Eighteen is every individual’s milestone – a gateway to an important period of serious legal associations and benefits. This age marks the beginning of official adulthood, when an individual considers what he can and can’t get away with. At 18, everyone is obligated to acquire all basic age requirements, which includes acquiring clearances and ID cards.
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But among the hordes of documentary requirements that an individual needs, the clearances – barangay, police, and NBI – are among the most confusing. Some people find it difficult to identify which one they need and for what purpose. To make it easier, we clarified the different purpose for each one and listed the steps to take to secure one.
What are the differences between barangay clearance, police clearance, and NBI clearance?
The barangay clearance, National Police Clearance, and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance are used in very different terms. Maybe these differences may seem blurred for some people, but these were actually very clear-cut, if you really look into it. To understand it better, we defined the different clearances specifically for you.
A barangay clearance is a government-issued document used to vouch for a person’s good moral character within the barangay. This clearance is necessary in finding out whether there have been cases filed against a person within the barangay. This clearance covers the barangay, though it remains a prerequisite when gathering the documentary requirement for a Mayor’s Permit. It can be applied for at the barangay hall where the individual resides and cannot be used as a basis for proof of no-criminal record in other barangay. The validity period is usually stated in the document, though.
The National Police clearance is yet another document that certifies a person’s good character based on the PNP database in the locality. This document is typically used as a pre-employment requirement. Once issued, a police clearance proves that a person doesn’t hold any criminal or derogatory record (except for civil cases filed against a person) in his name at the place where it was issued. This clearance has a unique QR code that authenticates its six-month validity.
The NBI clearance is a document that tells if there were criminal cases filed against an individual in any court of the Philippines. Unlike the first two, this document clears a person from criminal cases (on any stage, whether it is with the prosecutor or even if it is still under investigation) not only within a certain locality, but over the entire Philippines. Like the police clearance, the NBI clearance cannot tell if there are civil cases filed against the person applying for it.
Why do you need clearance certificates?
Each clearance has a different scope and purposes. Whether it is the barangay clearance, the police clearance, or the NBI clearance, there are specific instances when each one is required. Here are some of them.
If you are looking to secure a barangay clearance, then you probably need it for any of the following:
- Job Requirement
- Bank Requirement (you are a resident or stating your address)
- NBI Clearance
- Police Clearance
- Postal ID
- UMID Card
- Driver’s License
- Business Requirement
- Indigent Certification for Philhealth
If you are checking out the steps to get a police clearance, chances are, you need it for the following reasons:
- Local employment
- Overseas travel
- COMELEC requirement
- PNP requirement
- AFP enlistment
- Naturalization requirement
- Firearms license application requirement
Securing an NBI clearance most probably means you are looking to use it as:
- Employment requirement
- Business requirement
- AFP enlistment requirement
- Visa application
- International travel
What do you need when applying for a clearance certificate?
Whether you are applying for a barangay clearance, a police clearance, or an NBI clearance, there are documents that you must prepare.
Here’s a list of the documentary requirements for each type:
If you find yourself in need of a copy of a barangay clearance to process a legal or financial document, then you must prepare the following
- Filed-out application form
- Recent Community Tax Certificate (CTC)/Cedula
- Payment for fees
The PNP requires two original and valid IDs that bear the applicant’s complete name, clear photo, and signature. Here are some IDs that you can present when applying for a police clearance.
- Alien Certificate of Registration
- Birth certificate
- GSIS ID
- Driver’s license
- IBP ID
- OFW ID
- PhilHealth ID
- PNP ID
- Postal ID
- PRC ID
- School ID with registration form
- Senior citizen ID
- SSS ID/UMID
- TIN ID
- Voter’s ID
If only one valid ID is available, a certified true copy of your birth certificate (with original official receipt) will do.
When applying for an NBI clearance, at least two valid government-issued IDs need to be presented. Refer to the following list of valid IDs:
- Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID)
- Driver’s license
- New Postal ID
- Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) card
- Birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
- Voter’s ID
- PhilHealth ID
- Tax Identification Number (TIN) ID
- Alien Certificate of Registration
- Senior Citizen ID
- Police clearance
- Valid School ID
How to apply for a clearance certificate?
