How To Get A Driver’s License In The Philippines

5 min. read By eCompareMo on

If you want to take to the roads, the first step is to know how to apply for a driver’s license.

In this post, we walk you through the current process of securing your student permit from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and eventually getting your non-professional driver’s license finally drive on Philippine roads. We created a cheat sheet to Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Drivers License In the Philippines

But, first, let’s answer an important question: Do you need to go to a driving school?

Do I need to enroll in a driving school?

Right now, the short answer is “not really.” There’s no law that says you need to have learned from a driving instructor instead of from your tito/dad/friends. But that is about to change.

With the government approving the validity extension of the driver’s license, talks about raising the bar on the application process have surfaced.

According to seasoned motoring journalist Vernon Sarne, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) consulted with the country’s top driving schools regarding the stricter driver’s license application. If the proposal pushes through, all license applicants must undergo 15 hours of lectures as well as 15 hours of training.

(Read: Top LTO-Accredited Driving Schools)

With stricter guidelines in place, driving schools can deem if you’re already roadworthy or not. This means that taking lessons at a driving school will be the first step in getting a license. Although this may sound expensive and time-consuming to others, this is a great way to finally breed the next generation of law-abiding drivers.

Till then, you still have a choice on whether you learn how to drive from your tito/dad/friends or from a driving instructor. Whoever you learn from though, the first step is the same and that is. . .

Step one: Get a student permit

The student permit exists for one simple reason: to allow its holders to learn about the basics on driving on the road under the supervision of a license holder.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be at least 17 years old
  • They must be physically fit to drive
  • Reading and writing in both Filipino and English is a must

Documentary requirements

  • PSA-certified copy of birth certificate
  • Taxpayer’s identification number for employed applicants
  • A duly filled out application for a driver’s license
  • For applicants below 18 years old, they must submit a letter of written consent from a parent or guardian and a photocopy of their ID. For absentee parents or guardians, a notarized written consent is a must.

Procedure

  • Go to your nearest LTO branch and check if you have all the requirements on hand. Get a number.
  • Proceed to the evaluation center when your number is called. Present the documentary requirements to the officer present.
  • Have your photo and signature taken.
  • Pay the following fees to the cashier:

Student permit fee

P150.00

Application fee

P100.00

Computer fee

P67.63

Total

P317.63

  • Present your official receipt to the releasing counter and get your student permit.

Step two: Get a non-professional license

If you want to drive a car or ride a motorcycle on Philippine roads, having a driver’s license is a requirement. Aside from giving you the authority to drive a car, this government-issued ID is also one of the best forms of identification you can have in your pocket.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • They must be physically fit to drive
  • Reading and writing in both Filipino and English is a must
  • When applying, the person must not be wearing sando, sports shorts, and slippers

Documentary requirements

  • A duly filled out application for driver’s license
  • At least one-month old student permit
  • Medical certificate not over 15 days old with official receipt
  • Negative drug test results from any DHO-certified drug testing center
  • Taxpayer’s identification number for employed applicants
  • Passing marks on the written and practical examination

Procedure

  • Go to your nearest LTO branch and check if you have all the requirements on hand. Get a number.
  • Proceed to the evaluation center when your number is called. Present the documentary requirements to the officer present.
  • Have your photo and signature taken.
  • Pay the following application fees to the cashier:

Application Fee

P100

Computer Fee

P67.63

Total

P167.63

  • Pass the written exam.
  • After passing the written exam, proceed to the practical exam area.
  • After passing the practical exam, pay the following fees for the license:

License Fee

P350

Computer Fee

P67.63

Total

P417.63

  • Present your official receipt to the releasing counter and get your license.

Step 3: Get a professional driver’s license

Most people stop at step 2, but if you want to drive for a living, you need to get a professional driver’s license.  A pro license is needed to become a driver of public utility vehicles and other commercial cars like trucks.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be at least 17 years old
  • They must be physically fit to drive
  • Reading and writing in both Filipino and English are a must

Documentary requirements

  • A duly filled-out application for driver’s license
  • At least six months old student permit
  • Medical certificate not over 15 days old with official receipt
  • Negative drug test results from any DHO-certified drug testing center
  • Taxpayer’s identification number for employed applicants
  • Passing marks on the written and practical examination
  • For heavy vehicle drivers, they must carry either of the following:
    • At least one-year-old non-professional driver’s license; or
    • At least six-months-old professional driver’s license to operate light vehicles
  • NBI or police or court clearance

Procedure

  • Go to your nearest LTO branch and check if you have all the requirements on hand. Get a number.
  • Proceed to the evaluation center when your number is called. Present the documentary requirements to the officer present.
  • Have your photo and signature taken.
  • Pay the following application fees to the cashier:

Application Fee

P100

Computer Fee

P67.63

Total

P167.63

  • Pass the written exam.
  • After passing the written exam, proceed to the practical exam area.
  • After passing the practical exam, pay the following fees for the license:

License Fee

P350

Computer Fee

P67.63

Total

P417.63

  • Present your official receipt to the releasing counter and get your license.

Additional tips

Want a hassle-free driver’s license application? Make sure you follow these tips to avoid roadblocks along the way:

  1. Look presentable. Even if you’re just getting a student permit, avoid wearing tank tops, shorts, and slippers.
  2. Download the form online and accomplish it beforehand. Although forms are available at LTO offices, you can save yourself some trouble by bringing a filled-out form on your way to their office.
  3. Bring extra photocopies of your documentary requirements.
  4. For people taking practical examinations, wear comfortable shoes for driving.
  5. Remember the most basic driving skills and traffic rules. Keep in mind that failure in the written examination will make you ineligible to get a driver’s license for at least one year.
  6. Bring bottled water and snacks. The application process can take an entire day, depending on the volume of applicants.

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eCompareMo

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