If you’re wondering what is the minimum allowed age limit to get a driver’s license in the Philippines, then you’re most likely asking about the age limit to secure a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL). After all, a student permit is rarely ever considered as a driver’s license in the Philippines.
In any case, if you ever find yourself wondering about where to start to secure a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL), then we suggest checking on the eligibility requirements first. After all, regardless if you are a Filipino or a foreigner in the Philippines, you need to meet these criteria first, before you can even think about going to the Land Transportation Office (LTO). If you need a place to start, you can begin with the minimum age limit requirement for a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL).
Getting a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)
The first ever driver’s license you’ll ever have after graduating from using a student permit is the Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL). Regardless of your nationality, driving on your own while in the Philippines requires you to have one, lest you get slapped with traffic tickets and hefty LTO fines.
After all, a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) is a license that offers a less restrictive permission to drive any licensed private automobile on your own. Individuals owning an NPDL are allowed to handle 4,500 GVW vehicles with a manual or automatic gearbox. You can secure one after using a student driver’s permit for at least one to 12 twelve (12) months to prove that you have the necessary driving skills and won’t be a hazard to yourself and the others on the road.
What is the Allowed Age to Apply for a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)
Before applying to LTO, however, you should first know the answer to the question: What is the age limit to get a driver’s license in the Philippines?
To answer this question, one must understand that having a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) entails certain responsibilities to keep yourself and others safe on open roads. That said it requires having good judgment and quick decision-making skills. Before you can have that, you need to be of a certain age.
As for owning a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL), there is no regulation about the ceiling age to apply for one. However, you need to at least pass your seventeenth (17th) birthday if you are a Filipino citizen. If you are a foreigner, the law requires you to be at least eighteen (18) years old, no matter what nationality you own. Additionally, foreign nationals who wish to secure a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) from the LTO have to stay in the Philippines for at least one month. The foreigner must also start with the Student Permit and hold it for at least thirty days before attempting to get to the next level driver’s license—the NPDL.
Other Requirements To Get A Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)
Depending on the nationality, the age limit and the period of the license may vary according to Philippine regulations. Aside from these two, the LTO also asks NPDL applicants to satisfy other requirements—both eligibility and documentary requirements—to prove that they have the capacity to maintain sound judgment in cases of emergencies on the road.
These eligibility requirements for an NPDL include passing the written and practical driving assessments as well as satisfying the following qualifications:
- Must be physically and mentally fit
- Must be able to read and write in Filipino, English, or any local dialect
- Must not have unsettled traffic violation
- Must be neat, clean, and presentable
- Must be well-dressed.
- Must have completed Theoretical Driving Course (TDC)
- Must have an active and valid email address
- Must have attended and passed the Practical Driving Course (PDC) from LTO-accredited licensed driver, LTO Driver’s Education Center (DEC), LTO-accredited Driving School, or LTO-accredited TESDA Training Center
- Must have passed the Automated Theoretical Examination and Practical Driving Test
- For foreign applicants: You must have proof that you have been residing in the Philippines for at least one month and that you’ll be staying in the Philippines for at least one year from the date of application.
Applicants of NPDL also need the following documentary requirements to support their identity claims and prove that they satisfy the eligibility requirements.
The documentary requirements for NPDL application includes:
- Duly accomplished Application for Permits and License (APL) Form
- Original and one (1) photocopy of electronically transmitted medical certificate from LTO-accredited medical clinic
- Original and one (1) photocopy of Practical Driving Course (PDC) completion certificate
- Valid Student-Driver’s Permit (Refer to validity of SP)
- If the applicant is seventeen (17) years old: Written parental or guardian’s consent (with valid government I.D with photo and signature)
- Philippine Identification (PhilID) Card,
- Philippine passport,
- Social Security System (SSS) Card,
- UMID Card,
- PhilHealth ID,
- TIN Card,
- Postal ID,
- Voter’s ID,
- Barangay ID,
- Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID,
- Senior Citizen ID,
- OFW ID,
- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID,
- National Council of Disabled Affairs (NCDA) ID,
- Solo Parent ID,
- Voter’s Certification,
- Government Services and Insurance System (GSIS) e-Card,
- Seaman’s Book,
- Government Owned and/or Controlled Corporations (GOCC) ID,
- Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-IBIG ID,
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Certification,
- Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID
- Tax Identification Number (TIN), if employed
- A negative drug test result from a Department of Health (DOH)-accredited testing center and/or government hospital
The application fee, as well as the application procedures, is also a factor one must know before applying for an NPDL. The LTO charges about P820.00 for both NPDL and professional license applications.
For the procedures along with a more detailed information on securing an NPDL, you may check this guide on How to Get an LTO Driver’s License in the Philippines.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For your reference, here are some common questions and answers related to the age limit for NPDL:
1. What is the age limit to get a Driver’s License in the Philippines for foreigners?
For foreign nationals in the Philippines who are looking to secure an LTO driver’s license, it is a must to be at least eighteen (18) years old and above to apply. They must start with the Student Permit and hold it for at least thirty days before applying for an NPDL, too, unless they are applying to convert their foreign driver’s license (FDL) into a Philippine driver’s license.
If you are interested, you may check this guide to learn more about the procedures for converting a foreign driver’s license (FDL) into a Philippine driver’s license.
2. Is 18 years old the age limit to get a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) in the Philippines?
No. The minimum age requirement varies depending on the applicant’s nationality and the license type they are applying for. If the applicant is a Filipino citizen, the age limit for an NPDL is seventeen (17) years old. Foreign nationals need to at least pass their 18th birthday to get ready for an NPDL.
3. Is it necessary to get a Student Permit before applying for a Non-Professional Driver’s License?
Yes. Everyone, regardless of nationality, must start with a Student Permit before they can secure a Non-Professional Driver’s License from the LTO. This includes both Filipino and foreign nationals in the Philippines.
4. Can foreigners skip on the Student Permit and apply for a Non-Professional Driver’s License directly?
No. Foreigners in the Philippines need to start with a Student Permit before they can move forward to securing a Non-Professional Driver’s License. There is an exception to this rule, though. A foreigner who holds a valid foreign driver’s license from his home country may skip on the Student Permit if he converts or exchanges his foreign driver’s license into a Philippine driver’s license.
5. Can a 70-year-old get a Non-Professional Driver’s License?
Yes. In the past, 70-year-old individuals were considered weak and unable to control vehicles which means they are high risk drivers who could potentially harm themselves and other people. However, with the advent of more developed technologies, medical systems, and living standards, even the older people have become more physically and mentally able to drive safely. The LTO, however, limits the permission to drive by adding condition codes on the driver’s license. Plus, elders with medical conditions related to heart disease, nerve, or mental capacity are not allowed to drive. Additionally, 70-year-olds are required to attend eyesight checks every three years.
Now you know what the age limit is to get a Non-Professional driver’s license in the Philippines. Before trying to secure one and drive off on your own in the open roads, you’d want to ensure that you get the appropriate license first. Failure to do so may cause you to be apprehended by traffic enforcers, resulting in traffic tickets and hefty LTO fines. So, if you don’t want to pay a fine of P3,000.00 to the government budget, make sure to secure the necessary requirements and prepare for a Non-Professional license application as soon as you meet the standards regarding the age limit.
If you are a Professional Driver’s License (PDL) holder who wishes to change your license classification, you can check this guide on how to change your license classification from PDL to NPDL instead.