How to Get A Driver’s License in the Philippines


Team Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – Driving is an ultimate life skill. If you can drive, you can go anywhere you want and completely avoid the hassle of commuting. It’s also the easiest way to travel! Driving can take you to places conveniently and safely, but you must first secure a driver’s license before getting to drive around. If you’ve been planning to get one, breeze through this updated guide and learn all the things you need to know when getting a driver’s license.

How to Get A Driver’s License in the Philippines
How to Get A Driver’s License in the Philippines

First things first. What’s a driver’s license?

A driver’s license is a government-issued ID that you obtain to be able to drive any vehicle in the Philippines. It’s issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). There are three types of driver’s license in the Philippines namely:

Student Permit

This kind of license allows a person to drive only when accompanied by a non-professional or professional driver’s license holder. It’s a permit used when you are first learning how to drive, with the supervision of a driving instructor.

Non-Professional Driver’s License

This type of license is the license you get when you are driving private vehicles, or for personal use only.

Professional Driver’s License

This license is what you should get if you are driving as a profession. This includes driving commercial vehicles.

What do I need to prepare to get a driver’s license?

Getting a driver’s license may actually be one of the most tedious government-issued IDs due to the numerous requirements and steps you need to take to obtain one. But if you’re really willing to get this license, you must prepare all the requirements below:

For Student Permit

  • Accomplished Application for Permits and Licenses form
  • One original and photocopy of a medical certificate from any LTO-accredited clinic
  • One original and photocopy of any of the following:
  • PSA/NSO Birth Certificate
  • Valid ID
  • Passport
  • Local Civil Registry (for areas without PSA)
  • PSA Certificate of Marriage
  • One parent/guardian consent that authorizes the minor applicant to secure a student permit and one photocopy of the ID with photo and signature (for applicants aged 18 and below)
  • One original and photocopy of an ID with a photo of the applicant
  • 15-hour Theoretical Driving Course certificate from an LTO-accredited driving school
  • TIN, if employed

For foreigners: 

  • presentation of original and one photocopy of passport with entry date and visa duration of 6 months
  • If born in the Philippines, submit a photocopy of the PSA Birth Certificate
  • TIN, if employed
  • Presentation of original and one photocopy of Certificate of Completion of the 15-hr Theoretical Driving Course

For Non-Professional Driver’s License:

  • Duly accomplished Application Form for Driver’s License (ADL)
  • Copy of the medical certificate given by an LTO-accredited clinic
  • Original Student Driver’s Permit
  • One parent/guardian consent that authorizes the minor applicant to secure a student permit and one photocopy of the ID with photo and signature (for applicants aged 18 and below)

For Professional Driver’s License:

  • Duly accomplished Application Form for Driver’s License (ADL)
  • Student permit (for light vehicles) or Non-professional Driver’s License for at least one year for heavy vehicles
  • Copy of the medical certificate given by an LTO-accredited clinic
  • TIN (if employed)
  • NBI or Police Clearance

What are the qualifications for each type of permit/license?

Before securing a license, everyone must get a student permit first. It’s the first step to getting your own license. To clarify, a student permit is NOT a license yet. It’s just a permit you use to be able to learn and practice driving with the supervision of a non-professional or professional driver’s license holder. You can’t use your student permit to drive alone.

Take note of the qualifications for the permit or type of license below:

Student Permit:

  • At least 16 years of age for Filipino citizens
  • At least 18 years of age and living in the Philippines for one year, for foreigners
  • Physically and mentally fit to operate a vehicle
  • Can read or write Filipino or English
  • Accomplished the required 15-hour Theoretical Driving Course
  • No unsettled traffic violations

Non-Professional Driver’s License:

  • At least 17 years of age
  • Physically and mentally fit to operate a vehicle
  • Can read or write in Filipino or English
  • Must have passed the Theoretical Driving Course and the Practical Driving Course

Professional Driver’s License:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Physically and mentally fit to operate a vehicle
  • Can read or write in Filipino or English
  • Must not be alcoholic
  • Must be neat and presentable

Now, what are the steps to obtain a student permit or license? Here’s how:

How to get a Student Permit

  • Step 1: Prepare all the requirements needed to apply for a student permit.
  • Step 2: Make sure that you have taken and passed the required TDC. If you haven’t, enroll in an LTO-accredited driving school first.
  • Step 3: Go to an LTO office.
  • Step 4: Submit your requirements.
  • Step 5: Proceed to biometrics once your name is called. Have your photo and signature taken.
  • Step 6: After biometrics, proceed to the cashier and pay for the student permit.
  • Step 7: Claim your student permit and official receipt.

