How to Get NBI Clearance Online in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide

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NBI clearance. Yup, that dreaded government-issued piece of paper we are all compelled to get for the sake of our careers.

The thought of getting this mandatory document used to throw me in a bad mood, what with the long queues I had to endure for at least 3 hours just to submit the application form.

Fortunately, someone from the government realized the hell we were going through and introduced an online appointment system (thanks, technology!).

With a deeply ingrained idea of the NBI clearance application being a pain in the ass, I set out to prove whether this innovation could change my perception.

The result is a comprehensive guide to NBI clearance application and renewal for 2019 and beyond.

Renewing your old/expired NBI clearance? Read this: How to Renew NBI Clearance Online the Fastest and Easiest Way

Table of Contents

What is an NBI clearance?

NBI stands for the National Bureau of Investigation. It’s the local counterpart of the United States’ FBI.

The purpose of the NBI clearance is to prove you’re a citizen in good standing and that you never messed up with the law.

You’ll most likely get NBI clearance several times in your lifetime. This is because it has a validity period of only 1 year from the date of issuance.

NBI clearance is also a critical document required whenever you’re applying for a job (here or overseas), studying abroad, taking the civil service exam, or starting a business.

Perhaps you’re wondering what is the difference between NBI clearance and police clearance.

Both government-issued documents have the same purpose (i.e., to check whether there have been criminal cases filed against you). And with the introduction of the National Police Clearance System by the PNP, both now have nationwide coverage.

However, they differ in terms of how quickly they process a “HIT” on an applicant’s records and the content of the databases they’re using. For more information, read this: What is the difference between NBI clearance and police clearance?

Getting an NBI clearance used to be painstakingly slow. I remember when I was a teenager fresh out of college, it took me one day to apply for it and another to get the printed document.

Fortunately, things took a turn for the better.

In fact, in 2015, NBI announced that it no longer accepts walk-in registrations1. Hence, everyone is now required to apply and make appointments online to get an NBI clearance.

Moreover, a 2017 memorandum has changed the format of the NBI clearance2. It’s now a multi-purpose ID bearing the statement “Issued for whatever legal purpose,” meaning you no longer have to specify the purpose (travel/employment; local/overseas) of using the NBI clearance.

 

NBI Clearance Requirements.

For first-time applicants, including those who are for renewal but whose NBI clearances were issued before 2014 or whose previous clearances have a correction/error/changes in any field (even if the correction only involves a single letter), the following is required:

Any two (2) valid government-issued IDs.

Here’s a list of acceptable valid IDs for NBI clearance application3:

Reminders:

  • When applying online, you’ll be asked to enter the name of the two valid IDs you’ll bring on the day of your appointment. In the first box, choose your primary ID from the drop-down list provided. The second box, meanwhile, is where you can indicate the other valid ID (whether included in the previous drop-down list or not) which you’ll bring for verification purposes.
  • According to the NBI Clearance Help Desk, Company ID, Student ID, Barangay Clearance, and other non-government issued IDs are NOT accepted.
  • An NBI personnel will check the validity and authenticity of valid IDs so make sure yours is government-issued, original (not photocopied), and in good condition (bearing legible texts and your recent, recognizable photo).
  • Renewal applicants whose NBI clearances were issued in 2014 onwards should bring 1 valid government-issued ID and a copy of their previous clearance.
  • If you’re a fresh graduate who is a first-time job seeker, you need to present at least 1 valid ID as well as a Barangay Certificate showing that you’ve been living in your place of residence for at least 6 months and that you’re a first-time job seeker. We’ve written a separate guide on how you can get an NBI clearance for FREE as a fresh graduate/first-time job seeker. 
 

How to Apply for NBI Clearance Online: 6 Steps.

Time needed: 45 minutes.


Getting your NBI clearance through the new online application system is pretty straightforward. It’s like applying for your Philippine passport, but relatively easier.

Let’s go through all the steps one by one:

  1. Register at the NBI Clearance Online Services website.


    Go to the NBI Clearance Online Services website.

    Since you’re applying for a new NBI clearance and not renewing an old one, tick the box that corresponds to “NO” next to the question that asks “DO YOU HAVE AN OLD NBI CLEARANCE?”
    Fill out the registration form.

    Take note that the system doesn’t accept special characters. Hence, if you have a hyphenated first name or surname, leave out the hyphen during registration. Simply inform the personnel on the day of your appointment about the hyphen so it can be included before your NBI clearance is printed out.

    Moreover, NBI strictly follows its “one email = one user” policy. It means you can only use one email when creating a new account.
    Ensure that all personal details you’ve entered are complete and correct.

