A couple of weeks ago I had to claim some work documents, for which I needed two valid government IDs. All I had was my passport because I lost both my SSS and TIN IDs some years ago, thanks to a pickpocket (damn that person!). And since I was leaving my job, I no longer had my company ID either.

I started my research on how to go about replacing these essentials, and I was helped tremendously by several bloggers who listed the steps needed. As my way of paying it forward, I’m sharing these tips now with you.

In a twisted way, you need a valid ID to get a valid ID. (I know, right). If you want your SSS ID to be replaced, you still need to present two other forms of identification.  So here’s the way to work around it:

NSO Birth Certificate >> NBI Clearance >> SSS/UMID

How to Get Your NSO Birth Certificate:

1. Go to https://nsohelpline.com/

2. Click Order Now, choose Birth Certificate, select Others under Request Purpose, and indicate “for ID purposes”.

3. Choose Yes if you’ve applied for this before, No if you haven’t.

4. Fill out the required fields in the form and just make sure all the names (especially spelling) and other data are accurate.

5. Follow the rest of the instructions, including those for payment, which will be done online. (The fee is P300).

This was literally the easiest thing to do. I submitted my request on a Saturday,  and by Tuesday morning they already delivered my NSO Authenticated birth certificate. On to the next step!

How to Apply for NBI Clearance Online:

1. Follow the instructions and fill out the required fields at http://nbi.njis-ph.com/

  *Take note of the registration code that will be generated after submitting the form.  You will need this.

2. Print the form (in triplicate, to be sure) once you’re done.

NOTE: If you don’t have a printer, you can save the form you filled out online as a picture file, and print it elsewhere. (To save the form, click Print when prompted, then select the Microsoft XPS Document Writer as the printer name. This will allow you to save the file.)

It’s also possible that, in the excitement of completing the form, you accidentally click Done because you don’t have a printer installed. You can access your completed form through http://www.nbiclearance.com/nbi-clearance-print-application-form-online . Just enter the registration code you noted in step 2.

3. Prepare P115 for payment since in our case we only need the clearance for local ID purposes. 

4. Proceed to the nearest NBI Satellite Office with your printed forms, valid ID (I only had my passport) and the NSO Birth Certificate. http://www.nbi.gov.ph/  has the most updated list of satellite offices.
In my case, I went to SM Center Las Piñas. It’s best to get there early so you will be done before lunch.  I got there at 6:30 AM and I was already the 70th in line.

At SM Las Piñas, you will line up near the parking lot of the mall towards the entrance, beneath a building archway, so you will at least be in the shade. They also have separate lines for walk-in applicants and online applicants, so if you come with your pre-printed forms you are already a step ahead.

There is also an office at the Muntinlupa Victory Center, but if you have other options in the South, by all means avoid going there.  It is literally in the middle of a marketplace, and you line up on a sidewalk that is so narrow it can barely fit two people.  I tried to go there at 6 AM (before ultimately deciding to go to SM Las Piñas), and the line was already going twice around the block, with about 150 people waiting.  This office also apparently has a 500-person processing cutoff per day.

5.  Wait for the officials to give you a number. Around 9 AM someone will go down the line and write this down on your application form.  

6. Follow the directions which are posted on the windows.  The line started moving around 9:30.  The first step is payment (always prepare the exact amount to minimize the hassle). As an online applicant, you get to skip the second window which is labeled BioData (although to be honest I don’t know what they do there. Do they check your manually filled out forms?) and go straight to the fingerprint scanning, then the photo (the chair is just in front of the last window, in view of everybody else).

7. Exit the area and wait for your name to be called once your clearance is ready. 

By 10:30, I was done with my duly approved NBI clearance and off to have my first meal of the day at the mall. Note that at no point was I required to present any of my IDs to complete this. I won’t tell you not to prepare anything when you get your clearance. As with any government procedure, it is always best to overprepare. You never know when they will change something up, and it is no use to ever argue or rationalize your way out of any discussion. It’s not worth the extra stress.

You will want to bookmark this site: http://www.nbiclearance.com/ 
It’s one of the most useful sites for anything you may want to know about applying for your NBI Clearance.

How to Apply for Replacement SSS ID:

And now, the finale. Armed with my passport and NBI Clearance, I now have two valid IDs! Yay! I can now apply for my replacement SSS ID.

1.  Go to  https://www.sss.gov.ph/sss/Section_View and download the E4 and R6 forms.

2. Fill them out online or print them and fill them out manually. Prepare 3 copies of the E4 and 4 copies of the R6 forms.
I lost my SSS ID (the old one that looks like a driver’s license), but when you apply for a replacement, you will get the Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID).  There is a space for the Common Reference Number (which they will assign you, so leave it blank). There is also a space for your SSS number, which you will need to complete.  Your SSS number is different from your CRN.

