Expats Guide: Convenient Way of Renewing Your Driver’s License and Car Registration in the Philippines

It’s usually a trying experience if you do them for the first time. And you may have to keep going back if you miss bringing some requirements. But if you’re armed with them and have sized up in your mind what you’re up against, it will be easier renewing your driver’s license and car registration in the Philippines. No need for fixers. Just try to get the whole picture here and take note of the documents needed before making a trip to the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Then getting them will be convenient for you.

Related article: Expats Guide: How to buy a car in the Philippines 


Driver’s License Renewal

Driver’s license has three types: professional, non professional and student. If you’re just trying to learn driving, you should get a student driving permit at any LTO local office nearest you. You should at least be 18 years of age and able to read and write in Filipino or English. A driver with professional or non-professional license should accompany you when driving. Better yet, enroll in a driving school. Most driving schools take care of your student permit. You don’t need to renew student driving permits but they’re good only for a year.

Professional and Non-Professional Driver’s License

Driver’s licenses, professional or non-professional, should be renewed before deadline. Deadline is on your birthday. Because these licenses are good for 5 years before they need to be renewed, you can relax and just enjoy driving because renewal deadline will be on your birthday 5 years from the date of issue. Car registration renewal, on the other hand, gives you a 12-month allowance before due date. This gives you enough time when renewing your driver’s license and car registration in the Philippines.

  1. To renew your driver’s license, professional or non-professional, surrender it to the LTO nearest you. Do this at least a month before expiration. If expired, it should not be more than 2 years. There is a penalty for expired licenses. So it’s highly advised to do it before the deadline.
  2. Fill up renewal application form and submit at the evaluator’s counter or desk. Download the form here and print.
  3. Bring a medical certificate issued by an LTO accredited medical establishment and signed by a licensed physician.
  4. Have your picture and biometric signature taken at the LTO.
  5. Pay all the necessary fees and keep the receipts.

It’s more convenient to have an appointment with the LTO for your license renewal. You can do it online. Your online appointment can make things run more smoothly. Specifically, your waiting time will be reduced. To book an appointment online for renewing your driver’s license, click here. Follow the instructions on the site. The same is true with vehicle registration renewal. Online booking for appointments make renewing your driver’s license and car registration in the Philippines a more convenient experience.


Vehicle Registration Renewal

Each year, your vehicle registration needs to be renewed. As mentioned, driver’s licenses are renewed every 5 years. So, at regular periods, you have an adventure renewing your driver’s license and car registration in the Philippines. So get used to it. It’s a way of life among drivers and vehicles owners.

After registering your brand new vehicle, you go through the renewal process each year (initial registration is good for three years). Renewal should be done exactly on schedule annually to avoid penalties. You pay Php 200 for each week of delay. To know your exact yearly schedule of renewal, refer to the tables below.

Month Plate Number Last Digit
January 1
February 2
March 3
April 4
May 5
June 6
July 7
August 8
September 9
October 10
November 11
December 12

To know the week of the month you should renew your registration:

Week Second or middle digit of your plate number
First to 7th working day 1 ,2, 3
8th to the 14th working day 4, 5, 6
15th to the 21st working day 7, 8
22nd to the last working day 9, 0


For instance, your car plate is ABC985, you need to register your vehicle within the 15th to the 21st working days of May. Better yet, work out the renewal a month before your deadline. Below is the process of renewal of car registration.

1. First, prepare the required documents:

  • Xerox copy of Certificate of Registration (COR) and the official receipt
  • Your Insurance Certificate of Cover (COC)
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Emission Compliance (CEC)
  • Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)

The renewal process is basically like the initial registration. The vehicle needs to be inspected and tested for smoke emission to be issued a CEC.

2. Then, pay the fees. Below is a guide on fees payment:

  • Initial fee to be paid: PHP 1,000 per category
  • Renewal fee: PHP 40 per category
  • Stickers and labels: PHP 50 each
  • Regular plate: PHP 450

The actual cost differs depending on your vehicle type. The evaluator decides the final cost.

And just like renewing a driver’s license, you can book an appointment with LTO for renewing your car registration. This makes things easier and faster. To book online, just click here. Follow the easy instructions on the webpage. Once you get to the LTO, the appointment will shorten the processing considerably. These are recent efforts of the LTO to expedite renewing your driver’s license and car registration in the Philippines.

In all these renewal processes, just remember one thing: never be late. Make sure to renew them before their deadlines.








Expats in the Philipppines

Expats in the Philipppines

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