Ticked off the bucket list: Learning how to drive! It didn’t occur to me at first that I would actually push through with the plan of learning a new skill this year− let alone run errands just to get me a driver’s license. More than a month has passed since I processed my student permit and I feel that this would be a good timing to write something about my experience.
First, I’m still amazed up to now how lucky I am to get a car without having to pay for the whole thing. My dad gave me a Chevrolet Cruze as a late birthday gift. 🙂
I still have to shoulder some of the expenses though because according to my mother, that would make me feel more responsible while driving because I’ll know that a bit of the car’s price came from my own pocket. Can’t argue with that!
It was not a good choice to get a car before actually knowing how to drive, but I made sure that before anything else,
I applied first for a student permit.
For those who don’t know what it’s for, a student permit lets you drive around under a professional’s supervision (like a permit to be a.. student). It’s like a ticket granting you the right to be taught how to drive. You also have to have a 30-day old permit before you can get that non-professional driver’s license, so it’s very important to have this as soon as you can. It lessens your wait time, at least.
- Properly Accomplished Application for Driver’s License — You can download a PDF file here
- Original copy & photocopy of your birth certificate (NSO) with OR — Order here from NSO
- Valid ID
- Medical certificate — Download the form here and get the cert from your doctor, if possible. Getting this from a clinic near an LTO office is more expensive.
I then enrolled in a reliable driving school that offers a not-so-lengthy lesson plan. I chose A-1 Driving School, took advantage of their 15-hour package for ₱9,800 and scheduled 3 hours per session every weekend (that’s their maximum a day).
I had a not-so-stellar time with them because of the regular cancellations. After my first 3 hours of driving around Makati avenue (which was the worst place to practice btw, because of the rude drivers and unbelievably heavy traffic), they had to cancel 2 of my sessions so it felt like starting over again after 13 days of hiatus.
For the 15-hour package I have learned a lot about the things I doubted I wouldn’t be able to learn. At the same time, I still feel like I only knew what I needed to know for the practical test. They didn’t teach me enough about the road signs, traffic rules, and other very important things. I guess they’re expecting their students to know those already? Anyway, good thing I bought these books. These are helpful because not only do these contain the basic how-to’s, they also give tips on car maintenance, etc.
You can call A-1’s CS hotline at +632 532 2272 for more information. You can also see their pricing here.
A month has passed since I got that student permit, and I was so excited about getting my license that I filed for a leave from work just so I can have the entire day to process it. Unfortunately, I lacked 1 more correct answer during the written test to pass. That’s why I advise you to take this online LTO exam practice before you go through the real thing. This is best taken in Tagalog because that’s what they’re giving out, at least at the Pasay branch. I was too shy to ask for an English version since I’m not really good at some deep Filipino words (like, the word bangketa is already deep for me).
There were at least 3 more words here that I had to google to understand what they mean. Haha!
I had to take the exam twice before finally passing it. And just like my student permit, LTO didn’t have any cards to issue so I have to settle with another piece of paper for now. Hey, at least I get to drive!