Last Updated on 08/23/2021 by FilipiKnow
Renewing a driver’s license can require a lot of your time and effort, especially if you don’t know where to begin. This comprehensive guide will help you efficiently and quickly renew your driver’s license, whether you’re a Filipino here or an OFW abroad.
Table of Contents
- How to Renew Your Driver’s License in 2021: Requirements and Procedure.
- How to Renew Your Driver’s License Online.
- How to Renew Driver’s License if You’re an OFW.
- How to Renew Driver’s License in Advance (Advanced Renewal).
- Tips and Warnings.
- Frequently Asked Questions.
- 1. How long is the validity of the driver’s license after renewal?
- 2. Are holders of expired driver’s licenses allowed to drive?
- 3. Is it required to take the driving test again when renewing a driver’s license?
- 4. Can a driver’s license be renewed even after it expires?
- 5. My driver’s license has been expired for 10 years (or more). Can I still renew it?
- 6. I’ve heard that the LTO now requires all renewal applicants to attend a Driving Enhancement Program. How many hours of this seminar do I need to attend? What is the coverage of the seminar/s?
How to Renew Your Driver’s License in 2021: Requirements and Procedure.
If without revisions, the renewal of both Professional and Non-Professional Driver’s Licenses can be done at any DLROs or LTO Driver’s Licensing Renewal Offices in the country.
- You must be a holder of a Driver’s License that has been expired for up to 9 years. Those that have been expired for 10 years or more are no longer qualified for renewal and therefore should start from scratch and reapply for a student permit. Licenses that have been expired for more than 2 years (but not 10 years or more) can still apply for renewal but they need to take the theoretical and practical driving exams.
- (Possibly starting this year, but this is only a proposal with no final directive from the LTO yet1) For Professional and Non-Professional Driver’s License Holders: Drivers applying for renewal must have attended the required Driving Enhancement Program (DEP) at an LTO-accredited and TESDA-certified driving school (LTO will be offering the same services but at a lower rate for those who cannot afford to enroll in a driving school). This additional qualification is part of a new LTO policy introduced through the Memorandum Circular No. 2019-21762 that took effect in April 2020. The Driving Enhancement Program (DEP) is a theoretical driving course/seminar designed by LTO to re-orient driver’s license holders to road safety practices and updated laws, rules, and regulations concerning land transportation. According to the new policy, the number of hours of DEP that you’ll be required to attend depends on whether you’re a first-time renewal applicant or not as well as on the number of demerits you’ve accumulated. For more information, please read this.
- For Professional Driver’s License Holders: You should not have a record of two or more counts of reckless driving during the validity period of the existing license.
- Fully accomplished Application Form for Driver’s License (ADL)
- Original driver’s license (Non-Professional or Professional).
- Original and photocopy of any government-issued ID with photo and signature of the applicant.
- Taxpayer’s Identification Number or TIN, if you’re employed.
- Medical examination certificate (online-only/electronically transmitted). Medical certificates should only come from an LTO-accredited clinic or physician3. To save time and avoid long queues, you can get a medical certificate a few days before your date of application. As of this writing, the medical certificate costs anywhere between Php 400 and Php 450 and is valid for two (2) months. No need to provide urine or stool samples as the medical exam will only test/measure your vision, blood pressure, and overall medical condition. Although the clinic is responsible for electronically transmitting the certificate to the LTO, applicants will still be issued a hard copy which they should present on the day of their application for verification purposes.
- For holders of driver’s licenses that have been expired for over 2 years: Certificates proving that you have passed the theoretical and practical driving exams.
- (Possibly starting this year, but this is only a proposal with no final directive from the LTO yet) Certificate of Completion of the Driving Enhancement Program (DEP) to prove that you have attended the required number of hours of the seminar given by LTO or any LTO-accredited driving school/DEP training center. As of July 31, 2020, here’s the complete list of all LTO-accredited driving schools in the Philippines
- License Fee (Pro & Non-Pro) – Php 585
- Penalty Fee for one (1) day to one (1) year expired – Php 75
- Penalty Fee for more than one (1) year to two (2) years expired – Php 150
- Penalty Fee for more than two (2) years expired (re-exam) – Php 225
- Computer Fee – Php 67.63
- Application Fee (for more than two years expired) – Php 100
- Additional Computer Fee (for more than two years expired) – Php 67.63
Fees to be paid for a Dormant License (Pro & Non-Pro).
A driver’s license becomes dormant if it hasn’t been renewed for over two years.
- Application Fee – Php 100
- Computer Fee – Php 67.63
- License Fee – Php 585
- Penalty – Php 225
- Additional Computer Fee – Php 67.63
4. Step-by-step Guide.
The instructions listed here are only for walk-in applicants who are renewing their licenses.
