An LTO driver’s license (DL) is a government-issued identification document granted by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to deserving and roadworthy drivers in the Philippines. It comes with driver’s license codes (DL Codes), formerly known as restriction codes, and can be updated, changed, or removed, depending on the types of vehicles the license holder can drive.
Depending on the DL codes printed on your license card, you may have the privilege, the capability, and the permission to drive and operate two-, three-, or four-wheeled private or public motor vehicles in the Philippines.
Aside from the DL codes, the driver’s license issued by the LTO in the Philippines also comes with condition codes. Like the DL codes, condition codes can be updated as well, to show if the license holder needs special considerations to drive in his condition. Licensees are legally allowed to make such changes, though not a lot of people choose to deliberately remove DL codes from their licenses, unlike the updating of driving conditions, which is a more common procedure.
What are DL codes and driving conditions
The Driver’s license codes (DL codes) refer to the new alphanumeric codes used by the LTO in place of the old numerical driver’s license restriction codes. It comes in nine different categories, ranging from A to CE, which corresponds to the general types of vehicles. These nine DL categories all have subcategories called Vehicle Category codes which indicate the specific type of vehicle that the license holder may legally operate in the Philippines.
On the other hand, condition codes or driving condition codes, refer to the new codes used by the LTO to identify the driver’s conditions and help them drive safely, depending on their needs and ability to operate a vehicle, as judged by the LTO driver evaluator. While the old condition codes used letters, (A, B, C, D, E), the new condition codes use numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
These DL and condition codes are indicated in an individual’s license, regardless if it’s a Professional or a Non-Professional Driver’s License to tell the authorities if the license holder is authorized to drive or operate a specific vehicle. If the licensees are found to be driving vehicles they shouldn’t be touching on Philippine roads, they may face hefty LTO fines and violations, lose the opportunity to acquire a 10-year validity license, get their licenses confiscated, or get their vehicle impounded.
Benefits of updating the DL Codes and Driving Conditions
Knowing your Driver’s License (DL) code means knowing the type of vehicles you are licensed to drive. It also means you can avoid facing penalties and charges for getting caught driving a type of vehicle that you’re not licensed to drive. This saves not only time and money, but also ensures that you can avoid hefty LTO fines and the possibility of getting your vehicle impounded. Plus, it keeps the possibility of getting a 10-year validity license upon renewal.
Condition codes, on the other hand, help keep you and the others safe when you drive on public roads. It’s a lot like a compromise for being able to pass the tests given out by the LTO despite deteriorating health conditions or disabilities. After all, all is fair in war and love and the road is no different.
To request for a change in driver’s license codes as well as driving conditions stated on your license, you must first satisfy the following conditions:
- Must be a holder of Philippine Driver’s License
Before applying for a change in DL codes and driving conditions for your driver’s license, you need the following documentary requirements:
- Presentation of original Driver’s License
- If applicable, electronically transmitted medical certificate from LTO accredited medical clinic or submission of one (1) photocopy and presentation of original medical certificate
- Notarized affidavit or written request
How to Drop Driver’s License (DL) Codes and Update Driving Conditions
There are two different ways to apply for a change in DL codes and driving conditions for driver’s license: One, via the Land Transport Management System (LTMS) portal online, and two, by making a personal visit at your preferred LTO branch.
Regardless of the method you prefer, here are the steps you need to follow to make these changes:
Via the LTMS Portal
Step 1: Visit the LTMS portal at https://portal.lto.gov.ph/.
Step 2: If you have a registered account, login using your email address and password. Otherwise, you may register for an account.
- At the LTMS portal website, click “Register Now.”
- Read and agree to the terms of the agreement by clicking Yes.
- Click “Next.”
- Click “Enroll as an Individual.”
- Key in the required details. If you already have an existing license, you may just double check your personal information on the personal page of the registration portal;
- Click next until you reach the option to click “Create Account.”
- You should see a window pop-up confirming successful registration.
- Check your email and click the link to verify your account.
- Click “Set Password for Login,” when prompted and update your password to complete the registration process.
Step 3: On your dashboard, click “Licensing.”
Step 4: Read the terms and conditions and click “Accept.”
Step 5: Choose the license type (Driver’s license or student permit) you currently hold.
Step 6: Click “Next.”
Step 7: Click “Dropping of Category or Additional or Removal of Driving Conditions.”
Step 8: Click “Next.”
Step 9: Key in your driver’s license number and expiry date.
Step 10: Click “Next.”
Step 11: Continue until you are finished with the online application.
Note: You can get an online appointment and also pay online. However, if you are applying for additional or removal of driving conditions, you might be required to visit an LTO Office.
Step 12: Make an appointment and select the appointment location/agency, date, and time
Step 13: Once the application confirmation is received, proceed to the selected payment channel.
Step 14: Select payment mode, pay the Application fees, and wait for the Official Receipt via email.
Step 15: Visit the preferred LTO branch on your appointment, be it a Licensing Center, Licensing Extension Office, Authorized LTO District Office, or LTO Extension Office, closest to your place.
Step 16: Secure a queue number and wait for your turn at the Client Service Officer (CSO) counter of the preferred location/agency.
