Renewal of Driver’s License is a process required by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) from license holders in the country. The thing is, this process should be done at least one month before the license expires. Unfortunately, some people fail to do so, resulting in expired licenses and illegal driving.
Now, you may be wondering if you can drive to the LTO to renew your license if it has just expired. The regular answer would be: Sure, you can drive, but it doesn’t mean it will be legal. If you get caught driving with an expired license, you may face fines, citations, or even jail time, and your vehicle insurance provider may refuse any claims. So just to clarify, the legal answer to this question is NO. You are NOT authorized to drive to the nearest LTO to renew your expired driver’s license. You should renew your license before it expires!
Just recently, however, the agency has been facing problems with the shortage of plastic cards used for the manufacturing of the license cards, so they have made a temporary exemption to the rule.
What is an expired license?
An expired driver’s license refers to a driver’s license that is way beyond its validity period and expiry date. This means that the licensee has lived out his permission from the LTO to legally drive on public roads by himself. By the time that a license holder becomes an expired license holder, the licensee then loses the permission to drive a motor vehicle on the road, and may risk apprehensions from the LTO or other traffic enforcers.
What causes a driver’s license to expire?
The LTO requires renewal of LTO driver’s license on a regular basis, either after three, five, or ten years, for a number of reasons.
These reasons include:
- Being able to go through an eye test to demonstrate that you have adequate vision for driving.
- Having the chance to get a complete physical and medical exam (PME) on a regular basis to ensure that you won’t be bringing harm to yourself and to others
- Getting the LTO to update all of your information in their organization database with your most recent address, a new photo, and some other changes.
- To prevent fraud.
- To put a time limit in case someone else is using your license fraudulently after getting lost or stolen.
- To ensure that all drivers remain roadworthy after being allowed a certain time on the road.
- It also works as a valid, government-issued ID that are acceptable for use in transacting with various offices
- It helps your wallet find its way back to you.
Can you drive with an expired license?
Yes, but not legally. Driving legally is a privilege. This privilege comes with the requirement to present a valid driver’s license card. Having said that, an expired license is not allowed for use to drive on Philippine public roads. After all, a driver’s license card is proof that you are a capable and knowledgeable driver who knows to observe LTO rules and regulations to stay safe on the road.
Consequently, driving with an expired license, while allowed in some other countries for a certain period, is illegal in the Philippines. It means that by the time your license expires, you are no longer permitted to drive on public roads. This also means that in case of apprehension or checkpoint, you’ll most probably end up with fines, citations, or even jail time. It might also end up with your vehicle insurance provider refusing your claims. To prevent these problems, the LTO recommends renewing your driver’s license before its validity ends.
What happens if you drive with an expired license?
If you are unlucky enough to get pulled over and your license has just expired, you can only expect two things. One, if you are lucky enough to meet a sympathetic officer who will let you off with a warning and the directions to the nearest LTO office so you can renew your license as soon as possible. Or two, if the officer who pulled you over is not feeling sympathetic that day, or if your license has expired for some time, you can expect to face harsh consequences and be slapped with an LTO traffic ticket for failing to renew your license.
Is there a grace period for renewal of expired licenses?
No. In the Philippines, there really isn’t any grace period given to license holders after the driver’s license has expired. If you fail to renew your license within a given period of time before it expires, then you may face consequences such as being required to pay a large fine or possibly take another driving test. To avoid these, whenever you think, “is my license expired?,” then it’s best to check it right away.
Expert tip: According to the LTO, you need to apply for license renewal at least one month before the expiration date, but you may still do so after the license expires but no later than two (2) years afterwards.
Special extension of driver’s license validity 2023
However, this 2023, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has made a special announcement for the use of expired licenses via a Memorandum Circular. The said announcement extended the validity of driver’s licenses expiring on April 24, 2023 onwards until October 31 or until plastic cards are available, due to the problems on shortage of plastic cards used for the manufacturing of the credential.
According to the LTO Memorandum circular, “All holders of driver’s license cards expiring April 24, 2023 onwards shall no longer be required to renew their licenses until October 31, 2023 or as soon as the driver’s license cards become available for distribution to the public.”
How to renew your driver’s license in the Philippines?
There are two (2) different ways to renew your driver’s license and avoid all the trouble: One, in person at an LTO office, or two, via the Land Transport Management System (LTMS) portal online. However, if you are an OFW or if you have a delinquent driver’s license with demerit points, you might need to follow a separate set of instructions and prepare a different set of requirements.
For more information, you may read this guide to learn about how to renew your LTO Driver’s License in the Philippines.
