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International Driver's License In Philippines: Rent a car with ease

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IDP is essential when driving abroad

driving abroad with idp

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.

documents needed for international driving permit

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


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Upload pictures of your driver's license


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Wait for confirmation and you’re ready to go!

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Exploring The Philippines

Horse carriage in front of the colonial Hotel de Oriente.
Source: Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash

Are you planning for a getaway and considering the Philippines as your spot? You've come to the right place!

The Philippines is a diverse country where you can enjoy the busy streets of Manila and the peaceful beaches of Palawan. With thousands of islands, you'll find lots of wildlife, history, and beautiful beaches.

Driving in the Philippines lets you explore its wonders at your own pace. If you want to drive, you'll need an International Driving Permit (IDP). It's a document that shows your driving license in different languages and is accepted in many places around the world.

Continue reading to learn more about how to obtain your IDP today!

Getting an IDP in the Philippines

Securing an International Driving Permit (IDP) is a crucial step for those planning to drive in the Philippines. Here's a streamlined process to obtain one:

  • Instant Approval: Once your application is submitted, approval is typically granted without delay.
  • Fast & Easy Process: The application procedure is designed to be quick and user-friendly.
  • Duration of Validity: You can choose an IDP valid for 1, 2, or 3 years, depending on your travel needs.
  • Legal Compliance: With an IDP, you can drive legally in the Philippines and over 150 other countries.
  • Language Accessibility: The IDP is translated into 12 languages, facilitating more accessible communication if stopped by local authorities.
  • Global Recognition: The permit is recognized internationally in over 150 countries, making it a valuable document for driving abroad.
  • Delivery: After your application is processed, the IDP is shipped to you anywhere in the world with express shipping options available.

Carrying an IDP in the Philippines ensures that you meet the legal driving requirements, helping to make your international travel experience smooth and compliant with local laws.

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 (IDP) 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 an international driver's license in the Philippines?

To obtain an international driver's license for use in the Philippines, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Valid Driver's License: A current and valid driver's license from your home country is required.
  • Clear Photocopies: Submit clear copies of the front and back of your driver's license.
  • Passport-style photo: A recent color photo with a white background, similar to a passport photo, is needed.
  • Signature: Provide a signature that matches the one on your driver's license.
  • Payment: A processing fee is payable by credit card or other available payment options.
  • Application Form: Complete the IDP application form with accurate information.

These requirements apply to all individuals, including dual citizens and permanent residents, seeking to drive legally in the Philippines with an international driver's license.

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 are allowed to drive without 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 the 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

It's not just polite but also responsible to follow the driving rules of a country you're visiting. To ensure a smooth and safe journey in the Philippines, it's essential to be aware of the Philippines driving rules. Here are some key rules to remember for a hassle-free trip.

Never Forget Your Foreign Driver's License

Always carry your foreign driver's license. You need it to rent a car and to avoid being fined for driving without a license. Your license is good for 90 days in the Philippines. If you plan to drive longer, you must get a Philippine license.

Always Bring Your International Driving Permit with You

An International Driving Permit (IDP) acts as a translation of your non-English driver's license. If you're from an ASEAN country, you don't need an IDP in the Philippines. However, car rental companies often ask for an IDP, so bring one if you're visiting.

Your IDP doesn't replace your actual driver's license, and you can't drive with an expired license. An IDP in the Philippines can last 1 to 3 years.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will only accept an IDP as a translation of your driver's license, not an official document allowing you to convert it to a Philippine license.

Driving Under the Influence is Illegal

Under the "Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013," it's illegal to drive after drinking alcohol or using drugs. This law aims to reduce road accidents caused by impaired driving.

Break this law, and you could face fines or lose your driver's license, depending on how severe the offense is.

Always Wear Your Seatbelts

Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts to reduce injuries from car accidents, as required by the "Seat Belts Use Act of 1999." Children under six cannot sit in the front seat. Follow these rules to avoid being fined or having your license taken away.

