Driving with a fake license is prohibited and is punishable by law. According to existing Philippine laws, being caught driving with a fake license is prohibited and punishable by law. Anyone caught doing so will be required to pay a fine amounting to P3,000.00 on the first offense and will be disqualified from being granted a driver’s license and driving a motor vehicle for one year from the payment of the fine. There are stiffer penalties for other violations similar to the use of fake license as well, including driving without a license, driving with an expired license, reckless driving, and drunk driving, etc.
As driving is a mere privilege afforded by the state to those who wish to handle and operate a motor vehicle on public roads, it comes with the great responsibility of obtaining a valid driver’s license and ensuring road safety at all times. In the Philippines, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is the governing body responsible for issuing driver’s licenses. However, some individuals may be tempted to use fake licenses, either out of ignorance or with ill intent. Regardless of the reasons behind it, the use of fake licenses in the Philippines is illegal and may result in having to face serious legal consequences.
The Importance of a Valid Driver’s License
A driver’s license is not just a piece of identification; it serves as evidence that the bearer has gone through and completed all the necessary training, passed the required tests, and is fit and roadworthy enough to operate a motor vehicle on the open roads. It is a vital document that signifies a driver’s understanding of traffic rules and regulations and the responsibility that comes with being allowed on the road.
Benefits of Having a Valid Driver’s License
Having a valid driver’s license in the Philippines comes with several benefits, including:
Legal Authorization to Drive
A valid driver’s license serves as legal authorization to operate a motor vehicle on public roads. It demonstrates that the license holder has undergone the necessary training and testing to ensure they are competent and aware of traffic rules and regulations.
Avoidance of Legal Consequences
Driving without a valid license can lead to legal consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and other penalties. Having a valid license helps individuals avoid these legal issues, promoting responsible and lawful behavior on the road.
A valid driver’s license signifies that the holder has acquired the skills and knowledge needed for safe driving. This contributes to overall road safety by ensuring that individuals on the road are aware of traffic rules, road signs, and proper driving etiquette.
Insurance companies often require a valid driver’s license for coverage. In the event of an accident, having a valid license ensures that the driver is eligible for insurance benefits, covering damages, medical expenses, and other related costs.
Some job positions require a valid driver’s license, especially those involving driving responsibilities. Having a license can enhance employment opportunities and make individuals more versatile in the job market.
Convenience in Daily Life
A driver’s license provides convenience in daily life, enabling individuals to drive themselves to work, school, or other places without relying on public transportation or others for rides. This independence can significantly improve one’s quality of life.
In addition to serving as a driving permit, a driver’s license also serves as a valid form of identification. It is often accepted as a primary identification document in various non-driving situations, such as opening a bank account or applying for certain services.
A driver’s license is a widely accepted form of identification, making it useful for domestic travel. It can also be required when renting vehicles for travel purposes. Having a valid license provides flexibility and convenience when exploring different regions.
Responsibility and Accountability
Obtaining and maintaining a valid driver’s license reflects a commitment to responsible and accountable behavior on the road. It is a demonstration of one’s understanding of the importance of road safety and adherence to traffic laws.
For many individuals, obtaining a driver’s license is a milestone and a personal achievement. It signifies the successful completion of training and testing, boosting confidence and self-esteem.
Legal Consequences of Using a Fake Driver’s License
On the flip side, driving with a fake driver’s license is prohibited and may result in the following consequences
Driving with a fake license is a criminal offense in the Philippines. The legal consequences include imprisonment and hefty fines. The authorities take a strong stance against the falsification of official documents, emphasizing the importance of upholding the integrity of the licensing system.
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) can impose administrative sanctions, such as revoking driving privileges, imposing fines, and requiring attendance in seminars or retraining programs. These measures are designed to discourage individuals from attempting to deceive the licensing authorities.
Individuals caught driving with a fake license may face the impoundment of their vehicle. This additional penalty serves as a deterrent and reinforces the seriousness of using fraudulent documents in connection with driving.
Difficulty Obtaining Legitimate License
Those caught with a fake license may encounter challenges when applying for a legitimate driver’s license in the future. The LTO may deny their application, making it clear that engaging in fraudulent activities can have lasting consequences.
Voided Insurance Coverage
If involved in an accident, individuals using a fake license risk having their insurance coverage voided. This means they would be personally liable for all damages, medical expenses, and other costs arising from the incident, putting a significant financial burden on them.
Compromised Road Safety
Driving with a fake license undermines road safety. Legitimate licenses ensure that drivers have undergone proper training and testing, contributing to a safer driving environment for everyone on the road. Falsifying documents puts both the driver and others at risk.
Being convicted of using a fake driver’s license results in a criminal record. This record can have long-term consequences for you, affecting employment opportunities, travel, and other aspects of one’s life. The impact extends beyond the immediate legal penalties.
