Change of Name Without Court Intervention (R.A. 9048)

It’s now easier to ask for corrections in first names and typographical errors under Republic Act No. 9048, which took effect on 22 April 2001. Under this law, the city or municipal civil registrar (or the consul general) may correct a clerical or typographical error in an entry, or change the first name or nickname in the civil register without need of a court order. The law characterizes “clerical or typographical error” as:

xxx a mistake committed in the performance of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and innocuous, such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth or the like, which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or records: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the change of nationality, age, status or sex of the petitioner.

Based on this characterization, there’s a wide discretion in interpreting what constitutes a clerical or typographical error. There’s no definite list and an applicant may show through documents that a particular entry – except nationality, age, status or sex – is erroneous. In one case, the SC noted that the changes sought (surname of the son, the date of the parents’ wedding and the informant’s name) are substantial changes an not merely clerical errors.

Update: Thank you to some who took time to answer some of the questions. Considering that there are unanswered questions and because I don’t have the luxury of time, we shall try to address the issues through the Q&A here. This will be updated from time to time to address new issues. Please go through the questions before posting a query (and please remember that this is a discussion, so feel free to address the issues).

Does this law cover other errors?

Many have errors in the surname, gender (i.e., male or female), birth date, age, nationality (e.g., Filipino), status (single, married) reflected in the entries appearing at the civil registrar. These substantial matters are not covered by this law. Corrections covering these matters require a petition to be filed in court.

288 comments

  1. goodmorning po. ask ko lng po pano po ba ibalik s apelido ng nanay yung bata. hndi po cla ksal nung tatay pero nung pinanganak yung bata ginamit apelido nung lalaki. s ngyon po hndi cla ok at gusto n ibalik nung nanay ung apelido ng bata s knya. pls help po…

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  2. Hi! Ang lost and expired passport ko at na issue 1978 at 7 yrs. old lang ako nun na issue yun, hindi pa uso ang biometrics kasi natatandaan ko walang personal appearance, basta inuwi ng daddy ko passport at pinapirma ako. Wala na yun passport and I’m sure expired na.

    45 na ako ngayon and currently in the process of acquiring a passport. Renewal ba or new application? Isa pa pong question, sa birth certificate ko po “MARIA Victoria” ang nakalagay Pero lahat ng documents ko magmula ng pagkabata “MA. Victoria” ang gamit ko. Lahat din po ng ID ko (postal, Phil health, old company ID), pati na barangay, police at NBI clearances ko “MA. Victoria” ang naka indicate. Please help po.

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  3. You don’t need to go to court to change gender. We just did it now and we only went to our Local Civil Registry.

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  4. hello gud eve po… ask ko lang po kasi problema po namin yong nso birth certificate ng anak ko.. paano po ba ma correct yong surname ng anak ko naka lagay kasi doon is delos santos which is wrong kasi sa marriage contract namin is yong de los santos which is correct pati narin po sa nso birth certificate ko. nag tanong po ako sa lcr tungkol dito sabi ng taga LCR dapat daw mag file ako ng petition for correction sa korte dahil po sa naka lagay doon nga delos santos at bukod dun naka late registration daw po yong birth certificate ng anak ko at naka sulat sa affidavit for delayed registration of birth yong delos santos.which is wrong.. kasi dapat po talaga is de los santos at ang sabi ng taga LCR hindi daw cla authorized gumawa ng correction ang korte lang daw ang authorized.. kasi bago po ma legitimized ang anak ko dapat po ma correct muna yong surname nya na delos santos kasi ipinanganak ko cya na hindi pa kami kasal ng ama nya.

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  5. ask ko lang po.. yung sa place of birth ko po kasi naka abbreviate po sya as C.N lang.. instead of camarines norte? e hindi po ini allowed ng dfa yun.. dapat po ba ipa correct ko pa sya lcr? at gano po katagal ang process?

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  6. Hi po good afternoon po ask ko lng po sana kng pa ano po ang gagawin ko kc po may problem po kc ako sa birth certificates ko gusto ko po sana palitan ang pangalan ko papa ano po Kaya ang gagawin ko kc po ung pangaln po kc na ginagamt ko iba sa pangalan na nka lagay sa birth certificate

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