LTO driver's licenses: Requirements, steps, and everything you need to know

Updated Sep 28, 2021 | Same topic: Survive driving in the Philippines

Useful bits and pieces about all kinds of driver's license in the Philippines.

I. Driver's license in the Philippines: It’s tedious yet it’s mandatory

As they say, there’s always a first time in everything. First time in school, first day at work, first day in your new home – these can be tough, because you have to keep track of a lot of things.

This also applies if you are a new driver. This either means that you just have turned sixteen and so you can now get your student driver's permit, or you're a new car driver. To think end, you'll need to go through the process of getting a driver’s license.

A picture of the open road.

Before hitting the road, you need a driver's license

Granted, getting a driver's license can be a bit tedious, it is however, mandatory. So to help, here are the things you need to know in getting a driver's license. This covers the requirements, fees, procedures, and many other things you'll need to take note of in your journey to become a fully fledged driver. But what happens if you lost license LTOPhilkotse has detailed guide on how to get a replacement for your lost driver's license. 

II. Three Types of Driver’s License in the Philippines

1. LTO Student Driver Permit

Everyone has got to start somewhere, right? So for your long journey as a licensed motorist begin, you have to learn how to properly drive first and apply for a LTO student driver’s permit. This will allow you to attend driving lessons at a professional driving school. It also allows you to drive in the presence of an adult who already has a driver's license.

Some people may be doing the latter, but of course, it is still recommended to attend a formal driving school. After all, driving schools can provide more detailed lectures on road safety, Philippine road laws, basic car maintenance, road etiquette, etc.

Qualifications for a LTO Student Driver Permit

  • You must be a Filipino citizen aged at least 16 years old.
  • For foreign citizens, they must be at least 18 years old, and must have stayed in the Philippines for at least one month. They must also provide proof that they will then stay for six months.
  • You must be physically and mentally fit to operate any motorized vehicle.
  • You must be able to read and write in Filipino, English, or any applicable local dialect.
  • Must be clear of any traffic violations.

Guiding a student to drive a car

It is still recommended to attend a formal driving school

LTO Student Permit Requirements

  • A duly accomplished Application form for Driver's License (ADL) form.
  • An original and photocopy of your birth certificate authenticated by National Statistics Office or NSO. Married women must also present their marriage certificate that was duly authenticated by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) or a valid passport.
  • Those applying for a student's permit that are aged blow 18 must acquire the written consent of a guardian or parent. A photocopy of any valid ID belonging to the parent/guardian must also be presented.
  • The original and one photocopy of the applicant's ID (any). Make sure that the ID has your picture and signature on it.
  • A copy of a medical certificate. This will be sent to LTO by the accredited medical clinic that the applicant must visit before apply for the student's permit.
  • If employed, the applicant must indicate his/her TIN number.
  • A certificate of completion for a Theoretical Driving Course. This 15-hour course which is mandatory as per the LTO Memorandum Circular No. 2019-2176.

Procedure to get a LTO Student Permit

  • Before heading to the nearest LTO branch, do note that the said agency has already launched the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS). Using this allows you to book for an appointment schedule, and pay the fees. This can drastically reduce waiting times.
  • Go to any LTO licensing office near you.
  • Submit all the documents to a receiving personnel. Make sure you only submit to a designated and legit LTO personnel and be careful of making any transactions with ‘fixers.’ Most LTO branches will also have posters showing the application procedure.
  • The receiving personnel will give your documents to an Evaluator who will check if your required documents are complete, and if they are all correct. These will then be passed on to the Approving Officer who will encode your application into their system.
  • Once done, you will then be called for photo and signature taking.
  • If you didn't pay the necessary fees on the LTMS, then you will process to the cashier.
LTO Student license fee 2021 in the Philippines
Fee Price
Application Fee P100.00 
Computer Fee P67.63 
Student Permit Fee P150.00 
TOTAL P317.63
  • The student driver permit will then be released. Be sure to sign the release form before leaving the premises. Also, you will be handed the reviewer for your future driving examination.
  • Be aware that unlike a driver's license, a student's permit cannot be used for identification, i.e., as an ID.
  • Don’t forget to get your student driving license renewal since the LTO student permit validity is only one year. 

2. Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) in the Philippines

Non-Pro Driver’s License Qualifications

  • For Pilipino citizens, you must be at least 17 years old.
  • Foreigners applying for the NPDL must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be physically and mentally fit to operate any motorized vehicle.
  • You must be able to read and write in Filipino, English, or any applicable local dialect.
  • You must hold a proper Student Driver Permit that is valid for at least thirty (30) days prior to the application.
  • Completion of a practical driving course from any driving school accredited by LTO, a TESDA accredited training center, or from the LTO itself.
  • Foreign applicants must have stayed in the Philippines for at least one month, and is planning to stay in the country for one year.

Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)

This is suitable if you are driving just private vehicles

LTO non-professional driving license requirements

  • A properly filled out Application form for Driver's License
  • Be ready with your valid Student Driver Permit issued at least 30 days from the date of application. This also applies to foreigners.
  • A medical certificate issued by a medical clinic that was accredited by the LTO. This serves to prove that you are physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle
  • Your Practical Driving Course certificates that proves that you have attended the required driving course that was provided by the LTO or an LTO accredited driving school.

Student Driver Permit

Be ready to present your valid Student Driver Permit

Procedure To Get A Non-Professional Driver's License in the Philippines

  • Go to any LTO licensing office near you.
  • Submit all the documents to a receiving personnel. Make sure you only submit to a designated and legit LTO personnel and be careful of making any transactions with ‘fixers.’
  • The receiving personnel will give your documents to an Evaluator who will check if you meet all LTO requirements for non-pro license, and if the documents are all okay, they will then encode your application in the system.
  • You will then be called for photo and signature taking.
  • Pay the fees to the cashier. Refer to the table below for non-professional driver's license fee in the Philippines.
Non-Professional Driver's License Fee 2021 in the Philippines
Fee Price
Application Fee  P100.00 
Computer Fee  P67.63 
License Fee  P585.00 
Computer Fee  P67.63 
TOTAL  P820.26 

NOTE: The fee indicated on the table above is for the driver's license only. The fees for the practical driving course, car rental for the driving course, etc. are separate. These fees will vary depending on the driving school.

  • You will then need to undergo the written examinations.
  • Once you passed the written examinations, you will then undergo a practical driving test. If you passed these, the Approving Officer will approve your application and will release your NPDL with Official Receipt.

3. Professional Driver’s License in the Philippines

This is the type of license given to those who are looking to drive larger, heavier vehicles. In context, a person holding a non professional license can only drive motorcycles and the like (restriction code 1) and a manual transmission (MT) or automatic transmission (AT) vehicle that has a gross weight of less than or equal to 4,500Kg (RC 2 and 4). 

A holder of a professional driver's license can go beyond those to then handle vehicles that has a weight beyond 4,500 kg, and those with articulated bodies like cargo trucks, trailers, etc.

Professional Driver’s License Qualifications

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be physically and mentally fit to operate any motorized vehicle.
  • You must be able to read and write in Filipino or English or any local dialect
  • For RC 1,2,4,6 – you must be a holder of valid Non-Professional driver's licsense or professional driver's license for at least 6 months.
  • For RC 3 and 5 – you must be a holder of valid Professional Driver's License (PDL) with RC 2 or 4 for at least 1 year.
  • You must not have 2 or more counts of reckless driving during the validity period of your existing license.
  • If you are a foreigner, you must have resided in the Philippines for at least 1. You must also show a proof that you will be staying in the country for at least 1 year from date of application.

