The process to convert a foreign Driving license to a Philippines license should be easy and if you go to a main LTO centre that are used to dealing with foreigners it will be easy, however if you go to a small LTO Centre locally even in major cities it can be a headache as they do no know how to do it.
My first attempt at transferring my British driving license to a Philippines licence got me nowhere, cost me time and money and left me frustrated.
I went to my local LTO centre and informed them I wanted to convert my British license to a Philippines licence, she looked at my UK drivers license and told me I would have to go to the British Embassy and get it translated into English. I then spent the next 10 minutes trying to convince her that it was already written in English as English is the language of the United Kingdom and giving her a little lesson in the history of the English language.
By this point a few other customers and even a security guard were laughing at her, trying to save face she then spoke to my wife and said: “there is no date of birth on your husband’s license.” My wife pointed out the date of birth and the LTO officer replied: “That is not a date of birth as there are not 20 months in a year, he will have to go to the British Embassy and get them to translate it with a date of birth.” Myself and a Filipino that was there to renew his license spent the next 10 minutes trying to convince her that most of the world write the date as Day, Month, Year.
She disappears for 5 minutes then comes back and says OK we can accept your UK license but we need an original copy of your marriage certificate, which I did not have on me as I was not aware there was a law stating you had to be married to drive, so we returned home.
I discovered other Brits had problems with local LTO centres and they advised me to use Alabang LTO. When I arrived at Alabang LTO they told me I had to go to LTO Las Pinas as they did not do conversions at Alabang.
As soon as I arrived at LTO Las Pinas they gave me a form to fill out, on returning it I was shown into the Chief’s office and shortly the Chief sat entered, he asked a few questions looked at my passport and ACR card, signed a form and sent me to have my medical, which was just an eye test and a few questions. I then had to have my photo was taken, fingerprints and give a signature. It was all very simple however it did take 2 hours 30 minutes from the time I walked into the time they printed my Philippines driving license. No translation was needed and they never asked to see a marriage certificate.
Question: Can I drive in the Philippines on a foreign driver’s license?
Answer: You can drive for 90 days from the date of your arrival, after 90 days you will need to convert your foreign driver’s license into Philippine driver’s license.
Question: Do I need an International drivers license?
Answer: No there is no need for an international drivers license to drive in the Philippines, however, if you are hiring a car some car hire companies insist on an international drivers license.
Question: Do I need to take an exam?
Answer: As long as the driving license of your country has not expired you can just convert a foreign Driving license to a Philippines license.
Question: Can I keep the license of your country?
Answer: Yes make sure you hold on to it as you do not need to forfeit your UK licence.
QUALIFICATIONS to convert a foreign Driving license to Philippines Non-Professional Driver’s License.
1. Must be at least eighteen (18) years old
2. Must be physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle;
3. Must be able to read and write English or Filipino;
4. Must have been in the Philippines for at least 1 month and be able to provide proof that he/she will stay in the country for at least 1 year from date of application. For this reason, I would suggest you take both your passport and ACR card, as they will want to see your date of entry and your visa.
REQUIREMENTS to convert a foreign Driving license to Philippines Non-Professional Driver’s License.
a) Duly Accomplished Application for Driver’s License (ADL) This can be downloaded or filled in on arrival at LTO Centre. Note: They require details of your parents so might be worth taking your birth certificate.
b) Medical Certificate issued by any licensed practising physician stating that the applicant is physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle or otherwise stating his/her impairment. It does seem you do not need this and they will give you a medical at LTO that is no more than a few questions and an eye test (With glasses if you wear them)
c) Original and photocopy of passport with an entry of at least 1 month and visa duration of at least 1 year from date of application. Note: they accept a provisional 13a even with less than a year left.
d) A valid Foreign Driver’s License, the applicant may present the original and photocopy of Foreign Driver’s License, if not in English language, original and photocopy of official English translation from Embassy of the issuing country
Note: If Foreign License is expired, the applicant shall undergo written and practical examinations.
PROCEDURES to convert a foreign Driving license to Philippines Driving License.
- Go 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.
- When your number is called, go to the evaluator counter and submit all the required documents and have it checked for completeness and authenticity.
- When your name is called, go to where your photo and signature will be taken.
- Go to the cashier to pay the application fee.
- Go to the examination room for the lecture and written exam.
- After passing the written exam, wait for your name to be called for the practical exam.
- After passing the practical exam, go to the Cashier when your name is called for payment of necessary fees and obtain an official receipt (OR).
- Go to the releasing counter, wait for your name to be called and present the OR and claim the card type license.
VENUE to convert a foreign Driving license to Philippines Driving License.
Any licensing centre/ District office with driver’s license transactions. Try to go to one that is used to dealing with foreigners.
FEES AND CHARGES to convert a foreign Driving license to Philippines Driving License.
Valid Foreign License
Expired Foreign License
Application Fee: P100.00
|Valid Foreign License(No Examination)||Expired Foreign License|