However, given our current health crisis, LTO encourages the public to renew their licenses online4 via the new portal that can be accessed at portal.lto.gov.ph (see the next section for more info).
After completing the renewal process online and paying the required fees, you can then claim your new driver’s license at any of the 24 LTO offices nationwide5. A courier service will soon be available to completely eliminate face-to-face transactions.
Should you prefer a walk-in application, or in case the online portal is under maintenance/inaccessible, then follow the steps below.
- Go to the nearest LTO office or licensing center. For a faster transaction, proceed to one of the LTO renewal offices in select malls that are not as crowded.
- Submit all the required documents to the receiving personnel (usually on window 1).
- The personnel will retrieve your license details from the system. The license details will be shown to you so you can confirm if all the details are still correct or if any changes should be made. You can proceed to the next step if no revisions are needed.
- Head to the cashier and pay the corresponding fees.
- Go to the encoding section to have your photograph, biometrics, and digital signature taken.
- The Pro or Non-Pro Driver’s License Card with the Official Receipt, as well as the expired card, will be released. You’ll be asked to write your name and affix your signature on the Release Form.
5. Additional Notes.
- Renewal applicants don’t need to take the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) and Practical Driving Course (PDC) which are designed for student permit and Non-Pro/Pro Driver’s License applicants, respectively. Instead, drivers applying for renewal will be required to take the Driving Enhancement Program (DEP) possibly beginning in October 2021. However, as mentioned earlier, this remains in the proposal stage and the LTO hasn’t issued a final directive yet regarding this matter.
- If your driver’s license has been expired for more than 2 years, you’ll be required to retake both written and practical exams at the LTO district or licensing office (the renewal centers located at malls are strictly for regular renewal applicants only).
- Holders of driver’s licenses that have been expired for 10 years or more are no longer allowed for renewal. Instead, they have to go back to square one and apply for a student permit.
How to Renew Your Driver’s License Online.
Individuals who wish to renew an expired Driver’s License now have the option to set up an appointment online. There’s a special lane in LTO Offices for online appointments.
Update (June 2020): The LTO has recently launched a new website portal called the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) where motorists can easily apply for or renew their licenses as well as complete other LTO transactions. It will replace the old online appointment website discussed below. The new portal enables users to secure an appointment with the LTO as well as pay the required fees, thereby reducing the total waiting time at the LTO offices. For more information, click here.
- Go to the official website of LTO Online Services.
- From the selection of offered services, choose ‘LTO Online Appointment’ or ‘LTO Online Pass’.
- From the selection of LTO transactions, choose ‘Driver’s License Renewal Online Appointment’.
- Complete the captcha requirements and click the ‘Continue’ button.
- On the next page, you’ll be asked to provide the following details: (1) Driver’s License Details (Driver’s License Number and Birth Date in mm/dd/yyyy format) and (2) License Holder’s Information (which includes your First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Home Address, Email Address, and Mobile Number)
- From the list of options, choose the LTO branch that you prefer.
- Pick a specific date and time for your appointment.
- You’ll receive an email notification containing specific instructions that you need to follow in order to secure your appointment.
- Once your appointment’s confirmed, prepare all the needed documents and show up on the date of your appointment.
How to Renew Driver’s License if You’re an OFW.
If within the National Capital Region (NCR), OFWs can have their Driver’s License renewed at the LTO License Section Central/ Office. If outside Metro Manila, renewal applications of OFWs can be accepted at any LTO District Offices or Licensing Centers.
a. Initial Requirements (for temporary driver’s license application through a representative).
- Authorization letter allowing the chosen representative to renew and claim Driver’s License
- Photocopies of passport (first page, visa page, departure in the Philippines, last overseas arrival)
- Photocopy of Driver’s License
- Photocopy of Driver’s License Receipt (if available)
b. Additional Requirements (upon the license holder’s arrival in the Philippines).
- Driver’s License
- Drug Test result
- Medical examination certificate (online-only/electronically submitted). Medical certificates, including drug results, should only come from an LTO-accredited clinic or physician.
- Photocopy of TIN or TIN Card
- Photocopy of passport
- Renewal Fee (Pro & Non-Pro) – Php 585
- Penalties (if expired) (Pro & Non-Pro):
- One (1) day to one (1) year expired – Php 75
- More than one (1) year to two (2) years expired – Php 150
- More than two (2) years to ten (10) years expired – Php 225
3. Step-by-step Guide.
Renewal Application through a Representative:
- Head to the customer service counter and get the Driver’s License Application Form and the checklist of requirements. The applicant can download the form online and fill it out prior to the representative’s transaction at the LTO Office. Get the queue number and wait for it to be called.
