When I finally wanted to get my driver’s license in 2020, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) updated its policy for Student-Driver Permit applications here in the Philippines.
Under Memorandum Circular No. 2019 – 2176 released by LTO: new applicants looking to get a student’s permit or a driver’s license, as well as those looking to renew their permits/driver’s license, will be required to attend a lecture from LTO accredited driving schools, or from the LTO itself. Not only that, but new applicants and those seeking to have their licenses renewed will also have to attend two phases of the course of instruction. These include Classroom/Theoretical Instruction and Practical Driving Instruction. (Source: Auto Industriya)
April 6, 2020, was the initial implementation date for this but was delayed due to the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. When the Philippines was placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the new policy was in full swing. Before applying and taking the examination for a Student-Driver’s Permit, one has to attend a 15-Hour Theoretical Driving Seminar. This applies to those getting a New Student’s Permit and renewing Expired Student’s Permit with LTO.
- Requirements for New Student-Driving Permit Applications
- 15-Hour Online Theoretical Driving Seminar with SMART Driving School
- Breakdown of Expenses for the Student-Driver Theoretical Seminar
- Get Your Student-Driver's Permit in any LTO Branch near you
- Breakdown of Expenses on the Day of Getting Student's Permit from LTO:
Requirements for New Student-Driving Permit Applications
1. Attended 15-Hour Theoretical Driving Seminar from LTO-accredited driving schools or from LTO
– Certificate of Passing the Written Theoretical Examination
2. PSA Certificate of Birth (Filipinos must be at least 16 years old); PSA Certificate of Marriage (ONLY for married women)
3. Filipino Driver’s Manual
4. Medical Certificate from LTO-Accredited Clinic (usually found near LTO offices)
5. Tax Identification Number (TIN) if employed
You can only apply for a Non-Professional Driver’s license, 1 month after getting your Student’s Permit. Before, it was no hassle to get one. You just needed to visit an LTO office, submit the requirements, pass the written exam and that’s it. You can be done in 1 day.
Now, the whole process of getting a Student’s Permit is at least 2 weeks. After that, you can’t apply for a driver’s license just yet! Now, you actually have to enroll yourself in LTO-Acreditted practical driving courses depending on which vehicle you want to ride and get a corresponding certificate.
You may also watch this video on How to Get an LTO Student Permit by Love Desiree with SMART Driving School:
The process just to get a driver’s license in the Philippines can be quite a chore. This new guideline was placed because of the increasing number of road accidents here in the Philippines which can be avoided if drivers will be well-educated. A driver’s license is not a right, but a privilege.
As of January 2021, LTO finally announced FREE 15-Hour Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) at LTO Driver’s Education Centers (DEC). I’m sharing this complete list of DECs. You may check out the corresponding Facebook page and contact number of your respective DEC to schedule your Theoretical Driving Course. To keep updated with the latest news and announcements, you may also like LTO’s official Facebook page and stay tuned to their posts.
15-Hour Online Theoretical Driving Seminar with SMART Driving School
I availed myself of the 15-Hour Theoretical Driving Seminar with SMART Driving School. Since physical gatherings are still prohibited because of the pandemic in 2020, all classes were held online via ZOOM.
Breakdown of Expenses for the Student-Driver Theoretical Seminar
Php. 2050 – Theoretical Driving Course
Php. 350 – Filipino Driver’s Manual & Reviewer
Php. 200 – Processing of Certificate
The 15 hours are divided into 3 days of lecture, 5 hours a day. You may inquire about the class schedules when you visit one of SMART’s branches or give them a call (at (02) 781 6567). I attended Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, with only a 15-minute break in between. You can use your phone or laptop during the class, but they require cameras to be on at all times for attendance checks.
The Seminar covered topics such as Introduction to Driving, Road and Traffic Rules, Pre-Driving & Motor Vehicle Orientation, Defensive Driving & Maintenance, Handling Emergencies and Breakdowns, and LTO Related Laws.
There’s also a short quiz at the end of every lecture. The speakers of the seminar from SMART are very knowledgeable and experienced not only in driving but also in teaching. I swear, I wasn’t at all bored during those 5 hours of lecture for 3 days straight. I might not remember every lesson off the top of my head, but I am equipped with the knowledge I will need when I’m finally on the road!
After you graduate from the class, you can schedule to take the written examination at the SMART Driving School Branch where you registered. You need to wait 3-5 working days after your exam to get your certificate. I highly suggest liking SMART Driving School’s Facebook Page to get the latest updates!
Get Your Student-Driver’s Permit in any LTO Branch near you
Afterward, you can proceed with your Student-Driver’s Permit application with LTO and prepare your other requirements (listed above). You may schedule your application appointment with LTO online, by visiting LTO’s online portal or you can call the LTO branch first if they’re open for visits. They’re open during weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Breakdown of Expenses on the Day of Getting Student’s Permit from LTO:
Php. 480 – Estimated for Medical Exam in LTO-Accredited Clinics
Php. 100 – Application Fee
Php. 67.63 – Computer Fee
Php. 150 – Permit/ License Fee
Your Student-Driver’s Permit will be valid for 1 whole year!
There you have it! I hope that this blog post helped you guys in learning what you need to know in getting your Student’s Driver’s Permit.
After I got my Student-Driver’s Permit, I enrolled in Practical Driving Instruction Courses with Smart both for 4–wheels and motorcycles. Make sure to check out my blogs as I share tips, first-hand experiences, and everything you need to know about these required practical courses for your driver’s license: Learning How to Drive a Car with SMART Driving School and Learning How to Ride a Motorcycle with Smart Driving School.
Getting a driver’s license was kind of a long journey for me, but I’m sure you guys will manage just fine. I eventually got my Driver’s license and can already drive solo on the road. If I could do it, you surely will too! Good luck!
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