Riding a Scooter or Motorcycle in the Philippines

Published by admin on

We get many people contacting scoot to ask whether or not they can ride a scooter or motorcycle in the Philippines without a Filipino license, so here are some of the rules you should know before venturing our on to the roads:

First, common questions answered :-

Is it legal to ride a scooter or motorcycle in the Philippines without a local Filipino license?

The short answer is yes, if you have a foreign driver’s license you can ride a scooter or motorcycle for up to 90 days from the date you arrived in The Philippines.

It is worth mentioning however that unlike many countries outside The Philippines where you can ride a 50cc or even 125cc motorbike as long as you have a full driving license, Filipino law states that you must have a license that specifically states you can ride a motorbike, if you are not sure, the best thing to do is drop in to your local police station and show them your license and they will confirm.

I have been in The Philippines for more then 90 days, how do I convert my driving license to a local Filipino license?

It is very straight forward to convert your foreign driving license as long as it is still valid, simply go to your nearest LTO office, the requirements are as follows:

In addition, for foreigners, original and photocopy of passport with entry of at least one (1) month and visa duration of at least one (1) year from date of application, or if born in the Philippines, present original and photocopy of birth certificate duly authenticated by the NSO.

In the event that the applicant is a holder of a valid Foreign Driver’s License, the applicant may present the original and photocopy of Foreign Driver’s License, if not in English language, original and photocopy of official English translation from Embassy of the issuing country instead of an SP.

See full requirements here;

Filipino driving license requirements or download a PDF version of the requirements here

Is it legal to ride a scooter or motorcycle without a helmet?

Although you may see both locals and foreigners riding both scooters and motorcycles in The Philippines without wearing a crash helmet (especially in the province), it is actually a major offence and if caught  comes with a fine of 1,500Php for your first offesne (see full list of penalties below), if you have a passenger they too must be wearing a crash helmet no matter if they are local or foreign, and the fine is per passenger, so no helmet and you can expect to pay 3,000Php for your and your passenger!

In 2017 the law also changed in terms of the type of helmet you have to wear when riding either a scooter or motorcycle, although not strictly enforced the helmet you are wearing must be comply to the recent changes although it does say when buying new helmet but better to be safe then sorry:

Any person caught not wearing the standard protective motorcycle helmet in violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine of One thousand five hundred pesos (Php1,500.00) for the first offense; Three, thousand pesos (Php3,000.00) for the second offense; Five thousand pesos (Php5,000.00) for the third offense; and Tep_ thousand pesos (Php10,000.00) plus confiscation of the driver 1 s license for the fourth offense~~


Provision of Motorcycle Helmets_. – A new motorcycle helmet which bears the Philippine Standard (PS) mark or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) of the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) and complies with the standards set by the BPS shall be made available. by every seller and/or dealer every time a tiew motorcycle unit is purchased and which the purchaser· may buy at his option. Failure to comply with the requirements provided under this section shall constitute a violation of this Act. SEC. 6. Implementation. – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), with its attached agency, the Land Transportation”Office (LTO), is mandated by this Act to issue guidelines necessary to implement the provisions of this Act.

Is it illegal to drink and drive in The Philippines? What are the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol in The Philippines?

The answer is yes, it is illegal to drink alcohol and drive in The Philippines, riding a scooter or motorcycle in the province and having a drink may be fairly common practice by locals and some foreigners but it still comes under the same law, Scoot’s scooter and motorcycle rental shop in Puerto Galera has seen some horrific accidents, deaths as well as people found guilty of riding a scooter under the influence of alcohol or drugs receiving 3 months imprisonment:

You can download the full details of the penalties relating to drink and/or drug driving/riding here:

Download Full penalties and act relating to driving/riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs – click here and pdf will start download

I have seen a lot of people riding both scooters and motorcycles as well as driving car without number plates? Is it legal to ride a scooter or motorcycle or drive a car without a number plate?

Yes it is legal to to ride a scooter or motorcycle and drive a car without a number plate as long as you are in possession of a valid OR (official receipt) and CR (Certificate of registration) – you also need to ensure that the registration is up to date as this is an annual requirement, believe it or not we have seen officially issued license plates take up to 3 years to be release, the majority of the scooters and motorcycles that Scoot.com.ph offers for rent in Makati City, Metro manila and Puerto Galera are less then 12 months old so are covered under the original registration from the dealership in which we purchased them from new.

Although, the Harley Davdison Softail ‘s’ that we have available for rent in our Makati City store was purchased new direct from the Harley Davidson store in Fort Bonifacio in May 2016 and we still have not been issued our official plate for the motor bike –

To see details of all of the scooters and motorbikes we have available for rent in Makati City, Fort Bonifacio, Mandaluyong, Pasay City, Metro Manila and Puerto Galera go here, Scoot offers a wide selction of bikes for rent including Suzuki Skydrive’s, Yamaha Mio 125cc automatic scooters, Yamaha Aerox 155cc, Yamaha Sniper 150cc, Honda XL150R, KTM Duke 390 (Highway legal) and Harley Davidsons, our rates start from 550Php per day (24HR rental). CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR BIKES AVAILABLE TO RENT

How does scooter and motorcycle insurance work in The Philippines?

All of the Scooters and Motorcycles that scoot has available for rent in Makati City, Fort Bonifacio (BGC), Mandaluyong, Manila, Pasay and Puerto Galera have third party insurance, it is actually compulsory for every motor vehicle in  The Philippines to carry third party insurance, however the third party insurance only really does not cover the value of the bike you are writing which essentially means that if you do damage the rental scooter or if it is stolen while in your possession you are 100% liable for the cost to repair or replace the Scooter or Motorcycle you have rented, this should be provided and explained to you as part of the rental terms of agreement, you can find Scoot’s terms of agreement here (Rental terms of agreement)

Is it possible to rent a scooter or motorcycle that has fully comprehensive scooter or motor cycle insurance? Can I pay more to rent a scooter or motorcycle with fully comprehensive insurance?

Yes, Scoot’s store in Makati offers 2 rates for renting both scooters and motorcycles, you can opt to pay the lower rate which means that the bike is covered for 3rd party insurance only or alternatively opt to pay the higher rate which includes fully comprehensive insurance.

This means that if you were unfortunate to have an accident or have your rental bike stolen during your rental agreement and had opted for the higher rental rate which includes the fully comprehensive insurance cover the only liability you would have is 2,000Php excess.

The only time you would not be covered by the insurance is when you were proven to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and involved in an accident, this would void any insurance cover immediately.