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Getting Your LTO Philippines Driver’s License: How to Apply or Renew

Everything you need to know about securing your driver’s license in the Philippines

Getting behind the wheel this year? Read through the step-by-step guide ahead to familiarize yourself with the process of obtaining a driver’s license or to get reacquainted with the process should you be due for a renewal.

Getting a Driver’s License in the Philippines

A driver’s license is a form of identification granted by the government that serves as permission to drive a vehicle in the Philippines. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has implemented changes to the license application process in 2021, such as the mandatory 15-hour theoretical driving course to further ensure public safety.

Types of Driver’s License

1. Student Permit 

A student permit is a prerequisite for a driver’s license, authorizing you to drive a vehicle as long as a licensed driver is accompanying you. This permit is valid for a year.

What are the requirements?
  • Applicant must be at least 16 years old

  • Duly accomplished Application for Permits and Licenses (APL) Form

  • One photocopy and an original LTO-accredited medical certificate

  • Original and one photocopy of the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) certificate

  • Original and one photocopy of a valid government ID

  • For minors, a notarized parental or guardian’s consent with a valid government ID

  • If employed, a Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)

2. Non-Professional License

A non-professional driver’s license permits you to drive any licensed private automobile. Depending on when your student permit was issued, you have a month to 12 months to apply for this type of license. 

What are the requirements?
  • Must be at least 17 years old

  • Duly accomplished APL Form

  • One photocopy and original LTO-accredited medical certificate

  • Original and one photocopy of Practical Driving Course (PDC)

  • Original valid student permit 

  • For minors, a notarized parental or guardian's consent with a valid government ID

  • If employed, a TIN

3. Professional License

A professional driver’s license is the type to get if you want to drive for a living. You must apply for a professional license if you get paid for operating any public or private vehicle.

What are the requirements?
  • Must be at least 18 years old

  • Must have no unsettled traffic violations

  • Duly accomplished APL Form

  • One photocopy and original LTO-accredited medical certificate

  • Original and one photocopy of PDC

  • Original valid student permit or non-professional driver's license

  • Original and photocopy of birth certificate 

  • Valid NBI Clearance or Police Clearance

  • LTO Client ID

  • TIN

How to Apply for a Driver’s License

Applying for a student permit:
  1. Submit an accomplished application form along with the other requirements to the LTO representative.

  2. Have your photo taken and affix your signature in the designated area.

  3. Once your application is approved, head to the cashier to pay.

  4. You will receive your student permit in the form of an official receipt. 

Applying for a non-professional license:
  1. Register for an account in the LTO online portal. Fill out the necessary details, verify your account, and pay the fees online. To speed up your internet connection for a seamless online application, level up your prepaid plan and subscribe to a GoBOOSTER promo.

  2. Go to your preferred LTO office and submit your requirements. 

  3. Take the written and practical exams.

  4. The approving officer will approve your application if you get through both exams.

  5. Have your photo taken and affix your signature.

Applying for a professional license:
  1. Submit required documents at the LTO office.

  2. Once your documents are approved, pay all fees to the cashier.

  3. Take the written and practical exams.

  4. Have your photo taken and affix your signature if you passed both tests.

  5. Your professional driver's license and official receipt will be sent to you by LTO, and you will be required to sign the Release Form.

How to Renew Your Driver’s License 

Ensuring a valid license is crucial, as penalties and legal repercussions may apply when you drive with an expired license. The process for license renewal is easier than getting a new one through the LTO Portal. Here’s everything you need to know about the process:

Who is qualified for a driver’s license renewal?

Any license holders leaving the country that have not renewed their license in the last 12 months can apply for the driver’s license renewal. Professional or non-professional licensees whose credentials haven't expired in the last two years may also apply.

Responsible drivers who have maintained clean records can qualify for a 10-year license reward. Meanwhile, those with at least one traffic offense will be eligible for a five-year license.

What are the requirements? 
  • LTO-accredited medical certificate

  • Original professional or non-professional driver’s license

  • Printed copy of Comprehensive Driver's Education (CDE) certificate with at least a 50% passing score

How to renew your driver's license online?

 LTMS Portal]

  1. Secure a CDE certificate online.

  2. Visit the nearest LTO office, licensing center, or LTO renewal office in select malls to submit all required documents.

  3. Once the receiving personnel confirm that your documents are valid and complete, have your biometrics and photo taken.

  4. LTO will release your new driver's license and an official receipt. You will need to affix your name and signature on the release form.

General FAQs

How much do applications and renewals cost?
  • Student permit: ₱1,000–₱5,500

  • Professional and Non-professional license: ₱4,000–₱8,000

  • Student permit renewal: ₱250–₱400

  • Driver's license renewal: ₱685–₱1,000

Where can I take the theoretical driving course, and how much is the fee?

The cost of classroom-style theoretical driving instruction at an LTO-accredited driving school is about ₱2,000 on average.

What do I do if I lose my driver's license?

In case you lose your current license, you may apply for a new one at any LTO district office or licensing center.

Securing a License for a Secured Ride

Applying and renewing a driver’s license in the Philippines doesn’t have to be complicated, even with the government-mandated new requirements.

Whether you're reviewing for your tests at home, getting a refresher on today’s number coding schemes, skimming other news, or entertaining yourself while queuing up in the LTO office, let Globe’s GoWiFi and MyFi LTE help you stay connected anytime, anywhere. For high-speed data connection, check out the full list of the areas covered by Globe 5G.

Art Matthew Fetalver

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