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A Cebuano’s guide to getting a driver’s license April 29, 2009

Posted by drea in citizen matters.

I have been to the LTO – Cebu branch several times. I was already on my third student permit and have only recently been handed a freshly minted non-professional driver’s license. A lot of those trips to the LTO were unnecessary for me and I thought I’d save everyone’s time by giving everybody some tips on how to get the through the process as efficiently as possible.

First, the commute: It’s quite easy to get to the LTO. Just take a 13c jeep from Ayala and you’ll reach the gate, easy. Take the 13c back to bring you to the mall and figure your way back from there. It’s best to work on getting a license first thing in the morning, for you to get your NPL within a day. 

Have your requirements ready. For a non-professional driver’s license, you need to be at least 17 years old, a valid student permit at least a month + a day old, a medical certificate with official receipt (and this MUST be LTO accredited or a government physician) or, a valid AFP/PNP organic personnel ID, a negative drug test result (again, from a DOH accredited drug testing center & government hospital), your TIN number, and passing marks for the written and practical examinations.

Here’s the thing about the drug test and medical results, you submit the original copy. If you’re working on your medical results from an outside clinic, the drug testing center at best needs to have a biometric processing equipment. To make sure there’s no problem and to avoid ending up taking a drug test/physical exam twice, just get a drug test/physical exam right across the LTO, and do that before you start lining up for a driver’s license. 

People over 18 who are applying for a student permit already need to have a TIN number, and you will be asked to submit a copy of the form along with a copy of your birth certificate. Get the TIN number first. 

LTO – Cebu is ISO certified so they’re quite strict with the requirements. Nothing wrong with that, they’ve made the process as smooth as possible and this helps to keep the really bad drivers off the road, unless they get smart and decide to head out of town for a more lenient LTO branch. My advice is to show up first thing in the morning because the lecture only occurs twice in a day: 9:30 am & 1:30 pm. The written examinations occur one hour after the lecture. Do the written exam in the morning and proceed straight to the practical examination area to do some practice runs and eventually, the actual exam at 1:30 in the afternoon (they also have a morning session at 9:30). Last I checked the practical exam takes place in the North Reclamation area near Cebu Doctor’s Hospital. It’s best to bring your own car. If you bring an automatic transmission car, you will be restricted to driving automatic transmission cars in your license. After passing both written and practical exams, go back to the LTO to claim your license. 

Total application & license fees cost around 600Php. If you fail the written exam (passing mark is 30/40), you won’t be able to apply again until one month and a day has passed. If you decide to delay the practical exam, you have a span of one month after your written exam to do so, or else the application expires and you have to start the process all over again.

The NPL expires on your second birthday, or third, depending on which hits the three years mark first after your application.



1. cocoy - March 19, 2010

if ever i passed all the requirements (written and practical exam, etc..), how long will i get the real non-prof license? thanks..

cos-t - September 4, 2010

i heard u will get them after 5 to 6 months

2. drea - March 22, 2010

After you pass the practical exam, you can get the non-prof license within the same afternoon barring any unforeseen circumstances like a down system in LTO.

3. cos-t - September 4, 2010

just wanna ask…if i get the student permit..is the validity unlimited or valid for a month only? if it does valid for a month only means it has expired? means i have to go for the student permit all over again?

4. joel - November 6, 2010

how long will it takes to get a non-prof licence after we get a student permit

5. Malene D. Andersen - February 15, 2011

How to apply a student driver license?I only have passport and NSO birth and I’D…do I need more requirements to apply a student license???And after I have student license?? When can apply a real driver license??how many month??please??

6. Nonoy - March 14, 2011

I like your blog. I hope it will be more updated. Hope you’ll keep in touch for sharing ideas and knowledge. Cheers! 🙂

7. anthony - May 16, 2011

is the written test for non pro hard??

8. Nibbler - March 21, 2012

for student permit i was a given the official reciept with a stamp on it saying valid as student permit is this okey or should I change this to a plastic card and if so how long should the process be? I actually need it for personal transactions

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