Reasons Why Your Driver’s License is Revoked

Revoked driver’s license may seem a bit too far-fetched for you right now, but it’s more common than you think. In fact, if you are a driver in the Philippines, you’ve probably wished that a person’s driver’s license would be revoked at least once in your life. As bad as it sounds, a lot of drivers in the Philippines lack the discipline and courtesy that should be exhibited on the road. It’s also quite the hassle, especially if you like to keep your freedom to drive your own car on public roads by yourself.

If you do not know yet, there are numerous violations that can serve as sufficient grounds for a driver’s license to be revoked. Regardless of the reason, however, a revoked license is the price a driver pays for breaking the rules and regulations imposed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) via the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and its deputized agencies.

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reasons why drivers license is revoked

Banned vs. suspended vs. revoked license: What’s the difference?

Driver’s license can be banned, suspended, and revoked. Though all three are types of penalties imposed by the agency following the commission of transgressions behind the wheel. When your license is banned, suspended or revoked, it means that you are not allowed to drive legally in the Philippines, and that you are actually committing a crime as defined under special statutes.

Despite the similarities, there are some major differences between banned, suspended, and revoked licenses. For one, revocation is a stiffer penalty compared to driver’s license suspension. Suspensions can be lifted after a certain period. When a license is revoked, the offender can apply for one again after the prescribed two to three years period. However, when a driver has had his license banned, it means that he is banned from driving, usually for life and even if there is a name change. This is so because the DOTr, through the LTO and its deputized apprehending agency, deems that your actions show that you are too dangerous to be let out on the road and to ever drive again.

Revoked Driver’s License

Revocation of a driver’s license refers to the penalty imposed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) via the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and other deputized agencies. It refers to the penalty for driving violations, resulting in the suspension of the permission to drive on the public roads. 

The DOTr Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 also has guidelines for revocation of licenses. It states that revoked non-professional driver’s license (NPDL) means the holder shall be disqualified from being granted a license for a period of two years counted from the date of revocation. Meanwhile, a revoked professional driver’s license (PDL) means the holder is perpetually disqualified from getting another license.

Reasons for Revoked Driver’s License 

In this guide, we listed ten (10) potential causes and reasons that will get you a revoked license in the Philippines. 

Driving a motor vehicle used in the commission of a crime

Driving a vehicle used to commit a crime is a traffic violation resulting in revocation of a license. Before the license can be revoked, however, it is necessary for the apprehending agency to have a judgment of conviction by a regular court to prove that the driver is indeed guilty of the violation pressed against him. Aside from license revocation, the driver would also need to pay a fine of P10,000.00 and be perpetually banned from getting a driver’s license or even drive a motor vehicle. The vehicle itself is also impounded in favor of the government.  

Commission of a crime during apprehension

If a driver gets caught committing crimes amidst the apprehension, then you can expect the revocation of a driver’s license as well. The revocation of license resulting from this violation presupposes that there is final judgment of the court, holding the driver guilty. The subject vehicle is then impounded and the violator penalized with P10,000.00. Also, aside from the revocation of the driver’s license, he is disqualified to apply for another driver’s license for a period of five (5) years, reckoned from the date of his payment of penalty. 

Driving under the influence of dangerous drugs, alcohol or similar substance 

This type of violation will end up with a revocation of the driver’s license only if the license is a professional driver’s license (PDL). A driver who is found to be guilty of the charge will only end up with a perpetually revoked license if he is a professional driver’s license holder. He will also be charged with a fine and banned from applying for any type of driver’s license in the Philippines thereafter. For non-professional driver’s license (NPDL) holders, it will only result in a twelve (12) month-suspension on the first conviction. Perpetual revocation of the driver’s license will only happen if he commits the same act and the court finds him guilty again.

Reckless driving

This is probably one of the most commonly committed violations in the Philippines. You probably don’t think that this offense may amount to revocation of your license if you keep on doing it. For non-professional driver’s license holders, the revocation of license plus a fine of P10,000.00 will be imposed if he commits the violation for the fourth time. The good thing is, he is still allowed to apply for another driver’s license after two years, counted from the day of revocation of his previous license. For professional driver’s license holders, a stiffer penalty will be imposed so the fourth violation of the same will get the licensee a penalty of perpetual revocation of his license, perpetual disqualification from getting any type of driver’s license, and a fine amounting to P10,000.00.

Procuring fake documents in applying for a driver’s license

The use and submission of fake documents to prove his records and identity in the process of renewing the driver’s license is also a violation. This violation, when discovered, can end up having the license tagged for being procured on alarm. When caught, the driver will be disqualified from driving a motor vehicle and getting a driver’s license for a period of one (1) year, commencing from the date of payment of fine, which is Php 3,000.00.

Three consecutive violations of the same law within a year

A revoked driver’s license can also result from repeated violations of the same kind for at least three times within the same year. If a driver commits the same violations of the offenses defined by Joint Administrative order no. 2014-01 for three consecutive times within one year, the LTO Commissioner may impose either a suspension or a revocation of license upon his discretion.

Some of the acts defined under this law include: 

Cheating or the commission of certain fraudulent acts prior to the issuance of the license 

An issued driver’s license may be revoked If, upon the application for a driver’s license, the applicant is found to have committed any of the following acts before the issuance of a driver’s license (Section 23B of RA 10930): 

  • Willful misrepresentation with respect to material information in the application; 
  • Connivance with the officer in the irregular conduct of examinations or issuance of a license; 
  • Falsification of documents; and, 
  • Cheating during examinations.

