Here's how you can get an Electronic Driver's License (eDL)

Electronic Driver's License (eDL)

An electronic driver’s license (eDL) sounds fancy, but what it does is support LTO digitization efforts. Starting July 2023, eDL is an alternative to the traditional driver’s license and is offered via the Land Transport Management System (LTMS) Portal.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Do the LTO eDL and physical driving licenses work the same?

    Yes, the two operate similarly, it’s just that one is held in hand physically and the other is an online entity.
  • How much will it cost to secure eDL?

    The applicant is required to pay no fee to access the eDL.
  • From where shall I get my eDL?

    The LTO electronic Driver’s License is only available at the LTMS portal.
  • Today we’ll be learning everything about the Electronic Driver’s License. From its meaning, eligibility, advantages, procurement process, fees, and more. So, without further ado, let’s get started with the very first and common query, i.e.

    What is an Electronic Driver’s License?

    In simple words, an electronic driver's license is a valid, secure, and excellent alternative to a traditional license (plastic card). Or it is another official way for driver’s authorization. The eDL offers the same privileges and responsibilities (traffic law violations and penalties) as the plastic license - as per the LTO Memorandum Circular No. HAV-2023-2410.

     Electronic Driver's License (eDL)

    eDL’s key takeaways -

    • Another name for eDL is LTO Digital ID, it is an electronic version of a driver's license which is stored in a digital format.
    • Aside from bringing an alternative to the traditional plastic license, it acts as a replacement for the paper-based official receipt that serves as a temporary license.
    • The eDL is developed in cooperation with the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and is offered through the LTMS Portal.
    • Holders of traditional driver’s license cards can view their eDL via their LTMS account.
    • Every eDL has a unique QR code that law enforcement can scan if a license holder gets apprehended.
    • The LTO Memorandum Circular No. HAV-2023-2410 holds all the details regarding eDL, for instance, rules and regulations, recognition, and governing the issuance

    Also Read: Here’s why you should not be driving without a license in the Philippines

    Why was the eDL created?

    Back in the 2020s, LTO faced a major shortage of plastic cards used for creating the traditional, physical driver’s license. As a solution, they decided to opt for a digital license that is made available via LTO’s very own online platform, the LTMS. While it was born as a temporary solution to a genuine problem, today it is viewed as a perfect alternative.

    Advantages of having an eDL

    One of the key advantages of eDL is that it offers the holder the same benefits as the conventional driver’s license which include -

    • Servers a valid government ID
    • Gives authorization to operate a motor vehicle
    • Helps users avoid the penalties and legal repercussions of driving without a license or with an expired license
    • It serves as a valid photo ID and can be used for transaction purposes in both public & private offices
    • Makes the license renewal process easier compared to getting a new license from LTMS
    • Offers longer validity (5 to 10 years depending on the license type)
    • Keeps the licensee’s health under check, thanks to the mandatory Periodic
    • Medical Examination (PME)

    Note, like a physical driver’s license, an eDL is subjected to the same traffic rules, violations, fines & penalties.

     Electronic Driver's License (eDL)

    Eligibility for getting an LTO Digital ID

    After learning about the benefits of the eDL, it’s now time to find out how to get one. So, as per the guidelines, only holders of a valid driver’s license issued by LTO can access the eDL module. Therefore, you need to satisfy the eligibility criteria for a driver’s license and then pass the LTO driving assessments to get hold of an eDL.

    Here are all the general qualifications -

    • Must be well-dressed
    • Must be mentally and physically fit
    • Must be neat, clean, & presentable
    • Must have no unsettled traffic violation
    • Must be able to read & write English, Filipino, or any local dialect
    • Must clear the written exam

    Now, there are some specific qualifications needed by LTO depending on the license and applicant type -

    Type of license/applicant 

    Qualification

    Student License

    • Filipino citizen
    • At least 16 years of age or above
    • Must have completed Theoretical Driving Course
    • An active email address is a must

    Professional License

    • Filipino citizen
    • At least 17 years of age
    • A holder of a Student Driver’s Permit (valid for at least one month from the issuance)
    • Attended and passed the Practical Driving Course 
    • Passed Automated Theoretical Examination & Practical Driving Test

    Non-Professional License

    • Filipino citizen
    • At least 18 years of age
    • A holder of a Non-professional driver’s license for at least 6 months from the date of issuance
    • A holder of a Student’s Permit for at least 1 month of issuance

    Foreign License Applicants 

    • At least one month proof of residing in the Philippines
    • Proof of staying in the Philippines for at least one year from the date of driver’s license application 

    Also Read: LTO’s Driver’s License Renewal: Step-by-step guide to online & offline process

    Requirements for acquiring an eDL

    When an applicant wishes to get his/her hands on an electronic driver’s license he/she first makes sure that the following basic requirements are fulfilled.

    An active LTMS account; registered and verified account of the applicant (if not, here’s how you can make an LTMS account)
    The electronic device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) with an active internet connection along with the capability to display the eDL
    LTO-issued driver’s license

     Electronic Driver's License (eDL)

    Let’s now check out other requirements for applying for a driver’s license, depending on the type of license.

