The Driver’s License is a privilege and not a right. As with any privilege, it comes with some requisites and provisions. For those who have a Non-Professional license and want to change it to a Professional one to, say, drive as a means of livelihood, here’s a quick and easy-to-follow checklist and guide on how you can do just that.
Disclaimer: This is for changing license classifications but with still the same Restriction Codes
Classification change of Non-Professional to Professional Driver’s License
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There are six (6) general qualifications to be able to change your Driver’s License classification
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must be physically and mentally fit to drive
- Must be able to read and write in Filipino, English, or any other major dialect
- Must not have an unsettled traffic violation
- Must have passed the Automated Theoretical Examination
- Must be a holder of a valid Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)
Now here is where we’ll need more information regarding your current valid NPDL’s Restriction Codes and how long since it’s been issued before you can change Classification.
- NPDL under RC 1/DL Codes A, A1 must be issued at least six (6) months prior to a Classification change
- NPDL under RC 2 or 4/DL Codes B, B1, and B2 must be issued at least one (1) year prior to a Classification change
Those who have accumulated Traffic Violation Demerit Points (TVDP) from the issuance of their license will not be allowed to apply for a Classification change. As for those who have a driver’s license that has expired for more than two (2) years, they must first take and pass the Practical Driving Test. For as long as these general requirements are met, you are eligible for a Classification change. It’s also worth noting that these requirements are the same if you are changing from PDL to NPDL.
Requirements checklist for Driver’s License Classification change
There are 4 items that you must first secure before being able to apply for and process a Classification change for your license. These are what you’ll need and where you can go to acquire them:
- Duly accomplished Application for Permits and Licenses (APL) form. You can download this from the Land Transportation Office’s website (lto.gov.ph).
- Presentation of the original copy of Non-Professional Driver’s License. Of course, the applicant must have this with him or her when applying for a Classification change.
- Presentation of a copy of a Medical Certificate. Only the certificate that is electronically transmitted to the LTO by an LTO-accredited Medical Clinic will be accepted, so make sure you get one from an accredited clinic.
- Tax Identification Number (TIN). You will have to get this from the BIR and bring proof of your TIN upon application.
In the case of foreigners who have a valid NPDL but want to have their driver’s license classification changed, they have an additional requirement to meet:
- Presentation of original and one (1) photocopy of a valid working VISA that is good for at least 120 days upon the date of arrival
Notes to remember when applying for a Driver’s License Classification change
Earlier we mentioned that those who have accumulated TVDPs cannot apply for a license Classification change. Specifically, the time within which they are prohibited to do so depends on the number of demerits. 1-2 TVDP has a 3-month prohibition, 3-4 TVDP for 6 months, and 5 or more TVDP gets a 1-year prohibition.
There is also a provision for those who have Condition Codes 2 or 3 or 4 or 5. They will not be allowed to operate For Hire/Public Utility Vehicles or commercial vehicles unless they have can present proof that they are being expressly allowed to do so, in writing, by a qualified medical specialist. Right now it is safe to assume that this will also have to come from a doctor in an LTO-accredited clinic.
So once all of these qualifications and requirements are met, including passing the written and practical driving exams as applicable, the applicant can go to the cashier, pay the relevant fees and amount, get their biometrics logged, and then finally get a new PDL card after that now reflects the new Driver’s License Classification. The final amount will depend on the circumstances surrounding the license, so please consult our LTO Fee Matrix here to find out how much you might have to pay, but it will be anywhere from PHP 425 to PHP 1,375, again depending on applicable penalties.
Do remember that you can have this done at any official LTO Licensing Centers, Authorized District Offices/Extension Offices, or a Central Office – License Station.
There we go. Easy-peasy, right? If you’re looking at changing your Driver’s License Classification, just make sure you meet all the general qualifications and you have all the specific requirements before you head on to your nearest licensing center. As long as you go prepared, you should be in and out in no time!