Readers share their experiences getting a driver’s license outside the PH

'Harder than taking your masters'
by Drei Laurel | Mar 21, 2022
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Applying for a Land Transportation Office (LTO) driver’s license in the Philippines might not be a walk in the park, but big strides have been made in recent years to improve the process for motorists.

That said, it still isn’t perfect. There’s a long way to go before we can truly call the process of getting a driver’s license here truly proper. After all, it isn’t just about removing long lines and red tape. The LTO still needs to ensure only the motorists fit to be behind the wheel get their hands on that little plastic card.

Motorists who’ve applied for a driver’s license outside the Philippines will attest to the paragraph above. Here’s what our more traveled readers have to say about getting a license in another country:

Getting a driver’s license outside the Philippines

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“Canada, we have to successfully complete all six stages of Graduated Driver Licensing Program (GDL) from Learner to Class 5 driver. I could only wish the same for the Philippines. Every time I go home, it takes me about a week or so to drive again. It’s like driving in a jungle.Anna Khristina

“Had one in Taiwan, used it for more than 10 years. Really feels great to drive on wide highways and with road discipline. Really do miss the experience.”Stanley Co

“I just changed Philippine driver’s license to Malaysian. They honored it; only takes 15 minutes (must have complete documents). Here in Thailand, medyo mahigpit. They send us for one-hour video lecture and eyesight test. Dahil mahaba ang pila, inabot ng half-day.”Wings Dela Paz

“Toronto, ON. We use graduated license classification. We start at G1 equivalent to a student permit in PH. Then you can book a G2 road test; once you pass that, they will give you a temporary license that you can use to drive a motor vehicle. After a year, you can book another road test. We call it a G class, which allows you to drive most of the highways in Canada. Everything is systemized, networked, and all information with regard to your driving history are stored for references.”MP Alpha

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“I already had my professional driving license, but when I applied for Qatar driver’s license, I needed to enroll in a driving school. Ten days schooling, written exam, parking for 15 days, road for another 15 days and then, final road test with a policeman beside me. After I passed my first take, the same day I got my license.RLeah M. Agbayani

“Very, very difficult and costly to get one in Japan. As such, it’s precious and you try hard not to lose it by the sheer stupidness of violating traffic rules and regulations.” —Roldan Toribio

“New Zealand. Definitely worth going through the process. Everything I learned there, I’ve applied to my driving here since coming back.”Luigi Raymundo Banzon

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“Amsterdam. Driving lessons are a bit pricey, but they’ll help you with everything (theory and practical exams). You’d know after the theory and practical exams (scheduled on different days) if you pass. License received after a few days.”Kana New


“Obtaining a driver’s license in UAE is harder than taking your masters and doctorate degrees.” —Ynelle Aces

“So satisfying to get that manual driving license in Dubai a few years back. Note: One take lang.”Emil Pery Fernandez

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