Right now, applying for a driver’s license with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is relatively easy, at least compared with Japan’s application process and that of many other countries. Get behind the wheel, learn how to get from point A to B, and study the basic road rules and regulations—once you’ve ticked these boxes, you’re pretty much good to take the written and practical tests at any LTO office to get your license.
Local policies, however, do not require applicants to take official driving seminars and actual driving lessons from certified instructors—in some cases, people even learn to drive on their own. This not only makes the entire process quicker and very lenient, it also results in many unqualified motorists among our ranks.
But now the LTO is looking to change all that, as the agency has confirmed that a more rigorous application process is currently in the works.
“The new policy, once approved, will change the process and requirements, making [the application process] more stringent,” confirms LTO NCR East regional director Benjamin Santiago III.
“Before an applicant can be given a student permit, the applicant must undergo a mandatory 15 hours of lecture, which includes road safety,” Santiago continues. “A series of exams will follow before one gets to have a basic license.”
New drivers must also be taught by LTO-accredited and TESDA-certified instructors. For those who cannot afford to enroll in a proper driving school, the LTO says it will also be offering the same services at a lower fee.
Apart from these new requirements, the entire licensing system will soon be redesigned. Non-professional and professional license classifications will be made obsolete, and drivers will be categorized according to the vehicle that they have the skills to operate. However, there are no exact guidelines yet as regards how this new process will affect existing license bearers.
UPDATE: According to LTO Taguig Licensing Center assistant chief Vhiren Suba, the policy’s IRR is still being drafted. However, it was mentioned in a previous discussion that current license holders may need to take at least four hours of lectures and driving lessons from accredited instructors and schools in order to renew their permits. Do take note that this is yet to be finalized.
You can check out the report from Bandila below for more details:
What do you think of this new application process? Share your two cents in the comments section.