Driver’s License in the Philippines

Can I drive a vehicle in the Philippines with my US drivers license?

For the longest time, your native driver’s license allowed you to drive in the Philippines for the first 90 days after arrival in the Philippines.  As of 2016 there have been some changes regarding Expats and what is required for a Philippines driver’s license.  For now there have been conflicting reports as to how an expat can get a license.  The general consensus seems to be that you must get SRRV status in one of several ways.

According to the LTO office (which handles driver’s licenses in the PH), these are the official requirements for converting your native driver’s license into a Philippines license;

Requirements:

1. Original and one (1) photocopy of valid foreign license. If the foreign Driver’s License is not in English Language, the applicant should submit an Official English translation from the local Embassy of the issuing country.
2. Original machine copy of valid passport showing the latest date of arrival in the Philippines of the foreign applicant.
3. Original and machine copy of valid visa or Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) if the foreign applicant temporarily resides in the Philippines.
4. Original copy of Medical Certificate with Official Receipt issued by an LTO accredited or government Physician.
5. Negative drug test result issued by DOH accredited Drug Testing Center or Government Hospitals
6. Duly accomplished Application for Driver’s License (ADL). [Download this form here]
7. Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN), if EMPLOYED, (In compliance to Executive Order 98 & MC ACL-2009-1251)
If Foreign License is expired, applicant shall undergo written and practical examinations.

Procedures:

1. Proceed to the Customer Service Counter to get your checklist of requirements and secure a Driver’s License Application Form. (This form is available for download here. You can accomplish this form prior to transacting your business at the LTO.) Get a queue number and wait for your number to be called.
2. When your number is called, proceed to evaluator counter and submit all the required documents and have it checked for completeness and authenticity.
3. Proceed to the Photo taking /Signature Area to have your picture and signature taken when your name is called.
4. Proceed to the Cashier when your name is called to pay the application fee.
5. Proceed to the Examination Room for the lecture and written exam.
6. After passing the written examination, wait for your name to be called for the practical exam.
7. After passing the practical examination, proceed to the Cashier when your name is called for payment of necessary fees and obtain an Official Receipt.
8. Proceed to the Releasing Counter, present the Official Receipt and claim the Card type License.

A non-professional driver’s license costs about P250 (approx. US$5), Licenses are valid for three years. More info on this here: http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwha018.html

Here is a video update on the LTO, as of 2016, as to requirements from the LTO office for a license;

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2 comments

  1. I had no issue today getting my license transferred from the US to PH in Dumaguete. I have a 6 month tourist Visa and no SRRV status (I just got it and it is still good for 4 month and some days}. You go get your copies made first as described above and then get your medical/eye exam and drug test (PHP150 each). Tin number is not needed. Then go to the LTO show your papers and application. After checking if everything is in order they will direct you to drop off your papers at a evaluator window. Then you wait till your name is called. Then proceed to get your picture taken and Signature. Then you wait again for your name to be called and then you pay. It was PHP 618 for me. Then you wait again and they call you to get your receipt which is used for a temporary drivers license since they are out of cards. He told me to come back in July to get a card. I have to go anyway since my US license is for automobiles only (class 2 here in the PH for Vehicle up to 4500 KGS GVW) and after 1 month and 1 day I can add the motorcycle permit (class 1) (I believe for another PHP 620). No Examination is neccessary unless your foreign license is expired.

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