Individuals caught using fake driver’s licenses may face social stigma and damage to their reputation. Word of such offenses can spread within communities, affecting relationships and credibility.
Diminished Trust in Licensing System
The use of fake driver’s licenses also undermines the trust in the Philippine licensing system. It erodes the credibility of legitimate licenses and creates skepticism among the public, making it harder for authorities to ensure road safety and regulate drivers effectively.
Disregard of Ethical Responsibility
Beyond the legal and practical consequences, there is an ethical responsibility to adhere to the law and contribute to a safe and responsible driving culture. Choosing to drive with a fake license disregards this responsibility and jeopardizes the well-being of oneself and others on the road.
Penalties for Driving with a Fake License in the Philippines
According to Section 31 of the Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, driving with a fake license is prohibited. The law says that “no person shall falsely or fraudulently represent as valid and in force any driver’s license, badge, certificate, plate, tag or permit issued under this Act which is delinquent or which has been revoked or suspended…”
If caught driving with a fake license, the penalties will be as follows:
Department Order (DO) 2008-39
According to the LTO Department Order (DO) 2008-39, which became effective starting March 2009, a penalty of P5,000.00 will be imposed on drunk drivers and P10,000.00 on drivers under the influence of drugs. The DO also imposes fines anounting to P1,500.00 for driving without a license, P400.00 for driving with an expired license, P2,000.00 for possessing a fake driver’s license, P3,000.00 for a conviction for a crime perpetrated with the use of a motor vehicle, and P6,000.00 for driving a public utility vehicle out of line. There’s also a fine of P50,000.00 on public utility jeepneys plying the routes without a franchise, P6,000.00 for motorcycles, P120,000.00 for sedans, P200,000.00 for vans, and up to P1 million pesos for buses who are caught violating this LTO order.
Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01
In 2014, DO 2008-39 was superseded by the DOTr Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01, a set of stiffer new rules prescribed by both the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and accepted by the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (IACT)—a special board composed of representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), and Metro Manila Council (MMC). According to JAO 2014-01, erring drivers and operators will have to pay higher fines or settle with stricter penalties for violations related to licensing. Under the same joint order, motorists who are found to be bearing and using a fake driver’s license shall be subjected to a fine of P3,000.00 and will be disqualified from being granted a license and driving a motor vehicle for one year from the payment of the fine.
Article 1 Section 56 of the Revised Penal Code
This penalty imposed by JAO 2014-01 is further intensified by Article 1 Section 56 of the Revised Penal Code, which states that a motorist caught attempting to use or using a fake driver’s license will be fined with not more than P3,000.00 or will be imprisoned for up to six months.
How to Verify if a Driver’s License is Authentic
In order to avoid being conned into securing a fake license or if you simply want to be able to tell a fake and authentic driver’s license apart, then you’d want to verifying its authenticity. The authenticity of an LTO (Land Transportation Office) driver’s license is generally marked by several security features. The most popular license card security features include holograms, microprint, and the license’s overall design, typeface, and color. You can also verify the driver’s license number with the local licensing authority or use any online verification tools provided by the LTO. Though these features are quite unique, some fake licenses bears features that may seem very close to the authentic one, so if you are in doubt and in need help on how to spot a fake driver’s license, you can always contact the relevant authorities for assistance via these contact information:
Via the LTMS portal: Visit the LTO’s official website and fill out their Contact Us form available via this link: https://portal.lto.gov.ph/ords/f?p=PUBLIC_PORTAL:CONTACT_US:115716301949471
Via phone call: You may contact them at their telephone number (632) 922-9061 to 66.
Via email: You may also send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Via the LTO Text Hotline Service: You may use LTO’s nationwide SMS service for drivers and vehicle owners by typing LTOHELP and sending it to 2600
By visiting the LTO office: For more information, you may also check this list of LTO offices in the Philippines for the LTO branch closest to your place or work or residence.
Note that the LTO Text Hotline service is available during office hours on weekdays. If you avail this service after 5 PM, you won’t get any replies, but you will still be charged a Php 2.00 fee, as it is the fee using that service.
Video: How to Spot Fake Driver’s License Philippines
Learn about how to spot a fake driver’s license in the Philippines by watching this video from Carluto TV:
Driving with a fake license in the Philippines is not only a breach of trust but also a serious legal offense. The consequences extend beyond fines and imprisonment, affecting an individual’s driving privileges, eligibility for a legitimate license, and even their ability to secure insurance coverage. It is imperative for everyone to recognize the importance of abiding by the law and obtaining a valid driver’s license through legal means. The risks associated with using a fake license far outweigh any perceived benefits, emphasizing the need for responsible and lawful behavior on the road.