How to get your Driver’s License with the new LTO System 2020

automotive, car, dashboard

Due to the development of technology and as part of the LTO’s efforts in transitioning to the “new normal”, it launched an online portal where one can apply for student permit as well as a driver’s license. This new technology is being pilot tested in different parts of the country one of which is Baguio City. Unfortunately, it’s not yet as smooth as expected. There are glitches that still need to be addressed before it will be implemented nationwide. Bummer, you cannot yet schedule an appointment through the online portal. What I will share to you is my experience in Baguio City; I am not sure how it works in the other parts of the country.

Secure a working email address:.

The first step is to make sure that you have an existing email account. Because everything is online now, they will send you the verification as well as receipts through your email. Do this at home. Then save your email address and password because you will need that to log in the LTO office.

car, auto, driving

Create your own LTO account at the LTO Online Portal.

Also do this in your phone or desktop before going to the LTO. It will save you a lot of time. But for those who cannot access the internet, you can do this at the LTO office with their help. They will assist you.

Click the “Register Now” and choose “Enrol as an Individual”. It will ask you your nationality, complete name, your mother’s maiden name, email-address, and contact number. A message will pop out telling you that you are successfully registered. Just click the link that was sent to your email in order to verify your account. Note that if you fail to verify within 24 hours, your account will be automatically deleted. This means that you need to create another one. When you click the link that was sent in your email, you will be directed to the LTMS LTO portal where you will type your new password. Then it will tell you that your account has been verified and confirmed. Now you can log-in using your email-ad and the password that you just entered. Tada! You are now ready to avail of the services of the LTO.

How to get a Student Permit

You can do this in the online portal but since the portal is still in its testing stage, better do it physically at the LTO office. If you do it physically in the LTO Office, you still need your email ad and enroll in the online portal. 

One is required to obtain a student permit before applying for a Driver’s License, Professional or Non-Professional. A person who is sixteen (16) years old is already qualified to apply for a student permit. It is valid for one (1) year.

A student permit allows you to drive a vehicle provided that you are accompanied by a licensed driver. Note that the licensed driver accompanying the student-driver shall be equally responsible and liable as the latter for any violation of the provisions of the law and for any injury or damage done by the motor vehicle on account or as a result of its operation by a student-driver under his direction.

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small driver, children's pedal car, retro car

Steps in getting a Student Permit

  • Fill out an Application for Driver’s License (ADL). You can download it in the LTO website. Be careful to fill out every detail especially the address and names. If an item doesn’t apply to you, just write “NA”. Also, there’s a blank space asking for your TIN number. If you don’t have one, go to the nearest BIR office of your place of residence and ask for a TIN number.
  • Bring with you the original copy of your Birth Certificate. Have it photocopied before going there.
  • Secure a medical certificate in advance. With the new LTO system, they only accept LTO accredited clinics that issue medical certificates. The computerized medical certificates are uploaded in the LTO system for easy reference. Oftentimes, these accredited clinics are the ones located near the LTO office. It’s okay to accept the invitations of strangers asking you to take the medical exam with them. Just make sure that they are duly accredited. Expectedly, the medical exam is very brief and will cost you ₱00-450.00. The Medical Certificate is good for sixty (60) days.
  • Bring a valid ID. Valid ID means a government-issued ID like your IDs issued by the PRC, SSS, PhilHealth, IBP, etc. They don’t accept school IDs. So if you are still young and you don’t have one, get a police clearance first in the nearest police station. For the purpose of getting a police clearance, place “Application for Driver’s License”. Don’t forget to photocopy it also.
license, identity, label

How to get a Non-Professional Driver's License

After a month, you can now apply for a Driver’s License. In the Philippines, a Driver’s License can be Professional or Non-Professional. Before, I had a misconception that if you are holding a Professional DL, it means that your profession or livelihood is driving. This is because I noticed that public utility drivers hold a Professional Driver’s License. But that was wrong. In fact, the law defined a Professional driver which shall mean every and any driver hired or paid for driving or operating a motor vehicle, whether for private use or for hire to the public. The only difference is the kind of vehicles that the holder can drive. A non-profressional driver’s license holder cannot drive heavy and big vehicles. With the new LTO system, the restrictions are now called “DL Codes”. Also, the ID doesn’t say if you are a Professional or Non-Professional Driver. It just says “Driver’s License”.