Accidents or vehicle crashes resulting in death or injuries

A driver’s license may be revoked if a licensed driver of a certain motor vehicle caused the death or any debilitating physical injury resulting in the loss of any part of the victim’s body or the use thereof, insanity, imbecility, impotence or blindness, or incapacity to work for more than 90 days.

Allowing unauthorized people to use your license

Transferring, lending, or otherwise allowing any person other than the one named on the license to use his/her license for the purpose of enabling such person to operate a motor vehicle is not allowed and may end up in the revocation of the borrowed license. 

20 demerit points gets your driver’s license revoked

In the LTO Point or Demerit System, everyone starts with a clean slate of 20 points. Each violation will have a corresponding point equivalent, and every violation point will be deducted from the starting 20. Once the 20 points have been spent or deducted, the penalty is a revocation of the Driver’s License plus a suspension from driving for a period of two (2) years.

Things to do cases of revoked license

There are different things you can do when you find yourself with a revoked license. However, these can only be done depending on the situation surrounding the revocation. 

Appeal for reinstatement

It is possible to file for an appeal to reinstate your revoked license. According to the provisions of Section 27 of RA 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code), the LTO Commissioner or director has the ability to exercise the power to revoke or suspend a driver’s license. Likewise, he can reinstate a revoked license if the driver can furnish a bond amounting to one thousand pesos (P1,000.00) and convince him that he has the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle again. 

. . .Section 27 of RA 4136 states that:

Without prejudice to the authority of the court in appropriate cases and except as herein otherwise provided, the Director shall have exclusive power and authority to suspend or revoke for cause any driver’s license issued under the provisions of this Act.

Apply for a new license

In cases when perpetual driver’s license revocation is not imposed on the driver, it is still possible to apply for another driver’s license. The owner of the revoked license only needs to serve the period of two years, counting from the date of revocation, then he can already file for a new application for a driver’s license by submitting the same legal documentary requirements. Naturally, the application will cost the same, charging  P820.26 for both professional and non-professional driver’s license applicants.

Reinstating a revoked license

According to RA 4136,  a driver’s license shall not be reinstated until the driver has furnished a bond instituted by the LTO chief after being convinced that the said driver can safely operate a motor vehicle again pursuant to RA 4136.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For your reference, here are some common questions and answers related to revoked licenses:

1. Who or which government agencies have the power to revoke a driver’s license?

Without prejudice toward the authority of the court in appropriate cases, only the LTO chief has the exclusive power and authority to suspend or revoke any driver’s license issued under Republic Act 4136 (Section 27). The deputy of the LTO chief may, for the same cause, suspend for a period not exceeding three months any driver’s license issued under the provisions of RA 4136, provided that such suspension may be appealed to the LTO chief who may, after reviewing the case, confirm, reverse or modify the action taken by the deputy. A decision of the LTO chief to revoke or refuse the reinstatement of a revoked license may be appealed to the DOTr head.

The LTO regional offices also do not have the authority to revoke the license, but they are allowed to recommend it as they see fit. However, do note that regional directors are bound by law to impose up to 90 days suspension only. They can also recommend to the LTO chief whether or not to revoke a traffic violator’s driving privileges.

2. How may a driver with a revoked license appeal for the reinstatement of said license?

If you are a driver with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, it is possible to appeal for reinstatement of the suspended or revoked license. The driver simply has to furnish a bond instituted by the LTO chief, and only after the latter is convinced that the driver with revoked license may be safely permitted to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to RA 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

3. Are there any special or extra requirements when applying for a new license for drivers with a revoked non-professional license who has completed a two-year ban?

No. There are none. The driver shall simply undergo the usual process of acquiring a license and submit the same documentary requirements pursuant to the provisions of RA 4136.

4. Is it possible for a person to be issued with a perpetually revoked driver’s license—meaning the person can no longer be issued a license for as long as he or she lives?

Yes. If the violator is a professional driver’s license holder and has used a motor vehicle in the commission of a crime, upon conviction by a regular court of competent jurisdiction, the person shall be perpetually disqualified from being granted a driver’s license. Likewise, the violator must also pay a fine of P10,000.00. 

5. Are there instances when a non-pro license holder can be banned from driving in perpetuity?

Yes. Upon conviction of a crime where a motor vehicle was used in the commission of the offense. In such a case, the driver’s license shall be revoked and the driver shall be perpetually disqualified from being granted a driver’s license and driving a motor vehicle. The perpetual revocation also applies to non-professional drivers convicted for the second time due to driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or similar substances. 

6. What is the penalty if a person is caught driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is revoked?

If a person is caught driving while his license is revoked, then he will be disqualified from being granted a license for the initially prescribed two years, plus an extension of one year. He or she shall also pay a fine for driving without a license.

7. Can a driver with a revoked license make an appeal?

Yes. A driver can try to challenge a revocation decision. According to RA 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, a decision of the LTO chief to either revoke or refuse the reinstatement of a license issued under its provisions, then the case may be appealed to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).


Given the hard and hassling process of lifting the revocation imposed on a driver’s license, plus the money you have to spend for LTO fines and fees, and the possibility of a criminal conviction, it is safe to say that avoiding getting your driver’s license revoked is the best course of action for every driver. Driving safely while keeping in mind that the driver’s license is a privilege and not a right is the best preventive measure. While knowing the reasons for revocation and avoiding them may help, this really is up to the person involved. After all, the trouble that comes with driver’s license revocation is something a driver would have to deal with himself even if it seems like the worst thing he might ever encounter in his lifetime. 

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