A Negative Certification is issued when the PSA certificate (birth, marriage, death) being requested could not be found in PSA’s electronic and paper archives. In other words, PSA does not have a record of the document being asked for. There are various reasons why this happens and the most common is that the document being requested was not properly endorsed by the Local Civil Registry office (LCR) to the PSA, or the request was made a bit too soon after the life event and the certificate is still undergoing verification and digitization by the PSA.
One thing is for sure: getting a Negative Certification from the PSA instead of the requested copy does not automatically mean that the needed certificate is missing or destroyed. And yes, there is a solution to this hiccup and there is no need to feel annoyed or irritated.
The Process of Registering a Life Event
When a birth, marriage , or death occurs, the event is recorded by a hospital staff or midwife (for birth), married couple (for marriage), and attending physician or next of kin (for death). A certificate of live birth, marriage, or death (whichever is applicable) is filled out with the necessary life event details, signed by the authorized signatories, and submitted to the LCR for proper registration and filing.
The LCR must submit or transmit a copy of the document to the PSA for certification, digitization, and filing. This is how the Certificate of Live Birth, Certificate of Marriage, and Certificate of Death is converted into a PSA-certified document, printed on the PSA’s Security Paper (SECPA).
If the life event was registered in Metro Manila, requesters are advised to wait for two to four months before applying for a copy of the PSA certificate. Those registered in provincial areas take up to six months before a PSA copy is made available.
The Negative Certification
Whenever a person requests for a copy of a PSA certificate at a PSA outlet or through online ordering, the request is forwarded to the PSA who then searches for the document in its archives. If the LCR where the life event was registered has properly endorsed a copy of the certificate to the PSA, then a digital copy of it is sure to be found in PSA’s records. This will be printed on a SECPA and will be issued to the owner or the authorized requester.
If, for some reason the PSA could not locate a copy of the certificate in its files, a negative intact result is reported, and a Negative Certification is generated for that request.
Steps To Be Taken When You Receive a Negative Certification
First, do not panic (or get angry). The PSA certificate may not be readily available but there is a way to get it still, it will just take a bit of time.
Here are the steps to be taken for the proper endorsement of the document:
- Request a copy of the document from the LCR where the life event was registered (birth, marriage, or death).
If the document is available at the LCR, request for it to be endorsed to the PSA. Also, ask for copies of the following from the LCR:
- Receipt of Forwarder/Courier in case the endorsement was sent to PSA through a local courier.
- Personal copy of the document from the LCRO
- Copy of the Endorsement Letter or Transmittal Letter from the LCRO to the PSA
You may also ask the LCR for the timeline of the endorsement and when it would be best for you to file a new request at the PSA.
However, if the document is not available at the LCR, you need to file a late registration of the life event (birth, marriage, or death). The LCR will then endorse the late registered document to the PSA.
To get a copy of the endorsed document, bring the following documents to the PSA East Avenue office (if you are in Metro Manila) or at designated PSA CRS offices in your area (if you live far from Metro Manila):
- Receipt of Forwarder/Courier (from the LCR)
- Personal copy of the document from the LCR
- Endorsement Letter or Transmittal Letter from the LCRO
- Negative Certification from the PSA
Another reason for Negative Certification is when the request came sooner than the prescribed period for PSA certificates to be made available after endorsement from the LCR. If this is the case, the requester need only to wait until the processing period has ended before making another request.
If I requested for the PSA certificate online through PSAHelpline.ph and got a Negative Certification, can I refund my payment for the request?
The issuance of a Negative Certification is triggered when a request is made for a civil registry document and the PSA could not find it in its records. Until a request is made and paid for, the PSA will not search for the document.
The Negative Certification is not simply a document telling the requester that the PSA does not have his records on file. He will have to submit the Negative Certification to the LCR when he requests for his civil registry document’s endorsement to the PSA. Without it, the LCR will not act and his records at the PSA will remain negative.
You may only request for an endorsement at the LCR if you have a copy of the Negative Certification from the PSA (as proof that the PSA does not have a record of the document you need).
Given the above, a refund is not applicable whether the request was made online or at a PSA outlet.
A Negative Certification tells you that the PSA does not have a record of the civil registry document you need and you have to retrace it back to the LCR where it was supposed to have been reported and registered. The Negative Certification is as important as the civil registry document itself because it is a primary requirement in the processes for delayed registration of a life event or its proper endorsement to the PSA for certification. A Negative Certification is generated by the PSA only when a request is made for a particular PSA certificate and is found to be missing.
There is no need to panic, worry, or worse, get angry when you are handed a Negative Certificate instead of your requested PSA certificate. It may also be good to note that until a PSA certificate request is made and paid for, no one would know if the result would be positive – that is, you get the exact PSA certificate you requested for, or negative (certificate).