- Head to the Evaluator Counter and submit all the initial requirements and have them checked for completeness and authenticity.
- The representative should head to the cashier to pay the corresponding fees.
- Head to the Releasing Counter and get the Driver’s License Receipt which should serve as the Temporary Driver’s License.
Completing the Renewal Application:
- The applicant should present himself to the same office where the representative applied for license renewal within 30 days after arriving in the country.
- Submit the additional requirements.
- Head to the photo-taking/signature area and wait for your turn.
- Head to the Releasing Counter and present the Driver’s License Receipt to claim your License Card. You’ll be asked to write your name and affix your signature on the Release Form.
How to Renew Driver’s License in Advance (Advanced Renewal).
Driver’s license holders can renew their licenses as early as 60 days before the expiry date. If you want to apply for a renewal as early as 61 days to 1 year before your license expires, you have to submit proof that you’ll be out of the country when it expires.
Advance renewal applications can be processed at any Licensing Centers or District Offices with Driver’s License transactions.
- Fully accomplished Application form for Driver’s License (ADL)
- Valid driver’s license card (Non-Professional or Professional)
- Original and photocopy of any of the following documents: Plane ticket, passport with a valid visa, employment contract (Certified True Copy)
- Medical examination certificate (online-only/electronically transmitted)
- License Fee (Pro & Non-Pro) – Php 585
- Computer Fee – Php 67.63
3. Step-by-step Guide.
- Head to the customer service counter and get the Driver’s License Application Form and the checklist of requirements. You can download the form online and fill it out prior to your transaction at the LTO Office. Get your queue number and wait for your turn.
- Head to the Evaluator Counter to submit all the needed requirements and have them checked for completeness and authenticity.
- Head to the photo-taking/signature area and wait for your turn.
- Head to the cashier and wait for your number to be called. Once it’s your turn, pay the required fees and get the Official Receipt.
- Proceed to the Releasing Counter and present the Official Receipt to claim your License Card. You’ll be asked to write your name and affix your signature in the Release Form.
Tips and Warnings.
- You don’t need the services of a fixer. You can go through the process of license renewal without the help of anyone. By saying no to fixers, you’ll avoid paying additional costs and getting into trouble due to fake licenses.
- Head to the nearest LTO office early in the morning to avoid long lines. It’s best to arrive at least 30 minutes to an hour before the usual opening time–8:00 AM for LTO Offices and 10:00 AM for LTO Centers inside malls.
- Instead of LTO Offices, head to LTO Centers inside malls for a more convenient and faster renewal process. It’s more comfortable to apply for renewal inside malls because it’s air-conditioned while most LTO Offices have defective air conditioners. It’s also proven that license renewals are processed around 3 hours faster inside malls than in LTO Offices.
- To save a lot of time and quickly go through the renewal process, make sure to complete your medical certificate in advance. You can do it one day before your transaction. Make sure to have it transmitted electronically.
- Before heading to the nearest LTO Office or Center, you can make a call and confirm if your preferred office will be open on the day of your transaction.
- Make sure that you have settled all past traffic violations. Pay all the penalty fees at least a couple of days or weeks before you apply for license renewal. Update: The LTO now uses a demerit point system to reduce the number of traffic violators in the country. In this new system, drivers will earn a specific number of demerit points depending on the traffic violation/s they have committed. The drivers will not be able to have their licenses renewed until the penalties have been applied or the violating drivers have attended the required reorientation course. Click here to learn more about demerit points.
- If you have a violation/s, proceed to the main or regional LTO office to renew your driver’s license. Satellite offices don’t process the renewal of driver’s licenses that have violated traffic rules.
- If possible, it’s better to renew your license in advance. By doing so, you’ll also be exempted from paying penalty fees.
- If you can, fill out the application form in advance so you can go straight to the next step of the renewal process. You should also bring your expired license and official receipt even if it’s not included on the list of requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions.
1. How long is the validity of the driver’s license after renewal?
Philippine driver’s license used to have a validity period of 5 years. However, starting in October 2021, drivers who haven’t incurred any record of a road traffic violation will be granted a 10-year validity6 upon renewal.
This 10-year license incentive, along with the implementation of the demerit point system, is expected to promote responsible driving and thereby reduce cases of road crashes and traffic-related accidents.
2. Are holders of expired driver’s licenses allowed to drive?
No, drivers with an expired license are not allowed to drive until they have their license renewed. If a person is caught driving with an expired license, he might face criminal charges and can be fined with a corresponding penalty fee.
