Renewing one’s driver’s license in the Philippines used to be a major hassle and took up a good part of a day. There was also a time when the LTO itself ran out of actual licenses and had to make the motorist return another day just to get the actual ID.
With these unpleasant experiences in the past, I was not too excited to get my driver’s license renewed earlier this week. My license expired late last year but as I constantly missed being back in the Philippines during a working day, it took me a couple of months to finally do it.
Where to renew the driver’s license?
In my case, I opted to renew my license at the LTO La Loma office in Biak na Bato. The official hours are from 8AM to 5PM but I arrived at around 7:45AM to find medical examinations already underway.
Alternatively, motorists can also choose to renew their driver’s license during weekends. Mall outlets are open on Saturdays as well from 8AM to 5PM. You can find the list of LTO mall outlets HERE.
My experience in renewing my driver’s license
7:50AM – Arrival and Form-filling
I arrived at the LTO La Loma office at 7:45AM to find the customer service counter handling application forms for motorists to fill out. The form requires certain details such as driving restrictions, personal information such as number, height, weight, etc. most of which can be found in the expired driver’s license.
After filling out the form, I returned to the customer service counter where the staff member vetted my form and asked me to queue for the medical exam.
8:00AM – Medical Exam
As I arrived early, there were only 3 people ahead of me in the queue for the medical exam. The test itself is now computerized and focuses on checking your vision. I was charged a computer fee of Php 50 and Php 300 for the medical exam itself. I was relieved to find that previous inclusions to the medical portion such as urine testing was no longer required.
8:25AM – Photo-Taking
I was made to wait again for a couple of minutes until my name was called for photo-taking and signature. This was the longest wait I had to do during the entire process.
8:30AM – Payment
After the previous step, I proceeded to another window where payment was collected. I ended up paying around Php 727.63 as I was renewing a couple of months after my license expired. My penalty was Php 75.
8:40AM – Photo-Taking and Verification
This consisted of two steps. First was the photo-taking, biometrics and signature for the actual license. Immediately after, I was asked to check my details against a monitor to make sure the details they captured were correct.
8:45AM – Getting my License
It took only 5 minutes before I was called into a room where my newly-minted driver’s license was handed to me.
At 55 minutes, my waiting time for the driver’s license renewal was way below the duration I expected. I left the LTO before 9AM with plenty of time to do the rest of the day’s activities.