My wife, Josie, lives with me in Olongapo. I’m a retired United States military service member, and she’s my military dependent. We cannot renew her dependent ID card at the United States Embassy in Manila when the card expires. It’s not an issue for us, but I’m sure it’s an issue for others who don’t have our resources.
Like my retired ID card, her dependent ID card doesn’t serve many purposes in the Philippines. It can’t be used in place of a local ID. In fact, about the only thing it’s good for is the TRICARE benefits number on the back. We need our ID cards when we travel to the United States, just in case we need medical care while in the United States.
There’s a RAPIDS site at the embassy but the system isn’t online. If you click through the months, you’ll see there aren’t any appointment dates available. Your only option, while in the country, is to renew it by mail.
The step-by-step instructions are here: https://ph.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/82/STEPS-FOR-PROCESSING-MAIL-IN-ID-CARD-RENEWALS.pdf
The instructions state the verifying officer can be a Philippine notary, as long as the notary information is in English on the form. When you accompany a dependent to get a new card on a base, both you and your dependent (over 18) have to provide two forms of ID from a list. With a Philippine notary, it can be local forms of ID as well. That’s one of the reasons I have a local driver’s license even when I don’t drive.
The 1172 form is here: https://www.cac.mil/Portals/53/Documents/dd1172-2.pdf
The 1172 form instructions are here: https://www.cac.mil/portals/53/documents/1172-2-instructions.pdf
Some areas of the Philippines are better than others when it comes to the Philippine postal system. In other words, your mileage may vary. Mail is usually slow to arrive in Olongapo. That is, if a particular piece of mail even makes it there. I’ve had to wait, at times, as long as three months for something to arrive. Registered mail usually arrives quicker than regular mail, which really doesn’t make sense.
I don’t know how one of those bases would send a dependent ID card back to you in the mail. If it’s sent by regular mail, there’s a good chance you may never receive it.
If money isn’t an object, it’s a much better idea to get an ID card at United States military base outside the Philippines. That’s what Josie and I did while visiting our older son, Joseph, and his family at Eglin AFB, Florida.
If you don’t have any place to stay in the United States, the next best thing would be to visit a nearby country. There are United States military bases in Japan (both the mainland and the island of Okinawa), Guam and South Korea. Guam, being a territory of the United States, is probably the least expensive country to visit and the easiest to get in and out of.
If you time it right, you could schedule an appointment at Naval Base Guam’s RAPIDS site and get away with just flying in, getting the ID card and flying back out again. The flight time is only about three hours one way.
Edited and Updated. Originally published in March 2018.