How To Get Birth Certificate in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide

Almost everywhere you go, someone is always asking for a PSA 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.

And don’t get me started with government-issued documents like the Philippine passport and driver’s license that all require a birth certificate to prove your identity.

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 different ways to get your PSA birth certificate fast whether you’re in the Philippines or anywhere in the world.

Table of Contents

 

At a Glance: Three Ways to Get PSA Birth Certificate

Mode of ApplicationPrice per copyProcessing TimeMore info
Census Serbilis Center (walk-in)PHP 230The birth certificate is released within 1 to 2 hours after the applicationClick here
SM Business Center (walk-in)PHP 180The birth certificate is released within 4 to 6 days after application.Click here
PSA Serbilis (online)PHP 330 (Philippines); USD 20.30 (other countries)Estimated delivery: 3-9 working days in the Philippines and 6-8 weeks in other countriesClick here
 

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 child1.

birth certificate sample philippines

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;
  • Sex/gender;
  • Nationality;
  • 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 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. These 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;
  • Embassy.

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.

READ: Does PSA Birth Certificate Expire?

 

Who Is Authorized To Receive PSA Birth Certificate?

You are authorized by law2 to apply for (either via walk-in or online) and receive a birth certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 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.

If the owner of the birth certificate is still a minor, the parents or the guardian are the only ones allowed to receive or authorize the receipt of delivery of the said birth certificate. The one who will receive the birth certificate is required to present a valid ID. If this receiving party is the minor’s guardian, a valid ID plus proof or declaration of guardianship must be presented.

If the one receiving the birth certificate is none of the above, the required documents that must be presented are the following:

  • Authorization letter;
  • Valid ID of the authorized person;
  • The receiving party’s valid ID.
 

How To Get PSA Birth Certificate Online via PSA Serbilis

PSASerbilis is an online portal where you can order a birth certificate and have it delivered to the Philippines or anywhere in the world. Here’s how to obtain your birth certificate through this website:

1. Access the PSASerbilis website

how to get psa birth certificate 1

From the homepage, select Birth Certificate.

Then, tick the checkboxes to agree with the terms and conditions and data privacy notice.

how to get psa birth certificate 2

Next, respond to the given questions about whether there’s any correction done in the birth certificate you are applying for and if you already obtained a PSA Birth Certificate before.

how to get psa birth certificate 3

2. Continue with your registration by filling out the Request Details form

how to get psa birth certificate 4

Enter the following details in the form:

  • Number of copies to be requested (minimum of 1, maximum of 12)
  • Name of the birth certificate owner (last name, first name, middle name)
  • Place of birth (i.e., province, city/municipality)
  • Date of birth 
  • Sex
  • Father’s complete name (last name, first name, middle initial)
  • Mother’s complete maiden name (last name, first name, middle initial)
  • Relationship to the owner of the birth certificate (i.e. self, mother, father, etc.)

Afterward, you will choose whether this certificate will be delivered to an embassy or not. If yes, you have to select from the dropdown list provided which of the following embassies it will be delivered to:

  • US Embassy in Manila
  • UKVI, British Embassy Manila
  • Consulate General of Spain Manila 

You also have to select the purpose of your request using the dropdown menu. 

When done filling out the form, click Next.

Notes:

  • If you’re a married woman, only use your maiden name
  • When writing names, please don’t use characters other than letters, numbers, hyphens, single quotes, and ñ/Ñ
  • 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
  • When writing male name suffixes, use Roman numerals instead of spelled-out numbers (e.g., instead of “THIRD”, use “III”)
  • 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”

3. Enter the requester’s details and delivery information

how to get psa birth certificate 5

These include the following:

a. Requester’s details

  • Requester’s name (last name, first name, middle initial);
  • Telephone/Mobile Number
  • Email address

b. Delivery address 

  •  Address (country, province, city/municipality
  • ZIP/Postal code 

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. Note that the delivery schedule is from 8 AM to 5 PM on weekdays. 

If you’re sure about their accuracy, click Confirm.

Afterward, PSASerbilis will present a summary of your online application.

how to get psa birth certificate 6

You may also request another PSA-issued document by clicking the Add New Request button. Otherwise, click Next to proceed.

4. View the Acknowledgement Page and print two copies of it

how to get psa birth certificate 7

You are required to present a hard copy of this page when you pay for your request in a PSA-designated bank. Meanwhile, the other one serves as your personal copy. 

You will also receive a soft copy of the acknowledgment page via email. 

To print copies of this page, click the Print button. If you’re done, click Proceed to Payment

5. Pay for the Birth Certificate Request fee offline or online

A single copy of the Birth Certificate costs:

  •  PHP 330 if it will be delivered in the Philippines
  • USD 20.30 if it will be delivered abroad

Here are the available payment channels:

a. Offline payment channels

For local delivery: 

For foreign countries:

b. Online payment channels

  • Debit/Credit/Prepaid Card (e.g., Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc.)
  • GCash (for birth certificates that will be delivered in the Philippines only)

Accredited Banking Payment channels:

  • BDO Unibank
  • Unionbank

6. 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

The delivery schedule is from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday to Friday (except holidays). 

 

How To Get PSA Birth Certificate via Walk-In at Census Serbilis Center

how to get birth certificate in the philippines 1
Via whatelles.blogspot.com

PSA Birth Certificate Walk-in Application Requirements (Census Serbilis Center)

1. 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:

2. 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.

PSA Birth Certificate Walk-in Application Guide (Census Serbilis Center)

birth certificate application form
  1. Complete the requirements listed above.
  2. 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.
  3. Get the white birth certificate application form (see image above) and your queue number from the Information Marshall.
  4. 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; and the Purpose of the request.
  5. 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.”
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

 

How To Get PSA Birth Certificate via Walk-In at SM Business Center

how to get birth certificate in the philippines 2
Via Wikimedia Commons

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 processing.

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.

PSA Birth Certificate Walk-in Application Guide (SM Business Center)

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:

  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.
  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).
  3. Get the birth certificate application form (similar to the one provided at Serbilis Centers) and fill it out. Make sure all the information is 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
 

Tips & Warnings

1. 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 the 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 on the 1st & 6th Floor, PPL Building, 1000, U.N. Avenue, corner, 1007 San Marcelino St, Manila, 1007 Metro Manila.

2. 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 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.

3. 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 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 ahead of time.

4. The NSO Birth Certificate is still accepted by DFA for passport application

If you check the updated list of requirements for the 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 applications.

In other words, you don’t need to request 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 purposes listed here.

On the other hand, those who are applying for Philippine passport renewal don’t need to bring a PSA birth certificate.

5. There’s a difference between a Birth Certificate and a 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 only. 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.

6. 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 not3. 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?

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 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 a birth certificate still required in a Philippine passport application/renewal?

9. My birth certificate has typographical errors/misspellings/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?

 

References

  1. Birth Certificate. (2012). Retrieved 16 July 2020, from https://psa.gov.ph/civilregistration/birth-certificate
  2. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Presidential Decree No. 603 or The Child and Youth Welfare Code (1974).
  3. Acosta, P. (2015). In cases of dual registration, first birth certificate takes precedence. Retrieved 16 July 2020, from https://www.manilatimes.net/2015/07/13/legal-advice/dearpao/in-cases-of-dual-registration-first-birth-certificate-takes-precedence/200061/

Luisito Batongbakal Jr.

Luisito E. Batongbakal Jr. is the founder, editor, 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.

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