How to Get an LTO Student Driver’s License: 2024 Guide

Before we become experts in the fields we choose, we are all learners at first. This applies to all abilities, including driving. Before obtaining a license, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) mandates that we obtain a student permit in order for us to lawfully drive on public roads. In this manner, we can study the fundamentals of driving and traffic laws under the supervision of a certified teacher.

Obtaining a student permit used to be simple. You can obtain the student permit in a few hours by simply going to the LTO and submitting a copy of your ID, a birth certificate, and a medical certificate. However, the LTO has developed new guidelines regarding student permit applications in response to the nation’s increasing number of deaths attributable to traffic accidents. New drivers will need to complete a 15-hour theoretical driving education program starting on April 6, 2020, in order to apply for a student permit.

We will go over this new regulation, the prerequisites, and the price of obtaining a student permit in person or online in 2024 in this post. Please continue reading.

A student permit: what is it?

Under the supervision of a professional instructor, you can learn and practice driving a motor vehicle on public roads with a student permit, often known as a student license. In the Philippines, obtaining it is a requirement for getting a driver’s license. Given that the student permit is only valid for a year, you have that year to acquire the skills and information required to pass your LTO driving exams. In addition, the student permit is not renewable, so you will need to reapply and begin the application procedure if it expires before you have your driver’s license.

Who May Apply for a Student License?

The following requirements must be met in order for you to be eligible for a student permit:

  • You have to be at least 16 years old.
  • If you can prove that you have been here for at least six months and you are at least eighteen, you can be considered a foreigner.
  • To operate a motor vehicle, you have to be in good physical and mental health.
  • English or Filipino reading proficiency is required.
  • Must have accomplished the LTO’s 15-hour Theoretical Driving Course
  • No unresolved moving violations
  • Requires a working email address

Foreign nationals living in the National Capital Region can only apply for a student permit at the LTO Central Office License Section on East Avenue in Quezon City. Outside of Metro Manila, foreign nationals may apply for a student permit at any licensing or district office in the country.

LTO Student Permit Qualifications

Before submitting an application for a student permit at the LTO, gather the necessary paperwork if you believe you are eligible for one:

  • Form APL (Application for Permits and Licenses): Fill out the form with the necessary personal information, writing clearly.
  • Medical Certificate: Get this from an LTO-accredited clinic or medical facility. Your height, weight, blood pressure, and vision will all be examined. If you pass, a physical copy of the certificate will be issued together with an electronic transmission of the certificate to the LTMS.
  • If you are under the age of eighteen:
    • Send in a letter of approval from one of your parents or legal guardians granting you the right to apply.
    • send in one original and one photocopy of each parent or guardian’s legal government-issued identification document, along with a signature and photo.
  • Valid ID: Please provide a photocopy of your ID; do not forget to bring the original with you for confirmation. Verify the ID’s signature and photo. Provide a copy of the birth certificate that was issued by the PSA if you do not have a legitimate ID. Never forget to bring the original for confirmation.
  • The certificate of completion for the theoretical driving course is provided by the LTO Driver’s Education Center, TESDA Training Center, or accredited driving school. A physical certificate will be issued by them, and an electronic copy will be sent to the LTO portal. When you visit the LTO for the in-person appearance, bring both the original and a photocopy.
  • If you are not from abroad:
    • Send in one photocopy of your passport with a minimum one-month entrance date and a six-month visa validity period from the application date.
    • If born in the Philippines, the PSA will authenticate both an original and a photocopy of your birth certificate.
  • If you are a married woman, get a marriage certificate from the PSA ready.
student permit updated requirements infographics

Applying for a Student License Through the LTO Portal

Once you have gathered all of the required paperwork, you need to apply online for a student permit. When compared to the conventional method, this will save you time and trouble. The photo, signature, and biometric capture, however, still require an in-person visit to the LTO and cannot be completed online. Please follow the instructions below to apply for a student permit online:

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1. Open an account on the LTMS

Using a computer with a internet connection, go to https://portal.lto.gov.ph. Alternatively, you can use a tablet or smartphone, depending on what is available. To learn more about setting up an account, please refer to this guide: How to Create an LTMS Portal Account.

You must have an LTMS account before obtaining the medical and TDC certificates.

2. Sign in and choose a transaction

Using your chosen password and the 15-digit username, log into the LTMS Portal. After selecting the Licensing option, read and agree to the Terms of Use for the LTMS. After selecting the Student Permit option, click the button to add the medical certificate. Next, click Verify after entering your certificate number.

choose transaction and add med cert.
How to Get an LTO Student Driver’s License: 2024 Guide

3. Select the Timetable and Make the Payment

Select the LTO office where you wish to apply, along with your selected appointment day and hour, while completing the online application for a student permit. Next, pay the LTO fees using the payment method of your choice.

4. Visit the LTO

On the appointed day and time, visit the licensing or LTO district office of your choice. Bring both original and copy of the necessary documents. Hold your breath until your name is called, then give them your photo, signature, and fingerprints. Following that, sign the release form after you have waited for the student permit to be released.

How to Walk-In and Apply for a Student Permit in LTO

You can still apply for a student permit in person at any LTO District Office or licensing facility if the closest LTO is not accepting online applications. You must visit the nearest LTO office after gathering each of the prerequisites mentioned above. It will expedite the processing of your application if you also have an LTMS account ready. Every transaction in LTO requires an LTMS account. This covers renewing driver’s licenses and applying for permits and licenses, even if you are completing these things in person.

