How to Get LTO Driver’s License in the Philippines

An LTO driver’s license (DL) is a government-issued identification document granted by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) allowing Filipinos the authority and privilege to drive and operate motor vehicles in the Philippines. It certifies that a person has both the capability and permission to drive safely, as ascertained by relevant authorities. It also serves as a valid ID that can be used for various government and private transactions.

Also Read: List of LTO Driving Fines and Violations

In recent years, the LTO has implemented changes both to the application process, rules, and fees, as well as in the license validity. The changes were significant enough that some people find it confusing when trying to make sense of the actual driver’s license application. This article will help any interested license applicant apply for an LTO driver’s license by offering step-by-step application procedures. It also offers a detailed guide on the fees and requirements and answers some of the most common questions related to the Philippine driver’s license application this 2023.

how to apply lto drivers license philippines

What is an LTO Driver’s License

An LTO driver’s license is an official Philippine government-issued document meant to certify that an individual may legally handle or operate a motor vehicle. It signifies that the holder of the license has successfully completed all the requirements and assessments that the Department of Transportation (DOTr), via the LTO, implements and that they now have permission to drive freely along the Philippine roads.

A driver’s license also functions as a valid ID, and it can be used to prove that a person is who he claims to be when transacting with both government and private institutions. 

Types of Driver’s License 

There are different types of drivers licenses available in the Philippines.

Student Permit 

The student permit is a first-tier license type that serves as a prerequisite for an actual driver’s license. Though it was labeled as a “student permit,” this type already authorizes an individual some level of driving permission for an entire year. With a student permit, one can already drive a motor vehicle as long as they are accompanied by a licensed driver. 

Non-Professional License

Just above the student permit, the LTO offers the less restrictive non-professional driver’s license. Unlike the student permit, this type allows an individual to drive any licensed private automobile all on their own. One will need to keep the student permit for at least six months, but depending on the date the student permit was issued, the individual has a month to twelve (12) months to apply for the non-professional driver’s license.

Professional License

At the top of the list of LTO licenses is the professional driver’s license. This is the type that you need to get if you wish to get paid for operating any public or private vehicle or drive for a living. This requires securing and holding on to the other license types for a specific period before they can apply for a professional driver’s license.

Validity

Depending on the license type and the instance of license issuance, the validity period may also vary.

Student License

For the Student Permit, the license comes with a validity period of one (1) year from the date of issuance. After one (1) year, the Student Permit can no longer be used for the purposes of the practical driving course. After two (2) years, the holder of the Student Permit will need a new Student Permit with the same permit number. The holder will also need to undergo the required apprenticeship period though all the previous records of training courses taken shall be retained. 

On the other hand, renewal of the Student Permit may be done on or before the expiry date if the holder is not ready to apply for the Non-Professional Drivers License. For those securing the Non-Professional Drivers License, they can do so after only holding on to the Student Permit for a month.

Non-Professional Driver’s License 

First-time applicants or New Non-Professional Driver’s License will have a validity period of five (5) years from the initial issuance unless it was revoked or suspended. Upon renewal, a responsible Non-Professional Driver’s License holder with a clean record or those who have not committed any road traffic violation/s during the five- (5) year period preceding the license’s expiration shall be entitled to a renewal of the same type of driver’s license with a validity of ten (10) years.

Professional License

Just like the Non-Professional Driver’s License, Professional Driver’s licenses in the Philippines are valid for five (5) years, for first-time license holders and those who renewed their licenses with traffic violations, or ten (10) years, for those renewing their licenses with a clean driving record. 

Benefits 

Owning a driver’s license means the licensee may enjoy the following benefits:

  • It helps avoid the potential penalties and legal repercussions associated with driving without or with an expired license. 
  • It offers a valid photo ID that can be used when transacting in both public and private offices.
  • The license renewal process becomes easier than getting a new one through the LTO Portal.
  • It takes a long time, from five to ten years, to expire, depending on the license type.
  • It obliges the licensee to go for Periodic Medical Examinations (PME) and watch their health to ensure safe driving.

