How to Authenticate Documents with DFA Red Ribbon: An Ultimate Guide

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Aside from processing Philippine passports, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is also tasked with authenticating documents.

Also known as “red ribbon,” this special service provides applicants with DFA-authenticated documents which are mandatory requirements for anyone applying for a work or immigrant visa abroad.

In this article, we’ve compiled all the essential details you need to know for the authentication of documents with DFA red ribbon.

 

Why do you need to authenticate a document?

Let’s say you have a PSA birth certificate.

Birth certificates in the Philippines and those issued by other countries don’t look the same. They’re also not processed in the same way.

So how can a foreign country accept a document (in this case, a birth certificate) from a completely different country with completely different laws and culture?

This is when authentication enters the picture.

Since the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, embassies or consulates around the world have been following the same authentication procedure to ensure that a document processed in a particular country will remain valid in another country.

For this reason, the purpose of having your documents authenticated with DFA red ribbon is to ensure embassies or consulates in other countries that the said documents have been carefully reviewed, examined, and subjected to an agreed upon authentication procedure.

In other words, the DFA red ribbon guarantees foreign embassies that whatever document you’re submitting is not fake and was released by a recognized Philippine government agency.

 

What documents can be authenticated with DFA ‘Red Ribbon’?

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) offers red ribbon services for the authentication of the following documents:

  • Birth Certificate.
  • Marriage Certificate.
  • Death Certificate.
  • Certificate of No Marriage Record and/or Negative Records (CENOMAR).
  • Form 137 and Diploma.
  • Transcript of Records (TOR) and Diploma.
  • Medical/AIDS-Free Certificate.
  • Pilot License issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
  • Driver’s License.
  • Professional Licenses.
  • Board Certificates/Board Ratings/Certifications.
  • Certificate of Employment.
  • Certificate of Training/Seminars.
  • Baptismal Certificate and other documents issued by a private entity.
  • Other Notarized Documents (Special Power of Attorney (SPA) / Affidavit of Consent/Invitation/Guarantee/MOA, etc.)
  • Court Decisions/Resolutions/Orders.
  • Immigration Records.
  • DSWD Clearance.
  • NBI Clearance.
  • Police Clearance.
  • Barangay Clearance.
  • Export Documents.
  • Business Registration and Other Documents issued by a Government Agency (e.g. SEC, DTI, BIR, Municipal Business Permit & Licensing Office, etc.)
  • Foreign Documents.

 

How to Authenticate Documents with DFA Red Ribbon in 6 Easy Steps.

 

1. Complete the DFA authentication requirements.

Before going to the DFA office, ensure that you already have the following documentary requirements:

 

a. At least 1 valid government-issued ID.

You can bring any one of the following:

  • Passport.
  • PRC ID.
  • IBP ID.
  • OWWA ID.
  • SSS ID.
  • GSIS E-Card.
  • Senior Citizen’s ID.
  • Voter’s ID.
  • Digitized Postal ID.
  • Alumni ID.
  • Employment ID.
  • School ID (for elementary, high school, and college students).

 

b. Document/s to be authenticated.

Birth/Marriage/Death Certificate/Certificate of No Marriage Record and/or Negative Records (CENOMAR).

  • Must be issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly NSO) and printed on Security Paper.
  • If there are entries on the certificates that are unreadable, please bring equivalent copies issued by the Local Civil Registrar (LCR).
  • For documents registered at the LCR within 6 months from the date of registration, you can bring the LCR copy instead provided that it has been certified/authenticated by PSA.

 

Transcript of Records (TOR) and Diploma (For State Colleges and Universities).

  • Only bring Certified True Copies from the school.
  • Documents must have the Certification, Authentication, and Verification (CAV) from the school and signed by the school/university registrar and/or school’s authorized signatory.

 

Transcript of Records (TOR) and Diploma (Private Schools and Local Universities and Colleges).

  • Only bring Certified True Copies from the school.
  • Documents must have the Certification, Authentication, and Verification (CAV) from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) where the school is located.

 

Transcript of Records (TOR) and Diploma / National Certificate (Technical or Vocational Courses).

  • Only bring Certified True Copies from the school.
  • Documents must have the Certification, Authentication, and Verification (CAV) from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) where the school is located.

 

Form 137 and Diploma (High School and Elementary Level).

  • Only bring Certified True Copies from the school.
  • Documents must have the Certification, Authentication, and Verification (CAV) from the Dep-Ed Regional Office where the school is located.

 

Medical/AIDS-Free Certificate.

  • Must be certified/authenticated by the Department of Health (DOH).
  • Only secure authentication for this document if requested by an employer/agency from countries such as Angola, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Cuba, Oman, Libya, Palau, and Spain.

 

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued licenses.

  • Must be certified/authenticated by CAAP.

 

Driver’s Licenses.

  • Only certifications from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) main branch will be accepted.

 

Professional Licenses/Board Certificates/Board Ratings/Certifications.

  • Must be certified/authenticated by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

 

Certificate of Employment/Training/Seminars, Baptismal Certificate and other documents issued by a private entity.

