MANILA – As part of its agency-wide reform, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will be imposing higher standards and stricter requirements for drivers in place of its revised rules for drivers’ licenses that will be implemented next month.
“The revised rules will serve two purposes: first, they will ensure the fitness and capability of license card holders to drive on the country’s streets; and second, they will also streamline the application process and make it more convenient for the public,” Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya said.
The LTO also has five Administrative Orders (AOs) which will cover all types of licenses: professional driver’s licenses (PDLs), non-professional driver’s licenses (NPDLs), student’s permits (SPs) and conductor’s licenses (CLs).
Aiming to give PDLs only to qualified drivers, light vehicle operators will be required to have an SP for at least six months while heavy vehicle operators will be required to have an NPDL for at least one year or one PDL for operating light vehicles for at least six months.
Currently, there has been a three-year validity period for PDL licenses. A new merit system will incentivize good behavior and disciplined drivers who have not committed a violation while holding the present license, as the new system will entitle them to a five-year validity period for the renewal of the licenses. Those who committed violations will only be eligible to the regular three-year validity period for renewed licenses.
“It’s also an incentive for drivers to behave and obey traffic rules. That’s a balance opportunity to work and earn a living and seguridad at kaligtasan ng pasahero (security and safety of the passengers),” Abaya said.
The LTO will no longer conduct seminars prior their written examinations and practical driving tests any more but will release reviewers containing possible questions to the exams. These will be made available at LTO offices and online.
The agency will be accepting medical certificates issued by licensed physicians rather than only accepting these from accredited doctors in the office.
Should an applicant fail the Basic Driving Theory Test and/or the Practical Driving Test twice, he/she will not be allowed to apply for a license within a year. Should an applicant fail the tests thrice, he/she will not be allowed to reapply within two years.
There will also be four different exams for light vehicle drivers, heavy vehicle drivers and conductors – these drivers used to take the same exam.
Lastly, for the SP applicants, the minimum age requirement of 16 years old will be raised to 17 years old. And for the NPDLs, the minimum age requirement of 17 years old will be raised to 18 years old.