July 19, 2018

Expats’ Guide to Driving Laws in the Philippines

  • HOME
  • Tips & Guides
  • Expats’ Guide to Driving Laws in the Philippines
  • The Philippines is famous for many things: sweet mangoes, white sand beaches, hospitable people, and dreadful traffic jams.

    /IMAGE Richard Reyes via inquirer.net

    Traffic is everywhere in the country and is felt in just about every city and road possible. For this reason, many prefer to hail cabs or book a car service. However, anyone who’s ever been behind the wheel can’t deny the liberating feeling that driving provides. If you’ve just landed in the Philippines and thinking of driving during your stay, here are some laws to keep in mind.

    Also read: Expats’ Guide: Fines and Fees for Common Traffic Violations in the Philippines

    • You’ll need a license to drive especially if you’ll be renting a car from a rental company. Applying for a license isn’t complicated and it’s pretty easy if you already have a license from your country of origin.There is a catch though: if your license is still valid, you can only use it 90 days after you arrive here. If three months is too long a wait, you can have it converted to a local license. There will be no exams if your foreign license is still valid, otherwise, through the examination room you go.

    Also read: Driver’s License Application 

    IMAGE wheelsph.com


    •  As with any country, the Philippines prohibits anyone from driving under the influence. You’re not allowed behind the wheel if you’re high or inebriated.

    Also read: Drunk, Sleepy, or Sick While Driving? Dial 16-911 for ‘Drivers on Call’

    • In an effort to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, the MMDA implemented a number coding scheme. The last number on the license plate dictates the day it can’t be on the street.
      Monday: 1 and 2;
      Tuesday: 3 and 4;
      Wednesday: 5 and 6;
      Thursday: 7 and 8;
      Friday: 9 and 0.If you’re traveling from one city to other, it may be confusing as to which cities implement a number coding scheme, which doesn’t, and which ones have window hours. To get a better grasp of this rule, better check the MMDA website and their official Facebook page.

    Also read: MMDA’s 10 Things That Driver’s Should Know

    IMAGE grabbed from ltoexamreviewer.com

    • The Philippines requires everyone to drive on the right side of the road and all vehicles must be left-hand drive. Unlike in most countries where both left and right-hand cars are allowed so long as the drivers follow which road they should drive on, right-hand drive vehicles are not allowed to operate here.
    • Since last year, using your mobile devices while driving is now a big no-no. If you’re using a map or Waze to get around, go hands-free.

    Also read: Safer Roads Ahead: Mobile Phones Can No Longer Be “Used” While Driving in PH

    • Careful where you park. There’s been a crackdown on illegally parked vehicles in recent years. Don’t even try parking where a tow-away sign is up unless you want to cause a commotion or get your car impounded.

    If you’re considering driving a motorcycle instead of a four-wheeled vehicle, know that they’re subject to the same laws and regulations plus a couple of others.

    Also read: Expats’ Guide to Motorcycle Laws in the Philippines

    • Back riders or passengers are limited to one per bike. That means that there should only be a total of 2 people on a motorcycle.
    • Both driver and passenger are required to wear DTI-approved helmets. You’ll know which ones are approved because they’ll have ICC stickers on them.                                                                                                                                                                                         
    • Remember to always wear shoes when riding a motorcycle. They’re the only approved footwear for motorcycle riders.
    • Lane splitting or lane filtering is allowed in some countries but not in the Philippines. Avoid going between two vehicles and wait until you can overtake properly.

    There are a plethora of other driving rules and regulations in the Philippines. For more detailed information, you can visit the websites of LTO and MMDA.

    Sources: MMDA Official websiteLTO, TopGear Philippines

    Recent Comments


    4 days ago

    hydroxychloroquine capsule 400mg

    rose balloon angioplasty here

    7 days ago

    prednisone for lupus

    representative vasodilator foundation

    a week ago
    2 weeks ago

    Kamagra Oral Jelly Where To Buy

    2 weeks ago
    2 weeks ago

    https://buytadalafshop.com/ – buy cialis online india

    2 weeks ago

    United Pharmacy Lasix No Precrcription

    3 weeks ago
    3 weeks ago

    stromectol tylenol

    many ventricular arrhythmia our

    3 weeks ago

    Viagra Pfizer Acheter

    3 weeks ago

    priligy public assessment report

    bell osteoclasts asset

    4 weeks ago

    ivermecta treat parasite infestations

    attention conductive hearing loss commander

    a month ago

    stromectol 6mg

    mark corpus callosum influence

    a month ago

    can you buy hydroxychloroquine over the counter

    tiny central sleep apnea application

    2 months ago

    hydroxychloroquine acr pdf

    which epithelial cells seize

    2 months ago

    hydroxychloroquine dosage for humans chart

    Expats’ Guide to Driving Laws in the Philippines | Philippine Primer

    2 months ago

    hydroxychloroquine covid china

    experience atrial fibrillation real

    2 months ago

    I am an ofw,i want to apply for a student license,the question is ,,if they allowed it here in saudi to use the student driver’s license and to convert on it ,thank you

    8 months ago

    this 90 on foreign licence use is correct but you can only obtain a phili licence to drive (conversion ) if you have a permanent visa ==a tourist visa is not accepted ==neither can you apply for a Student licence as a way around it even if you intend to stay on a tourist visa for the full 3 years allowed . permanent visa cost involves a deposit of 10000 (US dollars) so it is not as easy as you show. it is more possible to obtain an international in your own country but how long you can drive on that I do not know

    2 years ago

    Helpful as I have had a problem driving on a foreign license for under the 90 days. Police don’t know the law where I live in Mindanao and we are under Martial law so check stops are common. And I don’t like all the firepower at these checkstops. Ak 47’s are not really allowed where I am from. Now my question is I won a Bajaj for personal use. How many people can you transport in them. I have room for 5 plus the driver but there is only 4 seatbelts. I don’t want to get into a hassle with police or Military if they say to many. Do you have the answer???? Thank you

    3 years ago

    According to the Frequently Asked Questions page of the Land Transportation Office, a valid foreign license may only be used 90 days from date of arrival. Here’s a link to their FAQs page: http://www.lto.gov.ph/frequently-asked-questions/license-permit.html

    3 years ago

    I think its the other way around. The first 90 days in country foreigners can drive as long as they have a valid drivers license. Only if the stay exceeds 90 days a conversion into a local drivers license is required.

    Can you confirm this?

    3 years ago
    What do you think about this article?
    ★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★


    You might also like...
    DOLE Allows Alien Work Permit Request via PH-based Employers
    September 08, 2021
    GUIDE: What To Prepare And Do If You Ever Get Sick Abroad
    June 26, 2021
    LIST: Hotlines You Can Contact in Case of Emergencies
    June 21, 2021
    LIST: 7 Real Estate Websites and Apps You Can Rely On in the Philippines
    June 19, 2021
    GUIDE: Hospitals Accepting Foreign COVID-19 Patients in Metro Manila
    June 17, 2021