Three Types of Driver's License in the Philippines - UPDATED 2018

(Updated last May 2018)  

Before you can take home that brand new or used car you got from the dealer’s showroom, you must have the proper authorization to drive a vehicle. If you do not have a license, then this article will explain in detail about the three types of driver's license in the Philippines, the coverage of each and how you can apply for one.

There are three types of driver's license in the country: student permit, non-professional permit and professional permit. As young as 16 years old, anyone can qualify for a student permit. This can then be upgraded to a non-professional license one month after acquiring the student permit and a professional license after 6 months.

The application process, however, can be quite lengthy. It often requires passing a written exam and a driving exam for a non-professional or professional license. Below is a general explanation of each permit.

Student driver permit

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Anyone who is 17 years of age and above can apply for a student driver's permit. Other requirements include that the applicant can speak and understand English and Tagalog and is physically and mentally fit to drive a vehicle.


  1. Notarized parental consent for minors
  2. Valid ID to prove identity and age
  3. Completed student driver’s license application form
  4. A fee of P317.63 to be paid in the LTO office

For more detailed steps, read this post on the procedures to get your student permit from your local LTO. Note that when you get your student driver’s license you can only drive a car if you are accompanied by an adult who has a non-professional or professional driver’s license.

Non-professional driver’s license

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A non-professional permit requires you to be 17 years old and above and has the same qualifications as the student driver’s license. Additional requirements include that the applicant is not an alcoholic and does not use illegal drugs.


  1. Drug test result (negative) from government hospitals, which is accredited by the DOH.
  2. Medical certificate with official receipt from LTO accredited centers or government physicians
  3. Valid student driver's license at least a month in possession
  4. Completed non-professional driver’s license form
  5. Tax identification number (TIN)
  6. Passing the practical and written examinations conducted by the LTO
  7. A fee amounting to P417.63

A non-professional driver can drive motorcycles and vehicles with a gross weight no higher than 4500 kilograms (with either manual or automatic transmission) such as sedans, sports utility vehicles (SUVs), pickups, minivans and most passenger vehicles.

Professional driver’s license


An applicants for this type of permit is required to be at least 18 years old, a non-alcoholic and a non-drug user, physically and mentally fit, and is not afflicted with contagious diseases or a sickness that could hamper driving such as epilepsy.


  1. A valid student permit acquired at least five months before applying.
  2. The negative result of drug test from government medical facilities or DOH accredited hospitals
  3. Medical certificates from physicians or LTO accredited centers
  4. NBI or police court clearance
  5. Tax identification number (TIN)
  6. Passing the written and actual examinations conducted by the LTO
  7. Completed professional driver’s license application form
  8. A fee amounting to P417.63

By obtaining a professional license, a driver can drive almost all types of vehicle in the country including those which weighs more than 4600 kilograms and above, such as trucks and heavy construction equipment.

Did you know?

You can also use your Philippine driver’s license in different countries such as Spain and Australia. Take note however that some of these territories usually have an opposite driving orientation; right hand drive as opposed to our left hand drive.