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

driver’s license application process

In Part I of navigating the Philippine driver’s license application process, we discussed the different types of licenses, their benefits, requirements, and the offline application process. Now, it is time to find out more about driver’s licenses in the Philippines.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How much does a driver’s license application cost in the Philippines?

    The LTO charges PHP 585 as the license fee and PHP 100 as the application fee, the medical exam costs around PHP 500, and if an applicant rents a vehicle, it’ll be another PHP 200. So, the total cost is roughly around PHP 1,500.
  • How much does the medical examination cost a license applicant?

    Every driving license applicant needs to undergo a medical examination, which costs around PHP 500 at any LTO-accredited clinic.
  • How much does a student permit cost?

    A student permit costs PHP 300 and LTO takes around an hour to process it.
  • Here, we’ll be learning about -

    • Driving license application process for foreigners
    • Online application for driving license via LTMS Portal
    • Various driving license-related courses and exams
    • Crucial tips for driving license applicants

    Starting with foreign applicants' driving license application process. So, let’s get started -

    Foreign applicants' driving license application process

    To everyone's surprise, the driving license application process for a foreign applicant is the same as for a Filipino applicant. So, like any other application, they too need to be fit (both physically and mentally), know how to read and write Filipino, English, or any local dialect, have no unsettled traffic violations, be well-dressed and appear presentable, and not forget to pass all the exams conducted by LTO (written and practical).

    However, there are a few additional to the above-mentioned qualifications a foreign applicant needs to meet.

    driver’s license application process

    For Student Permit

    Qualification

    • Must be At least 18 years old (for Filipinos, it is 17 years)
    • Proof of their residing in the Philippines for at least a month
    • Proof of staying in the Philippines for at least 6 months (from the date of application)

    For Non-Professional Driver’s License

    Qualification

    • Must be at least 18 years old

    For Professional Driver’s License

    Qualification

    • Must be at least 18 years old

    As for the requirement, everything remains the same as for a Filipino applicant. It is just that for a Student Permit, a foreign application needs to present a few additional documents, including the original & 1 photocopy of each of the following -

    • Passport with entry date of at least one month along with visa duration of six months from the date of application
    • Birth certificate authenticated by the PSA if born in the Philippines

    That’s about it for the foreign driving license application process. Now moving on to LTMS Portal and its involvement in the licensing process. In our previous blog, we have already covered the step-by-step process to apply for a driver’s license at the LTO Branch and now it is time to check the alternative.

    Applying for a driver’s license online via the LTMS Portal

    Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a driver’s license online -

    Step 1: Visit the LTMS Portal (https://portal.lto.gov.ph.)
    Step 2: If you already have an account, access it by clicking on the Login Button or else click on the Register Now tab and create an account
    Step 3: Click on the Licensing icon on the dashboard
    Step 4: Carefully read and accept the Terms of Use
    Step 5: Select the license type you want to apply for
    Step 6: Click on the Add Medical Certificate button and mention the medical certificate number. Next, verify the number
    Step 7: Choose either New or Renewal, depending on the license application
    Step 8: Fill out the online application form and upload the required documents
    Step 9: Get your LTO appointment, select the date and time
    Step 10: Click the Proceed to Summary, read the disclaimers, and click Accept
    Step 11: Go through the order summary and billing information and agree to the terms and conditions
    Step 12: Chose the desired payment method, click on the Continue button
    Step 13: Complete the payment at the third-party site

    And that’s about it, pretty easy, right?

    Also Read: Here’s how to check LTO transaction status online

    driver’s license application process

    Different courses and exams related to driving license

    You must have read terms like Theoretical Driving Course, Practical Driving Course, Medical Examination, LTO Written Exam, and Practical Driving Exam until now. Now, it is time to understand them better.

    Theoretical Driving Course (TDC)

    All first-time driving license applicants are required to take the mandatory theoretical driving course. Here are its few key takeaways:

    • Mandatory for an applicant before applying for a student permit
    • The course is designed to offer applicants full knowledge about road safety and existing laws on the subject
    • It is a 15-hour course supervised by certified instructors from driving schools accredited by LTO
    • Students need to complete the course within two years from the date of commencement
    • Every student is required to clear a written examination consisting of 100 units and 80 as the passing score
    • On passing the exam, students will receive a Certificate of Completion (a Student Permit requirement). It has the applicant's headshot, personal information, and date of issue

    Practical Driving Course

    While the TDC will avail you a student permit and a Certificate of Completion, the practical driving course will get you another certificate which makes the applicant qualified for a non-professional driver’s license. Here are the key takeaways:

    • It includes at least 8 hours of practical driving lessons from any LTO branch or a TESDA-accredited driving school
    • Post the completion of the course, applicants need to pass a practical driving exam
    • Upon clearing the exam, the applicant will receive a Practical Driving Course certificate

    Medical Examination

    It is mandatory for a driving license applicant to be fit and healthy, so every licensee undergoes a medical examination.

    • Applicants can go through a medical examination at any LTO-accredited clinic in the Philippines (such clinics are mostly located in proximity to the LTO office)
    • Upon clearing the medical examination, the applicants will receive a medical certificate and its soft copy will be submitted to LTO. Keep the hard copy of the certificate safe, as it will be submitted to the LTO for validation
    • The medical certificate has a two-month validity

    LTO written exam

    After filling out and submitting the Application for Driver’s License (ADL) form and paying the application fee to the cashier, it is time for the LTO written exam. Only enter the examination room once your name is called. Here are its key takeaways -

    • The written exam usually consists of 60 items; to pass, an applicant needs at least 48 correct answers
    • If an applicant fails, he/she needs to retake the exam on the next working day and go through the entire application process again, except for the medical exam

    Practical driving exam

    Next comes the practical driving exam, which is conducted outside the LTO office. Here are its key takeaways:

    • Applicant can either take the exam on his/her vehicle or rent one from the LTO premises
    • Upon passing the exam, you’ll get your driver’s license card (after paying the fee). However, upon failing, the applicant needs to retake the exam on the next working day and go through the entire application process again, except for the medical exam

    Significance of a driver’s license in the Philippines

    Crucial tips for driving license applicants

    • Say NO to fixer; not only is it illegal, you’ll also end up spending more money
    • Try and reach the LTO office early, an hour before the opening time
    • Dress properly, avoid shorts, sleeveless shirts, and slippers
    • If possible, book a prior appointment via the LTMS portal, as it’ll save you time & efforts

    Also Read:  LTMS Portal Online: All you need to know from registration to requirement

    Summing up

    With all the information at your disposal, all that needs to be done is the procurement of the valid IDs and certificates and you showing up at the LTO office. So, go ahead and get yourself a driver’s license.

    Also Read: Check out all the violations, penalties, and fines a driver may face in the Philippines

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