Qualifications 

Getting a driver’s license means having to secure authorization from the LTO to operate their motor vehicle of choice. It also means that the licensee has not only passed the driving assessments but also met all the following qualifications to do so.

  • Must be physically and mentally fit 
  • Must be able to read and write in Filipino, English, or any local dialect
  • Must not have an unsettled traffic violation
  • Must be neat, clean, and presentable 
  • Must be well-dressed.
  • Must pass the written and practical driving examination
  • 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.

Student License

  • Filipino citizens who are at least sixteen (16) years of age and above
    • Foreign citizens who are at least eighteen (18) years old and must have been in the Philippines for at least one (1) month and proof of stay for at least six (6) months
  • Must have completed Theoretical Driving Course (TDC)
  • Must have an active and valid email address

Non-Professional Driver’s License

  • Must be at least seventeen (17) years old. For foreigners, at least eighteen (18) years old.
  • Must be a holder of a Student-Driver’s Permit valid for at least one (1) month from the issuance
  • Must have attended and passed the Practical Driving Course (PDC) from an 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

Professional License

  • Must be at least eighteen (18) years old
  • Must be a holder of a Non-Professional Driver’s License for at least six (6) month from the issuance
  • Must be a holder of a Student-Driver’s Permit valid for at least one (1) month from the issuance

Requirements 

Those seeking to secure an LTO driver’s license must also prepare the following documents:

Student License

  • Duly accomplished Application for Permits and License (APL) Form.
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of an electronically transmitted medical certificate from an  LTO-accredited medical clinic
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of any of the following:
    • PSA/NSO Certificate of Birth
    • Philippine Identification Card
    • Passport
    • Local Civil Registry (for areas where there is no PSA)
    • PSA Certificate of Marriage
  • For applicants below 18 years old: one (1) parent’s consent or a person having custody/care or supervision over the minor applicant authorizing the applicant to secure a student permit with the presentation of one (1) original and submission of one (1) photocopy of any valid government issued ID of the parent/affiant with photo and signature
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of any of the following valid IDs with photo and signature of the applicant:
    • 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
    • In addition, for foreigners, must present their Original and one (1) photocopy of their passport with an entry date of at least one (1) month and a visa duration of six (6) months from the date of application, or if born in the Philippines, presentation of the Original and one (1) photocopy of duly accomplished PSA birth certificate  
  • Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN), if employed
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of the Certificate of Completion of the 15-hours Theoretical Driving Course (Electronically transmitted to LTO by the accredited driving school / LTO DEC / LTO Accredited TESDA Training Center)

Non-Professional Driver’s License

  • Duly accomplished Application for Permits and License (APL) Form
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of an electronically transmitted medical certificate from an LTO-accredited medical clinic
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of the Practical Driving Course (PDC) completion certificate
  • Valid Student-Driver’s Permit (Refer to the validity of SP)
  • If the applicant is seventeen (17) years old: 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

Professional License

  • Duly accomplished Permits and License (APL) Form
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of LTO-accredited medical certificate
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of PDC
  • Original valid student permit or non-professional driver’s license
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of PSA birth certificate 
  • Valid NBI Clearance or Police Clearance
  • LTO Client 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

Application Procedures

Once the documentary requirements are ready, you may initiate the application process by following these steps:

Student License

  1. Visit the preferred LTO branch closest to the applicant’s place.
  2. Request for and accomplish the Application for Permits and License (APL) form.
  3. Secure a queue number and wait for your turn.
  4. Once called, submit the accomplished APL and all the other requirements with the attached queue number
  5. Read through the Driver’s Road Safety Pledge.
  6. Wait for your queue number/name to be called for photo and signature capture.
  7. Proceed to the Cashier for payment of fees.
  8. Wait for the Official Receipt (OR) and the Student Permit to be released.
  9. Claim the Student Permit and fill out the log sheet.

