Driver’s License Restriction Codes: What you should know

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) regularly releases updates when it comes to road safety rules. This is to ensure that the safety of road users is maintained and the road safety knowledge of driver’s are updated. One of the most important updates from the LTO involves restriction codes on the driver’s licenses.

Restriction codes on your driver’s license dictate what kind of vehicle you allowed to drive. This is based on your license type and classification (professional or non-professional). LTO has recently revamped their efforts to implement these restriction codes to help improve road traffic conditions across the country.

To do this, and to highly emphasize the new codes, the LTO are using a more detailed alphanumeric system that identifies vehicle types along with their requirements. What this means is that the letter and number combinations are clearer and more specific as to the capabilities of the driver holding the license. Because of this, law traffic enforcers will be able to identify whether a driver is legally allowed to drive four-wheeled vehicles, ten-wheeler trucks, jeepneys, and the like.

Earlier versions of the driver’s license only show the vehicles the drivers are not allowed to drive as well as the conditions, like whether the driver needs to wear glasses or not. The new format of the license includes new and more specific details such as the Driver’s License Code, the vehicle category, the license classification, even the type of clutch used.

LTO released some updates on their official channels that explained the change in format.

Republished from an article by Argie Aguja (2021) are the following information:

At the back of the license, on the upper left, new Driver’s License codes are 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

It pays to be aware of these restrictions in the event of checkpoints and other scenarios. For more details, you can go to LTO website or check out our sources.  


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