  • Must have a notarized affidavit which states the necessary factual circumstances and indicates the certificate/s as attachment/s.
  • Please secure a Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA) signed by the Executive Judge or Vice Executive Judge from the Regional Trial Court which issued the commission of the Notary Public.
  • Note that the copy of Notarial Commission is not the same as Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA).

 

Other Notarized Documents (Special Power of Attorney (SPA) / Affidavit of Consent/Invitation/Guarantee/MOA, etc.).

  • Please secure a Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA) signed by the Executive Judge or Vice Executive Judge from the Regional Trial Court which issued the commission of the Notary Public.

 

Court Decisions/Resolutions/Orders.

  • Only bring certified true copies of the document/s.
  • If not available in records, a copy of specimen signature of the court personnel who signed the certified copies from the Office of Administrative Services (Supreme Court – Located beside PGH) may be required.

 

Immigration Records.

  • Must be certified/authenticated by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

 

DSWD Clearance.

  • This refers to the travel clearance for minors issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

 

NBI Clearances.

  • Personal copy of the NBI clearance won’t be accepted.
  • The NBI clearance to be authenticated must be issued by the National Bureau of Investigation for travel abroad (green).

 

Police Clearances. 

 

Barangay Clearances.

  • Mayor’s Clearance or Certification which has jurisdiction over the Barangay of the applicant’s place of residence.

 

Export Documents.

  • Depending on what type of export document you have, it must be certified/authenticated by any one of the following: Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Chamber of Commerce (PCCI), Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), or Department of Agriculture (DA).

 

Business Registration and Other Documents issued by a Government Agency (e.g. SEC, DTI, BIR, Municipal Business Permit & Licensing Office, etc.).

  • Must be certified/authenticated by the issuing office.

 

Foreign Documents.

  • Consularization of the document by the Philippine Embassy or Philippine Consulate General in the country from where it originated or by the said country’s Embassy or Consulate General in the Philippines.

 

2. Proceed to the nearest DFA Consular Office that offers authentication services.

Unlike in Philippine passport application and renewal, you don’t need to secure an online appointment to avail of the authentication services offered by DFA.

Simply proceed to the DFA during office hours and go directly to the queue or counter dedicated for the authentication service.

DFA authentication or “red ribbon” services are only available at the following consular offices:

  • DFA Aseana (main office).
  • DFA NCR-Northeast (Ali Mall).
  • DFA NCR-East (SM Megamall).
  • DFA NCR-West (SM Manila).
  • DFA NCR-South (Metro Gaisano Alabang).
  • DFA San Fernando, Pampanga

For the complete address and contact information of each office mentioned above, please refer to this guide.

Before you head over to your chosen DFA Consular Office, keep in mind the following reminders:

  • DFA Consular Offices are open from Monday to Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM.
  • DFA Aseana (main office) only offers “red ribbon” authentication services during weekdays (Monday to Friday).
  • If your documents need further verification, please file at the Authentication Division at DFA Aseana (main office).
  • Although authentication services are available from Monday to Saturday in most Consular Offices, the authenticated documents are only released during weekdays (Monday to Friday).
  • Again, no appointment is needed if you’re availing of authentication services. Beware of swindlers who may tell you otherwise.

 

3. Fill out the DFA Authentication application form.

Upon arrival at the DFA Consular Office, proceed to the Authentication Information counter and get a queuing number. Wait for your turn.

Fill out the DFA Authentication application form from Sections A to C. Here’s a PDF copy of the application form to give you an idea of what it looks like.

Take note that there’s a maximum of 5 documents (to be authenticated) per application form.

 

4. Submit documents to the Processing Window.

Proceed to the Processing Window and present your valid ID.

Submit your duly accomplished DFA Authentication application form along with the document/s to be authenticated.

 

5. Pay the DFA Authentication fee.

Pay the appropriate DFA authentication fee to the cashier.

As of this writing, DFA “red ribbon” authentication costs Php 100/document for regular processing (released after 4 working days) and Php 200/document for express processing (released after 1 working day).

The table below summarizes the current DFA authentication fees:

dfa authentication fee

After payment of the fee, you will be issued an official receipt along with a release date when you can claim the authenticated document/s.

Please keep the official receipt.

 

6. Claim your authenticated document/s.

Return to the DFA Consular Office on the indicated release schedule.

Drop the official receipt issued to you after payment (see the previous step) at the Releasing Drop Box and wait for your name/number to be called.

Once it’s your turn, present a valid ID and/or Special Power of Attorney (if you’re claiming the document/s on behalf of someone) at the Releasing Window.

Upon receiving the authenticated document/s, double check for any inaccuracy or errors before leaving the DFA premises.

 

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How long is the validity of DFA-authenticated documents?

2. I can’t personally go to DFA to file/claim the documents. Can an authorized representative do it on my behalf?

3. How can I authenticate my Philippine-issued documents if I’m abroad?

4. What happens to unclaimed DFA-authenticated documents?

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