Driver's License in the Philippines: All You Need to Know

Aug 21, 2018 | 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 – always tough, because you have to do a lot of things.

This also applies if you are a new driver – meaning either you just turned seventeen and it’s now legal for you to drive (of course under the supervision of an adult with a proper driver’s license), or you are a new car owner. If you are a first-time driver, you also need to go through the process of getting a driver’s license.

It’s quite tedious, however, it’s really mandatory. I know you’re wishing that you can just learn to drive with a little help from your friends, then you can get away that easy – hell no. Sorry to say but before you can drive that baby out of your garage or out of the showroom, you need to have a proper driver’s license.

Now, Philkotse.com will help you deepen your understanding of driver's license in the Philippines, covering requirements, procedures and fees.

A girl driving a car

Driving for the first time can really be exciting! But, before you can even try, you must first have your 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 do driving lessons with a professional driving school, with your parents or with an adult whom you trust and owns a proper driver’s license as well.

Some people may be doing the latter, but of course, it is still recommended to attend a formal driving school. They will also be able to assist you on the student driver permit. Equipping yourself with vital driving knowledge will save you from many unnecessary troubles, one of which is driver license suspension.

1.1. Qualifications for a LTO Student Driver Permit

  • You must be at least 17 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 foreigners, you must be 18 years old and have resided in the Philippines for at least 1 year from date of application.

Guiding a student to drive a car

It is still recommended to attend a formal driving school

1.2. LTO Student Permit Requirements

  • You must properly fill out the Application form for Driver's License
  • Be ready with the original and photocopy of your birth certificate authenticated by National Statistics Office or NSO
  • If you are below 18 years old, you have to have an original copy of your parent or guardian's consent. You also have to be ready with the original and photocopy of 1 valid government ID clearly showing the signature of your parent or guardian.
  • You should also have a medical certificate issued by any licensed practicing doctor to prove that you are physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle. Otherwise, the medical certificate would also need to state any impairment.
  • If you are a foreigner, please prepare your original copy and photocopy of passport with the entry date of at least 1 month. Your visa should also be valid at least 1 year from date of application. On the other hand, if you are a foreigner born in the Philippines, just present the original copy and photocopy of birth certificate authenticated by NSO.

How to get a LTO Student Driver's Permit in the Philippines

1.3. Procedure to get a LTO Student Permit

  • 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 be passed on to the Approving Officer who will encode your application in their system.
  • Once approved, you will be called for photo and signature taking.
  • Pay the fees to the cashier
     
LTO Student license fees 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. Ensure to sign the release form before leaving the premises. Also, you will be handed the reviewer for your future driving examination.

For further information, read our article on What Philippines Students need to do to get LTO Student Driver’s License.

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

2.1. Non-Pro 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
  • You must hold a proper Student Driver Permit that is valid for at least thirty (30) days prior to the application
  • 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.

Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)

This is suitable if you are driving just private vehicles

2.2. Non-Pro License Requirements

  • 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.
  • You should also have a medical certificate issued by any licensed practicing doctor to prove that you are physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle. Otherwise, the medical certificate would also need to state any impairment.
  • If you are a foreigner, please prepare your original copy and photocopy of passport with the entry date of at least 1 month. Your visa should also be valid at least 1 year from date of application. On the other hand, if you are a foreigner born in the Philippines, just present the original copy and photocopy of birth certificate authenticated by NSO.
  • If you are a holder of a valid Foreign Driver's License, you may also present the original and photocopy of your Foreign Driver's License. If it’s in a language other than English, please have the original copy and photocopy of the official English translation from the Embassy of the issuing country instead of a Student Driver Permit.

Student Driver Permit

Be ready with your valid Student Driver Permit

2.3. 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 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 fees to the cashier.
  • You will then need to undergo the written examinations.
  • Once you passed the written examinations, you will go for a practical driving test. If you passed these exams, the Approving Officer will approve your application and will release your NPDL with Official Receipt.
Non-Professional Driver's License Fee in the Philippines
Fee Price
Application Fee  P100.00 
Computer Fee  P67.63 
License Fee  P585.00 
Computer Fee  P67.63 
TOTAL  P820.26 

Non Professional Driver's License : How to get a Non Professional LTO Driver's License | PinoyHowTo

3. Professional Driver’s License in the Philippines

This is the type of license given to those who are looking to drive PUVs, and it is restricted to both public and private vehicles.

3.1. 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 Student Permit for at least 6 months
  • For RC 3,5,7,8 – you must be a holder of valid Non-Professional Driver's License (NPDL) 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

3.2. Professional Driver’s License Requirements

  • Properly filled out Application form for Driver's License
  • You should also have a medical certificate issued by any licensed practicing doctor 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, present original and photocopy of the birth certificate duly authenticated by the NSO.

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

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

3.3. Procedures To Get A 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 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 fees to the cashier.
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 
  • You will then need to undergo the written examinations.
  • Once you passed the written examinations, you will go for a practical driving test. If you passed these exams, the Approving Officer will approve your application and will release your NPDL with Official Receipt.

I know this is quite a long read, but you will get all the information you need for driver’s license in the Philippines in just one place. Just make sure you process everything correctly and pass the exams on your first try so you can get your driver’s license as soon as possible.

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

Source: Ivy Kristia Padura