In the Philippines, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) requires the submission of specific documents before issuing a non-professional driver’s license (NPDL). These documents guarantee and prove not only the applicant’s identity, but also proves that they have the desire for safe and legal use of vehicles on the road. As a mandatory LTO registration, an NPDL also ensures accountability when it is needed.
If you are a proud car or motorcycle owner in the Philippines, then you will also need to start a legal driving journey by getting a license. To do so, you will need to understand and adhere to the requirements and try to pass the necessary LTO exams to be allowed to operate a motor vehicle or motorcycle on your own. To this end, here are all the specifics of LTO non-professional driver’s license (NPDL) applications, including the detailed requirements.
What is a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)
The NPDL is a class of driver’s license just above the student permit, in terms of license hierarchy. It is a license type offered by the LTO that has a less restrictive condition. Unlike the student permit, this classification of license allows an individual to drive any licensed private automobile all on their own.
To secure an NPDL, one will need to keep the student permit for at least six months. However, depending on the date the student permit was issued, the individual has a month to up to twelve (12) months to apply for the Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) and upgrade from a student permit.
Benefits of owning a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)
Owning a driver’s license, even if it is just a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) means enjoying 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.
- It obliges the licensee to go for Periodic Medical Examinations (PME) and watch their health to ensure safe driving.
Getting a non-professional driver’s license (NPDL) means having an authorization from the LTO to operate your motor vehicle of choice on your own. 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 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.
Eligibility for a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)
To be able to secure a non-professional driver’s license (NPDL) from the LTO, one must meet the following conditions:
- Must be at least seventeen (17) years old. For foreigners, at least eighteen (18) years old.
- Must be a holder of Student-Driver’s Permit valid for at least one (1) month from issuance
- Must have attended and passed the Practical Driving Course (PDC) from 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
What are the Requirements for Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) Application
To ensure that you can secure a non-professional driver’s license (NPDL) at the LTO without much problems, here’s a list of all the required documents you will need to prepare:
- Duly accomplished Application for Permits and License (APL) Form
- Original and one (1) photocopy of electronically transmitted medical certificate from LTO-accredited medical clinic
- Original and one (1) photocopy of Practical Driving Course (PDC) completion certificate
- Valid Student-Driver’s Permit (Refer to 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
Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) Procedures
For more information on the actual procedures for license applications regardless of classification, you may check this guide on xxx.
If you have a professional Driver’s License (PDL) and you wish to convert it to an NPDL, then check out this guide on xxx.
Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) Validity
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.
Other than the documentary requirements listed above, NPDL applications, whether new or otherwise, require funds to cover for payment of the LTO fees.
These LTO fees include the following:
- Application Fee – P 100.00
- Renewal Fee – P 585.00
Total: P 685.00 + penalty (if applicable)
- If expired 1 day to 1 year = P 75.00
- 1 year and 1 day to 2 years = P 150.00
- 2 years and 1 day to 10 years = P 225.00
- Additional Restriction Code (ARC) = P 100.00
- Change Classification – P 100.00
After paying for these fees, you may need to wait for your turn at the releasing counter for your driver’s license to be released. Sometimes, it takes more than a day to process so you may be asked to come pick up your NPDL at another date.
Where to Process NPDL Applications
When you need to apply for a non-professional driver’s license, then you can simply go to any of the following LTO offices in the Philippines:
- LTO Licensing Centers
- Authorized LTO District Offices (DO)
- Authorized LTO Extension Offices (EO)
Before processing an application for an LTO non-professional 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 underskirt/sando, sports shorts, and slippers during the examinations and the picture-taking.
- If you need to wear eyeglasses, wear it during application, especially during the practical driving test.
- Get your Practical Driving Course (PDC) and PDC Certificate only from LTO-accredited driving schools.
- Non-professional driver’s license issued for the first time is only valid for five (5) years.
- Holders of license 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.
- The steps on how to apply or renew pro and non-pro driver’s license are quite the same, as they include the requirement for application and validation, picture and signature, fee payment, written professional or non-professional driver’s license, and passing test, as well as actual driving skills tests.
- As long as the general requirements are met, anyone can be eligible for an LTO DL Classification change.
- It is also possible to change classification from NPDL to PDL.
- Application for an NPDL can also be done online via the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) portal.
Video: LTO Non-Professional Driver’s License Updated Requirements, Step-by-step Process & PDC FAQs
To learn more about how to get a LTO Non-Professional Driver’s License as well as the updated requirements, step-by-step process, and PDC in the Philippines, watch this video posted by Youtuber pinoyadventurista:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For more information, here are some common questions and answers related to the requirements for motor vehicle registrations:
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. 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 to a non-professional driver’s license (NPDL). 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.
4. 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.
5. Is it possible to add more restriction or driver’s license codes while processing a PDL to NPDL classification change?
Yes. You may add more restrictions or driver’s license codes when you process a license classification change, but it will require you to take both written and practical exams. Plus, there’s an additional fee of Php 100.00 for additional restriction or DL codes.
Securing a driver’s license from the LTO office is probably one of the first things that needs to be done by any new car or motorcycle owner. It is a simple process, but in case you need a little help in getting yourself prepared, then this guide on the list of requirements for motor vehicle registration can help you. After all, if you actually have a vehicle, be it a motorcycle or a four-wheel drive, 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 non-professional driver’s license in the Philippines.