Before you can obtain a license to drive, you need to secure a Student Permit from the Land Transportation Office (LTO). This guide will walk you through the requirements for obtaining a student permit and the process.
What’s in the LTO Student Permit?
An LTO Student Permit, simply known as a student permit, is a piece of document that authorizes its holder to learn how to drive in the Philippines with the presence of someone who owns and holds a driver’s license (professional or non-professional driver’s license).
The permit has one-year validity (upon the date of issuance), which should be more than enough for you to learn how to operate a motor vehicle, safely maneuver the vehicle on the road, obey traffic rules, follow road signs, and get ready to take the written exam and actual driving exam from the LTO.
Note: Whether you are planning to get a professional driver’s license to drive public transport vehicles, jeepneys, taxis, or bigger trucks, etc., or simply want a regular non-professional driver’s license, you still have to go through the student permit process first.
The student permit can’t be modified or revised. It is also not acknowledged as an official driver’s license. Holders of student permits caught driving without the company of a driver’s license holder will be fined and the vehicle may be impounded.
Getting a Student Permit: Quick Overview
Getting a Student Permit is pretty easy. Here’s a quick summary of the process.
- Enrol yourself in an LTO-accredited driving school for a Theoretical Driving Course. Another option is to head straight to the LTO Driver’s Education Center for a free course.
- Head to the LTO office near you and ask for the student permit application form. Complete the form and comply with all the student permit requirements
- Submit your form along with all the requirements.
- Get your student permit and learn to drive.
Who can apply for a student permit?
For Filipino citizens:
- Must be at least 16 years old upon the day of application
- Both physically and mentally able to operate a motor vehicle
- Can write and read in Filipino, English, or any applicable local dialect
- Completed the 15-hour TDC
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must be living in the Philippines for at least one month (proof of stay required for at least six months
- Email address
Student Permit Requirements
- Duly completed driver’s license application form (Application for Driver’s License) from LTO. You can also download the form from the LTO website.
- Photocopy of Birth Certificate from theNational Statistics Office (NSO) or Philippine Statistics Office (PSA)
- Original and one photocopy of government-issued ID with applicant’s signature and photo
- Certificate of Completion of the course (electronically transmitted) issued by any driving school with accreditation from the LTO or directly from the LTO Driver’s Education Center
- Medical certificate
- Taxpayer’s Identification (TIN), if employed
- An original parent’s consent or affidavit of custody or care of the applicant minor (duly notarized)
- Original and photocopy of a valid and government-issued ID of parent/guardian/affiant with signature and photo
For Married Women
- Marriage contract (original and photocopy authenticated by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or Philippine Statistics Office (PSA))
- Original and photocopy of passport with details of the entry date (at least one month) and duration of VISA (at least one year) from date of application
Student Permit Application Process
Here’s how the whole process of getting a student permit goes:
Step 1: Head to the nearest LTO office in your area. In many cities across the country, they have satellite offices in malls that accommodate driver’s license renewal and student permit applications. They are usually less busy and have an accredited medical clinic nearby for the medical checkup and your medical certificate.
Step 2: Go straight to Window 1 and submit your application form along with the other requirements.
Step 3: When asked, read or recite the Driver’s Road Safety Pledge.
Step 4: Choose a seat and wait for your name to be called. Depending on how busy the office is, this may take a few minutes or more.
Step 5: Once your name is called, proceed to the window (window number will be posted on the monitor screen) for the biometrics. This is where they will take your photo and your signature for the student permit.
Step 6: After completing the biometrics, proceed to the cashier window for the payment. This usually costs around Php 318 (Php 317.63 to be exact). Again, depending on how busy the office is on that day, this step will take a few minutes.
Step 7: Wait for your student permit and official receipt. Sign the release form to get your permit and receipt.
Note: You can apply for the non-professional driver’s license in 30 days and 1 day upon the issuance of your student permit.
For a professional driver’s license, you can apply for six months upon the issuance of your student permit. Or after at least one year after holding a non-professional driver’s license (without traffic violations).
If you are not ready to apply for a non-professional driver’s license, and you wish to practice, familiarize yourself with the traffic rules, and prepare for the exam more, you can renew your student permit on or before its expiry date. You only have to pay the basic fees for the renewal, unless you have incurred traffic violations.
The whole cost of getting a student permit
How much will do whole student permit process cost? Here’s a breakdown based on the latest information from the LTO.
- 15-hour TDC from an LTO-accredited school – Php 2,300 to Php 3,000 (depending on the driving school). Some offer as low as Php 1,500.
- 15-hour TDC from LTO Driver’s Education Center – FREE
- TDC certificate – Php 200
- Medical certificate – Php 480 to Php 500 (depending on the clinic)
- Student permit – PHP317.63
While the LTO offers free 15-hour TDC, you may have to wait for a few days if not weeks to be scheduled. So make sure you are ready for that.
Should you wish to get your TDC somewhere else, make sure you only deal with an LTO-accredited driving school.
Dress modestly when going to the LTO, they don’t allow wearing short pants inside the office.
Also, if you don’t have perfect 20/20 vision, make sure you bring your eyeglasses with you for the medical exam.
You can head straight to your preferred LTO-accredited driving school for the Practical Driving Course (PDC). They will issue you with the PDC certificate, which is a requirement for the driver’s license.