How to Get a Driver’s License in the Philippines

If you intend to drive any vehicle, you need to secure a driver’s license. In the Philippines, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is the government agency in charge of assessing a license applicant’s driving skills and issuing an applicable driving license.

The application and the eventual issuance of a driver’s license are usually done at any LTO Licensing Center and District or Extension Offices. Here are the other things you need to know about getting a driver’s license.

Restriction Codes and Conditions

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Restriction codes (RC) represent the type and gross vehicle weight an individual driver can operate, based on the kind of license he possesses.

RC 1. Motorcycle/motorized tricycles/e-bikes (LSV) Trikes (A-1)

RC 2. Vehicles up to 4,500 kilograms’ gross vehicle weight (manual and automatic clutch)

RC 3. Vehicles above 4,500 kilograms’ gross vehicle weight (manual and automatic clutch)

RC 4. Automatic clutch only up to 4,500 kilograms’ gross vehicle weight

RC 5. Automatic clutch only above 4,500 kilograms’ gross vehicle weight

RC 6. Articulated 1600 gross vehicle weight and below

RC 7. Articulated 1601 up to 4,500 gross vehicle weight

RC 8. Articulated 4501 gross vehicle weight and above (truck-trailer)

Conditions, on the other hand, are the physical requirements specified for a person to be able to drive a vehicle properly and safely, based on the assessment of an accredited medical practitioner.

  1. Wearing corrective lenses
  2. Drive only with customized vehicle
  3. Drive only with special equipment for upper or lower limbs
  4. Daylight driving only
  5. With hearing aid

Qualifications

An applicant for a Student Driver’s Permit must be at least 17 years old and must be physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle. He or she must also be able to read and write in Filipino, English, or local dialect. Foreign student permit applicants must be at 18 years of age and must have been in the country for at least one year from the date of application.

Additional qualifications for those applying for a non-professional driving license is that the applicant must be a holder of a valid student permit for at least thirty days from the date of application and at least six months before application if applying for a professional driver’s license with RC 1, 2, 4, and 6.

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If applying for a professional driver’s license with RC 3,5,7, and 8, the applicant must be a holder of a valid non-professional driver’s license for at least one year before the date of application, or a holder of a professional driver’s license with RC 1,2,4, and 6 for at six months prior to application.

Furthermore, a foreigner who wishes to secure a non-professional or professional driver’s license must be able to present proof that he or she will stay in the country for at least one year from the date of application and is allowed to work, therein.

Requirements

For student permit

  1. Properly filled-up Application form for Driver’s License;
  2. If below 18 years of age, original copy of parental/guardian consent with original and photocopy of one valid government-issued ID co
  3. Original and photocopy of birth certificate or marriage contract (for a married woman) duly authenticated by the National Statistics Office (NSO);
  4. If below 18 years of age, original copy of parental/guardian consent with original and photocopy of one valid government-issued ID containing the signature of the consenting parent/guardian;
  5. Medical Certificate issued by any licensed practicing physician stating that the applicant is physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle or, otherwise, indicating his or her impairment
  6. For foreigners, additional requirements of an original and photocopy of passport with an entry of at least one month and visa duration of at least one year from date of application. If Philippine-born, original and photocopy of a birth certificate duly authenticated by the NSO.

Additional requirements for non-professional driver’s license

Valid student driver’s permit at least 30 days from the date of application

Other requirements for the professional driver’s license

For RC 1,2,4, and 6—a valid student permit issued at least six months before the application

For RC 3,5,7, and 8—a valid non-professional driver’s license issued at least one (1) year before the application or holder of a professional driver’s license with RC 1,2,4 and 6 for at least six (6) months before the application; and

Clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the applicant has not been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude or reckless imprudence resulting from reckless driving

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Procedures

For student permit

Upon arrival at the LTO Licensing Center, the applicant must fill-up an Application form for Driver’s License and submit it to the receiving personnel, together with all the documentary requirements. The receiving personnel shall check for the completeness of the documents transmit it to the evaluator.

Upon evaluation and qualification of the application, the evaluator encodes it in the system which will be subject for the approval of the approving officer.

After the approval of the application, the applicant will have his photo and signature taken and will pay the required fees to the cashier, afterward.

The student permit card will be released to the applicant.

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For non-professional and professional driver’s license

After payment, the applicant will take a written examination. If he or she passes, the applicant will be taking a practical driving examination. A reviewer for the Basic Driving Theory examination is available for downloading at the LTO website.

It is only when the applicant can pass the written and practical examination that the approving officer will approve his or her application.

The driver’s license will be released to the applicant. It is valid for five years and renewable unless it is earlier revoked or suspended for some reasons.

Applicants who fail one or both examinations will be allowed to take the same test within one month from the date of the last examination.

For more information about driver’s licenses, you may visit the LTO website