A Guide On How To Get Your Voter's ID In The Philippines

You can only get a voter's ID in the Philippines if you are a registered voter and if you have completed your biometrics at a local office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec). A complete biometrics means the Comelec has your photograph, fingerprints, and signature. No biometrics means you won't be able to get your voter's ID.

Why is it important to get a voter's ID in the Philippines?
Before anything else, it's worth mentioning here that a voter's ID is not a requirement for voting. Even if you don't have the card, you will still be able to vote. The biggest benefit of having a voter's ID is the fact that it's one of the valid IDs that are recognized for identification purposes by government offices and private institutions like banks and organizations. You can present it to prove your identity in almost all government transactions. For instance, it's accepted by the Department of Foreign Affairs if you apply for a passport in the Philippines.

How do you register as a voter?
Well, first of all, you need to be at least 18 years old. If you are within the right age, simply go to a Comelec office near you and tell them that you want to register. They will guide you on what to do next. But before you troop to the registration office, make sure that you have a valid identification document with you.

Here's an updated list of the IDs accepted by a Comelec office for voter registration purposes:
1. Current employee's ID containing the signature of the employer or an authorized representative
2. Student's ID or library card containing the signature of the appropriate school authority
3. Driver's license
5. Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID
7. Senior Citizen's ID
8. National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance
9. Certificate of Confirmation issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
10. Social Security System (SSS) ID
11. Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) ID
12. Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) license
13) Person with Disability Discount ID

Please note that the cedula (Community Tax Certificate) and clearance from the Philippine National Police are not honored by the Comelec for voter registration purposes.

With your valid ID, go to the Comelec office and register. The whole process will take just a few minutes. You will fill up a form, answer questions by a Comelec employee, have your picture taken, have your thumb prints taken, and provide your signature. After completing your biometrics, the employee will inform you further details on when you will be able to get your voter's ID. Usually, you will be given a stub (a piece of paper) that you will present when you return to claim your voter's ID.

The processing time for the voter's ID differ from region to region. Some voters claim that they are able to get their IDs within weeks, some within months, while others say that it took years before they are able to get their ID. And then there are some who say they never got their ID. With that said, it's best that you regularly return to the Comelec's office where you registered to check on the status of your ID.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting A Voter's ID In The Philippines

What are the information printed on the voter's ID card?
The card will contain the following information: the name and current address of the registered voter, his date of birth, his gender (male, female), his photograph, his thumb print, his precinct number, his voter's identification number or VIN, his signature, and the signature of the chairman of the Election Registration Board.

Can I check online if my voter's ID is ready and available?
No. As far as we know, the Comelec doesn't have a system wherein you can check online if your ID has already been processed and ready for pick-up. Your only option is go to the office where you registered and inquire if your ID is available and ready. Don't forget to bring with you the stub given to you when you registered as a voter. If you lost or misplaced the stub, tell the election officer that you lost it.

Where can I get my voter's ID?
Go to the office where you registered. As far as we know, you can't claim the ID in a different location as the place you registered. For instance, if you registered in Makati City, you can't claim the ID in other cities such as Quezon City.

How long does it take before I'll be able to get my voter's ID?
Again, this seems to be on a case to case basis. Some were able to get their cards within a year, some took more than five years, and some were never able to claim their card. Whether you registered in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, or the years before, your best option is to visit the local Comelec office near you and inquire about the status of your ID. Determination and persistence might get you somewhere. Who knows, those people whose duty it is to process your card may be sitting on their butts because you haven't bugged them enough. :)

How can I check my voter's ID status?
Go to the office where you registered and inquire about your card. Don't waste your time contacting them through their website because they never reply. We know because we tried. Just visit the Comelec branch where you completed your biometrics. There's really no other way of checking the status of your card. As we mentioned earlier, the Comelec doesn't have an online voter's ID verification system.

How about voter's ID release in 2016?
Well, we still haven't heard anything from the Comelec saying they have new batches of IDs for release. They aren't even updating us on the status of the cards. So again, what you need to do is go to the place where you completed your biometrics and ask.