    Tick the box that says ‘Read and Accept Terms of Services’. Finally, click Sign Up.how to get nbi clearance 1

  2. Log in to your account and complete the registration process.


    After the initial registration, sign in using the email and password you entered during registration.

    You will be taken to the “Applicant Information” page where you’ll be asked to enter additional personal details such as middle name, civil status, birthplace, address, etc.

    Provide all the requested information. The system only recognizes letters and spaces. Therefore, avoid using commas and periods when filling out the form.

    Once you’re done, click the “Save Information” button at the bottom of the page.how to get nbi clearance 2

  3. Secure an appointment with the NBI.


    After saving your personal details, click the “Apply for Clearance” button at the top of the screen (if you’re using a mobile phone) or upper right corner of the page (for desktop or laptop users).

    A pop-up window will appear asking you for the valid IDs you’ll bring for verification. You must bring at least two valid IDs as supporting documents on the day of the appointment.

    Click “I Agree” to proceed to the next page.

    Choose your preferred NBI clearance center. You can select the main branch at UN Avenue, Manila, or any NBI branch nearest to your home or office. Fortunately, there are numerous branches located in Manila and all over the country so you’ll never run out of choices.

    In case you already paid the fee and you want to process your NBI clearance in another branch different from what you’ve originally chosen here, you will be required to call the original branch and request for your records to be transferred to the new NBI clearance branch of your choice. Without a proper endorsement, you can’t proceed to any branch to process your application.

    After choosing your preferred NBI branch from the drop-down list provided, select your appointment date and time (AM or PM). Boxes shaded with blue indicate vacant slots.

    Please be careful when choosing your appointment date because you can no longer change or reschedule it once you already pay the NBI clearance fee. In case you’re already paid and won’t make it on your appointment date, NBI will still give you another 15 days to proceed to the NBI clearance branch of your choice and complete your application.how to get nbi clearance 3

  4. Pay the NBI Clearance fee.


    In summary, here are the available payment methods you can choose from:

    Bank Over The Counter: Pay cash over the counter to any bank like BDO, Metrobank, Chinabank, Landbank, RCBC, Eastwest Bank, Union Bank, Security Bank, PNB, etc.

    Online Bank: Pay the fees through online banking partners such as BDO Internet Banking, BPI Express Online, Unionbank EON, etc.

    Bayad Center Outlets: Pay to any Bayad Center outlets or any partner outlets like Cebuana Lhullier, LBC, Villarica Pawnshop, Waltermart, Robinsons, SM Savemore, etc.

    Bayad Center Mobile: Pay using the Bayad Center app which you can download via the Google Play Store or the Appstore.

    ECPay: Includes all ECPay partners like RD Pawnshop, Petron Corporation, Expresspay Inc., and many others.

    7-Eleven: Make the payment by going to any 7-Eleven branch near you.

    Here are the steps to pay the NBI clearance fee:

    On the same page (see the previous step), select the payment option you prefer.

    As soon as you choose a payment method, a pop-up window will appear to provide instructions on how to pay the fee through the payment channel you’ve selected.

    Click “Proceed” to go to the next step.

    You will then be shown a summary of your transaction, including the NBI clearance fee. As of this writing, a multi-purpose NBI clearance costs Php 130.  An additional fee of Php 25 is added for the use of the e-payment service.

    Depending on the payment channel you’ve chosen, clicking the “Proceed to Payment” button will either direct you to an online banking portal or to another pop-up box showing a set of alphanumeric characters that will serve as your reference number.

    Don’t forget to write down or take a screenshot of this reference number. You need this reference number when paying the NBI clearance fee. It will also serve as your gate pass when entering the NBI clearance center.

    To check the status of your application, click on “Transactions” from the menu. It will lead you to a page showing your reference number and information on whether the payment has been successfully processed or not.

    After paying the fees, check your email for payment confirmation. You can also go back to the Transactions page of the NBI Clearance website to see if the status of your application has been changed from “Pending” to “Paid.”

    Print the application form. If you’re using a mobile phone, you won’t see the button to print the application form unless you resize the browser window to the size of the phone screen. Take note that printing the form is not mandatory.

    If you don’t have a printer at home, simply write down your reference number or take a screenshot of it using your mobile phone and present it to the NBI personnel on the day of your appointment.

    Bring the application form (or a copy of your reference number) and your valid IDs on the day of the appointment. You’re now ready to have your photo and fingerprint biometrics captured.how to get nbi clearance 4

  5. Proceed to the NBI Clearance center to have your photo and fingerprint biometrics captured.


    Go to your chosen NBI clearance center on the day of the appointment.

