Everything you need to know about the LTO’s periodic medical exam for 10-year licenses

Be prepared if you qualify for one
by Drei Laurel | Nov 5, 2021
PHOTO: Angela Bayona

So, you’ve steered clear of traffic violations and managed to qualify for a 10-year driver’s license extension from the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Congratulations are in order, but there are a couple of new guidelines you’ll need to keep in mind once you’re due for a renewal.

One of the biggest changes the LTO has made is in regards to medical exams. Below is everything you need to know about the agency’s new medical policy for 10-year license holders.

You’ll need to take multiple medical exams.

Yes, you read that right. You will need to take more than one medical exam whether you’re getting a five- or 10-year LTO driver’s license.

Five-year driver’s license holders must undergo a periodic medical exam (PME) within 60 days prior to his or her third birthday since the license’s issuance. For example, if a license is renewed in 2021, you must undergo a medical exam within 60 days before your birthday in 2024.

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Holders of 10-year driver’s licenses, meanwhile, must undergo two PMEs. Both must be within 60 days prior to the holder’s fourth and seventh birthday since the issuance of the license. For example, if you renew your license in 2021, you must undergo a PME within 60 days before your birthday in 2025 and 2028.

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Is this schedule set in stone?

Not necessarily. A registered physician who conducts a PME may prescribe a more frequent schedule depending on the license holder’s age, existing conditions, and medical history. He or she will assess license holders in accordance with existing LTO medical examination guidelines.

Also worth noting is that the LTO will inform license holders of their prescribed PME dates. Licensees will be reminded by the agency 30 and sixty days prior to the PME deadline.

Where can I have a PME done?

At any LTO-accredited medical clinic or government health facility.

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What happens after a PME is conducted?

A registered physician must determine if the license holder is still fit to operate a motor vehicle. He or she will then issue a medical certificate containing the findings from the PME. A biometric fingerprint scan of both the physician and license holder will also be required prior to the certificate being electronically transmitted to the Land Transportation Management System.

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What happens if I fail the PME?

If the physician determines your condition has changed in a way that impacts your ability to operate a motor vehicle, your driver’s license may be reclassified and restrictions may be added to it. The LTO will then update and reprint your license card to reflect these changes.

If the physician decides you are temporarily unfit to operate a motor vehicle, your driver’s license may be suspended and stored until a specialist can certify you have recovered and are safe to be back on the road. The specialist’s advice may include a recommendation to impose restrictions, limit driving privileges, and require a retake of the LTO’s theoretical and practical exam.

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If it is determined that your incapacitation is permanent of irreversible, your driver’s license may be revoked.

In the last two cases, the license holder will be responsible for informing the nearest LTO office/licensing center of his or her temporary or permanent incapacity. The driver’s license must also be surrendered within six months of the incapacity’s onset.

Medical exams following accidents

Drivers who figure in a road crash resulting in loss of life, injury, or substantial damage to property must also undergo a medical exam in addition to the prescribed PME. This must be conducted within 72 hours following the accident at any LTO-accredited medical facility or government health clinic.

What if I fail to take the PME?

Your LTO driver’s license will be suspended until you comply with the requirement. Penalties and demerit points that apply to driving with a suspended license will be imposed if you are caught operating a motor vehicle without complying with the PME requirement.

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Drivers who do not comply with this requirement will also be fined P1,000 for every missed medical exam. What’s more, he or she will be disqualified from renewal for one year once those fines are paid.

What if I work or live abroad?

You will be exempted from undergoing PMEs provided you undergo a medical examination within 30 days upon arrival back in the Philippines before getting behind the wheel again.

You can check out the full implementing rules and regulations for PMEs here. Any questions? Let us know in the comments.

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PHOTO: Angela Bayona
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