by Venus Zoleta, on category "Car Insurance"
June 10, 2019
Driving a car for the first time? You need to have a license to drive legally in the Philippines. But before you can qualify for a driver’s license, you have to apply first for a student permit at the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
A student permit, sometimes called student license, is an official document that authorizes the holder to drive a vehicle in the Philippines in the presence of someone with a professional or non-professional driver’s license.
The student permit is valid for one year from the issue date, which is enough time to learn road traffic signs and rules, improve driving skills, and get ready for LTO driving exams (taken during a driver’s license application). This document cannot be revised, modified, or renewed.
Read more: Should I Attend Driving School?
The LTO student permit is different from professional and non-professional driver’s licenses. It’s issued to first-time drivers, allowing them to learn and practice driving with the guidance of a qualified licensed driver before they can get a driver’s license.
In contrast, the LTO issues the non-professional driver’s license to people (previously issued a student permit) who will drive a vehicle with a gross weight of less than or equal to 4,500 kg. Professional driver’s license holders are authorized to drive heavier and bigger vehicles.
Strictly speaking, the student permit is only a temporary permit and not meant to be a valid ID for different transactions with government offices and banks, according to this post from the LTO Makati District Office (1).
However, several government agencies such as the DFA and SSS still accept the student permit as a valid ID. For example, you can submit your student permit (in orange card format) to the DFA for your passport application or renewal. For SSS transactions, you can submit your student permit along with its official receipt.
To qualify for a student permit, you need to meet the following conditions:
Now, prepare these required documents for LTO student permit application:
*Since January 2019, the LTO has been requiring online submission of medical certificates for student permit and driver’s license applications. But no need to worry about this. The clinic will be the one to transmit your medical exam results to the LTO IT system. The clinic will give you a hard copy of your medical certificate, which you must submit to the LTO for validation.
The total cost of a student permit application is PHP 317.63, consisting of these fees:
It’s simple and easy to apply for a student permit in the Philippines. Just follow these steps:
One month after getting a student permit, you can apply for a non-professional driver’s license. If you want to get a professional driver’s license, you can do so after at least six months of having a student license.
Keep these tips in mind to avoid any hassle when applying for a student permit and driving as a student license holder.
An important requirement for student permit applications, the medical certificate will serve as the proof of your physical and mental fitness to drive. If you have a certain health condition that will affect your driving capability, the doctor will indicate it in the medical certificate.
However, the LTO accepts only medical certificates issued by its accredited clinics and registered physicians. You can find LTO-accredited clinics near the LTO office. Don’t waste your time and money getting a medical certificate from a non-accredited clinic and doctor.
The cost of getting a student permit include not just the student license fee. You also have to factor in the medical exam cost, which ranges from PHP 350 to PHP 500. Prepare enough money for these fees.
To save money on the medical exam fee, you may try using your HMO or health card to cover the cost.
Student drivers are required by law to be accompanied by a licensed driver when driving a vehicle. This means you can’t drive alone if you have a student permit only. The LTO fine is PHP 500 for those who violate this rule.
The LTO doesn’t accept an expired student permit from driver’s license applicants. To get a driver’s license, you must submit your student permit before the end of its one-year validity period.
Remember: You can apply for a non-professional license between one month up to a year after your student permit issue date. For a professional license, you can apply between six months up to a year after they issued your student permit.
Securing a student permit is the first necessary step to your driver’s license application. Get it right, so you can move on to becoming a full-fledged driver.