Penalty for Driving Without License in Philippines

Driving without a license is illegal In the Philippines. It can result in hefty fines and penalties too. After all, a driver’s license issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) plays a crucial role in granting individuals the legal permission to drive motor vehicles on public roads. It serves not only as concrete evidence of their driving competency and understanding of safe driving practices, but it also works as a proof of a person’s identity. Having said that, it is safe to assume that an LTO driver’s license is a definite must-have of every driver, especially when they go out on a drive. 

As an important document, an LTO driver’s license is considered a necessity for every driver. That said, one must never go out and drive without it. After all, it is the first thing enforcers ask for when you violate a law. Plus, driving without a valid license is strictly prohibited by law and getting caught doing so entails hefty fines and penalties, along with some other potential consequences. 

penalty for driving without a license

What is a driver’s license?

A driver’s license is a legal and official government-issued document designed to prove that an individual is legally allowed to handle or operate a motorcycle or a motor vehicle. It signifies that the licensee has successfully completed all the requirements and passed all the assessment set forth by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), via the LTO. The LTO driver’s license also serves as proof that the bearer has permission to drive freely along the Philippine roads on his own and without the supervision of a licensed driver.

Importance of Having an LTO Driver’s License

A driver’s license is definitely on the top of the list of must-haves for every driver, especially when they go out, and for good reasons. 

Here are some of the reasons why you need to have your physical driver’s license card or its equivalent on your body whenever you go out for a drive: 

  • It serves as a crucial document that evaluates and verifies an individual’s eligibility and competence to drive. 
  • It serves as proof that you are knowledgeable enough to drive a motor vehicle.
  • It acts as tangible proof of one’s ability to adhere to road safety standards.
  • In the event of a traffic law violation, traffic enforcers prioritize checking for a valid driver’s license.
  • Driving without a license is illegal so you need to have it with you to avoid being penalized.
  • Failing to present a valid license may result in additional charges for driving without a license.
  • Having your driver’s license readily available can help you avoid facing other legal consequences.

Driving Without License

Driving without license violation is quite self-explanatory. This literally refers to driving without having the physical license card or its equivalent with you. However, there are a few other acts that constitute driving without license. 

The following acts also serve as equivalent to driving without license:

  • Driving with a photocopy of the driver’s license
  • Driving with a laminated photocopy of the driver’s license
  • Driving with a saved image of the physical license card
  • Driving with a saved image of the LTO Digital ID
  • Driving with a screenshot of the LTO Digital ID
  • Driving with a blurred or unclear photocopy of the QR code behind the temporary paper-based license
  • Driving with a blurred image of the QR code printed at the back of the temporary paper-based license

Aside from these acts, some license-related violations also amount to the same violation as driving without license. 

These violations include:

  • A student permit holder is caught driving without being accompanied by someone who has a non-professional or a professional driver’s license.
  • Being caught carrying an expired driver’s license 
  • Being caught carrying a fake driver’s license
  • Improper use of drivers license
  • Expired drivers license
  • Fake drivers license or Ordinance Violation Receipt (OVR)
  • Expired Traffic Violation Receipt
  • Tampered documents pertaining to franchising, registration, and licensing

Driving Without License Penalty

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in the Philippines has implemented regulations to ensure that those who drive behave responsibly and in compliance with its legal requirements.

As part of these regulations, the LTO has been mandated to impose fines and penalties to drivers who fail to carry a driver’s license while driving on the open roads. This measure emphasizes the importance of drivers to have their driver’s license readily available while operating a vehicle.

The penalties for driving without license includes:

  • The penalty for driving without a license, carrying an expired, suspended, revoked, or fake driver’s license is a hefty P3,000.00.
  • Student permit holders caught driving without being accompanied by someone who has a non-professional or a professional driver’s license will also be penalized with the same fine amounting to P3,000.00.
  • Drivers caught carrying an expired or fake driver’s license among a few other things, can get their vehicles impounded or towed as towing or impounding the vehicle is the most logical option in this case since there is no authorized person to drive it.

To avoid these LTO penalties, always remember to bring your driver’s license wherever you go and make sure to observe other traffic rules and regulations.

Video: Driving Without License Penalty

Learn more about the LTO violation from driving without a license as well as the corresponding penalties by watching this video from Our Thinking Media:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For your references, here are some common questions and answers related to driving without license penalty.

1. Why is it important to always bring your driver’s license?

Bringing a driver’s license is necessary for drivers because it is a violation of the LTO regulation to do otherwise. Plus, if you violated a traffic law, the first thing that traffic enforcers will ask you is your driver’s license and if you are unable to present it, you will also be apprehended and penalized for driving without a license aside from the traffic violation that you were initially apprehended for. 

2. Is it okay to just bring a laminated photocopy of the driver’s license?

No. Driving with a laminated photocopy of a driver’s license, just like bringing a photocopy, is not acceptable. Presenting it to apprehending officers may only result in having more violations and paying even more hefty LTO fines.

3. What is driving without a license penalty?

The penalty for driving without license, as well as the other equivalent acts and violations, is a hefty LTO penalty amounting to P3,000.00. It could also result in towing and getting your vehicle impounded, so you need to be extra careful and to bring your license with you at all times.

4. Can driving without license result in getting your motor vehicle impounded? 

No. Driving without a license alone cannot get your motor vehicle impounded. What would make LTO do so is when you commit related violations like driving with an expired or fake license, etc. 

5. Who has the authority to confiscate your driver’s license?

According to the regulations of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), only the LTO and its deputized agents, including the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) are deputized and allowed to confiscate a driver’s license for violations of traffic regulations.


The driving without a license penalty is a necessary imposition from the LTO. Not only does it help deter reckless driving, but it makes it easier to avoid more LTO violations and even more hefty fines. After all, a driver’s license proves that you are who you say you are and that you are a certified driver who is legally allowed on the road. 

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