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Getting a New Driver’s License in Cebu: A Quick Guide

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Cars cruising down the streets of Cebu City

Getting a new driver’s license is a priority among many of those living in Cebu.

While commuting is the more economical choice, the convenience of operating your own personal vehicle is something you can’t deny.

Applying for one may be tedious, but with the right information and preparation, you can follow through a smooth and successful process.

Here is a guide on the things you need to know about getting a new driver’s license in Cebu.

All information is taken from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) website as of November 2023, and may be subject to change.

TYPES OF DRIVER’S LICENSE

  • Student’s Permit

The Student’s Permit is the first type of Driver’s License a motorist can get. This lets you drive a vehicle freely, but with the accompaniment of a licensed individual. 

This is usually given to drivers who either want to learn how to drive or are currently taking driving lessons. 

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Must be a Filipino citizen 16 years or older
  • For foreigners:
    • Must be at least 18 years old and have been staying in the Philippines for at least a month, with proof of stay for at least six months
  • Must be physically and mentally fit to drive
  • Must be able to read and write in Filipino or English
  • Must not have unsettled traffic violations
  • Must have completed the Theoretical Driving Course

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Duly accomplished Application for Permits and Licenses (APL) Form
  • Electronically transmitted medical certificate from an LTO accredited clinic
  • Any of the following: 
    • Birth Certificate
    • Philippine Identification Card 
    • Passport
    • Local Civil Registry – for areas without a Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Office
    • Certificate of Marriage
  • For applicants below 18 years of age, consent from a parent or guardian, with presentation of any valid government issued ID and a photocopy
  • Presentation of any valid ID and a photocopy, with the photo and signature of the applicant
  • For foreign nationals: 
    • Presentation of passport and a photocopy, with entry date of at least one month
    • Visa duration of six months from the date of application
    • If born in the Philippines, presentation of birth certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and a photocopy
  • Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN) if employed
  • Presentation of the original, a photocopy, and the electronically transmitted Certificate of Completion of the Theoretical Driving Course
  • LTO Client ID taken from LTO Portal

Two years from the issuance date, the holder is required to acquire a new Student Permit bearing the same number and undergo the apprenticeship period. 

Student Permits may be renewed on or before the expiry date if the holder is not ready to apply for a Non-Professional Driver’s License. 

RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Duly accomplished Application for Permits and Licenses (APL) Form 
  • Presentation of the Student Driver’s Permit
  • Electronically transmitted medical certificate from an LTO accredited clinic

VALIDITY:

Valid for one year from the date of issuance. 

Cannot be used for the Practical Driving Course after one year, but can be used to apply for a Non-Professional Driver’s License.

  • Non-Professional Driver’s License

This license allows motorists to drive private vehicles without being accompanied by another licensed individual. 

You can upgrade to this new driver’s license after a month to a year since your Student’s Permit was first issued. 

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Must be at least 17 years old
  • For foreigners, must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be able to read and write in Filipino and/or English
  • Must have a Student Driver’s Permit for at least one month from issuance
  • Must have attended and passed the Practical Driving Course (PDC) from the LTO Driver’s Education Center (DEC), an LTO accredited driving school, or an LTO accredited TESDA Training Center
  • Must be physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle
  • Must not have unsettled traffic violations
  • Must have passed the Automated Theoretical Examination and Practical Driving Test

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Duly accomplished Application for Permits and Licenses (APL) Form
  • Electronically transmitted medical certificate from an LTO accredited clinic
  • Presentation of the original, a photocopy, and the electronically transmitted Practical Driving Course (PDC) Certificate
  • Valid Student’s Permit
  • For applicants below 18 years of age, consent from a parent or guardian, with presentation of any valid government issued ID and a photocopy
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) if employed

VALIDITY:

A new driver’s license is valid for five years, unless quickly revoked or suspended. 

If the license holder hasn’t committed any violations, they are entitled to a renewal of such license valid for 10 years. 

  • Professional Driver’s License

Finally, one can also upgrade to a Professional Driver’s License, which allows one to operate a vehicle under a particular service or industry. 

These are used by drivers who earn a living through driving, such as public transportation drivers, delivery men, transport network vehicle service (TNVS) operators, and more. 

REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Duly accomplished Application for Permits and Licenses (APL) Form
  • Electronically transmitted medical certificate from an LTO accredited clinic
  • Presentation of original Driver’s License

DROPPING DL CODE/S AND/OR UPDATING DRIVING CONDITIONS

  • Presentation of original Driver’s License 
  • Notarized affidavit or written request 
  • Electronically transmitted medical certificate from an LTO accredited clinic

PROCESS FOR GETTING A NEW DRIVER’S LICENSE

  1. Take a Theoretical Driving Course 

First, you have to enroll in any driving school in Cebu and take a Theoretical Driving Course.

Students will learn important driving information such as principles, traffic rules, and violations amended by the LTO. They then take a 100-item exam, wherein they have to score an 80 to pass. 

Once finished, the student candidate will be given a Certificate of Completion, which is one of the requirements for applying for a Student’s Permit.

       2. Apply for a Student’s Permit

Aside from the Certificate of Completion, prepare the requirements for a Student’s Permit. 

According to the LTO website, you will have to pay Php100 for the Application Fee and an additional Php150 for the Student’s Permit Fee. 

      3. Take a Practical Driving Course

After receiving your Student’s Permit, you need to take a Practical Driving Course to help you learn the ins and outs of operating a motor vehicle. 

While the Student’s Permit is valid, you can use it to practice driving around and be more familiar with the roads and highways. The Practical Driving Course Certificate is also needed to get a Non-Professional or Professional Driver’s License.  

      4. Apply for a Driver’s License 

From there, you can proceed to apply for a new driver’s license through the LTO Portal or via walk-in at the Land Transportation Office. The Driver’s License fee is around Php585.

Processing time may take around an hour, so you may want to go there early. 

Here are some of the most accessible LTO offices around Cebu City where you can apply for a new driver’s license: 

  • Regional Office at Natalio Bacalso Avenue 
  • Robinsons Galleria 
  • Robinsons Fuente
  • SM City Cebu 
  • SM Seaside Cebu

IS APPLYING FOR A NEW DRIVER’S LICENSE WORTH IT?

Driving your own personal vehicle can be convenient if you go around the city a lot. Applying for a new driver’s license is the first step in being able to traverse the roads of Cebu. Not only that, but it will also serve as a valid government ID that will come in handy anytime.

Prepare the requirements and visit the LTO website to check everything you need to know when applying for a driver’s license. Lastly, always remember to drive safely and responsibly.

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