Step 17: Present presents paid transaction with the required documents to the Client Service
Step 18: Proceeds to the Client Service Officer (CSO) window for biometric capturing.
Step 19: Proceeds to the waiting area and waits for the name to be called out by the cashier for payment of the replacement DL with updated DL codes and driving conditions.
Step 20: Wait for the OR.
Step 21: With the OR, head to the Client Service Officer (CSO) window and present the OR to claim your new DL.
Step 22: Sign in the log sheet and claim the new and updated DL card.
By walking in to the LTO Office
Step 1: Visit the preferred LTO branch in the Philippines on your appointment, be it a Licensing Center, Licensing Extension Office, Authorized LTO District Office, or LTO Extension Office, closest to your place.
Step 2: Secure a queue number.
Step 3: Wait for your turn at the Client Service Officer (CSO) counter of the preferred location/agency.
Step 4: Proceed to the Client Service Officer (CSO) window and submits accomplished APL form and all the requirements
Step 5: Proceed to the Evaluator window for biometric capturing
Step 6: Proceeds to the waiting area and wait for the name to be called out by the cashier for payment of the DL
Step 7: Pay the necessary fees and collect the OR (Official Receipt)
Step 8: Return to the Evaluator window and presents the OR
Step 9: Wait for the DL card to be printed.
Step 10: Collect your drivers’ license (DL), once the OR and DL Card is released, you will be asked to sign in the log sheet.
Like every other LTO transaction, changing the DL classification from professional to non-professional comes with a price. Depending on whether the license is expired or if there’s a need to add restriction codes, you may need to prepare to pay for the following:
Change Classification – P 100.00
Application fee – P 785.00 (if due for renewal), P 425.00 (if not due for renewal) for walk-in applicants
P 685.00 (if due for renewal), P 325.00 (if not due for renewal) for applicants via the LTMS portal
Dropping the DL codes and or requesting to add or remove driving conditions takes 1 hour and 20 minutes (via the portal) or 2 hours and 5 minutes (for walk-in applicants) to process.
Where to Process
When you need to drop DL codes or add or remove driving conditions from your driver’s license, you may go to any of the following LTO offices in the Philippines:
- Licensing Centers
- Licensing Extension Offices
- Authorized District Offices
- Authorized Extension Offices
If, for whatever reason, you decide to drop DL codes or add or remove driving conditions from your driver’s license through any of the designated LTO branch offices for licensing transactions, then these are the things you need to remember:
- The process of dropping DL codes or adding or removing driving conditions from your driver’s license shall only apply for those operating a vehicle for private use.
- Prepare all the documentary requirements (including the photocopies) before going to the LTO Office to avoid delays.
- Visit the LTO office early and dress appropriately, so you can finish it within the day.
- Regardless of license type, the driver’s license is usually released within the day of the application, though this may change depending on the office you’re transacting with.
- As long as the general requirements are met, anyone can be eligible for an LTO DL code change.
- The LTO recently rolled out an online website portal called the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) which you can use to set up an appointment and transact with LTO. But not all LTO offices in the country are connected to the system just yet. Some offices still accept walk-in applicants so it is very important that you check first before you go.
- You will need to take the LTO exams if you need to add more DL codes.
- Plan your time appropriately as these processes can easily take a whole day.
- Make sure to bring all the documentary requirements needed.
- Applicants who have been issued a DL card need to take fingerprints first before the issuance of a 5-year Driver’s License Card.
- Drivers with Driving Restrictions for Conditional and Special Restricted Licenses cannot have more than two passengers under 21 in the car with him unless the applicant is with a licensed adult who is at least 21. The only exception is if he is transporting family members or students to and from school.
- Make sure you have secured the certification, receipt, and application form from the driving school before going to the LTO office.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For your reference, here are some of the most common questions and answers regarding changing DL classification from pro to non-pro licenses.
1. Where can I find the information on my license classification?
If you need to check your new LTO driver’s license for the license classification and vehicular restrictions, you may check the back of your license card. The license class information is in there, unlike the old one which has the information on the front side.
2. Is it possible to remove DL codes and update driving conditions at the same time?
Yes. You may drop DL codes and update driving conditions but it may require you to visit the LTO office to complete the procedures.
3. Do I need to take the LTO exams when requesting for a DL Classification Change?
It depends. Here’s the guide regarding classification change and LTO exams:
- For those whose driver’s license has expired for more than two (2) years, they must first take and pass the Practical Driving Test.
- If the Professional License is valid and if there’s no additional DL code, only a written examination will be conducted.
- If the Professional License is valid and if there’s an additional DL code, written and practical LTO examinations for the DL code applied for will be given.
- If the Professional License is expired, you will take a written and practical examination.
- If the Professional License is dormant, you are also required to pass the written and practical examinations.
Dropping DL codes and updating the driving conditions on your Driver’s License is easy, isn’t it? You only need to prepare the documentary requirements, pay the applicable fees, and visit an LTO licensing center or other LTO offices that cater to license applications and renewals and request for the change. Of course, it’s not free and you will need to pay for the relevant fees, especially if you are adding driving conditions. You will also need to get your biometrics scanned before you can receive the new DL card which reflects the change. It’s a pretty simple process and it doesn’t even take that much time as long as you go prepared, so it’s best to get it done and avoid hefty penalties.