15-Hour Seminar Now Required for Student-Driver’s Permit in GCQ | SMART Driving School

I’ve put off getting my driver’s license for so long and now, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has 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 by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the Philippines is under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the new policy is now 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

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 an actual 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. And then after that, you can’t apply for a driver’s license just yet! You actually have to enroll yourself to hours of 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 requirements and the process can be quite a chore, especially to those who just want to drive already! But, we can’t exactly turn back time or forget about the new law entirely. 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.

15-Hour Online Theoretical Driving Seminar with SMART Driving School

Picture from SMART Driving School’s Facebook Page

I availed of the 15-Hour Theoretical Driving Seminar with SMART Driving School because there was a branch of walking distance from where I live. Since physical gathering is still prohibited because of the pandemic, all classes were held online via ZOOM.

Breakdown of costs:

Php. 2050 – Theoretical Driving Course

Php. 350 – Filipino Driver’s Manual & Reviewer

Php. 200 – Processing of Certificate

Filipino Driver’s Manual and Reviewer

The 15-hours are divided into 3 days of lecture, 5 hours a day. You may inquire of the class schedules when you visit one of their branches or give them a call (at (02) 781 6567). I attended Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00 am to 1pm, 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 check.

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.

Picture from SMART Driving School’s Facebook Page

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 at 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 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. (Like the SMART Driving School’s Facebook Page to get the latest info.)

Get Your Student-Driver’s Permit in any LTO Branch near you

Afterwards, you can now 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. Currently, they’re only open during weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. Always take extra precaution when visiting government offices.

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

Wear a face mask and face shield. Practice social distancing, carry alcohol and also bring your own pen. 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, especially during this time with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Hope to see you guys on the road and always stay safe, okay?

After I got my Student-Driver’s Permit, I enrolled in Practical Driving Instruction Courses with Smart both for 4-wheels and Motorcycle. 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 – Can you believe I actually learned how to drive? and Learning How to Ride a Motorcycle with Smart Driving School Road 20, QC.

Yeah, it was kind of a long journey for me, but I’m sure you guys will manage just fine. I mean, 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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26 replies »

  1. This blog is helpful , I will share this to my friends and relatives para kahit papaano alam na din nila yung mga requirements ⭐ Napaka importante talaga nito !Thank you for sharing po 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is necessary to train our Fiilipino drivers to be disciplined and responsible drivers on the road. I observed a lot of kaskaseros when I was there, they are not following the rules, they have their own traffic! Giving them this opportunity to educate themselves will give us a safer place to drive and travel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Getting a driver’s license in the Philippines is actually so easy, however, the way they do it won’t be accepted here in Australia. I’m still reading the guide book that was issued to me by VICRoads, and when I’m confident enough, that’s the time that I can take the theoretical exams (and get 100% perfection) before I can get a permit to take a driving lesson with an instructor. And a lot of processes actually, which needs more than 100hours of driving lessons and takes a year or two before to get the actual permit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is super helpful for my brother! He’ll be turning 16 in a few days <3. Grabe naiisip ko lang talaga kung paano kaya yang theoretical online driving school. Parang hindi mo naman matututunan lahat ng puro theory lang,, kailangan pa rin ng practice huhu :/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ito pala yung sinasabi ng friend ko na mas mahirap na daw mag apply ng driver’s license kasi marami nang requirements. Tapos online pa yung lecture 🤔. Paano kaya yun.

    Pero I agree, if this would help lessen the incidents of accidents on the road then it’s okay to implement stricter measures. What motivates you to push through with the application despite the hassle?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a lot of hassle kasi hindi ito nakasanayan natin, but I think that it’s good they put a system like this in place. napakadali kumuha ng driver’s license dati. kahit sino na lang, pwede

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck with all those who are going to get their student drivers permit! This is such a great guide, Christian! 🤗 Will share this to my younger cousins who are interested to get their permit. Pero siguro next year nalang para safer? 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was about to go to driving school but it didn’t happen because of the pandemic. Reading this post gave me a glimpse of what to expect when getting a driver’s license so I really found this interesting. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Whoa! Sobrang dami na palang kelangan to acquire driver’s license. But you know what, I have to say that the 15hour seminar requirement is a good thing din naman lalo pa’t andaming reckless drivers ngayon. Maraming marunong mag drive but don’t really know the rules sa daan even road signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you so much for this, definitely bookmarking this one! I was supposed to apply for my own liscence but covid happened so this is a big help. And i personally like it better that we’ve got these requirements so we can iwas the kamote drivers on the road nowadays. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Amazeballs guide! Super hassle na kumuha ngayon ng license. Buti I got mine when I was only 18. Hehehe. I also took the driving school so I did not have to take the driving test anymore. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I want too. This setup is a wise move during these times to educate people as well even when they can’t go outside, there’s always a way. This is like a glimpse on what to expect when you’re out there na. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ouch ang daming requirements. pero nakakabuti nga eto. this reminds me din to check my driver’s license. and if i can renew while i am out of the country through our embassy.

    Liked by 1 person

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