    Don’t forget to bring the requirements, most importantly the application form/reference number. A security guard or NBI personnel will be ready to assist you.

    Since you’re done with the application, you can go straight to the encoding station where your biometrics and photograph will be taken.how to get nbi clearance 5

  6. Claim your NBI clearance.


    As long as there’s no “hit” (meaning you don’t have a namesake who is involved in some suspicious activity), your NBI clearance will be ready for release in just a few minutes.

    Otherwise, you will be asked to return after a few days so they can clear any anomaly in your application.

    Renewing your old/expired NBI clearance? Read this: How to Renew NBI Clearance Online the Fastest and Easiest Wayhow to get nbi clearance 6

 

Tips and Warnings.

1. NBI only accommodates applicants with a valid online appointment.

Any person applying for an NBI clearance must secure an online appointment first or they won’t be accommodated.

Online appointments can also be done right inside the NBI main office on UN Avenue. If you don’t have an Internet connection, just got to this office, connect through their public wi-fi, make an appointment, and get your clearance on the same day.

2. Unless you’re applying from abroad, you can’t get an NBI clearance in the Philippines without a personal appearance.

NBI can’t also process your application through an authorized representative as your latest picture and biometrics are required for their database.

3. Never go to the NBI Clearance Center on the day of your appointment without bringing valid ID/s.

NBI strictly implements a “No ID, No Clearance” policy.

4. The NBI clearance is not a valid ID for the Philippine passport application.

It only serves as a supporting document that you can present to the consular officer for further verification. For a list of valid government-issued IDs for the Philippine passport application, please refer to this guide.

5. Since the new NBI clearance is now “multi-purpose,” the green NBI clearance for the purpose of overseas employment or travel abroad no longer exists.

The one currently issued can be used for all purposes, whether locally or abroad.

6. There is no age requirement for the NBI clearance application.

This means all Filipinos or foreigners, regardless of age, can apply for it.

7. Fresh graduates, specifically the first-time job applicants, can now apply for NBI clearance for free.

This is thanks to the Republic Act No. 11261 (First Time Job Seekers Assistance Act) signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 10, 2019.

The NBI Clearance website has been updated recently to accommodate fresh graduates or first-time job seekers who want to avail of the NBI clearance for free. Read our new and updated guide to learn how to apply. 

8. Jaywalkers who refuse to settle their penalties will get A “HIT” on their NBI clearance.

As part of their effort to prevent the increasing cases of jaywalking that often result in road accidents, the Metropolitan Manila Development Agency (MMDA) recently revealed that the names of jaywalkers who disregard their tickets will be submitted to the NBI alarm list4, resulting in a “HIT” which prolongs the release of their NBI clearances should they apply for one. 

To avoid getting a “HIT,” jaywalkers who have been apprehended by MMDA should EITHER pay the fine of Php 500 or render community service.

Related: How to Get NBI Clearance if You Have a Pending Case

 

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How can I get an NBI clearance in the Philippines if I’m a foreigner?

2. I got a “hit” on my NBI clearance. What should I do?

3. How can I get my NBI clearance if I’m abroad?

4. How can I verify if my NBI clearance is fake or valid?

5. I’ve already used/submitted both copies of my NBI clearance. Can I request for additional copies?

6. How long does it take to get NBI clearance?

7. There’s a typographical error/misspelling/wrong information on my NBI clearance. How can I correct it and get a new one?

8. I have a pending case. Can I still get an NBI clearance?

9. A blotter report was filed against me. Will it cause any problem if I apply for an NBI clearance?

10. I don’t have a middle name. How can I apply for an NBI clearance online?

11. I heard that the NBI Clearance Center observes a certain dress code. What should I wear on the day of my appointment?

12. How can I get an NBI clearance with ‘red ribbon’ from DFA?

13. I wasn’t able to claim my NBI clearance on the date I was told to return. Can I still claim it?

14. I wasn’t able to go to the NBI on my scheduled appointment date. What should I do?

15. How can I make an authorization letter for claiming NBI clearance?

16. I have a dash/hyphen in my first name/last name and can’t register because the system recognizes it as a special character. What should I do?

17. When choosing the mode of payment, I get an error message that says “OTP field is required.” What does it mean and what should I do?

18. Can I reschedule my NBI clearance appointment?

19. I can’t make it to the original NBI clearance branch I selected during the online appointment. Can I proceed to any branch near me to process my application?

