It’s less than six (6) months before Yugi’s passport expires this year. I’ve been putting this off due to my hectic schedule but, at last, I was forced to push through with it due to an unexpected trip soon.
Good thing, Yugi is still a minor so I do not need to make an appointment with the DFA. What does “minor” mean when it comes to passport renewal? A minor is one who is 7 years of age and below. This means that I can go to the DFA anytime and do not need to book ahead. I just crossed my fingers that the Courtesy Lane would have a short line.
Apparently, each Consular Office (CO) may set a cut-off time or may limit the number of applicants to be served in the Courtesy Lane, depending on the capacity of the CO to ensure the safety and convenience of the public.
FYI: Who may avail of the Courtesy Lane? Seniors who are 60 years of age and above; PWD’s with proof of disability; minors aged 7 years and below with a parent; OFW’s with proof of status; pregnant women.
First Things First
Here’s the list of requirements which I prepared for my son’s Philippine passport renewal.
- Accomplished Application Form (Click here for Blank Application Form.)
- Personal Appearance of minor applicant and either parent
- Current ePassport with photocopy of data page
- Marriage Certificate is required if only one parent is accompanying the child (I brought our Original and a Photocopy of our PSA Marriage Certificate.)
- Original and Photocopy of proof of filiation and/or guardianship (I submitted Yugi’s Original and Photocopy of PSA Birth Certificate which I recently got too.)
- Passport or Valid Government issued ID of either parent with one (1) photocopy (Click here for the List of Acceptable IDs for Passport Application.) (I brought my Driver’s License.)
- School ID
Important Reminder: The Department may require additional supporting documents as may be necessary.
The Passport Renewal for Minors Experience
We went on a Wednesday. I did not need to have Yugi excused from school since he is still in Kinder and has only half a day of schooling. We went straight to DFA NCR South and arrived past 12nn. I brought lunch for Yugi so we won’t waste any more time. Yes, mommies are always in a rush!
Upon arrival at the Metro Department Store in ATC, we went to the 4th floor. The floor is exclusive for DFA NCR South. There will be a security guard who will ask you about your purpose before letting you go up the 4th floor. I just told her that I was renewing my son’s passport without an online appointment. She readily allowed me and Yugi to go up via the escalator.
Before entering the DFA Consular Office, another security guard will ask for your appointment time. I informed her that I was renewing my son’s passport and that he was a walk-in applicant. She allowed us to enter after searching thru my bag.
After entering the door, you will be led to the Courtesy Lane. You will fall in line for 1st level of checking of requirements for your passport renewal. Once verified and checked, you will be lead to Step 1, Verification. Courtesy Lane has a different line from the regular one, but they will insert you in the regular line. The Courtesy Lane really allows shorter time of passport renewal or even new passport applications to elders, OFW’s, pregnant women and minors aged 7 years and below due to their situation.
There was no lunch break so the line was fast, at least for us in the Courtesy Lane! The lady just reviewed our passport requirements to make sure that we submitted all required documents. She asked to personally see Yugi. I was going to choose regular processing (15 working days) because I was not in a hurry and it was cheaper at P950, but the lady told me that, for minors, the only option was to get Express at P1200. (Sorry, I was not able to ask why. Maybe you have an idea? Please share.) I was informed that I would be able to get the passport after 7 working days.
I chose the option to pick up the passport rather than have it delivered to us. This way, I would still be able to double check the passport details before they release it to me. We never use courier when we also apply for our visas unless we have no choice.
I also noticed that they did not punch a hole in Yugi’s old passport. Even if he couldn’t use it to travel, it was still, after all, a valid passport as it had not expired yet at the time of our application.
I then proceeded to the Cashier and paid ₱1,200 hesitantly for the renewal of passport. Hehehe!
We went to the section where Yugi’s photo would be taken. No jewelries such as earrings and necklaces, caps, eyeglasses/shades are permitted; only contact lenses are allowed for the picture taking. She encoded Yugi’s information and had me double check his information details to ensure that everything was correct.
Unlike Yugi’s picture-taking when we got his 1st passport, this was a quick one! I remember we got his 1st passport when he was barely 6 months! Lakwachero! We had to make him sit straight which was a challenge because he couldn’t still do that on his own so I was holding him at the back and making sure I was not in the photo. Making him look straight into the camera was another thing! Boy, it took us several minutes before we were satisfied!
The lady who took Yugi’s photo was quite friendly and was trying to make conversation to put Yugi at ease, but little did she know that Yugi is such a charmer in front of the camera!
Leaving the DFA Consular Office, I made sure that I had the official receipt when I get Yugi’s passport after 7 days. I was done in less than an hour!
7 days after, I went directly to the Releasing Section at the 4th floor just outside the CO. No need to go inside the CO where you applied for passport renewal. I submitted the receipt that was given to me and, after a while, Yugi’s name was called. They made sure I checked all the details before they released the passport to me. I also brought the old passport in which they punched a hole after the new one was released to me. I left after 5 minutes!
Passport validity for minors is only 5 years, but then Yugi will no longer be a minor by that time, and I will need to do the online appointment. Unfortunately for me, Yugi’s date of passport issuance is different from that of the whole family, so I will have to fall in line twice for the boys since their passports are still within their 5-year validity. The 5-year validity is applicable to children below 18 years of age due to the possibility of a minor’s facial features changing while growing up.
This is the only time I wished the boys were already 18 years old!
Hope this article was helpful!
Live an Awesome Life,
Co-Founder, Mrs. Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We paid for our renewal. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.
P.S. If you need to take your lunch/snack prior to your appointment, you can proceed to the basement of Metro Department Store. Metro Supermarket is there and some fastfood stalls are available for you to choose from. At the 3rd floor, they also have a Krispy Kreme stall for your instant snack!