A marriage certificate is an official document to prove that two people are legally married. This civil registry document contains essential details of a couple’s marriage, including the couple’s names, the date and place of the wedding, and the names of the witnesses.
Married people can use this document to prove their marital status when conducting important transactions—both public and private. You’re required to present this document if you’re availing of life insurance benefits, claiming a pension, and withdrawing bank deposits. A marriage certificate is also necessary for getting a passport, visa, or work permit if your spouse lives abroad.
But what if your marriage certificate contains erroneous entries? In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to correct errors on your PSA marriage certificate.
What is Republic Act 9048?
You could correct errors on your marriage certificate by filing a petition for correction of clerical error under Republic Act 9048. This law authorizes the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general to correct typographical or clerical errors in a civil registry document. Before this law was enacted, any changes or corrections in a civil registry document required a judicial order.
Corrections Allowed Under RA 9048
You can’t just ask the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general to change any details in your civil registry document. As a rule, entries subject to change or correction must be clerical or typographical.
Section 2 of Republic Act 10172 cites mistakes committed while typing, writing, transcribing, or copying an entry in the civil register. Some examples are errors in an individual’s birth date, birthplace, gender, and name.
Errors in the Date and Place of Marriage
Mistakes on the date and place of marriage are considered typographical errors. Therefore, you can request corrections by filing a petition for correction of clerical error under RA 9048.
Who May File a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error?
Under the law , any person who has a direct and personal interest in the correction may file a verified petition. The following are also allowed to file a petition for correction of clerical error:
- The document owner or any authorized representative
- The document owner’s spouse
- Any of the document owner’s children, parents, or grandparents
- Any of the document owner’s brothers or sisters
- Any other person duly authorized by law to file the petition on behalf of the document owne
Where to File a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error
You may file a verified petition in the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where your marriage certificate was registered. If you no longer reside near that particular local civil registry office, you can file a petition in your current residence’s local civil registrar. If you’re living abroad, you can file at the nearest Philippine Consulate.
Requirements in Filing a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error
The law prescribes a format for the petition for correction of clerical error. Here are the basic requirements:
Contents of the petition
The petition for correction of clerical error shall be in the form of a notarized affidavit. It must contain the following:
- The facts or merits of the petition
- Information showing that the petitioner is competent to testify about the matters stated in the affidavit
- The erroneous entry or entries to be corrected and the proposed corrections
The petition must be accompanied by the following supporting documents:
- PSA copy of the marriage certificate containing the entry or entries to be corrected
- Marriage Contract
- Affidavit of Discrepancy
- Notice or Certificate of Posting
- Other documents required by the concerned civil registrar or consul general
Distribution of the petition documents
The petition and its supporting documents must be filed in three copies to be distributed as follows:
- First copy – to the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general
- Second copy – to the Office of the Civil Registrar General
- Third copy – petitioner’s copy
Section 5 of RA 9048 requires the publication of the petition at least once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
The city or municipal civil registrar and consul general are authorized to collect reasonable fees for processing the petition. The present rates are:
- P1,000 – for petitions filed with the local civil registry office
- $50 – for petitions filed with the Consul General
- P500 – additional service fee for migrant petitioners
If you’re an indigent petitioner, you’re exempted from paying the filing fee.
Examination of the Petition Documents
Upon receiving the documents, the civil registrar or consul general will evaluate the petition. If it complies with the required format and contents, it will be posted in a public place for 10 consecutive days. After completing the posting or publication requirement, the civil registrar or consul general will approve or deny the petition within five working days.
How to File a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error: 5 Quick Steps
Filing a petition for correction of clerical error is easy as long as you have the requirements ready. Here’s a quick guide:
- Submit the required documents to the civil registry office where the marriage certificate was registered. For petitioners born abroad, the documents shall be submitted to the nearest Philippine Consulate.
- Attend the interview to be conducted by the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general.
- Pay the corresponding fees at the treasury office. Then, present the official receipt to the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general.
- Claim the approved petition on the date set by the civil registry office or consul general by presenting the official receipt.
- The civil registry office or consul general will issue a Certificate of Finality together with a copy of the approved petition.
Sort Out Your Marriage Documents
After enjoying the celebration of your union with your spouse, it’s time to sort out your marriage documents. If you discover that your marriage certificate has clerical errors, you must file a petition to correct these details to maintain an accurate legal record.
If you need a copy of your PSA marriage certificate, you can obtain it in person through the nearest Census Serbilis Center. If you prefer to order a copy online, PSAHelpline.ph offers a hassle-free online application process!