The Land Transportation Office will be making revisions to the existing rules and regulations for those applying for both professional (PDL) and non-professional driver's licenses (NPDL), as well as student permits (SP) and conductor's licenses. Several administrative orders will be published by the agency next week, which will take effect 15 days later or within the first half of November.
The agency will begin cracking down on professional licenses, imposing stricter rules and requirements on those looking to apply or renew. While they've imposed a few tighter regulations, several revisions have been made to make the application process simpler as well as more convenient.
Here are the changes:
* Applicants for PDLs to operate light vehicles must have had a valid SP for at least six months prior to the application.
* In cases of heavy vehicles, the PDL applicant must have either a valid NPDL for at least one year prior to the application, or a valid PDL to operate light vehicles for at least six months prior to the same.
* PDL applicants who have had two or more citations for reckless driving during the validity period of their existing license will be disqualified.
* For the convenience of applicants, the LTO will begin accepting medical certificates issued by any duly-licensed and practicing physician, instead of restricting these to accredited doctors stationed at LTO offices. Applicants can have themselves examined by a doctor of their own choosing, at a time and place convenient to them. However, the revised rules require that a medical certificate submitted during application should have been issued no more than 15 days prior. The LTO will not accept medical certificates that are over 15 days old. For uniformity, the LTO will provide a Medical Certificate form that will be free of charge and will be available for downloading from the DOTC and LTO websites. The form must state that the applicant is physically and mentally fit to drive, as well as the condition of their hearing and eyesight.
* Lectures or seminars prior to the written and practical examinations will no longer be conducted by the agency. Instead, the LTO will release reviewers containing all possible questions to the public. The reviewers will be given to those who are issued SPs, and will be made available to anyone at LTO offices and on the websites of the DOTC and the LTO.
* Applicants who fail the Basic Driving Theory Test and/or the Practical Driving Test twice shall not be allowed to apply for the same within a period of one year. An applicant who fails either of the tests for the third time will not be allowed to apply for a period of two years.
* PDL or NPDL holders who have not committed any violation during the three-year validity period will be entitled to a five-year validity period for their next license upon renewal. For those who have committed a violation, they will be eligible for the regular three-year validity period only upon renewal.
* The minimum age requirement for SPs will be raised from the current 16 years old to 17 years old. In the same vein, the minimum age for NPDL applicants will be raised from 17 years old to 18 years old.
There you have it. Heads-up to anyone set to apply for a driver's license in the coming weeks. Our favorite revision is the one that no longer requires applicants to go to the scammers clinics stationed at LTO outlets. Cheers!