How to Spot Fake Driver’s License Philippines

An authentic and legitimate driver’s license issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is a well sought-after symbol of individual freedom representing the legal permission to hit the open roads on your motor vehicle or motorcycle. In the Philippines, in particular, it is inconvenient not to have one, as getting caught driving without a license by either the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), or the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) can entail violations resulting in hefty LTO fines and jail time. 

Despite the risks, however, fake driver’s licenses remain a persistent menace in the Philippines. Counterfeiters have even upped their game, making really close copies of the original that they can already pass some of the physical authentication tests used by the authorities. Fortunately, there remain some really effective, albeit simple, tests that can be used if you ever feel the need to check the authenticity of your LTO driver’s license.

how to spot and identify fake driver's license

Ways to Check for Fake Driver’s License in the Philippines

There are different ways on how to spot fake LTO driver’s licenses in the Philippines. Though the LTO official website verification method has been canceled, there are some effective methods that you can use to verify the authenticity of your LTO driver’s license.

Listed below are some of the most commonly used ways to effectively check if you have an authentic LTO driver’s license on hand:

Light test 

The light test, otherwise known as the mobile phone flashlight lighting identification method, is perhaps the easiest and simplest way to check for driver’s license authenticity. After all, you can simply use the flashlight on your mobile phone to do it. 

To do this, simply use your mobile phone flashlight and shine it on the back of the driver’s license. A real driver’s license will have a low light transmittance and reflect a purple halo. A fake one, on the other hand, will have a high light transmittance and reflect a yellow or blue halo.

Print test

The print test is also known as the font recognition method for checking license authenticity. It’s pretty easy as you only need to check either the validity period, expiry date, or the Restriction and Conditions portion at the back. 

Simply touch these places and feel the letters printed on these parts. These characters are embossed on the card using a laser so you can feel that the characters are raised or have bulges when you rub your fingernail across the print. These texts are also clear when magnified. Replicas usually have manual etchings that don’t correspond with the texts or appear blotchy when magnified so it’s easy to tell. 

Anti-counterfeiting mark identification method

An authentic driver’s license bears an obvious anti-counterfeiting mark in the lower right corner of the front portrait photo, which will be clearly reflected when the front is picked up. Aside from this, there’s an uniform and high-quality anti-counterfeiting strip on the back, along with clear fonts for identification. The photos on the back are also clear, the emergency contact information is complete, and the font printing is neat and clear so you should be able to tell the real and the fake ones apart rather easily.

Work check method

Checking on the workmanship of the LTO license cards should be able to help you identify if it’s real or not. After all, a legitimately acquired driver’s license feels thick, bounced with fingers, has good elasticity, with the four cutting corners feeling smooth and delicate, and without any cutting feel.

SMS Check 

Another easy way to check for license authenticity is to do so by sending an SMS via the LTO text service. It’s a simple process, but it comes with a P 2.50 charge. 

To do so, you simply need to follow these steps:

  • Draft an SMS as follows: LTO LICENSE [Driver’s license number]
  • Send the SMS to 2600. 

Once you have sent the message, you should receive a system message reply with the following information:

  • Period of license validity
  • If there has been any apprehension
  • If there is any LTO alarm

If it’s fake, no license information would be found in the system. 

Hologram test

The LTO driver’s license comes with numerous security features. Among these features are two holograms found on the face of the license. These two should show the following:

  • the image of an eagle that’s visible under UV light
  • the image of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) logo surrounded by an intricate pattern, visible under normal light

Now, you can simply dismiss the license card as a fake if there’s only one or if there’s none of the image on the face of your driver’s license. However, as the counterfeiters continue to upgrade their skills, this may no longer be a reliable method to check for license authenticity. 

Security band

One of the most prominent features of a legitimate LTO driver’s license is the strip of security band running across the card’s back. Using this, you can tell that the driver’s license is authentic if the strip is flush with the rest of the card, bears no raised or sunken edges that can be felt when running a fingernail through it, and has no apparent line visible on the equivalent portion of the card in the front. 

Just like the hologram, this security feature isn’t as reliable as the others as some fake licenses have strip flush at the back that doesn’t show any visible lines in the front part. 

Scratch test

An authentic license card has a polycarbonate surface that is scratch-free. To check if your license card is an authentic one, simply find an area of the card with no marks or damage, then lightly scratch it with your fingernail (no knives or any other sharp-edged tool) to check. An authentic card would not have any visible indentation or mark.

Peel test

Authentic driver’s licenses are thick as they are made from multiple layers fused together and laminated into a single piece. However, a legitimate card has such good quality so it’s impossible to peel off the layers and take it apart with your fingers alone. If you can pick off the layers from the corners using your hands, then you have a forged or fake driver’s license card in your hands.

The LTO portal

If the physical tests aren’t trustworthy enough in your opinion or you have a hard time discerning fake from authentic cards that way, then you can go online via the LTO portal known as the Land Transport Management System (LTMS) portal to check. 

To do this, simply follow these steps: 

If the applicant is a new user:

  • Click the “Register Now” button.
  • Read all the terms and conditions and click the “Yes I accept” button. Then, enter the captcha code and finally click the “Next” button.
  • Select the registration type and click the “Next” button.
  • Fill in the personal details, contact number, citizenship, license number, expiry date, the official receipt number, and type of license and click the “Submit” button.
  • The verification link is sent to the given email ID, using the link the applicant has to create the password.

The information should correspond with each other and prompt the user to proceed with registering the account. But if the license details and receipt number do not match, then the card on your hand is a fake.

According to these tips listed above, everyone should find it easy enough to check the authenticity of their driver’s license by themselves.

Video: How to Spot Fake Driver’s License Philippines

Learn about how to spot a fake driver’s license in the Philippines by watching this video from Carluto TV:


Like it or not, getting an authentic LTO driver’s license is a must if you wish to legally drive on Philippine public roads without the fear of getting caught for driving with a fake license. After all, a fake license may seem like a cheaper alternative, but when you get caught, you risk not only hefty LTO fines but also the possibility of jail time and suspended or revoked license. Plus, the opportunity to renew into a driver’s license with 10-year validity may be lost when you get caught with a fake one. 

Contact Information

For inquiries or more information regarding how to spot fake driver’s licenses in the Philippines, you may contact LTO directly via the following:

Land Transportation Office (LTO)

LTMS portal: Visit the LTO’s official website and fill out their Contact Us form at
Phone call: You may contact them at their telephone number (632) 922-9061 to 66.
Email: You may also send them an email at
LTO Text Hotline Service: You may use LTO’s nationwide SMS service for drivers and vehicle owners by typing LTOHELP and sending it to 2600
LTO office: For information, you may check the LTO branch closest to you.
LTO Hotline: 8922-9061, 8922-9062, 8922-9063

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