This is Part 1 of our Guide to Government IDs. Head over here to read Part 2, where we tackle the pre-employment requirements (TIN, SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG), the UMID, and the Philippine passport.
So you’re fresh out of college, and you’re out to get into the workforce. But one challenge of employment is your empty collection of government IDs. You’re probably thinking– “Don’t I need a valid ID to apply for a valid ID?”
No need to panic. Here’s an easy-to-follow, handy dandy guide to getting your government IDs and adult life in order.
Step 1: Good news! You already have a Birth Certificate and student ID.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) or NSO Birth Certificate – Primary ID
By default you already have one valid identification document: your Birth Certificate. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), formerly known as the National Statistics Office (NSO), is the only agency that distributes this.
You can order an official copy over here.
Cost: PHP 365.00 per copy
Student’s ID signed by school authority – Secondary ID
More good news! Some government offices recognize student’s IDs as valid supplementary identification. Make sure your ID is from your current or most recent enrolled term, and is signed by the school authority (i.e. president or principal).
Step 2: Get your Community Tax Certificate (Cedula) and Barangay Clearance at your Barangay Hall
Community Tax Certificate (Cedula) – Secondary ID
Yes, the cedula still exists and it’s a valid identification document! They weren’t all torn during the cry of Pugad Lawin. You’ll need this to get clearance. To get a CTC, you’ll just have to:
- Head to your barangay hall
- Fill out an application form and affix your thumbprint
- Pay the required amount
And you’re done in 10 minutes!
Cost: PHP 6.00 for unemployed students
Validity: 1 year
Where to go: Barangay Hall
You’ll need a barangay clearance as a prerequisite and proof of address when you apply for your Postal ID, Voter’s ID, and (if applicable) PWD IDs. This is what you’ll need:
- Newly issued cedula (see above), and
- An accomplished application form (given at barangay office)
Again, done in another 10 minutes, (if you don’t have negative records)!
Cost: Free (usually) to PHP 100.00 depending on barangay.
Validity: 3-6 months
Where to go: Barangay Hall
Step 3: Get your Postal ID – Secondary ID
The Postal ID is a secondary ID you can use for anything that requires government-issued identification. Pro tip: This is the easiest to get so make sure to prioritize this one. It also has a privilege program that gets you freebies and discounts for certain brands and restaurants. Usually, it takes 15 to 30 days depending on your address (Metro Manila to provincial areas). These are the requirements:
- Two (2) accomplished copies of the application form
- Proof of identity (original and photocopy of your PSA/NSO birth certificate)
- Proof of address (Barangay Certificate/Clearance, see Step #2).
Cost: PHP 504.00
Validity: 3 years
Where to go: Your nearest post office (find out where to go here)
Step 4: Get your NBI Clearance – Secondary ID
Clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is formal assurance that you have no criminal record or cases filed against you in the Philippines. It’s an important document for employment or studying abroad. The lines are notoriously lengthy. But so long as you have no hits—that is, a namesake or criminal records—you should be able to breeze right through. Here’s how to go about it:
- Create an account on the NBI clearance website. Fill out the necessary info. Hit “Apply for Clearance.”
- You can choose which ID to present as validation during your appointment. You may opt to use your PSA/NSO Birth Certificate.
- Choose where to go for your appointment and your payment option, which will determine how much you have to pay.
- Take note of your Reference Number and amount to be paid. Accomplish payment.
- Head to the appointment you set with two (2) valid IDs—your chosen one, and one picture ID with a signature.
Validity: 1 year
Where to go: NBI Headquarters (depending on your application)
Step 5: Get or renew your driver’s license – Primary ID
You’ll need to have a student’s permit and should have waited at least one month since getting it. During that one month, you should have gone to driving school or learned to drive from a professional driver. Head to your nearest LTO branch and:
- Fill out the license application or renewal form.
- You’ll need a medical exam and certificate by any licensed physician. Usually, they have one on standby at the LTO.
- Go to the nearest LTO. Bring an original and photocopy of your PSA/NSO birth certificate
Cost: PHP 650.00 (renewal) to 850.00 (new)
Validity: 5 years
Edukasyon PH Pro-Tips
Get ID Pictures in advance (and in bulk) for applications that require photos
Go to a nearby image studio and make sure you’re in a collared shirt. Earrings, hair accessories, and eyeglasses should be removed before photo taking. Ears should be visible and expression neutral, with both eyes open and mouth closed—you can smile, but no teeth or gums!
Get the following sizes: 1×1, 2×2, and passport size.
1. Print and fill out applications at home, or apply online (if applicable).
Take this shortcut so you’re one step ahead, and don’t have to fall in line for the forms at the government office you’re going to.
2. Photocopy your IDs, especially your birth certificate.
You will need so many copies of your birth certificate.
3. Go early in the morning to avoid long lines, but be prepared to wait.
Government offices are notorious for long lines and waiting areas. So head early in the morning to get it over with. Bring a book to keep you occupied. And a power bank for your gadgets. Eat breakfast as well, so you don’t get hungry during the wait. Keep an eye out for your valuables as well while idling in line.
And there you have it! Congratulations on adulting. You’ve officially gotten the easy valid IDs! Ready for more? Head over to Part 2 of our Government ID series where we tackle pre-employment requirements and the Philippine passport!