The Problem with Dual Registration of Civil Registry Documents

Published on January 05, 2022

What you need to know about dual registration of birth, marriage, and death

Births, marriages, and deaths must be duly registered at the Local Civil Registrar’s office no later than 30 days from the date the event occurred. All the details written on the certificate shall be accepted as true and correct by the LCRO and will be endorsed to the PSA for proper certification and filing. That is how we have PSA birth certificates, marriage certificates, CENOMAR, and death certificates.

There are times, however, when vital events are registered more than once, with the succeeding registration/s appearing as late registration of the event. The most common reason for this is to correct errors, such as names and dates, found on the certificate. Some people think that by submitting a new (or delayed) birth, marriage, or death registration, the errors or entries they want changed on the first duly registered document can be “erased” or “corrected”. This, of course, is not an acceptable reason for filing a delayed registration. An error on a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or death certificate can be corrected through petitions of corrections or through a court proceeding, not by making a new registration to supersede the erroneous document.

What happens when a person has two birth certificates registered?

In the PSA’s Guidelines for Brenlinking and Unlinking of Two or More Civil Registry Documents loaded in the CRS database, the first or earlier date of registration shall prevail and must be issued to the client.

This means that when you request for a copy of your PSA birth certificate (marriage or death) from the PSA, you will always be given the first registered copy. If the first registered copy of your birth certificate had errors in it (misspelled name, name written is not the same as the name you are using, incorrect birth date, etc.), you will keep getting that birth certificate until you work on the correction of these errors through the remedies prescribed by the PSA.

This is also why some people think that they are issued the incorrect copies of their PSA certificates. Since they know they reported a “new” and “corrected” certificate to the LCR, they expect to receive the “new” and “corrected” PSA-certified copy of their document. Well, we now know that isn’t going to be the case.

What do I do if I happen to have two (or more) birth registrations?

First, you need to stop using the certificate that was registered late. To avoid inconsistencies in your records, IDs, and other important documents, use the details on the certificate that the PSA releases to you (which is the certificate that was registered first).

You may also have to cancel the certificates that came after your original registration. For a better, more thorough understanding on this process, it is best that you seek the advice of the LCR office where the registrations were made.

How do I correct the errors on the original birth (marriage, death) registration?

The correction shall depend on the error or change that needs to be applied on the civil registry document. Again, this is best consulted with a staff of the LCRO where the certificate was registered.

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