  1. Inform the on-duty guard or any other LTO employee that you would like to submit an application for a student permit. It is most probable that they will furnish you with an application form together with a prerequisite list.
  2. Complete the application and affix the necessary paperwork. Proceed to Window 1 and send in your supporting documentation and application. Your documents’ completeness and authenticity will be verified by the assessor. He or she will give you a queue number and move your application to the following window if everything is in order. If you already have an LTMS account, he or she will inquire. If you already have an email address, provide it. If not, register for an LTMS account.
  3. If there is a queue screen, you must keep an eye on it. It will be indicated on the queue display which window you need to visit. It will probably be the checkout window. You must pay for the student permit at the cashier window when it is your turn. Once the required payments have been paid, you must return to your seat.
  4. You must bide your time till your number is called once more. You then have to proceed to the biometrics window. They will take your photo and digital signature there.
  5. After a short while, wait at the Releasing window until your name is called. Together with the formal receipt, they will release the student permit. Sign the release form as soon as you receive your permit.
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Approximately two to three hours will pass, depending on how many applications are received that day. Based on my observations, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the ideal days to visit LTO because of the lower lineups on those days. It is advisable to complete your transaction at the closest mall if it has an LTO licensing center. Compared to doing it at an LTO district office, renewing my license this year took me only 15 minutes, which saved me a significant amount of time.

Once you have obtained your student permit, you may enroll in the Practical Driving Course (PDC) at any LTO-accredited driving school. The driving school will issue a PDC certificate, which is required to obtain a non-professional driver’s license.

Notes to Holders of LTO Student Permits

  • After your permit is issued, you have thirty-one days to apply for a non-professional driver’s license.
  • It must be renewed before it expires and is good for a year from the date of issuance. You must reapply for a student permit if, two years after the initial issuance, you are still unable to obtain a driver’s license.
  • Recall that a driver’s license is not the same as a student permit. Should you be discovered operating a motor vehicle on a public road without the oversight of a certified teacher, you will face consequences and have your car seized.

The entire price of obtaining a student permit

Here is a breakdown of the price in case you are curious about how much it will cost to obtain a student permit:

AMOUNT Amount
Application Cost ₱100.00
Computer Charge ₱67.63
Fee for Student Permits ₱150.00
Course on Theoretical Driving (TDC) ₱1,500.00
TDC Attestation ₱200.00
Health Certificate ₱300.00
COMPLETE ₱2,317.00

These student permit costs are based on the official website of the LTO and are subject to change at any time. If you obtain your Theoretical Driving Course for free at the LTO Driver’s Education Center, this cost may be reduced. Other costs like transportation, meals, and photocopying may also need to be covered.

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Commonly Asked Questions

The following are the most frequent queries regarding obtaining and possessing an LTO student permit:

1. If I only have a student permit, can I still drive?

With a student permit, you are allowed to drive a car on a public road, but only under the supervision of a licensed instructor. Driving alone with a student permit is illegal and can result in penalties and impounding of your vehicle.

2. What is the fine if I am found operating a car by myself?

Driving on a student permit requires you to be in the presence of a licensed driver at all times. If not, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will fine you a whopping ₱3,000.00 for breaking the law.

3. If I already know how to drive, is it possible for me to obtain a student permit without going to driving school?

No, in order to apply for a student permit, you must first complete a 15-hour Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) from an LTO Driver’s Education Center or an LTO-accredited driving school. Regardless of their level of driving proficiency, all applicants must meet this prerequisite.

4. Two years after receiving a student permit, I was unable to obtain a driver’s license. Does the 15-hour TDC need to be retaken?

No, there is no expiration date on the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) certificate; it is valid for life. So, you can use it at any moment to submit an application for a student permit.

5. Can I use my LTO Student Permit to apply for a driver’s license at any LTO office?

Yes, you can use your LTO student permit to apply for a driver’s license at any Land Transportation Office (LTO) in the Philippines.

For instance, if you were born and raised in Quezon City and then relocated to Cebu City, you can use your student permit from Quezon City to apply for a driver’s license at the Cebu City LTO office. Just remember to bring the required documentation and adhere to all LTO regulations.

6. Is it a legitimate ID?

An LTO student permit is a transitory document that is typically not accepted as identification. It might, however, be accepted as identification by certain government agencies—but only if it is in the orange card type. However, in addition to your student permit, you will also need to show another form of identification.

7. My ID is not currently valid. How can I apply for a permit to study in LTO?

Please bring a copy of your birth certificate from PSA and your school ID if you are still enrolled in classes. Bring the original copies at all times for purposes of verification.

In summary

You must get a driver’s license in order to drive legally in the Philippines. However, you must first obtain an LTO student permit before you can proceed with that. This will help you get ready for the next licensing level by enabling you to practice driving under the supervision of a qualified driver. You must finish a theoretical driving course, apply in person or online, and pay the necessary costs in order to receive your student permit. The LTO LTMS portal makes the procedure easy and straight forward. Obtaining a student permit is a thrilling accomplishment, so make sure you follow the procedures precisely and drive sensibly and safely.

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