Using Mobile Phones and Other Gadgets is Prohibited

A standard road rule in many countries is banning phones and other gadgets while 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

Republic Act 8749, or the “Clean Air Act of 1999,” prohibits vehicles from emitting exhaust smoke, as it contributes to air pollution. While it doesn't directly impact traffic rules, violators will be penalized accordingly.

Top Road Trip Destinations

The Philippines is a group of over 7,600 islands in Southeast Asia known for its tourist attractions. With beautiful beaches and historical sites, there's a lot to see and do. It's an excellent place for a road trip, with many popular spots to visit.

El Nido, Palawan

Secluded beach with limestone cliffs in El Nido, Palawan.
Source: Photo by Cris Tagupa on Unsplash

Enjoy the beach and explore El Nido in Palawan, a famous island that draws many tourists. It offers lots of activities and beautiful spots like clear lagoons and beaches.

The dry season from January to April is the best time to visit, but it's less crowded outside of March and April. Try to skip August, when it's the rainiest in Palawan.

Driving Directions: (5-8 hours via Puerto Princesa North Road)

  • From Puerto Princesa International Airport, head 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.

El Nido, Palawan

Enjoy the beach and explore El Nido in Palawan, a famous island that draws many tourists. It offers lots of activities and beautiful spots like clear lagoons and beaches.

The dry season from January to April is the best time to visit, but it's less crowded outside of March and April. Try to skip August, when it's the rainiest in Palawan.

Driving Directions: (5-8 hours via Puerto Princesa North Road)

  • From Puerto Princesa International Airport, head 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 in Bohol are famous for their unique shape and are a must-see in the Philippines. They cover over 50 square kilometers and look brown like chocolate in the dry season. The best time to see them is from December to May, especially in April.

You can enjoy the view from designated viewpoints, take ATV tours, or enjoy other activities like zip-lining, hiking, and 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 Intramuros, the old walled city in Manila, to see what Colonial Manila was like. Built over 400 years ago, it served as a military base and a shield against invaders like pirates. Today, you can see churches, forts, museums, and gardens there. It's both fun and educational./The weather is usually good from December to May, but you can bring an umbrella in case it rains.

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 directly 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.

Oslob, Cebu

Oslob in southern Cebu is famous for whale shark tours, but these have faced criticism for causing negative effects on the sharks' natural behavior.

Instead of whale watching, you can enjoy Oslob's white beaches and clear waters, go island hopping, see the Tumalog Falls, or snorkel to enjoy the coral 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 the 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

Surfing is getting popular in the Philippines, and Siargao is a top spot for surfers of all levels. Cloud 9 in General Luna is famous for its waves, and there are surf schools for beginners.

Siargao also has lagoons, rock formations, caves, and islets to explore. It's a great place to escape the city.

The best time to visit depends on what you want to do. The island is busiest from March to September, while the best surfing is from July to November. If you want to see the Siargao International Surfing Cup, come during the surfing season.

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 Vigan City in Ilocos Sur to see a well-preserved Spanish colonial town. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site with buildings influenced by Chinese and European styles. Vigan, founded in the 16th century, is famous for its old-world charm.

You can visit museums, see historic sites, try local foods, and make pottery. You can visit Vigan any time, but it's best from December to May when it's dry.

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 Road/Manor.
  • Turn left onto Bantay - San Vicente Rd/MacArthur Hwy/Manila N Rd/Manor.
  • Lastly, turn right onto Quezon Ave.

Kickstart Your Trip to the Philippines with an IDP

See International Driving License Packages and prepare for your thrilling trip to the Philippines! With an IDP, you can freely venture through the country's breathtaking landscapes and soak up its beauty. Apply for an International Driving Permit today to ensure a seamless and enjoyable journey!

Ready to check if an IDP is accepted in your destination?

Use the form and find out in seconds whether you need an international permit. Documents vary, based on the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic.

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