For Filipinos Abroad: 7 Steps to Get Your Renewal of Driver’s License Done

Updated Sep 10, 2018 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

Read to know what to do if you want to get your renewal of driver’s license done while outside the country.

With the passage of RA no. 10930, the validity of every driver’s license in the Philippines is now extended to five (5) years. After its lapse, it is imperative that the holder thereof undergo the process of renewal. Renewal of driver’s license is a pre-condition to continuously enjoy the privilege of driving in the Philippines. In our previous article, we have also revealed 6 tips to get your driver license renewal done with least hassle.

However, there are cases when the holder of driver’s license is not in the Philippines. Can he still renew it regardless of the distance?

Leaving the country does not mean Filipinos abroad are no longer bound by Philippines laws. Renewal of driver’s license should still be done in accordance with our laws. Filipinos may renew their license even if they are abroad by virtue of LTO Administrative Order no. RIB-2007-011, promulgated in 2007.

However, this may be done only through a representative. Early this year, the LTO has launched the online appointment and scheduling system to facilitate a faster process of renewing of driver's license. This system is already in operation to the Quezon City’s LTO Central Office, Novaliches, Markina, and Pasig district offices. 

LTO online appointment and scheduling system

The LTO has launched the online appointment and scheduling system to facilitate a faster process of renewing of license

To date, it is still unverified whether the Filipino applicants may resort to online appointment. What is clear from the aforesaid administrative order, although a representative is permitted, PERSONAL APPEARANCE is still a must.

If the representative is within the National Capital Region (NCR), he may go to the LTO Central Office in Quezon City and apply at the License Section, the office designated for license renewal applications. On the other hand, if the representative is not within the NCR, they may go to any LTO branch of their choice. 

The following simple steps advised by will allow the driver to renew his license even if he is outside the country.

1. Preparation of the letter of authority  

The applicant (i.e. the Filipino whose license has expired) needs to make a letter of authority addressed to the LTO, manifesting his intention to renew his current driver’s license and authorizing the representative to represent him. It should be noted that the letter must be authenticated by our embassy (Philippine embassy). 

If possible, the representative should also furnish the driver’s license. 

signing an authorization letter

By signing an authorization letter, you're giving another person the authority to settle the process for you

2. Submission of documentary requirements

After preparing the necessary document, the representative submits the same before to the officer in-charge of the LTO District Office, Licensing Section or Licensing Center. Consequently, the designated officer will verify and recheck the authenticity of the letter of authority; otherwise, he will deny the application. 

3. Payment of Fees

Upon acceptance of the renewal application, the representative of the licensee shall pay a license fee of Php 350.00 and a computer fee of Php 67.53. After paying the necessary fee, the designated officer will issue a Driver’s License Receipt (DLR) in favor of the representative. 

At the right side of the DLR, the following words shall be stamped: “LICENSEE ABROAD. FOR THE PHOTO-TAKE WITHIN 30 DAYS UPON ARRIVAL”. This DLR will later on serve as a temporary driver’s license (TDL) of the licensee. 

The represenative lining up to pay the fees for their driver's licenses

The representative of the licensee shall pay a license fee of Php 350.00 and a computer fee of Php 67.53

4. Keeping of Records

The District Office/Licensing Center/ Licensing Section of the LTO is mandated to keep the file and records of the applicant. Upon arrival in the Philippines, the licensee is under obligation to present himself to the same office and within 30 days, counted from the date of his arrival. He will be required to submit the further the following documents:

  • Original copy and photocopy of the applicant’s driver’s license;
  • Photocopy of the applicant’s passport, which captures the following pages: first, visa, Philippine departure, and his arrival);
  • Original copy of the DLR issued. If his DLR has been lost, the applicant needs to present a notarized “Affidavit of Loss”.
  • Photocopy of his Tax Identification Number (TIN) card if the applicant holds a professional driver’s license.
  • Medical certificate which is valid only for fifteen (15) days from the time of its issuance.  
  • Drug test result.

5. Photo-taking

After submitting the necessary requirements, the Evaluator will retrieve the other documents previously submitted by his representative to integrate with the newly passed documents. He will verify the completeness and truthfulness of the documents. 

Thereafter, the applicant will proceed to the Photo-taking Area for photo-taking and affixing of signature.

People in Photo-taking area at LTO office

The documents submitted by the applicant should be integrated with photo and signature

6. Payment of other fees

If the renewal fee has been paid, the applicant will only need to pay other fees, if applicable. For example, an additional fee shall be charged if the applicant belatedly renews his license.

For both professional and non-professional driver’s license renewal, the following penalties shall be imposed: Php 75 (within one year), Php 150 (within two years), and Php 225 (for more than two years). Hence, it is advisable to renew your license even if you are not in the country. 

Making a payment

If the renewal fee has been paid, the applicant will only need to pay other fees, if applicable

7. Releasing of card type license

Upon payment, the applicant will now proceed to the Releasing Counter. After presenting the official receipt of transaction, the officer in-charge will release the card. The applicant will affix his signature in the Released Form.

Some things to ponder when renewing your license. It is discouraged to renew your license belatedly. So, for holders of professional/non-professional driver’s license, you may renew your license at least one (1) month before its expiration. 

If the day of expiration falls on a holiday or weekends, the licensee should renew it on or before the last working day of its expiration, pursuant to RA 4136.

Otherwise, a delinquency fee may be imposed against him. Also, if the driver’s license is dormant (i.e. it has expired for more than two years), aside from the imposable penalty, the applicant shall be required to take again a LTO practical and written examination.

Renewal of Driver’s License for Filipinos Abroad

When all the necessary steps are done, you card-type license will soon be released

Nowadays, poverty seems to be a major enemy of every Filipino family. That is why, many individuals tend to leave the country in search of a greener pasture. Concomitant to this plight is the fact that some of them encounter expiration of driver’s license while still abroad. 

That is why, the issuance of LTO Administrative Order no. RIB-2007-011 made renewal of driver’s license of OFWs possible, without incurring large amount of money to buy plane ticket and fly home.

Last but not least, check out our FAQ session for driver's license in the Philippines if this post has yet to fully address your concerns.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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