Applying for a clearance certificate does not necessarily have to be a tedious and confusing process. With this step-by-step guide, learn how to go about securing clearance certificates in the simplest and fastest way possible.
How to secure a barangay clearance?
Step 1. To get a barangay clearance, visit your barangay secretary at the barangay hall. There might be a brief interview about your residence and the purpose of requesting for a barangay clearance.
Step 2. Prepare an ID or proof of billing that shows your actual address in that barangay, along with a cedula or community tax certificate.
Step 3. Fill out the form from the barangay secretary, have your picture and thumb mark and were attached to the document.
Step 4. Submit the form and the supporting requirements, then wait for the assessment.
Step 5. Pay the processing fee and wait for the release of your Barangay Clearance.
How to get a police clearance?
Step 1. Register for an account via the National Police Clearance System (NPCS) website.
- To do so, click the Register button, tick all the boxes to agree with the Terms and Conditions, click Next, then click the ‘I Agree’ button.
- Complete all the required information, agree to the Terms and Conditions, and click Register.
- Check your email for the confirmation message from the NPCS. You should also receive an email asking you to verify your account.
- Click on the verification link, and once redirected to the NPCS website, log in to your account.
Step 2. Set an appointment online.
- Sign in to your online account with your registered email address and password, then click ‘Sign In.’
- Edit your Profile by clicking the ‘Edit your Profile’ button and filling out the online form. Once done, click ‘Save Profile.’
- Click the Clearance Application button, pick the nearest police station and your preferred date and time (AM or PM), then click Next.
- Click the ‘Land Bank of the Philippines’ button and then the ‘Save Appointment’ button.
- Note the reference number which you will need when processing the payment for the police clearance.
Step 3. Pay For the Police Clearance Fee by tapping on the ‘Pay to Landbank’ button. You will be redirected to the online portal using your account with Landbank, GCash, or BancNet.
Step 4. Go to your selected police station on your scheduled appointment with two valid IDs, your reference number, and the official receipt of your police clearance payment.
Step 5. You will have to have your photo, fingerprints, and digital signature taken and run through a verification process to check your biometrics and criminal records on the PNP database. Once completed, your police clearance will be released.
How can OFWs apply for an NBI clearance?
Step 1. Secure an NBI Clearance Application Form (NBI Form No. 5) from the nearest Philippine Embassy/Consulate or have a relative in the Philippines secure it from the Mailed Clearance Section of the NBI Office in UN Avenue, Manila.
Step 2. With the completely filled-out form, go to the Embassy/Consulate or nearest police station for fingerprint impression taking.
Step 3. Submit the form along with a photocopy of your passport data page and a 2×2 picture in white background, taken within the last three (3) months.
Step 4. Once done, you will be required to register online at the NBI website and secure a Reference Number/NBI’s code of retrieval for your application.
Step 5. Enclose a money order or a bank draft with the appropriate amount made payable to the NBI Director with the completed form and support document (including the Reference Number) and mail it to the address listed below:
Mailed Clearance Section
3rd Floor, NBI Clearance Bldg.,
UN Avenue, Ermita, Manila
Step 1. For applicants with NBI Clearance Certificates dated 2011 and beyond, it needs to be authenticated by the Information and Communication Technology Division (ICTD), so you need to follow steps 3-5 for New Applicants.
Step 2. For applicants with NBI issued from 2014 to present, skip the online registration, and submit a photocopy of your passport data page and a 2×2 picture in white background, taken within the last three (3) months along with the old NBI Clearance Certificate and mail it to the same address listed above.
Step 3. Make sure your NBI Clearance has the embossed NBI dry seal. Also affix your right thumb mark on the space provided for upon receipt of the NBI clearance certificate,
Note that the processing of the NBI Clearance certificate takes a maximum of five working days.