How to get a Non-Professional Driver’s License

  • Step 1: Go to an LTO office and submit the requirements to the evaluation window.
  • Step 2: Queue and wait for your number to be called for biometrics. Have your photo and signature taken.
  • Step 3: Pay at the cashier.
  • Step 4: Take the exam in the examination room and wait for the result.
  • Step 5: Bring the result to the actual driving test. You may use your own car or rent a vehicle for the driving test.
  • Step 6: Proceed to the biometrics for your personal information, signature, fingerprint, and picture.
  • Step 7: Wait for your non-professional license and receipt.

How to get a Professional Driver’s License

  • Step 1: Go to an LTO office and submit your requirements.
  • Step 2: Go to the biometrics and have your photo and signature taken.
  • Step 3: Pay fees at the cashier.
  • Step 4: Proceed to the exam room and wait for your exam results.
  • Step 5: Take the Practical Driving Test.
  • Step 6: If you pass the test, wait for your Professional Driver’s License and official receipt.

How much are the fees for each permit or license?

Fees depend on the type of vehicle, license, and driving school you’re applying for. There are driving schools that offer free TDC. Also, the type of vehicle and transmission (manual or automatic) determines the fee you have to pay for the license. Make sure you know what type of vehicle you are planning to use as you’ll need this in your license too.

For Student Permit:

  • Student Permit fee: P150
  • Application fee: P100
  • Computer fee: P68
  • Theoretical Driving Course fee: approximately P1500 to P2000
  • Medical Certificate: approximately P500
  • Total estimate: around P3,000*

For Non-Professional:

  • Non-professional application fee: approximately P800
  • Practical Driving Course fee: approximately P4,000 to P6,000
  • Total estimate: around P7,000**

For Professional: 

  • Application fee: P100
  • Computer fee: P68
  • License fee: P585
  • Computer fee: P68
  • Total estimate: around P900**

*estimate only; includes TDC

** estimate only; includes PDC

Applying for a Driver’s License in the Philippines
Applying for a Driver’s License in the Philippines

Other Important Notes:

  • When going to an LTO office, please wear appropriate clothes. Sando, shorts, and slippers are not allowed.
  • Before getting a license, a student permit is required.
  • Before getting a student permit, taking the 15-hour Theoretical Driving Course is required. There may be free TDCs available in some LTO offices. Check the nearest LTO to you.
  • The student Permit expires after a year. Make sure to take the Practical Driving Course within the year, or renew your Student Permit once it expires.
  • You can only use your Student Permit when driving if you’re accompanied by a Non-Professional or Professional Driver’s License holder.
  • Know the vehicle you will be using. Is it manual or automatic? What’s the vehicle you’re operating– is it a tricycle, motorbike, or a car?
  • You need to know LTO Driving License Restriction codes and conditions, which will be assessed by an LTO evaluator. Conditions like wearing an eyeglass, a need for special equipment, or daylight driving only will appear on your license as well.

In the early 2000s, getting a driver’s license was much easier compared to how it is now. Currently, we have required TDC and PDC to obtain a license, which means that you’ll have to learn from lectures and practice driving before you present yourself to LTO for their own written and practical exam. Though it’s more costly, these are ways to ensure that all soon-to-be drivers know their responsibility when you finally go and drive with a license.

Now that you know all the things you need to prepare to get a driver’s license, are you ready to finally get one? Once you do, drive responsibly!

Have you tried applying for a driver’s license before? How was your experience in getting one? Share it with us in the comment section below!

Source: lto.gov.ph

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