Note that you cannot apply for Professional DL immediately, you need to have a Non-Professional DL first before converting that to a Professional one.

General Qualifications:
  1. Must be physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle;
  2. Must be able to read and write Filipino and English; and,
  3. Must have passed the written and/or practical examination.

For Non-Professional Driver’s License:

  1. Must be at least seventeen (17) years old; and,
  2. Must be a holder of a valid Student-Driver’s Permit (issued at least thirty (30) days prior to application).

For Professional Driver’s License:

  1. Must be at least (18) years old;
  2. Must NOT have been cited for two (2) or more counts of reckless driving during the period of validity of his/her existing license;
  3. For Restriction Code 1, 2, 4 and 6 – must be a holder of valid Student Permit (SP) issued at least six (6) months prior to the application.

For Restriction Code 3,5,7 and 8 – must be a holder of valid Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) at least one (1) year prior to the application or PDL holder with RC 1,2,4 and 6 for a period of at least six (6) months prior to the application.

After submitting all documents to the evaluator, he will give you a number and wait for it to be called. Now you need to pay the fees.

Student Permit:

Application Fee: 100.00, IT Fee: 67.63., Student Permit: 150.00

New License:

Application Fee: 100.00, License Fee: 585.00

You will only pay the License Fee if you passed the exam. I was told that you can also pay these fees through GCASH but I haven’t tried that yet. If you have, comment below!

Pass the written exam.

As part of the change, the exam is already computerized and timed compared to the traditional pen and paper. So there’s a lesser chance of cheating and corrupting the examiner. Hehe.

Those who already took the exam are saying that taking the exam in Filipino is easier. But for me, that doesn’t really matter because like other exams, you can actually pass it as long as you reviewed before the exam. And that’s if you reviewed the correct material.

Before I took the exam, being a lawyer that I am, haha, I downloaded the Republic Act No. 4136 or the “Land Transportation and Traffic Code.” You can read here the requirements as well as the traffic rules and regulations on speeding, overtaking, keeping right, turning at intersections, etc. I also downloaded the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act. No. 10586 on the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013. I also downloaded the LTO Exam Reviewer Application where you can practice the exam. The questions here are almost the same with the ones asked in the real exam.

Here’s the real deal. For you to REALLY PASS THE EXAM, check out the LTO website. In the heading, click E-Learning, and click the Theoretical Exam. I was told about this few minutes before I took the exam, luckily, I had the time to browse it. I haphazardly practiced until question 60 until I was called to enter the exam room. And oh boy! It’s exactly the same questions! Remember that the passing rate is 80 points.

Pass the practical exam.

After passing the exam, you need to pay the other fees for your actual exam. For the practical exam, you need to bring your own car to drive. You will have 100 points. Passing score is 70 points. Everytime you make a mistake, points will be deducted. If you look at the back of your application form, check out the skills that you need to pass and practice it as early as now. These are: a) Pre-Driving Check-up; b) Driving Skills; and c) Observance to Traffic Rules. For LTO Baguio, follow the route that they have published.

Wait for it.

If you passed the practical exam, you will now wait for your photo to be taken. It’s okay to smile. I think you just don’t have to show your teeth. Hehe. Also, be careful with your signature. Make it more defined. After those formalities, just wait for few more minutes and you will now have your license! Congratulations!

P.S. Make sure to go to the LTO Office very early. I went there at around 7:15 and I was already number 17 in the line. Don’t forget to charge your phone before going there. Bring a lot of patience and some food because waiting is part of it. 

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