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travel inspiration for small budgets and big dreams

Most of us in the family had passports expiring in the middle of the year so we all trooped down to DFA Cebu today to have our passports renewed. There were four of us — two senior citizens, a 5-year-old minor, and me — so we got to use the Courtesy Lane. That is, we didn’t have to secure an appointment and were able to just walk in, which is a huge relief as passport application/renewal appointment slots are so tricky to get here in Cebu. Also, the DFA started issuing passports with 10-year (instead of 5-year) validity just yesterday, so, hopefully, we won’t have to go through all this again till 2028. I’ve written about the passport application and renewal process before but I thought it would be useful to share our most recent experience.

Which individuals don’t have to secure an appointment online for passport application/renewal?

First of all, if you want to apply for or renew your passport, you can secure an appointment online HERE.

However, there are people who don’t need an appointment and may just walk into any DFA consular office. The lucky ones who may use the “Courtesy Lane” are the following:

  1. Senior citizens (60 years and over) – A senior citizen may be assisted by only one fellow applicant. That is, you can have a whole bunch of people coming along but only one can use the Courtesy Lane together with the senior citizen — you can’t bring one lola and an entire barangay of relatives all renewing their passports.
  2. Minors seven (7) years old and below – Their parents and minor siblings can also avail of the courtesy lane.
  3. People with disabilities (PWDs) – Must have PWD ID or visible disability.
  4. Single parents and their minor children – Must have solo parent ID.
  5. Pregnant women – Must have a medical certificate or be visibly pregnant.
  6. Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) – Must have sufficient proof of status such as an iDOLE Card, valid employment contract, or work visa.

What are the requirements for passport renewal?

For adults applying for passport renewal, there are only a few requirements:

  1. Accomplished Application Form*
  2. Current ePassport with photocopy of data page
  3. Valid ID with photocopy

Minors renewing their passports have to submit:

  1. Accomplished Application Form*
  2. Current ePassport with photocopy of data page
  3. Valid ID with photocopy
  4. PSA Birth Certificate (yes, the DFA officer will keep the original)
  5. Passport or valid government-issued ID of either parent

Personal appearance is, of course, required whether the applicant is an adult or a minor. In addition, a minor must be accompanied by a parent or an authorized adult companion. A confirmed appointment is necessary unless the applicant is entitled to use the Courtesy Lane (see above).

*DFA Cebu is already using the new forms, which you can download here:

What’s the best time to go to DFA Cebu?

I’ve heard that, if you’re using the Courtesy Lane, it’s actually best to come later in the afternoon, when most of the other Courtesy Lane applicants are done processing their passports and you won’t have that much competition in the queue. However, we didn’t want to get stuck in late afternoon Mandaue traffic so we went to DFA Cebu after lunch. It took us roughly two hours to go through the whole process.

How does the Courtesy Lane work?

Basically, there’s a separate queue for Courtesy Lane applicants. When you arrive at DFA — which, by the way, is at the 4th floor of Pacific Mall, Mandaue City, Cebu — give your application form to the guard and tell him that you’re (or you’re with) a senior citizen/pregnant lady/minor/etc. The guard will give your application form(s) to a DFA staff member who will verify that you’re qualified to avail of the Courtesy Lane. While they’re doing this, you can sit down and wait for your name to be called.

DFA Cebu

It’s mostly “first come, first served” but priority is given to the disabled and to those with really young — like, just a few months old — babies. A sign posted outside the DFA office stated that the order of priority is: (1) PWDs, then (2) senior citizens, then (3) minors 7 years old and below, then (4) regular applicants. (I’m not sure where single parents and pregnant women fall but probably 3.5?)

After a while, a DFA officer will call your name, show you inside the office, and tell you where to sit.

DFA Cebu

After that, it’s mostly just like regular passport processing, except that there’s a separate queue (and dedicated counters) for Courtesy Lane applicants. There are chairs/benches you can sit in and you move forward in the queue by moving to the next place/chair.

DFA Cebu

The first section will be where you hand your papers to a DFA officer for verification. You’ll be signing a bunch of stuff so bring a pen. Make sure you have photocopies of your documents. The DFA officer will hand you back your latest passport and remind you to bring it with you when you claim your new passport.

Once everything’s been checked, you proceed to the payment section.

  • Regular processing – P950
  • Expedited processing – P1200

Availing of the Courtesy Lane means automatically opting for expedited processing with one exception: senior citizens can choose between regular or expedited processing. The cashier will give you an official receipt, which you should also keep safe and bring with you when claiming your new passport.

