The answer is No. The DL Code B on your license restricts driving to passenger cars only, excluding motorcycles. Officially operating any 2- or 3-wheeler, be it a motorcycle or a tricycle in the Philippines, requires a Code A or Code A1 on your license. Failing to meet this requirement may lead to your vehicle’s impoundment and penalties from law enforcement.
When it comes to riding a motorcycle in the Philippines, suffice to say that our country has laws that are rather lax. That being said, this isn’t to say that there aren’t any rules when riding a motorcycle in the Philippines. There’s one about the minimum prescribed dress code as well as one about protecting children’s safety while riding their bikes. There’s also a license code specific to riding this two-wheeled transport machine, but it sure isn’t Driver’s License Code B (DL Code B).
DL code B is one of the new alphanumeric category codes used by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). There are nine (9) of these DL codes replacing the old LTO restriction codes which have only five (5) categories. It is into the DL codes that we look for the specific type of vehicle the license bearer is allowed to drive, so it’s best to be careful and drive only vehicles you are licensed to drive. Understandably, driving anything other than vehicles you are allowed to, poses a more significant danger while out on the open roads, hence the rules, hefty LTO fines, penalties, and charges. More than that, however, getting caught driving vehicles you aren’t supposed to touch may result in losing the opportunity to renew into the new DL with a 10-year validity period.
Can I Drive a Motorcycle with DL Code B
If you are looking for a short answer, then No, you can’t. Having DL Code B on your driving license allows you to drive passenger cars, but not motorcycles. That said, legally driving either a motorcycle or a tricycle in the Philippines, or any kind of 2- or 3-wheeler at all, will require you to have Code A or Code A1 on your license. Otherwise, you risk being apprehended and having your vehicle impounded.
So, what DL Code Do I Need to Drive a Motorcycle?
If you want to drive a motorcycle legally in the Philippines, then you’ll need a license that bears either DL Codes A or A1.
DL Code A
DL Code A is a driving license code specifically for motorcycles. The code covers both motorcycles with either manual, semi-automatic, and automatic transmission as well as most motorcycle models including Mio, Aerox, NMax, Smash, and Barako, among others.
DL Code A also covers different vehicle category codes including L1, L2, and L3. This means these license holders with DL Code A may drive two- and three-wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of below 50kph (for L1 and L2) and beyond 50 kph (for L3).
DL Code A1
Additionally, there is also the Driving License Code A1, a category code covers all three-wheeled motor vehicles, including motorcycles with sidecars, transport tricycles, and e-tricycles such as Bajaj Re, Yamaha Tricity4, and tuk-tuk (or bokyo). This DL code also covers four-wheeled vehicles with limited unladen mass and maximum design speed.
Licensees with DL Code A1 may also be eligible to drive and operate motor vehicles with the Vehicle Category Code L4, L5, L6, and L7 or motorcycles with sidecar and with a maximum design speed under 50 kph, three-wheeled symmetrically arranged vehicles with a maximum design speed exceeding 50 kph, four-wheeled vehicles with unladen mass of not more than 350 kg and with a maximum design speed not exceeding 45 kph, and four-wheeled vehicles with unladen mass of not more than 550 kg and with a maximum design speed of not exceeding 45 kph, respectively.
So, what does DL Code B allow you to drive, if not a motorcycle?
According to the law, DL Code B allows one to drive motorized passenger vehicles with up to eight (8) seats and whose Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) does not exceed 3500 kg. This category actually allows license holders to drive and operate vehicles including hatchbacks, coupes, sedans, and SUVs.
Note that DL Code B is also different from DL Codes B1 and B2 which refers to category codes reserved for those who drive passenger vans or jeepneys and other light commercial vehicles including commercial four-wheeled vehicles used for cargo transportation respectively.
Where to Find the DL Codes
Unlike the old licenses where the old restriction code is found on the front side of the driver’s license card, the new DL codes can be found at the back of your driver’s license, next to the transmission and condition codes.
The DL Code B is not the DL code you need to drive a motorcycle of any type without facing legal repercussions later on. To do that, you’ll need DL Codes A or A1, depending on the type of motorcycle you’ve got. Observing the rules on what to drive can save you a lot of trouble, time, and money, especially in case you get caught for any type of traffic violation.