LTO Student Permit Application Guide for First-Time Drivers

by Venus Zoleta, on category "Car Insurance"

June 10, 2019


LTO Student Permit Guide | Moneymax

Driving a car for the first time? You need to be licensed 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).

Here’s a guide to help you with your student permit application.

What is an LTO Student Permit?

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?

What’s the Difference Between Student Permit and Driver’s License?

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.

Is the LTO Student Permit a Valid ID?

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.

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, the student permit can be submitted along with its official receipt.

LTO Student Permit Requirements

LTO Student Permit Application Form

Student License Requirements

To qualify for a student permit, you need to meet the following conditions:

  • For Filipino citizens: At least 17 years old
  • For foreign residents: At least 18 years old and living in the Philippines for at least one year
  • Physically and mentally fit to operate a vehicle
  • Can read and write in Filipino, English, or applicable local dialect

Got all the boxes checked? Now, prepare these required documents for LTO student permit application:

  • Filled out driver’s license application form (can be downloaded from the LTO website)
  • Electronically transmitted medical certificate* issued by any LTO-accredited medical clinic and registered physician
  • Original and photocopy of birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
  • For married women: PSA-issued marriage certificate
  • For 17-year-old applicants: Parental/guardian’s consent with original and photocopy of one valid government-issued ID bearing the consenting parent/guardian’s signature
  • Additional requirement for foreigners (any of the following):
    – Original and photocopy of passport with entry date of at least one month and visa duration of at least one year from application date
    – Original and photocopy of PSA-issued birth certificate (if born in the Philippines)

*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.

Student License Fee

The total cost of a student permit application is PHP 317.63, consisting of these fees:

  • Student permit fee: PHP 150
  • Application fee: PHP 100
  • Computer fee: PHP 67.63

How to Get an LTO Student Permit

It’s simple and easy to apply for a student permit in the Philippines. Just follow these steps:

  1. Visit any LTO licensing center or district/extension office (If you’re in NCR, here’s the list of LTO branches in Metro Manila) and proceed to the customer service window to get a number.
  2. Submit the student license requirements once your number is called. The receiving personnel will check if they’re complete and will then turn over your documents to an evaluator who will assess your qualifications. If you’re qualified, your application will be encoded in the LTO system and forwarded to the approving officer.
  3. After your application is approved, your name will be called for photo and signature taking.
  4. Pay the fees for your student license application to the cashier. Keep the official receipt issued to you.
  5. Proceed to the releasing counter and present your receipt to claim your student permit card. You’ll also be issued an LTO driving exam reviewer for driver’s license issuance.
  6. Write your name and sign the release form.

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.

Read more: How to Get a Driver’s License Faster Without Dealing with Fixers

4 Tips for Student Permit Applicants and Holders

Student License Guide

Keep these tips in mind to avoid any hassle when applying for a student permit and driving as a student license holder.

1. Undergo Medical Exam at an LTO-Accredited Clinic

An important requirement for student permit applications, the medical certificate is your proof that you’re physically and mentally fit to drive. Or 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.

2. Bring Enough Cash for the Medical Exam and Student License Fee

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.

Read more:

3. Never Drive Alone

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.

4. Apply for a Driver’s License Before Your Student Permit Expires

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 your student permit was issued.

Final Thoughts

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.