3.  For replacement SSS IDs, you also need to prepare a notarized affidavit of loss. You will present this with your other application forms at the SSS office.

.  Proceed to the nearest SSS office. The Sucat branch, where I went, is right across from the entrance to BF and SM BF. Be prepared to line up outside the office, with no shade and exposed to all the fumes. I got there at 6:30 AM and there were already about 25 people ahead of me.

5. Once the office opens (at 7 AM), tell the guard you are there for a replacement SSS ID. He will give you a number for the counter that handles replacement IDs.  There are separate counters for first-time application and other transactions, so make sure you clearly state your purpose to the guard and line up at the correct counter.

6. Present your documents and two IDs to the SSS person after your number is called. She will sign off on the document and direct you to the bank to pay the replacement fee.

7. The bank (BPI) is just beside the Sucat SSS office so you only have to walk a couple of steps to pay the fee.  Luckily I was ready to pay by 9 AM so the bank was already open and I was 7th in line.

8. Present your  copies of the R6 form to the officer (not the teller) and have it receipted.

9. Pay the P300 replacement fee to the teller. 

10. Go back to the SSS office and tell the guard you will line up for the photocapture.  He will direct you to a different area for your photo and fingerprinting.

11.  Present your forms to the person in charge and wait until your name is called. Once it’s your turn, you will complete the fingerprint scanning and have your picture taken.  (I asked the person if it was ok to smile – he said yes, just as long as no teeth would show. Heh.) The SSS person will also encode the data from your forms on their database.

12. Verify that all the information encoded in the database is correct and get the claim stub. Presto! You will just have to wait 2-3 months to have your UMID delivered to your door.  In the meantime, you can keep the claim stub and use it as reference in case you need any proof that you have an SSS ID.  But for the moment you already have your two valid IDs (Passport and NBI clearance) so you’re already covered.

And yes, after all these lengthy steps, I was able to claim my final work documents successfully.

Here are a few other tips that hopefully will help you.

1. Always choose the online option.

If you will notice, every procedure I listed above always starts with going to the website.  Always, always go the online route. Can you imagine the hassle of going to a government office, lining up just to get a form, then having to fill everything out by hand, while you are in line? Skip it! Go online always.

A lot of people complain that the NBI offices don’t differentiate between online and walk-in applicants anyway, so why bother? (Note that as mentioned above, SM Las Piñas does). But worst case, even if they don’t, at least you already have your filled out form versus  having to line up for it and having to write everything down. And definitely at the SSS offices, your pre-printed forms will save you a lot of headaches.

2. Go there early.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that if you arrive at any government office at 6 AM, you will not be the first in line by a long shot. But if you line up early, even if you are just waiting around, you will be done in the morning as well.  The later you arrive, the more people will already be there. And remember, this number grows exponentially, not proportionately.  Meaning, if you arrive at 7AM, it doesn’t mean you will finish one hour after the person who gets there at 6.  You will finish much much later because of the queuing and accumulated bottlenecks. Imagine if you got there at 10, 11 or noon.  Kiss your day goodbye.

3. Be prepared to wait.

As in just sit around (or stand, if there is no actual waiting area) before the line even starts moving.  But as stated in 2 above, once the line does start moving, everything will happen quite quickly.

Other people recommend going with someone else so you have someone to talk to.  I myself prefer going alone because I need all my energy for keeping my sanity while waiting in an unmoving line for 4 hours. I cope by going into a zen hibernate mode.  (This is why you will notice this post has no pictures whatsoever.) While in line for my NBI clearance, the two ladies behind me did not stop talking. Honest to blog. And they drove me crazy. Which leads me to my next tip.

4. Bring your iPod, phone, a book or a magazine.

You will wait for hours so bring some diversion with you.

On a sad note, I noticed when I was lining up for my NBI clearance that I was the only one in a line of 100 people who brought a book.  No one else was reading anything, not even a magazine. It seems people would rather stare straight ahead than read a book.

5. Overprepare.

Bring a black pen with you.  You don’t want to have to borrow this from someone else. Print everything the websites tell you to print, and in triplicate. Bring the exact amount of cash for payments, plus extra.  Bring all your IDs, even if they end up not asking you for them.  And as I mentioned above, never put yourself in a position where you have to negotiate or discuss with any government employee. You will never get anywhere. Everything is in black and white in their world, and they don’t look at it as their job to help you or to go the extra mile. Your job is to follow instructions to the letter and minimize any discussions or any situation where you have to ask them for anything.

I hope this post will help you if you’re ever in a similar situation, and make your life a little bit easier.

Good luck!