The pandemic has changed us in many ways, such that we have to adapt to the so-called “new normal.” Getting documents from different government agencies has also changed a bit, so in this blog entry, I’d like to share the steps on how I renewed my Nbi Clearance during the pandemic or the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila.
What's an NBI Clearance
An NBI Clearance is a document that serves as personal identification and proof that a person doesn’t have any criminal records. It’s issued by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), an agency of the Philippine government in charge of criminal cases.
The NBI Clearance is often compared to a Police Clearance, which makes sense because the content of these documents is the same. However, note that a Police Clearance only clears one’s identity from criminal cases in the locality where he/she person lives at while the an NBI clearance is of national scope.
What is it for?
It has a multipurpose. For one, it's a common requirement if you want to get employed in the Philippines. Likewise, it's used for foreign employment and studies abroad. It's also a document required when getting a driver’s license, business permit, and others.
How to renew the NBI Clearance?
Due to the pandemic, most of the work has to be done online to lessen physical contact. However, note that the delivery service of renewed NBI Clearance is temporarily unavailable. With this, even if you’re only for renewal, you still have to go the nearest NBI branch to claim the document.
1. First, go to NBI Clearance’ website: https://clearance.nbi.gov.ph. If your previous NBI clearance was issued after 2014, click YES and click NO if not.
In my case, my previous clearance was issued in 2011, so I clicked NO to register as new account.
2. Register as new account. Choose your gender, civil status, and birth date. Fill in your first name, middle name, last name, mobile number, an ACTIVE email address (because all transactions will be sent to your email later), and preferred password (that you have to enter twice). Tick the “READ AND ACCEPT TERMS OF SERVICES” and the “CAPTCHA,” and then click SIGN UP.
3. At the top right of the screen, log in using the email address and password you entered earlier. It will initially bring you to an "APPLICANT INFORMATION" page.
4. ALL fields are required, so put all the information. After completing them, click SAVE INFORMATION to proceed.
5. Next, at the top right, click APPLY FOR CLEARANCE.
6. A confirmation box will pop up. Select your type of ID (an ID you can bring when you get the NBI Clearance), enter its ID number, and then click I Agree.
7. Next, select the NBI Branch, appointment schedule, and mode of payment.
a. Select the NBI branch that’s most convenient for you. It doesn’t have to be the branch of your birth place or work place. This is the branch where you have to physically get the document.
b. After selecting the branch, select the most convenient date and time (AM or PM) for you. The dates shaded with blue are available and with red if full/holiday.
c. Select your mode of payment: Bank over the counter, Online Bank, Bayad Center Outlets, Bayad Center Mobile App, ECPay, and 7-Eleven. This pop-up window will appear:
The base amount is 130 PHP + online fee of PHP 25. It should’ve been cheaper to pay at the NBI branch, but note that they don’t currently accept cash due to the pandemic.
8. Pay the NBI Clearance. The steps for payment depend on the mode of payment you select. In my case, I selected Online bank and BDO Internet Banking. I wrote a separate blog about that you can read here.
9. Once paid, keep a copy of the Reference Number. Without this, you won't be able to claim the NBI Clearance. To get the reference number, it's usually sent to your email or go to NBI Clearance’ website, and click Transactions.
Note: No need to print the reference number. You may simply take a screenshot of it then present it at the NBI branch.
10. Get the NBI Clearance. On the appointment day, go to your selected NBI branch. The things you need to bring are: first, the reference number and second, two valid government-issued IDs (note: it has to be two, not one). You may consider bringing the ID you entered online.
Again, remember that NO APPOINTMENT, NO ENTRY.
I went to Robinson’s Galleria branch located at the lower ground level of the mall. Actually, I arrived 20 minutes earlier than the appointment time at 12PM, but they accommodated me right away since there was no queue.
a. At the first window, show the reference number. After confirming, the personnel takes the photo, biometrics, and digital signature. For sake of sanitation, there's an alcohol provided. Use it if you want to.
b. Next, go to the window at the right for printing. Show again the reference number. With my experience the personnel printed it but I was the one who pulled the blue paper from the printer for zero contact.
c. Before leaving, check if all data are correct. You should get 2 copies: the original and the personal copy.
That’s it! Claiming the NBI Clearance was so quick it only took me 10 minutes! Pre-pandemic days, however, the NBI branch at Robinson’s Galleria used to be disorganized with an insane queue. If you really need to get one now, do so while it’s still relaxed!
- The validity of the NBI Clearance is good for one year. The validity date is at the top part of the paper.
- If the purpose of getting an NBI Clearance is to have a DFA Apostille on it, make sure you get the original copy (not the personal copy).
What's your experience with requesting government-issued documents during the pandemic?
Shelly Viajera Travel