Non-Professional Driver’s License

  1. Visit the preferred LTO branch closest to the applicant’s place.
  2. Request for and accomplish the Application for Permits and License (APL) form.
  3. Secure a queue number and wait for your turn.
  4. Submit the duly accomplished APL form along with all the requirements and the queue number
  5. Once your documents are approved, proceed to the Cashier and pay for the scheduled fees.
  6. Take the written examination.
    • If failed: You will receive a computer-generated letter informing you as such. You may come back the following day to retake the test.
    • If passed: Proceed to the actual driving test
  7. Take the actual driving test
    • If failed: End of transaction
    • If passed:
      • Proceed to the cashier for payment of fees
      • Proceed to the encoding or biometric window and accomplish the form for encoding of complete details in the new LTO-IT system, the LTMS portal.
      • Receives OR and the DL Card
      • Sign the release form and the LTO log sheet.

Professional License

  1. Visit the preferred LTO branch closest to the applicant’s place.
  2. Request for and accomplish the Application for Permits and License (APL) form.
  3. Secure a queue number and wait for your turn.
  4. Submit the APL form along with the required documents at the LTO office.
  5. Once your documents are approved, pay for all the relevant fees at the cashier.
  6. Take the written and practical exams. 
  7. Wait for the result of the exams.
    • If failed: End of transaction
    • If passed:
      • Proceed to the cashier for payment of fees
      • Proceed to the encoding or biometric window.
      • Accomplish the form for encoding of complete details in the new LTO-IT system, the LTMS portal.
      • Get your photo taken and affix your signature. 
      • Wait for the OR and the DL Card to be sent to you by LTO.
      • Sign the release form and the LTO log sheet.

Online, via the LTMS Portal

  1. Visit the LTMS portal at https://portal.lto.gov.ph/.
  2. If you have a registered account, log in 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.
  3. On your dashboard, click “Licensing.”
  4. Read the terms and conditions and click “Accept.”
  5. Choose the license type you would like to apply for. 
  6. Click “Add medical certificate” and click “Next.” 
  7. Verify your medical certificate number.
  8. Click “New” or “Renewal” depending on what you need to do.
  9. Continue until you are finished with the application. 

Note: You can get an online appointment and also pay online. However, if you are applying for a new license, you still need to take an LTO examination.

Also Read: How to Renew LTO Driver’s License Guide

Important Reminders

Before processing an application for an LTO driver’s license, here are a few reminders:

  • Prepare all the documentary requirements (including the photocopies) before going to the LTO Office to avoid delays.
  • Visit the LTO office early, so you can finish it within the day. 
  • Prepare for the exams by reviewing through the LTO Portal or other available reviewers.
  • Dress appropriately and avoid wearing an underskirt/Sando, sports shorts, and slippers during the examinations and the picture-taking.
  • If you need to wear eyeglasses, wear them during the application, especially during the practical driving test.
  • Get your Practical Driving Course (PDC) and PDC Certificate only from LTO-accredited driving schools.
  • A non-professional driver’s license issued for the first time is only valid for five (5) years.
  • Holders of licenses with five-year validity must take the PME within 60 days before their 3rd birthdate from the issuance of their license.
  • Those with a ten-year license must undergo their PME before their 4th and 7th birthdays from the issuance of their license.
  • License holders are also required to submit a medical examination certificate from LTO-accredited clinics each time they renew their licenses.
  • License holders whose DL has expired for 10 years or longer are no longer allowed to drive and will be required to apply for a student permit again.
  • 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.
  • Failing the LTO Driving or Practical test will entail re-taking both written and practical exams, the next day if it’s convenient for the applicant.

