It's never a good idea to drive without a license, but some countries impose stricter penalties than others. In the Philippines, the penalty depends on the circumstances. You'll be penalized if you drive with an expired, suspended, revoked or fake driver’s license or fail to carry a valid driver’s license while driving.
Land Transportation Office
The Land Transportation Office, the Philippine equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles in the United States, is responsible for enforcing driving and transportation rules and regulations, inspecting and registering motor vehicles and issuing licenses and permits. In 2014, the Land Transportation Office, together with the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, released a revised schedule of fine and penalties for the violation of land transportation laws.
Driver's License Validity
Driver's licenses in the Philippines are valid for five years. However, a senate bill seeking to extend the validity for up to 10 years was approved in 2017, meaning license holders could soon be eligible for 10 years of validity, but only if you follow the rules. Any driver who incurred infractions during the initial five-year period prior to renewal isn't eligible for the extension. To renew your driver's license in the Philippines, visit a Land Transportation Office. Make sure you settle all traffic violations beforehand. You should receive the new driver's license on the same day you apply for it.
In the Philippines, you must be 18 years old to get a driver's license and 17 years old to get a student permit. If you are caught driving without a valid driver's license, you will be fined and disqualified from being granted a driver's license or from driving a motor vehicle for one year from the payment of the fine. This includes driving with a suspended, revoked, improper or fake license. Tourists who are driving with a valid foreign driver's license beyond the maximum allowable period of 90 days, and students driving without being accompanied by a properly licensed driver fall under this category. If you submit fake documents to apply for a driver's license or renew an existing driver's license, you will be fined and your license will be revoked. Additionally, you will be disqualified from being granted a driver's license and driving a motor vehicle for one year from the payment of the fine.
If you get caught driving without a license in the Philippines, you face a fine and disqualification.
- Republic of the Philippines Land Transportation Office: Administration Order
- Top Gear Philippines: DOTC Releases Revised Fines, Penalties on Traffic Violations
- Senate of the Philippines: Senate Bill No. 1449
Claire is a qualified lawyer and specialized in family law before becoming a full-time writer. She has written for many digital publications, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Vice and HealthCentral.