After payment, you then join a much shorter queue for biometrics and photo. This is also where you look at the DFA officer’s monitor and confirm that your name, birth date, and other details are correct. And then you’re done!

When can you get your new passport?

Outside Metro Manila, passports are released:

  • Expedited processing – after 10 working days (~2 weeks after application)
  • Regular processing – after 20 working days (~1 month after application)

However, there were signs at DFA Cebu saying that there might be delays so we’ll see. I’ll update this post when we get our passports.

Update 18 January 2018: Our passports were released today, exactly 10 business days after application, as promised! Well done with that at least, DFA.

Good luck!




74 Responses

  1. Hi! May I ask if it’s possible for the companion of a Senior Citizen to apply for a passport via the courtesy lane?

    1. Hello po nu po req ang kylngan dlhin ng senior citizen ung application form po b meron s mismong dfa office or kylngan nmin mgdl

  2. hi! further to paulo’s inquiry, does it mean that the senior’s companion does not need to set an appointment online? he/she can just walk in too provided the senior citizen he accompanies will also apply? my grandma and uncle’s passports will expire soon and he will be the one to accompany her (she’s the senior citizen) for the renewal but we are not sure if he needs to set up an appointment online to have his passport renewed as well.. tried calling dfa cebu’s hotline but it just keeps on ringing..

    1. Hi Belle! That’s right — the senior citizen’s one companion may also use the courtesy lane and will not need an appointment.

      1. Hi Michael! If it’s for renewal na, adults (including senior citizens) generally don’t need to submit a birth certificate.

    1. Hi Beth! I’m not sure if it’s okay or not. The DFA rules don’t mention that it has to be a relative and while I was in DFA I didn’t see the staff questioning if the companions were relatives. You could call them directly to be sure, or you could just try it and see what happens. Sorry I can’t give you a more definite answer.

      1. permission to share what i have learned from calling the DFA- Cebu just a while ago.

        general rule: only immediate family member with same family name as the senior can accompany the senior.

        When i asked if a son-in-law may accompany his father-in law (different family names), YES daw, as long as the applicants bring documents to prove their relationship (i.e. marriage certificate of the son-in-law).

        hope this helps!

  3. Hi po ask k lang pede po ba namin magamit yng courtesy lane with my baby brother (1 yr old) hindi k na din po ba need magpa appointment?

    1. Hi Monica! Sabi ng DFA website pwede sa courtesy lane ang “Minors seven (7) years old and below (with their parents and minor siblings)” so depende sa edad mo. If you’re still a minor, hindi mo kailangan nang appointment at pwede kang makisabay sa 1-year-old brother mo. Pero if you’re 18 or above na, you will need an appointment na.

  4. hi! how about i have a confirmed appoinment with dfa and my 2 minors 11 and 13 wala? pwd ba sila sumabay sa akin then silang dalawa courtesy ako hindi?

    1. Hi Chinee. Only minors 7 years old and below are entitled to use the courtesy lane so you’ll have to get appointments for your 11- and 13-year-old kids as well. The only situation I can think of where they can use the courtesy lane is if you have another child who’s 7 or younger, in which case the minor siblings can tag along in the courtesy lane.

  5. Hi, if renewing passport using courtesy with my senior citizen mom, where we can get our application.
    Thank you.

  6. Hi po ask lang ako, pwd po ba ako kukuha sa courtesy lane? Kasi po may uncle akong senior citizen na tapos ako yung sasama ka kanya papuntang vietnam hndi na po nya kasi kayang bumyahe mag isa tapos nakapagbook narin kami ng flight namin. THANK YOU

    1. Hi Alvilyn. Kung kukuha din sya ng passport, at ikaw ang mag-a-assist sa kanya sa DFA, pwede ka rin sa courtesy lane. Pero kung meron na syang passport, at ikaw lang ang kukuha pa ng passport, hindi ka pwede sa courtesy lane. Good luck!

  7. Hi,

    For clarification lang po, pahirapan po talaga pagkuha nang nang appointment sa dfa, i have 4 years old son can we use the courtesy lane with me, my husband and my 2 kids age 12y/o and 10y/o.

    Thanks Rosel

    1. Hi Rosel!

      I rechecked the DFA website just now and they still say “Minors seven (7) years old and below (with their parents and minor siblings)” can use the courtesy lane so I think pwede kayo lahat.

      Good luck!

  8. Hi,

    How about a government employee? Pwede ra sad and his immediate family? Kailangan sad mokuha ug passport ang government employee or pwede ra referral letter para sa iya immediate family?