Video: LTO Non-Professional Driver’s License Updated Requirements, Step-by-step Process & PDC FAQs

To learn more about how to get a Driver’s License in the Philippines, watch this video posted by Youtuber pinoyadventurista regarding the LTO Non-Professional Driver’s License as well as the updated requirements, step-by-step process, and PDC FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers regarding the LTO Driver’s License in the Philippines:

1. Does the LTO accept online or walk-in driver’s license applications?

Yes. Applications for an LTO driver’s license may be done online or by walking into any of the LTO branches nationwide. Do note, however, that if you are visiting an LTO branch, it’s best to secure an appointment online as some branches only accommodate a limited number of applicants per day. It’s also best to visit a branch in the morning to avoid having to come back and wasting your time, as the slots tend to get filled up early.

2. How long is the validity period of an LTO driver’s license?

The validity period changes depending on the license type. For Student Permits, the validity period is one year. On the other hand, first-time professional and non-professional driver’s licenses, as well as those who are renewing with traffic violations, get licenses that are valid for five years. If the licensee has a clean record, then he or she can renew his or her license and secure one with a 10-year validity period as per Republic Act 10930.

3. When will my license expire?

If you are looking for the expiration date of your driver’s license, then you can find it on the card’s front side. The validity period of your DL will also depend on whether your license is issued before or after your birthday. If your license was issued before your birthday, the current year is included in the validity period. Otherwise, the current year is not included when counting the validity period. 

4. Where can I enroll for the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC)? 

If you have money to burn, then you can consider taking the 15-hour TDC at private LTO-accredited driving schools nationwide which offer online and face-to-face/classroom-type Theoretical Driving lessons for more or less ₱2,000.00. Otherwise, you’d want to watch out for free TDCs offered in selected LTO-accredited driving centers in the country.

5. What is the coverage of the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) and Hands-On Driving Exam?

The 15-hour theoretical driving course include:

  • Background and evolution of LTO and its role in development
  • Basics of LTO organization and functions
  • Processes of vehicle registration and driver’s license application
  • Traffic rules and regulations including traffic signs, signals, pavement markings
  • Special laws and administrative issuances established by the LTO
  • Hazard scanning recognitions and avoidance of road accidents
  • Functions and use of vehicle accessories
  • Parking techniques such as parallel, reverse, angle, and three-point turn
  • Vehicle safety and basic troubleshooting
  • Defensive driving, road safety and discipline practices
  • Students are given a copy of the Filipino’s Driver’s Manual and must complete the course instruction for not less than 15 hours.  
  • safe driving techniques in different road conditions, 
  • densities of traffic, and 
  • weather conditions. 

Note: Drivers must complete at least eight hours of the 15-hour TDC at any LTO or TESDA-accredited driving school.

6. Can I still drive when I don’t have a 20/20 vision?

Yes, you may still drive even when you are, without a 20/20 vision. The assessor during your practical test will determine if there’s a need to add either or both Condition Code 1 or 4 on your license.

7. Do I need to enroll in the Practical Driving Course (PDC) when upgrading my Student Permit?

Yes. You will still need to enroll for the Practical Driving Course (PDC) when upgrading your student permit.  This is a course meant to teach license applicants about the basics of practical driving and it is quite different from the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) required for Student Permit applications. 

8. Where can I find the information on my license type? 

If you need to check your new LTO driver’s license for the license type and restrictions, you may check the back of your license card. The license type information is in there, but unlike the old one, it is no longer on the front side.

Summary  

There are different types and ways to secure an LTO driver’s license in the Philippines. Maybe they aren’t all as convenient or as affordable as you want them to be, but if you are looking to drive around in your own vehicle, then you have no choice but to bear it. In any case, there are ways to avail free TDCs and PDCs, if you have the patience to look for them. Either way, it would take more than simple desires to find cheaper, alternatives to securing a driver’s license.

In any case, if you actually have a vehicle, be it a motorcycle, a four-wheel drive, or one that you use to earn a living, securing a DL means being able to use your vehicle freely, without worrying about legal repercussions. It also serves as a valid ID, so you really won’t be losing out when you secure a valid and legal LTO driver’s license in the Philippines.

error: Content is protected !!