It’s unarguably a must for every adult in the Philippines to have at least one valid ID, and most will even insist that you should have at least two. Valid IDs are a requirement for many adult obligations, such as opening a bank account, completing a credit card application, applying for jobs, and completing all sorts of government and private transactions.
If you need a valid ID ASAP, it’s worth noting that certain government IDs are faster and easier to secure than others.
Here are three IDs that every Filipino should get to make life more convenient:
The postal ID is one of the easiest valid IDs to obtain, as any Filipino, regardless of their current place of residence, can get one. Foreign nationals can also get Philippine postal IDs provided that they can furnish proof of residency in the Philippines and have been in the country for a minimum of six months.
The requirements you’ll have to submit for your Philippine postal ID application include the following:
- Two completely filled out copies of your Postal ID application form, which is downloadable online
- Any of the following as proof of identity:
- Valid passport
- Valid driver’s license
- SSS or GSIS UMID card
- Birth certificate issued by the local civil registry or by the National Statistics Office (NSO)
- Any of the following documents as proof of address:
- Barangay Certificate of Residency issued in the last three months prior to your postal ID application
- Credit card or bank statement
- Utility bill in your name (for water, electricity, cable, telephone, or internet)
- School billing statement
- Certified True Copy of Real Estate Tax Receipt
- Certified True Copy of Titles issued by the Philippine Land Registration Authority (LRA)
- Certified True Copy of Lease
- Marriage certificate (for married applicants using their spouses’ surnames)
If you don’t have any of the IDs above, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) provides a list of alternative documents it can accept as proof of identification on its website.
Once you’ve gathered all your requirements, you can submit them at the ID capture station nearest you. You’ll have your biometrics taken and pay a fixed fee of P504. After your application is processed, you can expect to receive your postal ID in around 15-30 working days. Some ID capture stations also offer rush processing for an additional cost.
The validity period of a postal ID is three years for Filipinos and for retired foreign residents that possess a Special Retiree’s Resident Visa (SRRV). Postal IDs of foreign residents without an SRRV are valid for one year.
The Philippine passport is widely regarded as one of the most powerful legal IDs you can present, if not the most powerful, as it functions as proof of citizenship in addition to proof of identity. Naturally, your passport is also necessary for traveling overseas.
These days, applying for a passport is easier than it used to be, as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) now allows you to schedule appointments online. Passport applicants will need to provide the following requirements:
- Filled-out application form
- One valid ID, original copy and one photocopy (list of acceptable IDs available on the DFA website)
- Birth certificate issued by the local civil registry or by the NSO, original copy and one photocopy
- PSA-issued marriage contract, original copy and one photocopy (for married applicants using their spouses’ names)
Make sure you arrive at your assigned DFA office at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. Regular passport processing takes around 12 working days and costs P950. You can also request to have the process expedited to six working days for P1,200.
Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID)
The UMID is a government-issued ID that allows you to transact at four major government agencies: the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Pag-IBIG, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and the Social Security System (SSS). It also functions as an ATM card that allows you to withdraw loans and benefits from the GSIS and the SSS.
To apply for a UMID via the SSS, follow these steps:
- Download and accomplish the UMID application form from the SSS website.
- Prepare either one primary ID (driver’s license, passport, postal ID) or two secondary IDs. A full list of acceptable secondary IDs is available on the application form.
- Schedule an appointment through the SSS members’ portal. While walk-ins are accepted, setting an appointment is recommended to avoid dealing with long queues.
- Proceed to your SSS branch of choice. Submit your requirements and have your biometrics taken.
- Wait for a notification text from the SSS signaling that your ID is ready to be picked up.
The application process for a UMID at the GSIS is essentially the same as the above process for SSS. Simply download your application form from the GSIS website and bring your requirements to the GSIS branch closest to you.
The UMID is especially convenient because you can apply for it free of charge, and it also has no expiration date. UMID applications typically take around 30 working days to process.
While there are many other government-issued IDs you can get, you’ll probably have the easiest time getting one of the mentioned IDs. You never know when having multiple valid IDs on-hand might come in handy, so you may even want to apply for all of them if you have the time and necessary requirements.