  9. Hi Ms. Gaya! My lola (74 years old) is a new applicant. I will be accompanying her and would like to renew my passport as well. Can I also avail of the courtesy lane? Thank you.

    1. Hi Uno Alfredo! Yes, you can also go on the courtesy lane if you are assisting your lola. Each senior citizen can bring *one* companion. Good luck!

  10. I have a 3 years old grand daughter living with me since birth iniwanan ng kanyan mother as a grandmother can i avail the courtesy lane in getting a new passport for her

    1. Hi Janet. If the passport is for her, you can use the courtesy lane. However, if you haven’t legally adopted her, there’s a chance DFA might ask for authorization from her parents. I understand it might be a complicated situation so the best thing you could do would probably be to talk to someone in the DFA office where you are applying to find out your options and maybe get the help of DSWD if necessary. Good luck po!

  11. Hello paanu po ung senior citizen is walang senior citizen i.d??? Pero renewal po xa.. Ok lang po ba um? Thank you

  12. Hi po..Tanong ko lang po kasi my lola is a senior citizen,ok lang po ba if Baptismal Certificate meron cya kasi ipinanganak cya earlier 1945, pwede po bang yun lang ang kanyang maipakita sa dfa office ? Thank you po..

    1. Hi Geneva! Sorry for the delayed reply. Actually, I tried answering your comment na, yesterday yata yun, pero nagtransfer kasi ako recently ng blog tapos yung ibang comments parang hindi na-include sa transfer. Anyway, ganito ang sabi ng DFA website:

      – In case applicant has NO Birth Certificate or Report of Birth:
      If applicant is born ON OR BEFORE 1950 – applicant must submit original copies of PSA Authenticated Certificate of No Birth Record and Affidavit of Two Disinterested Persons attesting to the identity of the applicant.

      So your lola will need to get an Authenticated Certificate of No Birth Record sa PSA, mukhang hindi pwedeng baptismal lang. 🙁 Good luck!

  13. hello..if a senior citizen is not applying for passport renewal but will be there for the courtesy lane, together with an 11 year old grandchild applicant? Is this possible?

    1. Hi Amelia! As far as I know, the senior citizen has to be the applicant in order to avail of the courtesy lane. I don’t know if DFA will give consideration to a senior citizen as the companion, kasi they might say na pwede namang hindi senior citizen ang pina-accompany ng applicant. 🙁

    1. Hi Jill! Yes, definitely. The courtesy lane is really intended for the senior citizen applicant. The ability of the companion to also apply and use the courtesy lane while assisting the senior citizen is just a bonus but it’s definitely not necessary. In fact, if the senior citizen does not have a companion, he/she can still use the courtesy lane.

  14. Hi , how about pregnant women , can they bring a child with them ? I’m applying my son also for passport , he’s 9 yr old. We checked regularly the online app site but it is always fully booked.

    1. Hi Kris! I’m not sure but I think the use of the courtesy lane will be for the pregnant woman lang. As far as I know, the only ones who can bring companions who can also use the courtesy lane are the ones who need assistance — minors, senior citizens, and PWDs. (I know how you feel, my son will be over 7 na rin by the time he has to renew his passport, so I’ll have to get an appointment for him too.) 🙁 But if you can, try asking the DFA — baka they might give you a chance if they think the 9-year-old has no one else to accompany him except his pregnant mother. Good luck!

  15. Hello! I’m a single mother with a 13 yr old son. I went to DFA this afternoon to renew his passport. I was told by the in charge that they cannot accept the application because of the reason that it is only my child who will renew, it should be both (me & child). I insisted and told them “why should I renew my unexpired passport?” and they replied ” that is the policy” For your clarification. Thank you.

    1. Hi Loudy. That sounds strange. Were you trying to use the courtesy lane? If you were, then that’s probably why you were advised to renew your passport too, since your child is over 7 years old and thus no longer qualifies for the courtesy lane by himself, whereas if you were also renewing your passport and using the courtesy lane as a single parent, he could avail of the courtesy lane as your companion.

      1. Hi,
        Im alen,I need to renew my passport but unfortunately I need to bring my 1year old baby with me because I’m still breastfeeding her..Can I avail the courtesy lane?

      2. Hi Alen. I’m not sure if the DFA will consider that reason — they might say you can use a pump and don’t really have to bring your baby along — but you could try asking them. Also, why not just get a passport for the baby as well? That would entitle you both to the courtesy lane.

