the world.
Step 1: Access the PSASerbilis website.
On the homepage, click the button that says “Click here to request now.” Accept terms and conditions and go to the next page.
Step 2: Enter the requested information in the “Contact and Delivery Information” form.
These include the following:
- Requester’s Name (Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial).
- Delivery Address. You can choose to send the birth certificate either to a specific address in the Philippines or anywhere in the world. There’s also an option to send the requested document to a foreign embassy in Manila.
- Telephone/Mobile Number.
- Email address.
- Tax Identification Number (optional).
When done, click “Next.”
A box will then appear on the screen asking you to confirm whether the information you’ve just provided is correct.
If you’re sure about their accuracy, click “Confirm.”
Step 3: Choose the button that says “Birth Certificate” to start making a request.
On the next page, you will be asked two questions regarding your birth certificate. Respond with a Yes or No and click “Next.”
Step 4: Fill out the online application form.
Enter all the requested information accurately. Failure to provide the correct information will result in negative results.
Things to remember:
a. If you’re a married woman, only use your maiden name.
b. When writing names, please don’t use characters other than letters, numbers, hyphens, single quote, and Ñ.
c. If you have a name suffix like “Jr,” “Sr,” or “III,” put it in the First Name field. Don’t put a period after the name suffix or else you’ll encounter an error.
d. For those with surnames starting with “De,” “De La,” “Del,” or “De Los,” enter these in the Last Name field. Only use “De La” or “De Los” (with space) instead of “Dela” or “Delos.”
e. If you’re requesting a birth certificate for another person, indicate at the last part your relationship with him/her.
To claim the document, representatives need to present their valid IDs as well as ID and authorization letter of the birth certificate owner, except if you’re one of the following:
- The owner of the birth certificate.
- His/her parent.
- His/her spouse.
- His/her direct descendant.
- His/her legal guardian or institution-in-charge, if minor.
Once done, click “Save.”
A box will then appear asking you to confirm the accuracy of the information you’ve just provided. Double-check every detail. If you’re sure all are correct, click “Confirm”
Step 5: If you’re requesting for other civil registry document or another birth certificate, add another request by clicking the appropriate button. Otherwise, click “Submit” button.
Step 6: Make a payment either over the counter in designated banks or via online payment channels.
If you prefer to pay over the counter, you need to print two copies of the Acknowledgment page–one for you and another copy for the bank where you’ll make the payment. A copy of this page will also be sent to your email.
As of this writing, birth certificates that are processed online have the following fees:
- Delivery within the Philippines: Php 330
- Delivery to other countries: USD 20.30
The above fees are inclusive of processing, delivery, and government taxes.
Payments can be done through the following:
- Credit card
- BDO (BDO branches; for BDO account holders: BDO Online Banking or BDO ATM)
- UnionBank (UnionBank branches; for Unionbank account holders: UnionBank Online Banking or Unionbank ATM)
- Bayad Center
b. Other countries:
- Credit card
- Foreign correspondent banks
- BDO Remit subsidiary offices and remittance partners abroad offering Kabayan Bills Bayad
Step 7: Wait for delivery.
How quickly the birth certificate will be delivered to you depends on your delivery address:
- Metro Manila: 3-5 working days after payment.
- Other cities/provinces in the Philippines: 4-9 working days after payment.
- Other countries: 6-8 weeks after payment.
If you want to expedite the process and get the birth certificate delivered within 1 to 2 days after payment, I suggest the following:
- If you’re in the Philippines, apply in person at the nearest Census Serbilis Center.
- If abroad, you can avail of e-Census Special Courier Service.
Delivery schedule is from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday to Friday (except holidays).
B. How to get your birth certificate online via PSA Helpline (currently not available).
Update: Effective January 4, 2020, PSA Helpline (nsohelpline.ph) is no longer allowed to accept and process applications for civil registry documents like birth certificate, CENOMAR, death certificate or marriage certificate either online or through telephone requests. This is after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recently cut ties with the Pilipinas Teleserv, Inc. (the company behind PSA Helpline) reportedly due to the numerous customer complaints filed against the latter. Pilipinas Teleserv, Inc. is in the process of making an appeal for the PSA National Statistician to reconsider the decision. Meanwhile, all applicants are encouraged to get their civil registry documents online via PSA Serbilis instead.
Other than e-Census (which is changing its name to PSASerbilis effective June 1, 2018), you can also order your birth certificate online directly from the Philippine Statistics Authority via PSAHelpline.ph (formerly NSOHelpline.com).
While birth certificates processed through e-Census may take up 9 working days before they are delivered anywhere in the Philippines, documents ordered via PSA Helpline only take 2-7 working days, depending on your location.
