Renting a car in the Philippines allows for freedom of travel throughout many beautiful locations in the islands that is just too hard or too slow to do via public transpotation means. A car, van or SUV rental also offers a better vacation and travel experience by loosening up schedules and allowing more spontaneous adventures.
One of the most common questions we get is, can I rent a vehicle and drive on a foreign drivers license in the Philippines. The quick answer is yes!
What is required to drive with a foreign license in The Philippines.
- Foreign license must be in English
- Latest visa entry stamp in passport must be less than 90 days old.
If your license is not in English, you can have your local embassy do an official translation of the license into English. This might actually be more work than just getting an international license, especially if you travel a lot.
How do I get an international driver’s permit (license)?
If your foreign license is in English, there is really no reason to go this route. Part of the IDP language is that it is only valid as long as the primary license of the foreigner is also valid. If you go 90 days past your most recent visa entry stamp, then both your foreign license and IDP are no longer valid. The IDP is best used in lieu of having a foreign non-English drivers license translated by the foreigners embassy. The AAPs permit will be in English.
In The Philippines international drivers licenses are handled by the AAP – Automobile Association Philippines. (https://aap.org.ph/)
Here is what you will need in order to get an international drivers license in The Philippines.
- A valid professional or non-professional driving permit
- 2 ID photos (size: 2×2)
- Foreigners must bring their passport along with a photocopy of the latest entry stamp
- Permanent residents will need their ACR card.
The Philippine International Driving Permit (PIDP) is valid for the entire validity of your current license. For example, if your current non-professional driver’s license expires in 6 months, so will your PIDP.
How to convert a foreign license into a Philippines driver’s license.
If you stay longer than 90 days, it is very easy to convert your foreign drivers license into a Philippines drivers license. You do not have to surrender your foreign license. Converting your license is fairly painless and quick, and allows for driving up to 3 years from the date of issuance in the Philippines. Below is how to do it and a link to the Philippines’ LTO (Land Transportation Office) with the most up-to-date information and requirements.
- Duly accomplished Application for Driver’s License (ADL) form
- In addition, for foreigner, original and one (1) photocopy of passport with entry date of at least one (1) month and visa duration of at least six (6) months from date of application, or if born in the Philippines, original and one (1) photocopy of birth certificate duly authenticated by NSO/PSA
3. Electronically transmitted medical certificate in LTO prescribed form (present original)
4. Original and one (1) photocopy of valid foreign DL. If the foreign Driver’s License is not in English language, original and one (1) photocopy of official English translation
5. Expired NPDL / PDL if applicable
The following fees are as of June 2019 and may change at any time.
|Fees and charges||Amount in Php (Valid Foreign License)||Amount in Php (Expired Foreign License)|
Diving and Rent a Car or Rental Vehicle Requirements as a Foreigner in The Philippines Final Thought
If your foreign drivers license is in English and you will not be in the Philippines for longer than 90 days from the date of your entry stamp in your passport, then you have nothing to worry about. If your license is not in English, you can have your embassy translate it for you or get an IDP (international drivers permit) which will be in English. If you plan on going past 90 days, then take a day out of your schedule and go to your local LTO office and convert your foreign drivers license into a Philippine drivers license.