  16. Hi
    I need to renew my passport,,but I have to bring my 1 year old baby with me because I’m still breastfeeding her.Do you think i can avail the courtesy lane?


    1. Hi Alen. I’m not sure if the DFA will consider that reason — they might say you can use a pump and don’t really have to bring your baby along — but you could try asking them. Also, why not just get a passport for the baby as well? That would entitle you both to the courtesy lane.

  17. Hi Gaya,

    Did you type in the information required on the application form or did you write all of them down. Just want to make sure as I noticed instructions on top of the form stating usage of a black or blue pen. I’m accompanying my parents, both of whom are senior citizens and there’s very little info on actual requirements and steps for using the courtesy lane on the DFA page. I’m so glad I chanced upon your site to get first hand information. It’s been very helpful.

    Hope you can help me out with my query.

    1. Hi Paul! Our application forms were handwritten but I do remember seeing that some other people’s application forms were typed in. Good luck to you and your parents!

    1. Hi Cheryl. Sorry for the delay in replying. As far as I know, a senior citizen is allowed to bring a companion who can assist him/her. If the companion is an 8-year-old child, that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? But you could try asking the DFA, perhaps they will allow it.

  18. Good day pwede ba mag walk in owf ako naapay 1year and 3months ako passport pero dli ma process ako papers ug Dli 2years and 3months ang available for Kuwait country urgent lang cebu base ko salamat

    1. Hi Sam, yes, pwede walk-in ang OFW, adto sa Courtesy Lane, pagdala lang sa imong visa or company ID that will prove na OFW ka.

  19. Hi ill bring my minor daughter to renew her passport but the father cannot go with us because of sickness, can i renew her passport eben if its only me who will accompany her ? Tia

  20. Hi, my mother (senior citizen) and my son (14yrs old) is going to renew their passports soon! I’m just worried that if I need to send an authorization letter for my mom to process his passport in my behalf since I am not in the Philippines. Or it won’t matter anymore since he is already considered as adult? – jaja

    1. Hi Jaja! Fourteen-year-olds aren’t considered adults yet so I’m afraid you will have to send an authorization letter.

  21. Talaga po ba may quota Ang priority lane ,kasi nagpunta kami ng anak ko say alimall senior ako ,pero 9 am paying raw nagbigay na ng number eh 10 am Ang bukas ng mall, exact 10 am nakapasok kami Sabi sakin Wala na raw number senior kasi hanggang 120 Ang accommodate nila..nakaka disappoint Sabi ko pwede ba bigay number para next day Sabi balik nalang at pili sa labas palang bigay number..senior balik balik layo pa house ko, Paki explain lang po Ang rule nyo?

    1. Hi po Ma’am Teresita. This is a travel blog, not the official website of the DFA. I think the DFA has a Facebook page which you can message regarding your concern. Sa experience ko naman po sa Cebu last year, wala naman pong quota or priority number for people using the priority lane.

  22. hi kung renew ko po ng passport ung anak ko n minor kailangan paba ng appointment ako po ay isang ofw 5 days lang kasi ang bakasyon ko. Salamat

  23. hi ,i have 2 kids 3years old and 6 years old, kialangan paba magpaapoint kami o dederetso nlang kami?

    1. Hi Rose! As mentioned in the article, minors seven (7) years old and below, their parents, and minor siblings can avail of the courtesy lane. Good luck!

  24. Good morning, my wife and i are both senior citizens and our epassports will expire august 2020, can we renew our passports now because our son who is in new zealand would like us to visit them this november, further, are the forms avaible at dfa cebu and would you know who releases them thank you

    1. Hi Sir Ricardo!

      Yes, you can renew your passports as early as now. This is according to the FAQs issued by the DFA, which you can find here:

      Q: Can I renew my passport even though it is still valid for more than one (1) year?
      A: Yes. You will need an online passport appointment.

  25. Hi Good day po! I have an American boyfriend at gusto nya na mg meet kami sa italy sya mag expense lahat..paano po Ang process pag sya po Ang gumastos sa tourist Italian visa ko?
    Pwede po ba na xa lmg mag avail Ng travel insurance ko sa US?
    Pwede po ba sya Ang mag file Ng Italian visa ko Doon sa US?
    Thanks po

      1. Hi, for renewal ng passport, nirerequire pa ba nila ang PSA (birth certificate)? At ilang valid ids kaya? Thank you

      2. Hi Vee. For renewals, only minors need to submit a PSA birth certificate. Only one valid ID required but I suppose it won’t hurt if you bring all your valid IDs. Good luck!

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