LTO License and Registration

How to get an LTO student permit (student license to drive) in the Philippines? (A real-life experience guide for New Drivers)

When I was just starting to learn how to drive, the first thing that my friend who is so willing to teach me how to drive told me is that I get first a student permit from the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

My friend did not tell me why I need to get a student permit but I nevertheless hastily get one.

By the way, I was really blessed for having that friend not only because he taught me how to drive but also because he lend me his car so I can practice driving, free of charge.

So, why get an LTO Student Permit?

If you wish to get a Professional or a Non-Professional Driver’s License, which by the way is mandatory when you drive a motor vehicle in the Philippines, you are required to get first from the LTO a Student Permit or a Student License.

When you have a student permit or a student license to drive, you are allowed to drive a motor vehicle but you should be accompanied by someone who hold a valid Professional or Non-Professional Driver’s License. This was the reason why my friend asked me to get a student permit from the LTO.

Warning: Don’t ever drive without the company of a licensed driver as you may be apprehended and fined. (If you do, pray earnestly that you won’t be caught by authorities – I do not recommend this though!)

If I am not mistaken, you will be fined a penalty fee of Php 3,000.00 if you’re caught driving a vehicle without the presence of a trained licensed driver. Your car or the car of your friend or companion may also be impounded by LTO.

How to get a Student Permit?

The easiest way to know how to secure a student permit is to visit the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) website and read the prescribed procedures provided there.

You can also see in the website the documents you are required to bring and submit when you apply. Thanks to the power of the internet as you need not visit the LTO just to ask for these information. You are also less exposed to the COVID-19 because of this.

Are you eligible to get a Student Permit?

There are requirements though that you need to comply before you are allowed to secure a student driver’s license or permit. I listed them down below.

  • If you’re a Filipino citizen you must be sixteen (16) years of age and above; or
  • If you are a foreign citizen you must be at least eighteen (18) years old and must have been in the Philippines for at least one (1) month and must be able to show proof of stay for at least six (6) months.
  • You must be physically and mentally fit;
  • You must be able to read and write in Filipino or English; and
  • You must not have unsettled traffic violation. [LTO]

If you think you can meet all these conditions, then you can apply for an LTO student permit.

What to bring when applying for an LTO Student Permit or License?

I honestly was nervous when I applied for my own student permit. That was my first time to visit the LTO.

While LTO’s website provides all the necessary documents that I needed to bring with me, I was a bit lost and scared when I was there. There were a lot of people there that time and I honestly don’t know where to start and who to ask from.

But just like any other permits, the first thing that you need to secure and be able to accomplish is an application form which LTO called the Application for Driver’s License (ADL).

If you have a printer at home, you may download the Application for Driver’s License (ADL) at the LTO’s website and accomplish the same beforehand or if you don’t have a printer, just visit LTO and look for the LTO’s Public Assistance Desk and ask for a copy.

Tip: Make sure to bring with you your own ballpen or sign pen as LTO might not provide you with one, especially during this time when we avoid using other people’s things due to the COVID-19.

But in case you forget to bring with you a ballpen, there are vendors around. You can buy from them just like what I did.

Be aware though, there are fixers around just as many as the vendors. Don’t deal with them.

Along with your fully and correctly accomplished Application for Driver’s License (ADL), be ready with the following documentary requirements:

  1. Presentation of original and one (1) photocopy of birth certificate and marriage contract (for married women) duly authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) or valid passport.
  2. For applicants below 18 years of age, one (1) parent’s consent or a person having custody/care or supervision over the minor applicant authorizing the applicant to secure a student permit with presentation of one (1) original and submission of one (1) photocopy of any valid government issued ID of the parent/affiant with photo and signature
  3. Presentation of original and one (1) photocopy of any issued ID with photo and signature of the applicant
  4. Presentation of copy of the medical certificate. (Electronically transmitted to LTO by the accredited medical clinic)
  5. For foreigners, presentation of the original and submission of one (1) photocopy of passport with entry date of at least one (1) month and visa duration of six (6) months from date of application, or if born in the Philippines, presentation of the original and submission of one (1) photocopy of birth certificate duly authenticated by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
  6. Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN), if employed. [LTO]

Note: These requirements may be changed or updated by the LTO anytime without prior notice so it is important to visit their website for more updates.

Steps to follow when applying for a student permit

After properly and completely accomplishing the Application for Driver’s License (ADL), follow these steps to get a student permit:

  1. Submit accomplished ADL and all the requirements with the attached queue number. Read the Driver’s Road Safety Pledge.
  2. Wait for your queue number/name to be called for photo and signature capture.
  3. Proceeds to the Cashier for payment of fees.
  4. Receives Student Permit and Official Receipt.
    4.1. Fills out logsheet. [LTO]

How much will you pay for a Student Permit?

The rates may be changed by LTO depending on recent guidelines but this may cost you around Php 318.00, which is composed of application fee, computer fee and student permit fee.

Will you get a card just like a driver’s license card? As for the time I got my student license, no. But I think for other land transportation offices they give a card. So I think that would depend in your area.

Are there other fees you have to pay to get a student permit?

You’ll have to pay for a medical certificate issued by an LTO-accredited medical clinic and registered physician.

I don’t know with other land transportation offices but you don’t have to worry where to get a medical certificate as there may be medical clinics around the LTO in your area. Just ensure though that the medical clinic is accredited by LTO.

But don’t worry, LTO-accredited medical clinics are now required to submit online the result of your medical exam. They are connected to LTO’s IT System so you are assured that they are accredited by the LTO. You will be given a hard copy of your medical certificate and you need to show this to the LTO for verification. (See No. 4 requirement above)

How long should you wait before your Student Permit is released?

I was able to get my student permit the same day. Depending on the circumstances perhaps, you should be able to get your student permit the same day. As for my experience,  if I remember it right, I was able to get my permit after an hour or two.

What to do next after getting your LTO Student Permit?

Make the most out of every opportunity to practice as your student license is finite.

According to the LTO, the student permit is only valid for one year and cannot be modified, revised, or renewed. Thus, when you apply for a student permit, make the most out of your time to practice how to drive.

That’s all for now. Do always visit my website for more practical tips for new drivers.

Got questions? Leave me a comment below.

I wish you good luck in your driving practice. Remember, safety first! Happy driving!