    Type of license

    Requirement

    Student License

    For applicants above the age of 18 years

    • Duly accomplished Application for Permits and License Form
    • Electronically transmitted medical certificate (original & 1 photocopy)

    Any one of the following documents -

    • PSA/NSO certificate of birth (original & 1 photocopy)
    • Passport (original & 1 photocopy)
    • Philippine Identification Card (original & 1 photocopy)
    • PSA certificate of marriage (original & 1 photocopy)
    • Local civil registry (original & 1 photocopy)
    • For applicants below the age of 18 years: Consent from one parent or a person having custody/care/supervision over the minor applicant with the presentation of any valid government ID (original and photocopy) with photo and signature of the parent/affiant
    • Original and one photocopy of any of the following valid IDs along with the applicant’s photo and signature - Philippine Identification Card, Social Security System Card, Philippine passport, TIN card, PhilHealth ID, UMID card, Voter’s ID, Postal ID, Senior Citizen, OFW ID, Professional Regulation Commission, Barangay ID, etc (check out the complete list here)
    • If employed, the Taxpayer’s Identification Number
    • Certificate of Completion of the 15-hour Theoretical Driving Course

    Non-Professional Driver’s License

    • Application for Permits and License Form (duly accomplished)
    • Electronically transmitted medical certificate (original & 1 photocopy)
    • Practical Driving Course completion certificate (original & 1 photocopy)
    • Valid Student-Driver’s Permit
    • For applicants who are 17 years old: Parent or guardian’s consent with valid government ID, photo, signature
    • Original and one photocopy of any of the following valid IDs along with the applicant’s photo and signature, PhillD Card, Philippine passport, Social Security System Card, Philippine passport, TIN card, PhilHealth ID, UMID card, Voter’s ID, Postal ID, Senior Citizen, OFW ID, Professional Regulation Commission, Barangay ID, etc (check out the complete list here)
    • If employed, the Taxpayer’s Identification Number
    • Negative drug test result from the Department of Health (can be an accredited center and/or government hospital)

    Professional License

    • Permits and License Form (duly accomplished)
    • LTO-accredited medical certificate (original and one photocopy)
    • PDC (original and one photocopy)
    • PSA birth certificate (original and one photocopy)
    • LTO Client ID
    • If employed, Taxpayer’s Identification Number
    • Negative drug test result from the Department of Health (can be an accredited center and/or government hospital)
    • Valid Police Clearance or NBI Clearance
    • Student Permit or Non-Professional Driver’s License (original)

    Step-by-step process of securing an eDL

    After the applicant has gathered all the requirements and checked all the qualification boxes, it is time to proceed towards acquiring the eDL. However, first, let’s learn how to register at the LTMS Portal, as having an LTMS account and a driver’s license are a must to have an eDL.

    The validity of the eDL varies with the license type, so let’s check out

    License type

    Validity 

    Student License

    • 1 year from the date of issuance, after 1-year it can’t be used for practical driving course 
    • After 2-years the holders will need a new permit with the same permit number. 
    • The permit can be renewed if the holder is not ready for a non-professional license 
    • A non-professional driver's license can be secured after only one month of having a Student Permit

    Non-Professional License

    • 5-years of validity for first-time applicants (unless revoked or suspended)
    • Non-Professional License holder with a clean record for the last 5-years and no traffic violations are entitled to renewed license with a validity of 10-years

    Professional License

    • Valid for 5-years for first time applicants
    • In case of renewal, for 5-years for license with traffic violation and for 10-years for license with a clean driving record

    Also Read: Converting foreign driver's license to Philippine driver's license: A step-by-step guide

    Fees

    No additional fees are required to be paid by an applicant applying for an eDL. All that an applicant needs to pay is for the new/renewed license.

    New Driver’s License Fees

    License/Fee

    Application Fee

    Permit/License Fee

    Student-driver's Permit

    PHP 100

    PHP 150

    Conductor’s/Driver’s License

    PHP 100

    PHP 585 

    Driver’s License Renewal Fees

    Fees/Renewal type 

    Plain

    1 Day to 1 Year expired license renewal

    More than 1 Year to 2 Year expired license renewal

    More than 2 year expired license renewal

    License Fee

    PHP 585

    PHP 585

    PHP 585

    PHP 585

    Penalty

    NA

    PHP 75

    PHP 150

    PHP 225

    Application Fee

    NA

    NA

    NA

    PHP 100

    Total

    PHP 585

    PHP 660

    PHP 735

    PHP 910

    Key points to remember when securing an eDL

    • A physical driver’s license remains the primary form of authorisation granted by LTO to operate a motor vehicle.
    • eDL is only available online via the LTMS portal
    • eDL offers the holder the same privileges as the physical driver’s license
    • eDL can be accessed with no additional fees
    • Photographs and screenshots of the eDL are not accepted by LTO law enforcement officers; eDL should always be presented by the holder through his/her LTMS portal account.
    • Failure to present the eDL via the LTMS portal account results in penalties and charges similar to that of a physical driver's license no-show.
    • Every eDL has a unique QR Code that ensures its authenticity and enables its verification. The scanning can be done via smartphones, tablets, other capable devices, and law enforcement handheld devices.
    • An eDL will be tagged as an alarm in case of a traffic violation; on the payment of the time it will be in-tagged

    Bottom line

    The electronic driver’s license is a great alternative to a plastic driver’s license. However, you can not just show its screenshot to law enforcement, instead you’d need to show your eDL through your LTMS account. Meaning, that at all times that you are on the road, you must have an active LTMS account and an electronic device with an internet connection. Also, one must have an LTO-issued driver’s license to secure an eDL. Also, unlike the former, securing an eDL is completely free.

    Also Read: Navigating the Philippine driver’s license application process Navigating the Philippine driver’s license application process - Part II

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