3. Is it required to take the driving test again when renewing a driver’s license?
Only driver’s license holders whose licenses have been expired for over two (2) years will be required to take the driving test again.
4. Can a driver’s license be renewed even after it expires?
Yes, expired driver’s licenses can still be renewed, provided that it has only been expired for less than 10 years. Otherwise, you need to re-apply for a driver’s license.
The longer your license has been expired, the higher the penalty fees you need to pay. In addition to that, driver’s licenses that have been expired for more than 2 years will require the license holders to take another examination.
Here’s a quick overview of the fees that you’ll incur depending on how long your license has been expired:
5. My driver’s license has been expired for 10 years (or more). Can I still renew it?
No. As per the LTO guidelines, holders of driver’s licenses that have been expired for 10 years or more are no longer qualified to apply for renewal. Instead, they are required to start from scratch and apply for a student permit again.
6. I’ve heard that the LTO now requires all renewal applicants to attend a Driving Enhancement Program. How many hours of this seminar do I need to attend? What is the coverage of the seminar/s?
Through the Memorandum Circular No. 2019-2176, LTO officially announced that it will now require all driver’s license holders to attend a Driving Enhancement Program (DEP) before their licenses can be renewed.
However, as mentioned previously, this remains in the proposal stage as of early 2021 and the LTO hasn’t issued a final directive yet regarding this matter.
DEP is basically a theoretical driving seminar that will reorient drivers to road safety as well as the updated land transportation laws, rules, and regulations. You can take this seminar either at LTO or any LTO-accredited driving school/DEP training center.
The number of hours of the seminar that you need to complete is determined by two things:
- Whether this is your first renewal of a five-year validity driver’s license or not
- How many demerit points you’ve accumulated
Drivers who are renewing their licenses with 5-year validity for the first time will need to attend 8 hours of the theoretical driving seminar. Drivers who are renewing their licenses AFTER the first renewal and have accumulated 10 or more demerit points are likewise required to complete 8 hours of the theoretical driving seminar.
The 8-hour seminar, which also includes preliminary examination and post-examination, will cover the following subjects: Land transportation code and related special laws; road and traffic rules; defensive driving; handling emergencies and breakdowns; duties and responsibilities of drivers; and GAD and LTO road safety advocacy.
On the other hand, drivers who are renewing their licenses AFTER the first renewal and have accumulated 5-9 demerit points will be required to attend only 4 hours of the theoretical driving seminar.
Now, if you’re an irresponsible driver who never learns from his mistakes, LTO has a punishment for you: For every 10 demerit points you incur, you’ll get an additional 4 hours of intervention program seminar that you need to attend.
Take note that the intervention program is different from the regular 8-hour driving enhancement program discussed earlier. Therefore, if you’ve accumulated 20 demerit points, not only are you required to attend 8 hours of theoretical driving school seminar, you also need to attend 8 hours of the intervention program (4 hours for every 10 demerit points) for a total of 16 hours!
The same 4 hours of intervention program will also be given to you if you commit the same violation for at least 3 times during the validity of your driver’s license.
The 4-hour theoretical driving seminar and intervention program includes preliminary examination and post-examination and shall cover the following topics: Land transportation code and related special laws; traffic rules and penalties; and values, road courtesy, and discipline.
Take note that the demerit points will go back to zero once you’ve attended the required seminars/intervention programs and successfully renewed your driver’s license. Click here for more information about demerit points.
- FALSE: Mandatory seminar now required for driver’s license renewal. (2021). Retrieved 6 April 2021, from https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/fact-check/mandatory-seminar-required-driver-license-renewal-march-2021
- Memorandum Circular No. 2019-2176: Rules and Regulations on Accreditation, Supervision and Control of Driving Institutions, and on Standardization of Driver Education (2019).
- List of LTO-Accredited Medical Clinics and Registered Physicians. (2019). Retrieved 29 June 2020, from https://www.lto.gov.ph/latest-advisory/410-list-of-accredited-medical-clinics-and-registered-physicians.html
- Advisory on Renewal of Driver’s/Conductor’s License. (2020). Retrieved 4 January 2021, from https://lto.gov.ph/latest-advisory/524-advisory-on-renewal-of-driver-s-conductor-s-license.html
- LTO Advisory June 17, 2020. (2020). Retrieved 4 January 2021, from https://lto.gov.ph/latest-advisory/520-land-transportation-management-system-ltms.html
- Dela Cruz, R. (2020). 10-year license for outstanding drivers, demerits for rogues: LTO. Retrieved 25 August 2020, from https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1112960