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IDP is essential when driving abroad
International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.
Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.
How to get your IDP
Fill in the forms
Have your driver’s license and delivery address handy
Verify your ID
Upload pictures of your driver's license
Wait for confirmation and you’re ready to go!
International drivers license Philippines FAQs
Do I really need an international driver’s license in the Philippines?
Well, it depends. If you’re from a non-ASEAN country and your license isn’t in English, then it’s best to get one. A Philippine International Driving Permit (PIDP) will cost you $49 to $59 (2500 - 3100 PHP), depending on its validity. Getting an IDP is advised for all foreign nationals.
Driving in the Philippines will require both your license and your IDP. Your IDP serves as your license’s translation if it isn’t in English. Since you can get your IDP online, you can choose to order it when you’ve arrived in the country. But remember that you cannot apply for an International Driver's Permit for the Philippines in Quezon City or Makati Office , where an automobile association Philippines - AAP office is. Your IDP must come from your home country.
For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) additional official receipt may be required.
What are the requirements for international driver’s license in the Philippines?
Fill in information on the IDP application form. You will have to submit a valid copy of the front and back of your driving license for verification. You will also need to upload a passport style photo (colored ID picture) with white background and your signature. Pay the processing fee through credit card and other payment options. Once your payment for the application has been accepted, we will process the application!
This applies for both dual citizens and permanent residents.
Can I use my international driver’s license in the Philippines?
Yes, you can use it as long as it isn’t expired. Provided you’re from an ASEAN country, you may also choose not to use it since ASEAN countries may not use an International Driving Permit in this country.
How can I convert my international driver’s license to a Philippine license?
Remember that this is not allowed. You will have to go to Land Transportation Office (LTO) to convert your valid driver’s license into a Philippine driver’s license or apply for one.
Most Important Road Rules
Not only is it common courtesy to follow the rules imposed by a foreign country, but abiding by them also shows that you are a responsible tourist who respects the country you’re visiting. Here are some of the top road rules in the Philippines that you must follow if you want a stress-free trip devoid of potential accidents and violations.
Never Forget Your Foreign Driver’s License
Never forget to bring your foreign driver’s license with you. Without it, you won’t be able to rent a car, and you can be classified as an unlicensed driver if authorities catch you. Your driver’s license will only last for 90 days. So if you want to stay and drive in the country for a longer period, you’d have to convert or apply for a Philippine license.
Always Bring Your International Driver's Permit with You
An IDP, informally known as an international driver’s license, is a translation of your foreign driver’s license if it isn’t issued in English. However, if you come from any ASEAN country, an International Driver's Permit in the Philippines is unnecessary. Typically, Filipino car rental companies may require you to have an International Driver's Permit to rent a vehicle, so be sure to bring one when you visit the country.
Do note that your Philippine International Driving Permit (PIDP)does not replace your driver’s license. So if your license’s validity expires, you can’t drive in the country anymore. A Philippine International Driving Permit’s validity can last for 1 to 3 years, depending on what you’d choose. But remember that you cannot solely use this permit to drive.
Suppose you go to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and attempt to convert your international driving license to a Philippine license. In that case, this will be rejected since it is not your valid ID. Remember that your IDP is merely a translation and not an official license.
Driving Under the Influence is Illegal
Under Republic Act 10586 or the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013”, drivers cannot drink or use any recreational drugs before driving. This was implemented due to the high cases of road accidents caused by driving under the influence, and violators will be penalized depending on the severity of their violation. This may be a fine or the confiscation of their license.
Always Wear Your Seatbelts
To lessen the impact and potential casualties from road accidents, both drivers and passengers are required to wear their seatbelts. This has been mandated by Republic Act 8750 or the “Seat Belts Use Act of 1999”. This act also states that children under six years old are forbidden to sit at any motor vehicle’s front seat. Penalties, again, include fines and the confiscation of licenses.
Using Mobile Phones and Other Gadgets are Prohibited
A common road rule in many countries is banning the use of phones and other gadgets behind the wheel. Violators will face penalties. Accidents in the country aren’t uncommon, so it’s best to follow this rule as a precaution.