But this comes with a price: A single copy of birth certificate from PSA Helpline costs Php 365.
In addition to that, PSA Helpline ONLY delivers birth certificates and other civil registry documents within the Philippines.
If you think the convenience it offers is well worth the price, follow the steps below to get your birth certificate via PSA Helpline.
Alternatively, you can also order birth certificate over the phone via the PSA 24/7 hotline number: (02) 737-1111.
Step 1: Go to PSA Helpline website. Click the “Order Now!” button at the lower left corner of the page.
Step 2: When asked to choose which PSA certificate you need, select Birth Certificate.
Step 3: Choose the purpose of your request.
Step 4: Fill out the PSA birth certificate application form. Ensure all information you enter is accurate.
Step 5: If your birth certificate was involved in a legal proceeding for adoption, legitimation, correction of entry, etc. in the past, choose the appropriate box from the available choices. Otherwise, just select “None.”
Step 6: Enter the name of the requester. If you’re requesting your own birth certificate, the fields will be automatically filled out with your name.
If not, then choose your relationship with the owner of the birth certificate.
When done, click “Submit.”
Note: Upon delivery, the following people need to present his/her valid ID to the courier before the requested document can be released:
- The owner of the birth certificate.
- His/her spouse.
- His/her parent.
- His/her son or daughter.
- His/her grandparent.
- His/her grandchild.
If you’re requesting someone else’s birth certificate and you’re not one of the people listed above, you need to show your valid ID as well as the valid ID and authorization letter of the birth certificate owner.
Step 7: Enter your contact information and delivery address in the designated fields. If you aren’t available to receive the birth certificate, you can add the names of up to 3 representatives who will receive it for you.
On the day of delivery, the representative must present to the courier his/her valid ID as well as your valid ID and authorization letter.
Finally, at the bottom of the page, indicate how many copies of the birth certificate you need. Tick the box that says you have read and agree to all the terms and conditions.
Once done, click “Continue.”
Step 8: Complete your order by paying the required fee of Php 365 using one of PSA-approved payment channels.
You can choose between online and over-the-counter payment channels. Just click your preferred payment channel and you’ll get instructions on how to proceed.
Expect to receive your birth certificate within 2-7 working days after payment.
To check the status of your order, get the Reference Number from the Order Confirmation page.
Then, click “Check Status” from the main menu. Simply enter the reference number and you’ll get updates on your delivery.
Tips & Warnings.
a. The PSA doesn’t have copies of birth certificates of people born before 1945.
If you’re requesting the birth certificate of someone born prior to 1945, the PSA will only issue you a Negative Results Certification which means no record of birth can be found in their archives.
The only documents that can be retrieved from the electronic and paper archives of the civil registry records are the births, marriages, and deaths that have been reported from 1945 to present, and from 1951 onwards for events reported in Manila.
After securing the Negative Results Certification from PSA, you are left with three options to obtain the birth certificate of someone born before 1945:
- Proceed to the local civil registrar with jurisdiction over the person’s place of birth to check if they have a copy of the birth records in their archives. There’s a very slim chance that they have managed to keep a copy of a very old record of birth but in case they have, follow this procedure for the Endorsement.
- If both the PSA and the local civil registrar can’t retrieve any record of birth, then inquire at the local civil registrar if you can get a birth certificate through filing a late or delayed registration of birth.
- In case a late registration of birth is not possible, you can also try your luck at the National Archives of the Philippines. Once there’s a copy of the birth certificate found in their archives, this copy will undergo the process of Reconstruction, after which the final copy of the birth certificate will be sent to the PSA for encoding. The National Archives is located at 1st & 6th Floor, PPL Building, 1000, U.N. Avenue, corner, 1007 San Marcelino St, Manila, 1007 Metro Manila.
b. You may file for “advance endorsement” if you want to get a copy of your newly born child’s birth certificate.
Birth certificates of babies who were born recently can’t be processed on a regular schedule because the new birth records usually go through a “posting period” first.
In this posting period, the birth records are received from the local civil registrar, verified, and then finally converted into a digital format by the PSA. How long the process will take depends on the records at the PSA and where the birth occurred.
If you want to request for your baby’s birth certificate through the standard procedure, do it after the following “posting period”:
- 2 to 4 months after the date of birth, if the birth occurred within Metro Manila.
- At least 6 months after the date of birth, if the birth occurred in the province/outside Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, if you can’t wait for this posting period and you need to obtain your newly born child’s birth certificate as soon as possible, you may file for “advance endorsement” at the local civil registrar (LCR) of the city/municipality where your child was born.
Although it comes with a fee, the advance endorsement enables the LCR to endorse a copy of the birth certificate to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) ahead of the regular schedule of submission of birth records.
c. Filipinos born abroad can also get a PSA birth certificate.
