Convert Foreign Driver License

How to Convert a Foreign Driver’s License in the Philippines

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Philippine’s public transport can become scarce and in order to explore the country, many tourists decide to arrange their driving permits and rent their own vehicles during their holiday in the Philippines. But, you may be wondering whether you can use your foreign driver’s license in the Philippines. This is to avoid unexpected charges or delays due to not having the correct documents.

Here’s what foreigners need to know in order to drive lawfully in the Philippines:

  • You can drive with a foreign driver’s license in the Philippines for up to 90 days BUT if you plan to stay in the country for longer than 90 days and drive a vehicle, you will not only need to obtain the appropriate long-term Philippine visa according to the Philippine visa policy, but you will also need to get a driving permit from the LTO.
  • You can convert your foreign driver’s license into a local one at the Land Transportation Office (LTO)
  • You can obtain a Philippine driver’s license from the LTO

NOTE: Vehicles in the Philippines drive on the right side of the road, i.e. cars have the steering wheel on the left-hand side.

Behind the wheel, ANGER is one letter away from DANGER. Don't let the actions of others on the road affect your emotions. There are no winners when you gave in the road rage. Stay Calm and Drive Safely.

How to Convert a Foreign Driver’s License in the Philippines
Your local LTO office can help you convert your foreign driver’s license into a local one. The documentation required to convert a foreign license include:
  • Duly Accomplished Application for Driver’s License (ADL). You can which you can download here or on the spot at the LTO center.
  • Original and a photocopy of your visa and stamp, or the Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR), available at the Immigration Office, if you are temporarily residing in the country.
  • Medical Certificate certifying that you’re physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Original and a photocopy of a valid passport with an entry of at least 1 month and visa duration of at least 1 year from date of application.
  • A valid foreign driver’s license (original and copy). If the license is not in English, it must be accompanied by an official translation issued by your embassy.
  • If you are employed, present your Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN) in compliance with Executive Order 98 & MC ACL-2009-1251.
You will need to pass a written and practical exam before your license can be converted.
Application Form for Driver License

Can I Use My Driving License in the Philippines?

International tourists can use their foreign driver’s license in order to drive a vehicle in the Philippines. However, conditions and limitations apply:
  • The foreign driving permit must be written in English. If your country does not issue driving permits in English, you can contact your embassy to obtain an official English translation.
  • You can only drive with a foreign license for up to 90 days. After 90 days, you must obtain a driving permit from the Philippine LTO in order to drive in the Philippines.

How to Get a Driver’s License in the Philippines

There are 3 types of driving permits in the Philippines:
  • The professional driver’s license
  • The non-professional diver’s license
  • The student permit
Most foreigners wishing to obtain a permit from the LTO are likely to apply for a non-professional driver’s license. The documents required for a non-professional driver’s license are the same as the ones required for a foreign license conversion — except that you won’t need to provide your foreign driver’s license. You must, however, bring with you a Student Permit issued at least one month and one day prior to your application.

Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the ahead.

How to Get an International Driver’s License in the Philippines

If you wish to obtain an international driver’s license while in the Philippines, you may do so at a local AAP office. In order to apply for an international driver’s license in the Philippines, you will need:
  • A valid professional or non-professional driving permit
  • 2 ID photos (size: 2×2)
  • Foreigners must also bring their passport and a photocopy of the date-of-last-arrival page
  • Permanent residents will need their ACR
You will be provided with an application form to fill out at the AAP office. After paying the application fee and having your documents reviewed, you will be given the international driving permit.
Philippines International Driving License Permit
The Philippine International Driving Permit (PIDP) is valid for the entire validity of your current license. For example, if your current non-professional driver’s license expires in 6 months, so will your PIDP.
 
The AAP offices are located in:
AlabangMakati
Quezon CityBatangas
PampangaCebu
Davao 

Fees and Charges

Getting a driver’s license in the Philippines will just cost you 1,050.00. A non-professional license costs a total of 517.63 (as of August 2016) for valid foreign license holders. If your foreign license is expired, a non-professional license will cost you 617.63 (including the 100.00 application fee aforementioned.)
Renewal-of Driver-License-Fee
Travelers planning to stay abroad long-term may want to consider getting an international driver’s license that will allow them not only to drive in the Philippines but also in other countries without having to convert their license each time they cross the border.

TIPS: Avoid Fixers

Just don’t. It’s illegal and will cost you more. Worse, there’s a high chance you’ll get issued a fake license. In the last few years, the government has been on a crackdown on fixers so you should be seeing less of them (I hope). Still, be vigilant and just ignore them, it won’t do you any good.
 
For more information about driver’s licenses in the Philippines, log on to http://lto.gov.ph.

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