Renewal fees & charges
If you are looking to renew your LTO driver’s License, you may need to be ready to pay for the following fees and charges:
- License Fee: P 350.00
- Computer Fee: P 67.53
- Application Fee: P 100.00
- Change Classification fee: P 100.00
- Additional Restriction Code (ARC) or Driver’s License Code (DL code): P 100.00
- Penalty Fee as needed if the Driver’s License is expired:
- 1 Day to 1 Year: P 75.00
- 1 Year & 1 Day to 2 Years: 150.00
- More Than 2 Years: 225.00
Note: The Change Classification fee only applies if you wish to change a Valid Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) to Professional Driver’s License (PDL), a valid Professional Driver’s License (PDL) to a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL), or an Expired NPDL to PDL / PDL to NPDL
For your reference, here are some important reminders worth taking note of:
- If the expiry date of the license falls on a weekend, holiday or non-working day, the license shall be renewed on or before the last working day prior to the expiry date of such licenses.
- Prepare the required documents along with duplicates of each before visiting the LTO Office.
- Go to the LTO office early, to avoid the crowd and finish the transaction within the day.
- Prepare for the exams by reviewing through the LTO LTMS Portal or other available materials.
- Observe proper dress code for LTO clients.
- 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 required to submit a medical examination certificate from LTO-accredited clinics every time they renew their licenses.
- License holders whose Driver’s License has expired for 10 years or longer are no longer allowed to drive or renew their licenses. Instead, they are required to apply for a student permit again.
- Failing the LTO Driving test upon renewal will entail re-taking both written and practical exams the next day if it’s convenient for the applicant.
- Advance renewal is also allowed to those who intend to leave the country from sixty-one (61) days to one (1) year before the expiry date of their Driver’s License.
- Make sure that you have settled all past traffic violations and attended the required reorientation course before license renewal.
- If you have a violation/s, you may process license renewals at the main or regional LTO offices. Note that satellite offices don’t process the renewal of driver’s licenses with violations.
- If possible, renew your license as early as 60 days prior to the DL expiry date to avoid paying hefty penalty fees.
Video: LTO Extensions of Driver’s License Validity Due to Shortage of Plastic Cards 2023
Watch the current head of the LTO, LTO Chief Jay Art Tugade as he explains the contents of the memorandum circular that extends the validity of licenses expiring between April 24, 2023 and October 31, 2023:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For more information on renewal of license after expiry date, here are some common questions and answers about it.
1. Can I drive with an expired driver’s license?
No. Drivers with expired driver’s licenses are not supposed to drive until their license is renewed or they might face criminal charges and might be fined with a corresponding penalty fee. However, those whose licenses are expiring between April 24 and October 31, 2023 are allowed to do so until such time as the LTO’s shortage on plastic cards is resolved.
2. Can a driver’s license be renewed after it expires?
Yes, expired driver’s licenses can still be renewed, as long as they have only been expired for less than 10 years. Otherwise, you will need to go through a different process which includes re-applying for a new driver’s license, starting from the student permit. Plus, licenses that have long expired may require license holders to retake examinations and pay higher penalty fees.
3. Is there a grace period for license renewals in the Philippines?
No. In the Philippines, there are usually no extensions or grace periods for license renewal as license holders are expected to do so at least 60 days before it expires. However, in 2023, the agency extended the validity of licenses expiring between April 24 and October 31, to address its problem of shortage of plastic cards used in the issuance of license cards.
4. Can I still renew my driver’s license if it has expired for over 10 years?
No. According to the LTO, licensees who hold driver’s licenses that have expired for 10 years or more can no longer apply for renewal. Instead, they must start from scratch and apply for a student permit again.
5. Is there an age limit for driver’s license renewal in the Philippines?
No. There is no maximum age limit for driver’s license renewal in the Philippines. As long as you satisfy the qualifications and are still physically and mentally able to drive a vehicle, then you can renew your license regardless of your age.
6. Is it possible to renew my license on weekends?
Yes. Some LTO offices allow the application for renewal of driver’s license (or even apply for a student permit) on Saturdays via the LTO Driver’s License Renewal Offices nationwide.
Sure, you probably have a busy lifestyle which makes renewal of your driver’s license at any of the LTO Offices in the Philippines a difficult feat to accomplish. However, given that the new license has a 10-year validity period, and that there is an option for license renewal online via the LTMS portal online, now is the ideal time to ensure that your driver’s license (provided that you have an untarnished driving record) is renewed on time. Do note, however, that even though the renewal process has undergone certain advances (such as the online application), you still need to manage your expectations and make good plans, especially if you are visiting an LTO office. If you are unsure if it’s worth the trouble, have a clear look at your 5-year expired driver’s license and decide for yourself if you want to suffer the consequences for late renewal.
For more information on driver’s license renewal or other LTO processes, simply reach out to:
Land Transportation Office
The LTMS portal: Visit the LTO’s official website and fill out their Contact Us form at https://portal.lto.gov.ph/ords/f?p=PUBLIC_PORTAL:CONTACT_US:115716301949471.
Phone: You may contact them at their telephone number (632) 922-9061 to 66.
Email: You may also send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Visiting the LTO office: For information, you may check the LTO branch closest to you.