What is the meaning behind the driver’s license restriction code?

By Andrea Nicole

Posted on Jul 28, 2020

Before securing one’s helmet or seatbelt, one must double-check the restrictions set for drivers.


When taking the exam, applicants are given a choice to pursue either a professional or a non-professional license. Besides that, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) includes a restriction code on the driver's license. 


Below is a quick guide on what are the restriction codes, and what it means.


What are the restriction codes?

The restriction codes set by the LTO are found on the front of the driver's license. This is not based on one’s driving skills. Rather, it is what was applied in the LTO.


Each category indicates which vehicles one is authorized to drive, based on kilograms (kgs) of the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). This is the maximum weight drivers can operate, which includes the vehicle, accessories, passengers, and cargos.


Here is the list of restriction codes drivers should be aware of:

  1. Motorcycles/Motorized Tricycles: only motorized 2 or 3 wheeler
  2. Vehicle up to 4,500 kgs GVW: only includes light passenger cars such as hatchbacks, pick-ups, sedans, and SUVs with manual and automatic transmission within the weight range
  3. Vehicle above 4,500 kgs GVW: includes delivery or commercial vans with a manual transmission within the weight range
  4. Automatic clutch up to 4,500 kgs GVW: includes light passenger cars such as hatchbacks, pick-ups, sedans and SUVs only with automatic transmission within the weight range
  5. Automatic clutch above 4,500 kgs GVW: includes delivery trucks only with automatic transmission within the weight range
  6. Articulated vehicle 1,600 kgs GVW and below: includes trucks with heavy equipment and trailer trucks within the weight range
  7. Articulated vehicle from 1,601 up to 4,500 kgs GVW: includes trucks with heavy equipment and trailer trucks within the weight range
  8. Articulated vehicle 4,501kg and above GVW: includes trucks with heavy equipment and trailer trucks within the weight range


Note that Restrictions 1, 2, and 4 apply only to Non-Professional drivers licenses.


Besides restriction codes, the LTO also includes certain special conditions drivers should follow while driving the vehicle. This is determined through the assessment of the applicant’s LTO driver evaluator during their application process.


Here is the list of conditions set for drivers with special needs:

  1. Wear eyeglasses: should allow the driver to clearly see traffic signs, crossing pedestrians, and other vehicles
  2. Drives only with special equipment for upper limbs
  3. Drives only with special equipment for lower limbs
  4. Daylight driving only
  5. Accompanied by a person with normal hearing


 The list of both the restrictions and conditions is found at the back of your license.



Anyone who can pass the driver’s exam can drive around the Philippines. However, both the driving restrictions and conditions represent the capacities of the drivers on the road. If this is not followed, drivers should pay P 3,000 for the violation fee, or other penalties. 

If drivers wish to drive beyond the restrictions indicated, however, one can update by taking its appropriate test.

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