Smoke Belching Vehicles are Banned
One unique rule is disallowing vehicles from smoke-belching. This isn’t a road rule in particular, but it was implemented to benefit the environment. Republic Act 8749, also known as the “Clean Air Act of 1999,” bans vehicles from releasing smoke from their exhausts since this contributes to air pollution. It does not directly affect the traffic in the country, but violators will still be penalized accordingly.
Top Roadtrip Destinations
The Philippines is an archipelago in Southeast Asia, made up of 7,641 islands. The country is a tourist hotspot as it boasts many natural and man-made wonders. From pristine beaches to heritage sites, tourists will surely not get bored when they visit due to the countless places to go to and fun activities to do. Here are some of the most popular tourist destinations that are perfect for you if you want to go road tripping in this country.
El Nido, Palawan
Take a dip in the ocean and revel in the wonders of El Nido, Palawan. One of the most famous islands, El Nido is a hotspot for tourists, both local and foreign. There are many activities to do and attractions to visit that makes the island an instant for its visitors. El Nido is the perfect place for a tropical getaway, from its crystal clear lagoons to its stunning beaches.
The best time of the year to go to the island is during the dry season. This is from January to April. Most tourists come to the country from around March to April. So do know it can get crowded. If you want a place for yourself, you can visit when it’s not peak season. Just be sure to avoid August, the wettest month for Palawan.
Driving Directions: (5-8 hours via Puerto Princesa North Road)
- From Puerto Princesa International Airport, head towards west on Airport Rd.
- Turn right twice on Rizal Avenue.
- Make a right and left turn on Puerto Princesa North Road.
- When you reach the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Taytay-El Nido National Hwy.
- Turn left onto Real St.
- Then turn left onto Amban St.
- Make a right onto San Joaquin St.
- Turn right.
- Lastly, turn left.
Chocolate Hills, Bohol
The Chocolate Hills, the third National Geological Monument, is one of the most popular tourist spots in Bohol. The famous peaks stretch over 50 km² across the towns of Carmen, Sagbayan, and Batuan. The hills get their name from the color of the vegetation, which turns brown during the hot season. So the best time to visit the Chocolate Hills would be from December to May, with April being the ideal month to visit.
Once you’re there, you can admire the stunning view by going up the Viewpoints to see the hills spread around you. Or you can even take a guided or unguided tour while riding ATVs. Other activities to do within the area include adventure parks where you can have fun zip-lining, hiking, and even horseback riding.
Driving Directions: (1 hr 30 mins via Balilihan-Hanopol-Batuan Road)
- From Panglao International Airport, head east and drive straight.
- Make a slight left onto Panglao Island Circumferential Rd.
- Turn right.
- Then turn right onto Borja Bridge.
- Turn right onto Bohol Circumferential Rd/Tagbilaran East Road.
- After that, turn left onto Ligason St.
- Turn right onto Carlos P. Garcia East Avenue.
- Then turn left and continue on Provincial Rd.
- Make a right onto Tagbilaran City-Corella-Sikatuna-Loboc Rd.
- Turn left and continue on Corella-Balilihan Rd.
- Then turn right onto Cortes-Balilihan-Catigbian-Macaas Rd.
- Turn right onto Balilihan-Hanopol-Batuan Road.
- Make a left turn onto Loay Interior Road.
- Turn right onto Chocolate Hills Rd.
Visit the country’s walled city of Intramuros to go back in time and learn about Colonial Manila. Intramuros, which means “within the walls,” was built over 400 years ago as a military and political base. It was also used to protect people from potential threats such as Chinese pirates. Intramuros has many sites to see, like old churches, forts, museums, and gardens. So your trip here would definitely be educational as it is entertaining.
Although the walled city has roofs, and you can always bring umbrellas in case rain will show up, the best time to visit Intramuros would be from December to May.
Driving Directions: (40 mins via Roxas Blvd/R-1)
- From Ninoy Aquino International Airport, head southeast toward Multi-Level Parking Access Rd and continue straight.
- Merge onto Andrews Ave/Sales Rd and keep left to stay on the road.
- Drive straight and keep right to stay on Andrews Ave. Continue onto Airport Rd.
- At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Airport Rd.
- Turn right onto Roxas Blvd/R-1.
- Make another right onto Remedios St.
- Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Roxas Boulevard East Svc Rd.
- Then turn right onto Kalaw Ave.
- Turn left onto Ma. Orosa St.
- Continue onto General Luna St.
- Turn right onto Muralla St.
