The Social Security System (SSS) has cut down the processing time of members’ identification cards to 10 working days, enabling it to eliminate its production backlog and bring the total number of SSS-issued IDs under the Unified Multi-purpose Identification System (UMID) to over three million so far.

The 10-working day processing time starts from the date of application up to the date the UMID card package is released to the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) for delivery to the member’s mailing address.

“UMID production entails much more than printing a member’s photo and personal details on a plastic card. The system uses biometric technology to confirm a person’s identity and prevent issuance of multiple UMID cards that may be used to defraud SSS of undeserved benefits and services,” SSS said.

UMID applications start with the data capture, or the enrollment of biometric information – such as fingerprints, photo and signature – and encoding of the applicant’s name, address, parents’ names and other demographic data. To ensure that only one UMID card will be issued to an individual, the member’s fingerprints are compared with other fingerprints in the database during the centralized biometric data matching process. This is done overnight, after the applications are received at the branches.

Applications with a fingerprint match are immediately investigated by SSS, while those passing the uniqueness check are assigned a Common Reference Number (CRN), and then sent for card printing and personalization of the contactless smartchip, which takes three working days.

To ensure good quality, each printed card undergoes visual inspection within one to two working days, depending on the volume of cards, and then forwarded for card packaging, a one-day process that also includes the readability check and data verification of the smartchip. Afterwards, the UMID card package is sent to PhilPost for delivery via registered mail as the final step. Mailing takes five to seven working days for addresses in Metro Manila, seven to 10 working days for outside Metro Manila, and 10 to 20 working days for remote areas.

For applicants still waiting for their UMID card after two months, it is likely that their UMID application was rejected due to a previously issued card with the same fingerprint but different SSS number — which indicates a fraudulent application using multiple identities.

“Another, and more common, possibility is that their UMID card was declared as RTS (return-to-sender) and sent back to the SSS by PhilPost after three unsuccessful mailing attempts. RTS cards are caused by the change in the member’s mailing address or the lack of people to claim the card during the time of delivery,” SSS said.

Members can claim their RTS card at the SSS branch where they had applied for the UMID. To check their UMID card status, members can check the list found in the SSS Website (, email, contact the SSS Call Center (920-6446 to 55), or call the concerned SSS office, using the SSS Branch Directory uploaded at the SSS Website as reference.

Members claiming their UMID cards must present one primary ID or document such as government-issued IDs, birth or baptismal certificate, or company ID. Two secondary IDs and documents, one of which bearing the member’s photo, can also be used in claiming the card.

“A representative can also claim the UMID card on behalf of the member by showing a letter of authorization. The letter must be signed by the member and mention the IDs and documents of both the SSS member and representative that will be presented while claiming the UMID card. SSS’ identification requirements for the representative are the same as those for members,” SSS said.