Drivers License and Vehicle Registration

Driver’s License

Like most things in the Philippines, getting a new Drivers License can be easy, but for the new visitor or non bisayan speaker, it can  be a long, daunting and frustrating process.

When you arrive at the LTO, ( Land Transportation Office ), you will be one of the hundred or so people “queuing” or rather jostling  in order to get to the front of the line to have their application completed first. The signs directing you where to go and how to follow the process, are inadequate or non-existent.  If you arrive after lunch, most of the people queuing with you will have been there since early morning. Many new arrivals will be greeted by “fixers” who offer to get your license for you for a fee, but that fee is likely to change the further into the process you get.  My experience with “fixers” is that they invent problems – they will tell you they can sort it out; then they disappear for 30 minutes, probably for a cigarette, and come back and tell you they have fixed it. This way they justify their high fees.

The basic requirements for the conversion of your foreign license according to the LTO website are as follows:

  1. Driver’s License
  2. Duly Accomplished Application Form
  3. Must have passed the written and practical examination for the restriction code being applied for.
  4. Negative Drug Test result (from a DOH accredited drug testing center)
  5. Medical Certificate (from a LTO accredited or government physician)

If you use our Drivers License service, I will escort you to the LTO, with my native speaking wife, Elsa,  and take you smoothly through the process. Normally you can expect to receive your Drivers License within about three hours of arrival.  Your conversion to a local license will cost you about 1,020 pesos for the LTO fees and the drug/medical test. We charge a service fee for assisting you through the process but we are not “fixers”, we make the process simple, easy and above all fun!.

Beware! You will be required to undertake a strict test for drugs and alcohol – if you fail you will have wasted your time and your money!

If you have a foreign license which is not in English, the first requirement is to have this translated into English by your national Embassy or Consulate. This applies even if the license has an English translation on it – I have seen many German or Norwegian licenses where the original German or Norwegian wording is accompanied by an English translation – this is not acceptable at the LTO and you will need to get an “official” translation.

If your foreign license has expired you will need to have it brought up to date before conversion, and in the case of English licenses, both parts are required – the paper and the plastic license!

If you don’t have a foreign license you may be able to obtain, first a student license, then a full Philippine license but the process and requirements are quite difficult. I have set out below the requirements for a foreigner to obtain a local student permit; as you can see the major stumbling block is # 3 – you must have a visa for at least 5 months stay in your passport but as the Bureau of Immigration will only give tourists visas for 59 days, it effectively means that only people with permanent resident status or a BB stamp can apply. The requirement for a TIN has been dropped.

Student Permit for Foreigners

Qualifications:

  1. Must be at least 16 years old (16 – 17 years old, requires parent’s or guardian’s consent)
  2. Must know how to read and write in English or Filipino
  3. Must have arrived in the Philippines for at least one (1) month prior to the date of application with LTO and can show evidence from BID/DFA that he will stay in the country for at least five (5) months from the date of application

Requirements:

  1. Original and photocopy of passport with visa duration of at least five (5) months from date of application and any of the following:
    1. Valid Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)
    2. If born in the Philippines, original and photocopy of birth certificate
    3. If student, original and photocopy of school ID
    4. Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
  2. Duly accomplished Application for Driver’s License (ADL) form
    1. For Metro Manila ApplicantsLicense Section – LTO Central Office
      East Avenue, Quezon City
    2. For Provincial Applicants
      LTO Regional Offices and/or Any Designated District Office
  3. Must have arrived in the Philippines for at least one (1) month prior to the date of application with LTO and can show evidence from BID/DFA that he will stay in the country for at least five (5) months from the date of application

Fees:

  1. Student Permit(SP) Fee: Php150.00
  2. Application Fee: Php100.00
  3. Computer Fee: Php67.63

For more details of fees and what you need to bring, wear, etc., please contact us by cell or email.

Vehicle Registration

I can also renew you car or motorbike registration – our fee for this is 1,500 pesos plus the fees charged by the LTO, which will all be receipted. I will pick up your vehicle and deliver it back to you the same day with the new papers.  However sometimes the actual papers may take a few days to be processed especially when you are changing the registration venue of the vehicle.

We can also arrange for the transfer of ownership of the vehicle from one person to another.

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