What Counts As a Valid ID in the Philippines?

Scott Garceau once observed that Filipinos have this obsession with ID photos. He recounted an experience he had while attending classes at the University of the Philippines. His erstwhile professor had required his students to submit their 1×1 photos for the class roster, so Garceau made his way to a photo booth to have his made…..only to find out that he had to turn in an existing 1×1 photo of himself before he could have his picture taken. Ridiculous, I know.


Such an incident, of course, is an extreme case, but there’s no denying the necessity of some means of identification as you go through life. From visa applications to remittance claims, you’ll need to present at least one acceptable ID if you want things to go smoothly.


Now, the criteria for valid ID’s differ throughout the world, but since our blog caters mainly to people who either send money to or receive such in the Philippines, let’s focus on which identification cards would pass muster in this country:

Philippine Passport

Image Credit: abbeylieve


Valid Primary ID’s:

  • Philippine Passport from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA);
  • Driver’s License from the Land Transportation Office (LTO);
  • Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID;
  • SSS UMID Card  from the Social Security System;
  • GSIS eCard from the Government Services and Insurance Corporation;
  • Digitized Postal ID from the Philippine Postal Corporation;
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID;
  • Overseas Worker’s Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID;
  • Diplomat ID from the Philippine Embassy;
  • iDOLE Card from the Department of Labor and Employment;
  • Senior Citizen ID from the appropriate Local Government Unit (LGU);
  • Voter’s ID from the Commission on Election (COMELEC);
  • GOCC and Government Office ID from the appropriate branch or agency of government (e.g., PNP, AFP, DENR, DepED, etc.);
  • Alien Certificate of Registration or Immigrant Certificate of Registration

Valid Secondary ID’s (these are the ones you can use to prove your identity in the absence of the ones listed above):

  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance;
  • Police/PNP Clearance;
  • Barangay Clearance;
  • Cedula or Community Tax Certificate;
  • Voter’s Certification;
  • Government Service Record;
  • School ID (for active students);
  • Elementary or High School Form 137 for active students;
  • Transcript of Records from University or College attended;
  • Land Title;
  • Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Marriage Contract;
  • PSA Birth Certificate;
  • Seaman’s Book;
  • Old Postal ID;
  • Philhealth Card from Philhealth;
  • Persons with Disabilities (PWD) ID from the appropriate Local Government Unit (LGU);
  • TIN (Tax Identification Number) Card from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR);
  • Firearms License Card from the Philippine National Police (PNP);
  • Philippine Leisure Retirement Authority (PLRA) visa or ID;
  • Company ID’s issued by Private Entities or Institutions Registered With, Supervised By, or Regulated By the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Securities and Exchange Commisssion (SEC), or the Insurance Commission (IC);
  • Alumni ID

Having to apply for and to renew government-issued ID’s can entail a lengthy process, but it does have its merits. For one, the sheer amount of forms, documents, and that ever present passport photo required ensures that the ID holder’s identity has been sufficiently verified. Save for some very shrewd forgers or counterfeits, not just anyone can simply claim your identity and all the benefits that come with it.

Philippine ID

Image Credit: PSST!


The same goes for your loved ones. Regardless of whether they would actually use their license to, say, drive or practice their PRC-regulated profession, having a valid ID on them at all times would at least make sure that they’ll get their iRemit remittances in the quickest, safest, and easiest way.

Serena Estrella

Serena joined Remit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.


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