Even Filipinos who were born abroad can also get a copy of their birth certificates from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), provided that a Report of Birth was filed by the parent/s at the Philippine Consulate in the child’s country of birth within 1 year from the date of birth.
After the registration of birth at the Philippine Consulate, the child’s birth record is then transmitted to the Consular Records Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) – Manila.
All the civil registry documents, including birth records, are then forwarded to the PSA usually on a quarterly basis. You can only request for the PSA birth certificate at least two months after the PSA received the birth record from DFA.
If you’re requesting a birth certificate owned by you or anyone born abroad, you will need to obtain the following information from DFA Manila’s Consular Records Division:
- Reference number.
- Dispatch number.
- Dispatch date.
- Transmittal date.
Send the above information to [email protected] so that the PSA can start searching and retrieving your birth records.
d. The NSO Birth Certificate is still accepted by DFA for passport application.
If you check the updated list of requirements for Philippine passport application, you’ll see that it includes an original Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Authenticated Birth Certificate on Security Paper (SECPA).
But according to DFA’s own FAQ page, NSO birth certificates are still valid and accepted for Philippine passport application.
In other words, you don’t need to request for a new PSA copy if you already have the older NSO copy, provided that the latter is still in good condition and doesn’t have tampered entries.
Take note, however, that birth certificates are only required for new passport applications and other purpose listed here.
On the other hand, those who are applying for Philippine passport renewal don’t need to bring a PSA birth certificate.
e. There’s a difference between Birth Certificate and Certificate of Live Birth (COLB).
The Certificate of Live Birth is the first unofficial document that proves you are medically alive when your mother gave birth to you.
The Certificate of Live Birth Form is for data entry purposes. After the parent fills out this form, the hospital administrator is tasked with sending the birth records to the local civil registrar within 30 days after birth.
The local civil registrar will then forward this to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for verification and encoding. After a few months, the baby’s official Birth Certificate can now be requested.
Unlike the Certificate of Live Birth, the official Birth Certificate is printed on security paper (SECPA), has a registration number so it can easily be retrieved, and comes with the official PSA seal for authenticity.
f. In case of dual birth certificate or double registration, the first one to be registered will be recognized as the official birth certificate.
Double registration or having two birth certificates under one’s name is not allowed in the Philippines.
However, there are instances when double registration happens unintentionally.
Some Filipinos file a late registration of birth not knowing that they’re already registered. Others make the mistake of applying for a second birth certificate to replace the first one containing errors/misspelling/wrong info, unaware that there’s a separate procedure for birth certificate correction.
Whatever the case, the first birth certificate will always prevail as the official document, regardless if it contains errors or not. If it does contain errors, simply file the appropriate birth certificate correction.
As for the second birth certificate, it is considered invalid and should be subsequently canceled by filing a Petition for Cancellation of Entry before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) with jurisdiction over the civil registrar where the birth certificate was created/registered (Section 1, Rule 108, Revised Rules of Court).
After the petition is filed, the court will issue an order on when and where the hearing will take place. The court will also order the notices to be given to people named and involved in the petition. This order will be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a major newspaper.
How long the cancellation proceeding will last depends on the availability of the judge hearing the petition, the number of cases of the court where the petition will be raffled, and a host of other factors.
Frequently Asked Questions.
1. I’m applying for work/immigration abroad. How can I authenticate my birth certificate with DFA red ribbon?
3. My baby was born at home with the help of a midwife or a manghihilot. How do I get a birth certificate?
4. My child was born abroad and has a foreign birth certificate. Is he/she still qualified to get a Philippine-issued birth certificate?
5. I requested for my birth certificate but PSA says it has no record of my birth. How can I get my birth certificate?
6. Both the PSA and the local civil registrar don’t have my birth records. How can I apply for late registration of birth?
7. I was born abroad to Filipino parents but don’t have a birth certificate with PSA. How can I apply for late registration of birth?
9. My birth certificate has typographical errors/misspelling/missing entries/wrong info. How do I correct it?
12. How can I process the birth certificate of an illegitimate child? Whose parent’s surname must be used–that of the father’s or the mother’s?
About the Author.
Luisito E. Batongbakal Jr. is the founder and chief content strategist of FilipiKnow, a leading online portal for free educational, Filipino-centric content. His curiosity and passion for learning have helped millions of Filipinos around the world get access to free insightful and practical information at the touch of their fingertips. With him at the helm, FilipiKnow has won numerous awards including the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2013, the 2015 Globe Tatt Awards, and the 2015 Philippine Bloggys Awards (nomination). Connect with him on Linkedin.