LTO revamps driver’s license restriction codes

By Argie Aguja, January 12, 2021

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) revamped the restriction codes on driver’s licenses, featuring a more detailed alphanumeric system that identifies new vehicle types and specific requirements.

Under this new system of detailed subcategories, the license describes what the owner can or cannot drive.

From the previous iteration that shows only the restriction and conditions, the new format now includes important details like the Driver’s License (DL) Code, Vehicle Category, Driver’s License Classification and the type of clutch used.

Updating the system

The LTO has been revising the existing restriction codes on driver’s licenses for quite some time now.

Back in August 2019, Memorandum Circular no. 2019-2174 signed by LTO chief Asec. Edgar Galvante, titled “Operation of Motor Vehicles under Restriction Codes 2, 3, 4 and 5,” stated that holders of driver’s license with restriction codes 2 and 3 are allowed to operate/drive motor vehicle with Manual Transmission or Automatic Transmission while holders of driver’s license with restriction codes 4 and 5 can only operate/drive motor vehicles with Automatic Transmission (AT).

Restriction codes were also revised too, putting emphasis on new DL Codes and updated existing restrictions, most notably adding specific sub-levels based on kind of vehicle and Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).

New format at the back of licenses

This year, the LTO announced another change in the format of new driver’s licenses. In a Facebook post dated Jan. 8, the LTO released several infographics and charts showing changes in the format.

At the back of the license, on the upper left, new DL Codes will be listed as follows:

A – Motorcycles

A1 – Tricycles

B – Weighing up to 5,000 kg GVW with 8 seats

B1 – Weighing up to 5,000 kg GVW with 9 or more seats

B2 – Goods less than or equal to 3,500 kg GVW

C – Goods more than 3,500 kg GVW

D – Buses more than 5,000 kg FVW with 9 or more seats

BE – Trailers less than or equal to 3,500 kg GVW

CE – Articulated vehicles with more than 3,500 kg combined GVW

Immediately on the right of DL Codes are the updated Vehicle Categories that can range from:

· L1 to L7 for motorcycles, tricycles (specifically three- and four-wheelers)

· M1, M2 and N1 for vehicles up to 3,500 and 5,000 GVW for carrying goods or people

· N2 and N3 for vehicles more than 3,500 kg GVW for carrying goods

· M3 for buses above 5,000 GVW with more than 8 passenger seats

· 01 for articulated vehicles less than 750 kg GVW

· 02 for articulated vehicles up to 3,500 kg GVW

· 03 and 04 for articulated vehicles more than 3,500 GVW