Philippines Student Driver’s Permit – How to apply?

***UPDATED: 10 November 2020, added information on requirements for foreigners applying for a Student’s Permit, requirements for employed individuals, and requirements for completion of the Theoretical Driving Course

Let’s talk about the Student Driver’s Permit from the Land Transportation Office.

We’re sure we all remember the first time we were able to drive a motor vehicle. The first experience of many must’ve been either from their family (parents and/or siblings or other relatives) or god-forbid by doing the “takas” technique.

We here at YugaAuto strongly promote formal driving schooling, for your and everyone else’s safety. This is our guide on how you can do that, what you need to get it done, and ultimately, why and what you should get a Student Driver’s Permit for.

Qualifications to apply for Student Driver’s Permit

Student Driver Permit How To Apply Inline 01

Photo: LTO – PITX Parañaque Licensing Center Facebook Page

We always hear that driving a motor vehicle is a privilege and not a right. And it really is along with other things that you’ll need a permit or licenses to do. For a permit to be issued to you, you must first be a Filipino/Filipina and at least 16 years old. Other requirements are pretty straightforward but there are two that we would like to expound on.

First, foreigners may be given permits by the LTO, but they must meet strict criteria on age and residency; 18 years old, and residency pertaining to both their length of stay and being able to provide proof of their stay in the country. But will this really be something they would like to apply for? We’ll talk about that later on.

Second is the provision that the applicant must have completed the 15-hour mandatory Theoretical Driving Course 17. They can do this by either scheduling with the LTO itself, or from any of the accredited driving schools listed on this page. The choice is totally up to the applicant.

Should the applicant meet these qualifications, then he or she is set for the next step, which is to present the requirements for applying for a permit.

Requirements for applying for a Student Driver’s Permit


Student Driver Permit How To Apply Updated Inline 03 Min

Photo: LTO

Again, it looks long but it’s very straightforward. In a nutshell, the applicant must be able to present the completed Application for Permits and Licenses (APL) Form. This must be accompanied by a medical certificate – original and a photocopy or electronic copy – issued by an LTO-accredited medical clinic. A list of these clinics can be found here 22.

Along with the APL and medical certificate, the applicant must also present both the original and a photocopy of proof of identity. Strictly speaking, they are specific IDs (Philippine Identification Card, Passport) a birth certificate (PSA/NSO), a Local Civil Registry (for those in areas with no PSA), or a PSA Certificate of Marriage. In addition to this, the applicant must also have and present another ID (original and photocopy) with his/her picture and signature.

Applicants who are below 18 years old must also have a parent’s or custodian’s/guardian’s consent along with the other requirements. The government-issued IDs of the signing adult must also be handed over during the application process.


As of November 9, 2022, there are three additional requirements for applicants. For foreigners applying for a Student’s Permit, they now need to provide their original passport as well as a photocopy of it that shows their entry date. This will serve as proof of the item in the first infographic above (length of stay and VISA validity). For Filipino citizens/those born in the Philippines, the original and a photocopy of a PSA Birth Certificate must now be provided.

Other added requirements are the submission of a Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN) for those who are employed, plus the original and one photocopy of the Certificate of Completion of the 15-hour Theoretical Driving Course must likewise be submitted.

Overall, the cost to secure a Student Driver’s Permit may go up to about PHP 2,500 (TDC, TDC Certificate, Medical Certificate, Processing Fee, and other miscellaneous fees), so it’s best to bring a little bit extra. The permit is valid for only 1 year.

Now comes the question of “what is the Student Driver’s Permit for?”. It is a permit issued by the LTO to a deserving individual to learn how to drive. Wait, what?

Basically, it is a document that authorizes its holder to drive a motor vehicle with the strict requirement that they do so in the company of a duly Non-Pro or Professionally-licensed individual.

You see, the permit is a prerequisite to applying for an actual Driver’s License. You’ll have to be able to practice and drive legally to get yourself familiar and acquainted with the actual task of driving. The above-mentioned detail is of course not an end-all-be-all option. There are also professional driving schools and classes that can be enrolled in. This really is the best way to learn, and we say this with a lot of emphasis. Learn how to drive from the pros, ladies, and gentlemen. That way both your theoretical and practical knowledge are truly honed before driving on your own.

Speaking of “driving on your own”, you can only do that if you already have a Philippine Driver’s License. But how do you go about getting one? Sit back, relax, and wait just a little bit. We’ll come up with that guide in a jiffy for you, our dear readers.

Mikko Juangco
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