How to acquire a driver's license in the Philippines?

How to acquire a driver's license in the Philippines?

Driving is a privilege — it’s only for those who are aware and are concerned about the convenience and safety of the people with whom they share the road. And of course, this privilege is also exclusive to those who acquire this through legal means.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What are the few requirements in applying for a student’s permit in the Philippines?

    Filipino citizens sixteen 16 years of age and above, can read and write in English or Filipino, among others, can apply for a Student Permit.
  • What are the few requirements in applying for a driver’s license in the Philippines?

    To apply for a driver’s license in the Philippines, applicants must be a holder of Student-Driver’s Permit valid for at least one month from issuance. They must also have attended and passed the Practical Driving Course (PDC) from LTO accredited licensed driver or LTO Driver's Education Center, among others.
  • This is seemingly lost on the many unruly drivers on Philippine roads, who speed along or park on the avenues and highways, as if these are their personal racetracks and garages. Given this scenario, one can only wonder what kind of legalities — or the lack thereof — these motorists have gone through before they drove.

    But we won’t talk about the driver’s behavior today; rather, we’ll talk about the legitimate proof that permits you the privilege of driving. So, here’s your guide to securing a driver’s license in the Philippines, according to the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

    LTO Non-pro driver's license

    Student permit

    The application process for a student permit is the first stage in getting a driver's license. Request and complete an Application for Driver's License (ADL) at the local LTO office, then send it to the appropriate "window" with all the required documentation.

    Prior to this, however, an applicant must meet the following qualifications:

    • Filipino citizens 16 years of age and above. Foreign citizens at least 18 years old and must have been in the Philippines for at least one month and proof of stay for at least six months.
    • Must be physically and mentally fit.
    • Must be able to read and write in Filipino or English.
    • Must not have an unsettled traffic violation.
    • Must have completed Theoretical Driving Course.
    • Must have an email address.

    According to the LTO, the following items must be gathered before submitting an application for a student permit.

    • An Application for Permits and Licenses (APL) Form that is fully completed.
    • Medical certificate from an LTO accredited medical clinic sent through electronic means.
    • Surrendering one photocopy and presentation of original medical certificate.
    • Presentation of an original version and surrender of one photocopy of any of the following documents:
      a. PSA/NSO Certificate of Birth
      b. Passport
      c. Philippine Identification Card
      d. Local Civil Registry (in cases where PSA is unavailable).
      e. Certificate of Marriage from PSA. 
    • For applicants younger than 18 years old, one parent's consent or a person having custody/care or supervision over the minor applicant authorizing the applicant to secure a student permit with presentation of one original and submission of one photocopy of any valid government issued ID of the parent/affiant with photograph and signature.
    • Providing the original and one photocopy of any issued ID bearing the applicant's photo and signature.
    • In addition, for foreigner, presentation of the original and submission of one photocopy of passport with entry date of at least one month and visa duration of six months from date of application, or if born in the Philippines, presentation of the original and submission of one photocopy of birth certificate duly authenticated by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
    • If the applicant is employed, a Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN).
    • The Certificate of Completion of the 15-Hour Theoretical Driving Course (Electronically supplied to LTO by the Accredited Driving School/LTO DEC/LTO Accredited TESDA Training Center) must be presented in original form, along with one photocopy.

    Wait for your name to be called after which you should have your picture and signature taken and the relevant payments paid. An applicant's student permission and an official receipt from the LTO branch are both given upon completion. A student permit can only be used for a year after it is issued.

    LTO LOGO

    New Driver’s License

    Requesting an ADL is the first step in getting a driver's license, just like getting a student permit, but you also need to make sure you have the required documents and meet the qualifications.

    • Must be at least 17 years old. For foreigners, at least 18 years old.
    • Must be able to read and write in Filipino and/or English.
    • Must be a holder of Student-Driver’s Permit valid for at least one month from issuance. Must have attended and passed the Practical Driving Course (PDC) from LTO accredited licensed driver, LTO Driver's Education Center (DEC) or LTO accredited Driving School / LTO accredited TESDA Training Center.
    • Must be physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle.
    • Must not have an unsettled traffic violation.
    • Must have passed the Automated Theoretical Examination and Practical Driving Test.

    The LTO has provided a checklist on how to obtain a driver’s license below.

    • An Application for Permits and Licenses (APL) Form that is fully completed.
    • Medical certificate from an LTO accredited medical clinic sent through electronic means. Surrendering one photocopy and presentation of original medical certificate.
    • Presentation of original copy and submission of one photocopy of Practical Driving Course (PDC).
    • Student-Driver's Permit with one month validity.
    • Parental or guardian's consent (with valid government I.D with photo and signature) if the applicant is 17 years old.
    • If the applicant is employed, a Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN).

    A candidate will be required to take a written test after completing and submitting the ADL. The applicant will be required to undergo a practical driving test after passing the written exam. After completing the process, the applicant will be required to pay the necessary costs, have his or her data encoded, and have their biometrics taken.

    The genuine driver's license and an official receipt of the transaction will subsequently be given to the applicant. New drivers and license renewal applicants without a history of moving offenses will receive licenses that are valid for 10 years.

    Being able to meet all of the above requirements may seem daunting, but receiving the privilege of driving is well worth the trouble.

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    Photos from Land Transportation Office and Dylan Afuang

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