Exchanging a Foreign Driving License

Information on who can exchange their driving license for a Philippines one, and the steps to follow if you have to exchange your license...

A foreigner with a valid driver’s license can use it in the Philippines for up to 90 days from their date of arrival.

A foreigner may exchange a foreign driver’s license for a Philippines driver’s license on the condition that the license is valid in their country of origin. The foreign national must be eighteen years old and must have been in the Philippines for at least one month before applying to exchange the license. They must also provide proof that they will stay in the country for at least one year from the date of application.

Conversion of Foreign Driver’s License

To exchange a foreign driver’s license to a non-professional license go to the local Land Transportation Office (LTO) licensing center or district office with the following requirements:

  1. Original and photocopy of the foreign national’s valid foreign license. However, an official English translation issued by the local embassy must be submitted if the driver’s license is not in English.
  2. Passport with the information page and the page with the latest date of arrival in the Philippines (original and photocopy)
  3. Visa or Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) (original and photocopy).
  4. Medical certificate with the official receipt issued by a doctor within the last 15 days.
  5. A negative drug test result issued by a government hospital or a Department of Health drug testing center
  6. Filled out application form. The form is available online (PDF)
  7. Taxpayer’s identification number if employed.

Once all the documents have been submitted, a photo and signature are taken and an application fee for the license must be paid. The applicant then waits for their name to be called to pick up the new license at the releasing counter.

If the foreign driver’s license has expired, the applicant must undergo a written and practical examination.

Professional License

A foreigner that wants to exchange their driving license for a professional (to drive a vehicle over 4500kg for example) must fulfil the same requirements as above. In addition they will need police clearance, and a work permit or certificate of exemption from the Department of Labor and Employment. They will also need to complete the written and practical exams.