How To Get A Driver’s License In The Philippines

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driver's license
There’s this indescribable mix of excitement and anxiety for first-time drivers and first-time car owners. But looking at things from a legal standpoint, you’ll need a license before you can drive. It’s illegal and you will be fined by the MMDA for driving without license.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO), under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), is responsible for drivers licensing and motor vehicle registrations. According to the Official Gazette (gov.ph), a driver’s license is “an official document authorizing an individual to drive a motorized vehicle in the Philippines.

Read more: List of LTO Branches

LTO has three classifications of licensing: student permit, non-professional driver’s license, and professional driver’s license. As the name implies, a Professional Driver’s License entitles you to drive a vehicle for a living. Apply for a Professional license if you will drive any public utility vehicles (PUVs) such as jeepneys, tricycles, taxi, etc. On the other hand, a Non-Professional Driver’s License allows you to drive private vehicles. In both cases, the prerequisite is a student’s permit, which is “an official document authorizing a person to operate a motorized vehicle in the presence of a duly licensed driver.”

Eligibility:

  1. You must be at least eighteen (18) years old.
  2. You must be physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle.*
  3. You must be able to read and write in Filipino or English.

*Must not be afflicted with any contagious disease or epilepsy.

For non-professional driver’s license, take note of these steps:

List of Requirements:

  1. Duly accomplished application form for driver’s license (ADL) [Download this form here].
  2. Valid student permit (Student Permit with a validity of at least six months)
  3. In cases of heavy vehicles: A valid non-professional drivers license for at least 1 year prior to the application, or a valid professional driver’s license to operate light vehicles for at least 6 months prior to the same.
  4. Medical certificate with an official receipt from any duly licensed and practicing physician (Note: The LTO will not accept medical certificates which are over 15 days old.)
  5. Negative drug test result (from a DOH accredited drug testing center & Government Hospital)
  6. Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
  7. NBI or police or court clearance
  8. Must have passed the written and practical examinations*

*Applicants who fail the Basic Driving Theory Test and/or the Practical Driving Test twice won’t be able to apply for a year. If they fail three times, they won’t be allowed to take the exam for two years.

Get a Student Permit

Before applying, you should accomplish a Student Permit also from LTO. When testing your driving skills on the road on your first few tries, you’ll need to present this permit to authorities who might issue you a ticket. A student permit will cost you around PHP 300 for 2-3 hours of processing. The one-month-old student permit is your time to really practice your driving.

Undergo a Medical Examination

Before filing your application for a driver’s license on the same day, you will be required to get a medical examination which will cost around PHP500. Make sure that you only deal with LTO-accredited clinics, usually near the LTO branch.

Study Road Signs and Major Traffic Rules

As early as the thought of driving pops in your head, be wary of the road signs. In your exam, you will be asked for around 50 questions of road signs. If you pass the exam, you will get to the next step.

Practice driving

When you apply for any of the two driver’s license, your skills will be tested through a practical exam facilitated by an LTO officer and gauge if you’re capable of driving. It is notable though that a lot of people brags about getting a license without undergoing this process. But in reality, these people are the ones who get caught in vehicular mishaps because of foolish risks. No one is worthy to be on the road without any driving knowledge.

Here’s a run-through of your expense for that day:

Fees and Charges

Cost

Application Fee Php 100.00
Computer Fee Php 67.63
License Fee Php 350.00
Computer Fee Php 67.63
TOTAL COST Php 585.26

Source: http://www.lto.gov.ph/index.php/services/drivers-licensing/115-summary-of-drivers-license-and-permits-fees-and-charges

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