When I went to pay my voluntary SSS contributions, I also thought of applying for a Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID) since I was already in SSS anyway. So what’s a UMID? It’s as the name implies, a Philippine identity card which can be used when transacting with various government offices which include the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Pag-IBIG Fund (Home Development Mutual Fund). Based on my research, the UMID was introduced back in 2010.
Actually, I did not intend to get a UMID in the past as I already had several valid IDs. I did not see the need for an additional ID card. My ID holder is already bursting at the seams with so many cards. Also, I did not want to go through the hassle. Anyway, as I already mentioned, I was already in SSS so might as well apply for a UMID.
The process of applying is simple and only involves four easy steps. Here they are:
- Get the UMID Application form from the friendly SSS forms staff or the guard and fill it out.
- Proceed to the counter which processes the ID. The SSS staff evaluates the form and it’s very quick. They would just ask if you have already applied for a UMID in the past and check it in the computer. Application for the first time is free. Replacements are with a fee but I did not get to ask how much. Waiting your turn to be called takes longer than the actual evaluation.
- Have your picture taken. The photo needs to be as natural as possible. That means no eye glasses or contact lens, heavy makeup, fancy earrings. A subtle smile is okay. The ears should also be visible. I was wearing contact lenses at the time and I had to remove it which was a bummer. I did not have my contact lens case with me. I just removed my lenses and stuck them in my handkerchief. As expected, they were pretty much dried up and useless when I got home. So my tip for the contact lens wearers, wear your eye glasses when you apply for a UMID.
- Wait for the ID to be delivered to your home after two months.
I applied for the UMID on July 13. Less than two months after, I received a Registry Notice from the Philippine Post Office on September 8. I was initially quite disappointed because I thought that the UMID will be delivered to your doorstep.
Since I had work (still online), I asked my dear father to pick it up for me. He went to the main Post Office branch in Lawton and got there around 9 AM. He had to wait around three hours before he could claim my UMID. It turns out that the UMID is really delivered to your home. My parcel was with the postman and my Dad had to wait for him to get back to the Post Office from his daily mail delivery rounds. The postman arrived around noon. Apparently, the postman have been trying to deliver my mail every day for the past few days. It’s just that every time he reaches our home, he thought that there was always nobody home. An so, he had to just request the Post Office that I pick up the package. Well, I couldn’t blame him. We have accordion doors that are always closed so anyone looking from the outside would have the impression that there really is no one home. We’ve been victimized by theft before and we have become more careful since then.
Anyway, I finally have my UMID. Yay! Here is how it looks like:
Here are photos of the registry notice and the envelope.
So, getting a UMID card is very easy to do. I suggest that you get one for yourself especially if you do not have any valid IDs.
- For contact lens wearers, bring your lens case and cleaning solution with you as you need to remove them during when you get your photo taken. Or just wear your eye glasses.
- Always have someone at home so all your mail can be received.
- If you do get a registry notice instead of the UMID card delivered to your home, it means that you need to haul your bottom to the Post Office in Lawton and pick up your precious ID yourself. The registry notice serves as a claim stub of sorts. You need to claim your ID within 30 days or else it will be sent back to SSS or disposed of by the Post Office. They can hold the parcel upon request but it comes with a storage fee. Anyway, just claim it within 30 days and you’ll be all set.