- Finally, turn left onto Cabildo St.
Known for its whale watching tours, Oslob is a small coastal town in southern Cebu. Tourists visit every year to experience the most popular attraction: swimming with whale sharks. However, these tours are controversial due to their exploitative nature. Locals are said to lure in these gentle giants by feeding them. Eventually, the whale sharks become dependent on their diet and keep coming back, even if they aren’t native species.
Instead of whale watching, visitors can do many other activities instead that don't support unsustainable tourism. Just like many other islands in the country, Oslob boasts its white sand beaches and crystal blue waters. So island hopping isn’t out of the picture. You can also visit Tumalog falls to see its natural curtain-like waters. Of course, if you really want to experience marine life, you can still go snorkeling to revel in the beauty of the reefs.
Driving Directions: (3 hours via Natalio B. Bacalso S National Hwy)
- From Mactan International Airport, head southeast toward Airport-Departure Rd and turn left.
- Turn left onto Airport Access Rd/Lapu-Lapu Airport Rd.
- Then turn right onto Lapu-Lapu Airport Rd/Terminal Bldg Access Rd.
- Turn left onto M.L. Quezon National Highway.
- Take the ramp to Mandaue City and continue onto Marcelo Fernan Bridge.
- From U.N. Ave, turn left onto Mandaue Causeway/Ouano Ave/Plaridel St.
- Continue onto Sergio Osmeña Jr Blvd and keep right.
- Keep left to continue onto CSCR Tunnel.
- Then turn slightly left as the road becomes Cebu South Coastal Rd.
- Turn left and continue onto Cebu S Rd/Natalio B. Bacalso S National Hwy.
- At Carcar City Cir, take the 2nd exit onto Natalio B. Bacalso S National Hwy.
- Continue driving until you reach Poblacion, Oslob, Cebu.
Cloud 9, Siargao
Recently, surfing has become a rising sport in this country. And Siargao is the perfect place to visit for both professional and amateur surfers. Cloud 9 in General Luna is the most popular site on the island, and surfers crowd the area to surf the waves that gave the spot its name. First-time surfers can also learn the sport by enrolling in lessons offered in surf schools.
Besides surfing, the island offers many activities and tourist attractions from lagoons, rock formations, caves, and islets. The things to do in Siargao are endless, especially if you want to take a break from the city and experience the island life.
Depending on your itinerary, the ideal months to visit Siargao may vary. Peak tourist season in Siargao is from around March to September. But the surfing season is from July to November. For those of you who want to check out the Siargao International Surfing Cup held on the island every year, be sure to drop by during the surfing season to watch professional surfers compete for the crown.
Driving Directions: (45 mins to 1 hour via Siargao Circumferential Rd and Dapa-General Luna Rd)
- From Siargao Airport, head east and turn right onto Siargao Circumferential Rd.
- Continue straight onto Dapa - General Luna Rd.
- Lastly, turn left.
- Finally, turn left onto Tourism Rd.
Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Explore the streets of Vigan City, a preserved Spanish colonial town in Ilocos Sur. Vigan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has preserved its architecture heavily influenced by China and Europe. Established in the 16th century, Vigan is now a tourist hotspot for those who want to see what it was like during the Spanish era.
Visitors can do different activities like museum hopping, sightseeing, food tripping, and even pottery making. Tourists can essentially come to Vigan at any time of the year, but the best times to visit would be during the dry season from December to May.
If you want to attend a couple of activities held in particular months, here is a short schedule to guide you:
- Longganisa Festival - January 22 (usually)
- Vigan Town Fiesta - January 25
- Viva Vigan Festival - First week of May
- Vigan Twilight Festival - Last week of October
Driving Directions: (2 hours via MacArthur Hwy/Manila N Rd/Manor)
- From Laoag International Airport, head north toward Airport Rd and continue driving.
- At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Laoag-Paoay Rd.
- Continue onto Marcos Ave.
- Turn right onto Otis.
- Then turn left onto McKinley.
- Turn right onto Currimao-Paoay-Suba-Balacao Rd.
- Make a right onto MacArthur Hwy/Manila N Rd/Manor.
- Turn left onto Bantay - San Vicente Rd/MacArthur Hwy/Manila N Rd/Manor.
- Lastly, turn right onto Quezon Ave.
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