Professional Driver’s License

Best for driving PUVs

Professional Driver’s License Requirements

  • A properly filled out Application form for Driver's License
  • A medical certificate issued by a medical clinic that was accredited by the LTO. This serves to prove that you are physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle (or work, if you are applying for a conductor’s license)
  • PNP and NBI clearance to prove that you don’t have any violation related to moral turpitude or reckless imprudence resulting from reckless driving.
  • For foreigners, present an original copy and photocopy of passport with the entry of at least 1 year from date of application. On the other hand, if you are a foreigner born in the Philippines, besides above lto pro license requirements, remember to present original and photocopy of the birth certificate duly authenticated by the NSO.
  • Those wanting to add RC8 (Articulated vehicles with a gross weight between  4501Kg and above) should also present the original and one photocopy of a TESDA Certification (NC III) for the said vehicle class.

Application for Driver's License (ADL) in the Philippines

Fill your personal information in the Application for Driver's License (ADL)

Procedures To Get A Professional Driver’s License in the Philippines

  • Prepare everything ready and fulfill all LTO requirements for professional license in the Philippines
  • Go to any LTO licensing office near you.
  • Submit all the documents to a receiving personnel. Make sure you only submit to a designated and legit LTO personnel and be careful of making any transactions with ‘fixers.’
  • The receiving personnel will give your documents to an Evaluator who will check if your required documents are complete, and if they are all okay, they will then encode your application in the system.
  • You will then be called for photo and signature taking.
  • Pay the LTO professional license fees to the cashier. Check the  professional driver's license fee in the table below.
Professional Driver’s License Fee in the Philippines
Categories  Professional  Conductor 
Application Fee  P100.00  P100.00 
Computer Fee  P67.63  P67.63 
License Fee  P585.00  P585.00 
Computer Fee  P67.63  P67.63 
TOTAL  P820.26  P820.26 

Note: This does not include the costs for the medical certificate, and the other documentary requirements (TESDA NC III) for PDL.

  • You will then need to undergo the written examinations.
  • After passing the written examinations, you will undergo a practical driving test. If you passed the practical driving test, the Approving Officer will approve your application and will release your PDL with an official receipt.

This is quite a long read, but these covers most of the information you need for applying for a driver’s license in the Philippines. You should also take note of the driver's license date of expiry. 

III. LTO Driver’s license: Updating information

Just like with renewing and applying for an LTO driver’s license for the first time, you will need to download the LTO application form.

At the section below the applicant’s information is the Type of Application (TOA) section. This is where you’ll need to check the box for "H. Revision of Records". Under this section, you’ll then need to specify which information you want to update. The choices range from change address, change civil status, change the name, change date of birth, and others.

List most procedures in the Land Transportation Office, record changes do have come with fees. Here’s a list:

 
Non-Professional
Professional
Conductor
Replacement Fee
 Php 225.00
Php 225.00
Php 225.00
Revision Fee
Php 100
Php 100
Php 100
TOTAL
Php 325
Php 325
Php 325

Here are the requirements for each category of each revision of records transaction:

#1: Record Change – Incorrect Name/Birth Day

  • Properly Accomplished Application for Driver’s License form
  • Original Birth Certificate with one (1) photocopy. Acquire this from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) along with an Authenticated Birth Certificate with Official Receipt.
  • Your Current and/or expired license
  • Affidavit of a discrepancy – This proves why you need to change the information.

#2: Record Change – Change in Name

  • Properly accomplished Application for Driver’s License form
  • Your Current expired and/or current license
  • A court order authorizing a name change

#3: Record Change – Change in Marital Status

  • Properly Accomplished Application for Driver’s License
  • Current or Expired License
  • Photocopy of Marriage Contract or Court Order for annulled for Divorce Applicants or Passport with Amendments for change in Marital Status

#4: Record Change – Change in Address

  • Properly Accomplished Application for Driver’s License
  • Current or Expired License

>>> Click for more driving tips for Filipino car owners

Ivy Kristia Padura

Ivy Kristia Padura

Author

Ivy is one of the first Philkotse's content writers. She finds joy in sharing her driving tips, particular for dealing with heavy traffic in Metro Manila, with other fellow drivers.

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