A, B, A1, B2: What do the new driver’s license restriction codes mean?

Here’s a detailed explainer
by Leandre Grecia | Feb 23, 2022
requirement for driving license in philippines, drivers license ph, drivers license philippines, lto drivers license
PHOTO: Teddy Garcia

The announcement of the new 10-year validity period for driver’s licenses included the full rollout of the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) new license restriction codes.

Under the new system, the restriction codes were recategorized to cover more specific vehicle classifications. In this article, we run through all the important details that you need to know about these new driver’s license codes.

Vehicle categories

Before anything else, we’re listing down the vehicle categories first. These are what the LTO now uses to indicate what vehicles a license holder with certain codes may or may not drive. Read on below for more details.

  • L1 – A two-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed not exceeding 50kph
  • L2 – A three-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed not exceeding 50kph
  • L3 – A two-wheeled vehicle with a maximum design speed exceeding 50kph
  • L4 – A motorcycle with sidecar with a maximum design speed exceeding 50kph
  • L5 – Three-wheeler (symmetrically arranged) with a maximum speed exceeding 50kph
  • L6 – Four-wheeler whose unladen mass is not more than 350kg and with a maximum design speed not exceeding 45kph
  • L7 – Four-wheeler whose unladen mass is not more than 550kg and with a maximum design speed not exceeding 45kph
  • M1  – Vehicles up to 5,000kg GVW with not more than eight passenger seats 
    or Automatic clutch up to 5,000kg GVW with not more than eight passenger seats
  • M2 – Vehicles up to 5,00kg GVW with more than eight passenger seats
  • N1 – Vehicles up to 3,500kg GVW for carriage of goods
  • N2, N3 – Vehicles exceeding 3,500 kgs GVW for the carriage of goods
  • M3 – Vehicles above 5,000 kgs GVW with more than 8 passenger seats
  • O1 – Articulated Vehicle not more than 750 kgs GVW
  • O2 –Articulated Vehicle exceeding 750 up to 3,500 kgs GVW
  • O3, O4 – Articulated Vehicle exceeding 3,500 kgs GVW
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requirement for driving license in philippines, drivers license ph, drivers license philippines, lto drivers license

Driver’s license codes

Now that you’re familiar with the vehicle categories, we’ll go through the different restriction codes and which vehicle categories they cover. Take note that non-professional license holders will only be able to acquire A, A1, B, B1, and B2 restrictions.

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  • A, A1 – can drive L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, L6
  • B, B1, B2 – can drive M1, M2, N1
  • C – can drive N2, N3
  • D – can drive M3
  • BE – can drive  O1, O2
  • CE – can drive O3, O4

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Medical conditions and driving indications

If an individual has any medical conditions that affect their ability to operate a motor vehicle, additional restrictions shall be indicated in his license. There are five condition codes, each corresponding to the specific condition that must be met in order for the person to be allowed to drive a vehicle.

  • 1 – Drive only with corrective lenses
    “This is indicated in the driver’s license of a licensee that he/she is certified by an accredited physician to be out of the 20/40 vision and will not be allowed to drive without wearing eyeglasses or corrective lenses.”
  • 2 – Drive only with special equipment for upper limbs and/or lower limbs
    “This is indicated in the driver’s license of a licensee with impairment at the upper limb and/or lower limb.”
  • 3 – Drive customized motor vehicles only
    “This is indicated in the driver’s license of a licensee to drive specially designed motor vehicles only and duly registered with LTO.”
  • 4 – Drive only during daylight
    “This is indicated in the driver’s license of a licensee that he/she is only allowed to drive during daylight. This includes partially or totally blind in one eye.”
  • 5 – Drive only with hearing aid
    “This is indicated in the driver’s license of a licensee with impaired hearing.”
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The LTO indicates that license holders with conditions 2, 3, 4, or 5 are not allowed to operate for-hire/public utility vehicles or commercial vehicles unless expressly allowed in writing by a qualified medical specialist.

If you have any more questions regarding this, or if there’s anything else you’d like us to make a guide for, drop them in the comments section. You can also read up on one of our other guides here:

Need to review for the LTO license-renewal exam? You can do so on YouTube
How much do driver’s license applications and renewals cost?

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