Roadbook Philippines: Driving license

Driving license

On short term visits up to 60 days you can use your home countries drivers license provided it is written in English. Otherwise you need an international driver’s permit together with the national driver’s license of your home country. For longer stays you need to get a Philippine drivers license from the Land Transportation Office (LTO). The Philippine driver’s license is valid for 3 years and usually expires at your birthday of the expiry year. It then needs to be renewed. Note that there are different restrictions for cars and motorcycles. In 2005 the LTO required the documents listed below for issuing or converting licenses. A foreign license can not be converted into the Philippine driver’s license if the foreign license is not written in English and the country of origin of the driver’s license has no embassy in the Philippines. After submitting the application the LTO will provide you with a receipt that will serve you as temporary license for 60 days until issuance of the permanent license. A not professional driving license costs around P900 plus other charges for photocopies, a renewal costs around P250.

 Front page of the drives license  Back with descriptions of restriction codes

Documents needed for a new driver’s license for a foreigner resident

  • Application form (can be downloaded at the LTO website)
  • Medical Certificate (from LTO accredited or Government Physician)
  • Negative Drug Test result (from DOH accredited drug testing centre)
  • Valid Student Permit (at least one (1) month old) or a national driving license of your home country including an English translation provided by the Embassy of your country.
  • Alien Certificate of Registration or alternative proof of residence (e.g. 9E visa)

Roadbook Philippines: Insurance

The compulsory third party liability (TPL) insurance that is needed to register a bike covers a very little amount (around 50,000P), which is not sufficient to cover any claim. It is better to go for comprehensive cover with a bigger amount to cover accident and injury claims. There are a number of local insurance agencies that offer the compulsory TPL, comprehensive and collision insurance and also provide claims processing and accident assistance. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle form causes other than accidents.

Roadbook Philippines: Stolen Motorbike

Vehicle theft is quite common in the Philippines and it is unlikely that a stolen vehicle shows up again. If the bike is insured the easiest is to get the necessary papers from the police and report the case to the insurance company. But there are this occasions where one would like to have a bike back, for example if it is a vintage bike or a collectors item. Then it might make sense to not push the theft case to hard at the police station but tell the officers instead that the bike was ‘lost’  and that you are prepared to pay a ‘finders fee’ to the one who found it. It is surprising how well the police sometimes can clear up cases. This will not always work though but if the bike was very unique and an eye catcher it is easier for the crook to collect the finders fee than to try to avoid public attention by trying to sell the bike or when driving it around town. The normal procedure for reporting theft and claiming the loss from the insurance is the following:

  • Report the theft to the police and get the police report.
  • Two months (60 days) are considered as recovery period of stolen vehicles. This is the Standard Operating Procedure implemented by the authorities and insurance companies since during this period most of the stolen vehicles are recovered.
  • If your vehicle has not been recovered after 60 days the insurance company should officially recognise that the vehicle was stolen. After this period you can get a non-recovery certificate from the TMG and have your theft claim evaluated and ask for compensation of the loss.
  • If the vehicle gets recovered after you already got compensated by the insurance company the recovered vehicle becomes property of the insurance company.

Documents required to claim compensation for a stolen vehicle

  • Police Report or Letter of request from the verifier
  • Identification Card of the police or the verifier
  • Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
  • Hier