20. What is the difference between NBI clearance and police clearance?

21. I’m a fresh graduate currently applying for my first job. How can I get an NBI clearance for free?

 

References.

  1. You can now apply for NBI clearance online. (2015). Retrieved 1 October 2019, from https://www.rappler.com/nation/88406-online-application-nbi-clearance
  2. NBI to start issuing multi-purpose clearance on October 2. (2017). Retrieved 1 October 2019, from https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/625989/nbi-to-start-issuing-multi-purpose-clearance-on-october-2/story/
  3. Announcement. Retrieved 1 October 2019, from http://nbi.gov.ph/
  4. Santos, J. (2019). MMDA to submit names of jaywalkers to NBI. Retrieved 1 October 2019, from https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/02/01/mmda-to-submit-names-of-jaywalkers-to-nbi/

Luisito Batongbakal Jr.

Luisito E. Batongbakal Jr. is the founder and chief content strategist of FilipiKnow, a leading online portal for free educational, Filipino-centric content. His curiosity and passion for learning have helped millions of Filipinos around the world get access to free insightful and practical information at the touch of their fingertips. With him at the helm, FilipiKnow has won numerous awards including the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2013, the 2015 Globe Tatt Awards, and the 2015 Philippine Bloggys Awards (nomination).

291 thoughts on “How to Get NBI Clearance Online in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide

  1. Sana po ay may sumagot.
    Yun po bang “record suspension or discharged” for a conviction ay makiclear na after 10 years of being discharged?
    Salamat po!

  2. Hi po ok lang po ba pumuntang AM kahit PM nabook ko? Hindi ko napansin PM nabook ko na pala. Paid na din po kaya di na pwede icancel. ?

      1. Pano po pag may nbi clearance na po ako dati pero di ko po na claim 1 year na po na di ko pa nakukuha pero kukuha po ulit ako ng nbi clearance kailangan ko pa po bang kunin yung dati kahit expired na or magpapaappointment na lang po ako?

        Thank you po!

    1. Sign in with your email and password. Look for the box that says “Edit Information” on the upper right corner of the Applicant Information page. Click it, make the necessary changes, and then click Save Information to proceed to the next step.

      1. Additional question, I registeredwith my maiden name because the box asked for middle name and maiden name which are same. So I registered as my maiden name not as my married name since they did not asked for a “surname”. Can I still edit it or should I register again? 🙁

        Thank in advance.

  3. Is it possible that after paying and getting the biometrics done that you can update the online application? It asked more a foreign address but since I moved to the PH I no longer have a U.S. address so I put N/A. When I went to NBI for my appointment I had to fill out fingerprint cards and the office employee told me to put my last address that I had in the the U.S. I told her that I didn’t put a foreign address on my online application, but she didn’t respond. They definitely need to reword that section for the online application. It should state, last known foreign address, or last foreign address lived at, oh well. I even had to leave their office to go across town to another NBI office just to get fingerprinted and have it signed by someone at that office. When we arrived the only person allowed to sign my cards was out of the office so we had to wait an hour for him to return and then back to the other NBI to finish processing. Now it’s a waiting game for the next few weeks until it is completely processed and ready for pickup.

  4. Hi. What is the age requirement to get an NBI Clearance? Can minors get an NBI clearance for themselves?

    1. I think the minimum age is 16 but I haven’t confirmed with NBI yet. I suggest calling their Help Desk hotline through the following numbers:

      09179999421 (Globe)
      09204129999 (Smart)
      Available from 6:00AM to 6:00PM

  5. Hi do i have to present the original nbi clearance? Or is it ok to present a photocopy of the clearance?

  6. Hi,

    It’s my first time applying for an NBI Clearance and was planning to bring my birth certificate and school ID (but it doesn’t contain an expiry date). To make up for that, I’ll bring my solo parent ID. However, I’m wondering if the “solo parent ID” is still a valid choice, since other websites don’t mention it in their lists? Also, is the solo parent ID any ID belonging to my parent as long as it’s one of those valid IDs you mentioned?

    1. @Anthony

      The list of valid IDs in the article is the same list from the official announcement from the NBI.

      We regularly update this guide (please see the date below the article title). The same can’t be said for the other articles you saw online.

      Thank you.

  7. Hi Maam Sir paano ko po malaman ulit ung nbi ko po ung una ako nag apply nag hit po siya..mkukuha ko po ba ulit o mag apply ako ng bago po replay please godblessyou po

  8. paano kung nakapagappoint ako sa ibang lugar pede ba ko pumunta sa ibang nbi station na mas malapit ndi ko kasi alam na meron pala saamin na mas malapit

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