December 07, 2018

Expats Guide to Valid IDs in the Philippines

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  • A lot of important transactions and major applications require at least two identity document (ID) card. Having an ID verifies and protects a person, especially when making credit card purchases, opening bank accounts, employment, voting, and leasing.

    There is a number of government-issued IDs that are nationally accepted as valid, along with the National ID that is yet to be fully implemented in 2019.

    Also read: National ID for PH Locals and Resident aliens to be launched in December 2018

    Postal ID


    Issued by: Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost)
    Fee: Php 504
    Applicant: Filipino Citizen and foreign residents with Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) or has been living in the country for over 6 months
    Apply through: Onsite. See the PHLPost website for locations.

    The postal ID is a government-issued ID to show as a valid proof of identity and address. Currently, it is the easiest and fastest ID to obtain with a validity of three years.

    Requirements for application include two copies of duly-accomplished PID application form, valid ID as proof of identity, billing statement as proof of address, marriage certificate if applicable, and passport for foreign residents.

    Also read: New and improved Postal ID now a primary document for passport application



    Issued by: Department of Transportation (DoT)
    Fee: Regular Php 950 / Expedite Php 1,200
    Applicant: Filipino Citizen
    Apply through: Online schedule. Onsite application. Visit the Passport Application Website.

    Primarily required for traveling via airplane, the Passport also serves as a valid ID in many applications including bank accounts, loan, and other government IDs. Being the preferred ID for its lengthy validity of 10 years, the Department of Transportation (DoT) receives a number of applications a day.

    Application and scheduling are done online through, and only needs an accomplished application form, birth certificate, government issued ID, and other supporting documents.

    Also read: Passport Application 101: Requirements to Get a Philippine Passport

    Voter’s ID


    Issued by: Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
    Fee: Free
    Applicant: Filipino Citizen of legal age
    Apply through: Onsite. Visit local COMELEC Office or the COMELEC website

    It is within the rights of the citizen of every nation to choose the country’s leaders. However, to exercise this right, one must be a registered voter. The requirements include being a Filipino citizen of 18 years old or above, and a resident of the Philippines one year before an upcoming election.

    Driver’s License


    Issued by: Land Transportation Office (LTO)
    Fee: Regular Php 950 / Expedite Php 1,200
    Applicant: Philippine Resident, Driver
    Apply through: Onsite application. Visit LTO website

    Issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the driver’s license allows its user to legally drive a vehicle on Philippine roads. There are three types: Student, which is valid for six months, and the Non-Professional and Professional licenses, which are valid for five years.

    The requirement for a driver’s license is to be above 17 years old, physically and mentally able to operate a vehicle, drug-free, and has passed the written and driving exam. Foreigners can convert their license to a Philippine driver’s license 90 days after arrival in the country.

    Also read: Driver’s License Application

    SSS Unified Multi-Purpose Identification


    Issued by: Social Security System (SSS)
    Fee: None
    Applicant: Filipino Citizen
    Apply through: Online. Visit SSS website

    The Philippine Social Security System is the country’s social insurance program for Filipino employees. With a regular contribution, SSS provides services including disability, maternity, funeral and death benefits, salary loan, and retirement benefit.

    The application for an SSS number is only done once and is yours for life. Requirements include primary identification, such as a birth certificate or passport, marriage certificate, and birth certificates of children if any. Afterward, fill out an E-6 form acquired from any SSS office to schedule for an ID photo capture to get an SSS UMID.

    Also read: SSS Mobile App Now Available

    PhilHealth ID

    IMAGE PhilHealth

    Issued by: Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)
    Fee: Php 50 (excluding the first quarter contribution)
    Applicant: Philippine Resident
    Apply through: Online. PhilHealth Website

    Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) was created as the National Health Insurance Program to provide Filipinos an access to health insurance coverage. Among the benefits of PhilHealth include diagnostic examinations, consultations, and medicines.

    The application for a PhilHealth could be done online through their website or in person at a Local Health Insurance Office (LHIO). Provide a latest 1×1 ID picture and two valid IDs. When applying in person, it is required to bring two copies of accomplished PhilHealth Member Registration Form.

    TIN Card

    Issued by: Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
    Fee: None
    Applicant: Philippine Resident
    Apply through: Employer

    Like the SSS number, the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is kept for life. The 9-digit number is assigned to a tax-paying employee as an identification and for filing tax returns and the like. An application is done by the employer unless the applicant is self-employed.

    When applying as a business, the requirements for a TIN number include a birth certificate, mayor’s permit, DTI Certificate of Business Name and if applicable, Professional Regulation Commission ID and Payment of Professional Tax Receipt (PTR).

    PRC ID


    Issued by: Professional Regulation Profession (PRC)
    Applicant: Professionals who passed the board exam
    Apply through: Online. PRC Website

    Many professions, such as doctors, engineers, architects or dentists, require a license as an evidence that they passed a rigorous exam. This is to give them the right to operate and practice their profession in the country.

    PWD ID


    Issued by: National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA)
    Applicant: Persons with Disabilities (PWD)
    Apply through: Onsite. National Council on Disability Affairs or DSWD Offices

    There are many benefits given to Persons with Disabilities, which include discounts on purchases, tax incentives, educational assistance, provisions for express lanes, and more. To verify for these benefits, the person must have the PWD ID.

    To register, the applicant or caregiver must go to the Mayor’s Office, the National Council on Disability Affairs or DSWD Offices and provide a barangay certificate, accomplished application form, two 1×1 ID picture, and a signed medical certificate issued by any licensed private, government clinic, or hospital-based physician.

    Senior Citizen ID


    Issued by: Office of Senior Citizens Affair
    Applicant: Filipino Citizen of 60 years of age or more
    Apply through: Onsite

    The Senior Citizen ID is the main identification of a Filipino Citizen aged 60 or more to enjoy the benefits stated under the Republic Act 9257 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003. These benefits include 20% discounts on purchases, 5% discount on utility bills, VAT (value-added-tax) exemption to all establishments, and special fare rate on transportation costs.

    Birth certificate, a 1×1 colored photo, and a valid ID are needed when applying at the local municipal’s Office of the Senior Citizens Affair.

    We hope this guide can help you on deciding which IDs you can apply for!

    Sources: PRCSSS websitePhilHealthLTO websiteCOMELECPHLPost

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