The Land Transportation Office has just made an announcement: they will be making the new Driver's License (DL) with the 10-year validity period available for motorists starting October 28 this year.
This program has been much awaited by licensed drivers, as it means fewer trips to the LTO to renew a license. In the past, the LTO issued licenses that were valid for only 3 years, but that has since been extended to 5 since the administration took over in 2016. Now they're pushing forth with the new 10 year validity period, even though some of the doctors affiliated with medical examination centers attached to LTO renewal offices had their reservations.
But the LTO has made it clear that they won't just be handing out 10-year licenses to anyone. A motorist must be worthy of the longer license validity, and this is if the motorist doesn't have a prior traffic violation before they renew. If there is a (or are) violation(s), the shorter 5-year validity will be issued; at least that's our understanding of the situation and the memo.
LTO says that the 10-year licenses will be issued in NCR for the time being, and asks motorists to stay tuned from announcements from regional offices.
We also sent a query to the LTO as to how a motorist can know ahead of time if they are actually qualified. We also need to know what time frame (e.g. like a statute of limitations) the LTO is looking at when it comes to issuing or withholding a 10-year license. For example, if a motorist had a speeding violation 15 years ago, does that mean they can't get a 10-year license? How does a no-contact apprehension factor in?
The answer to that, however, can be found if you log on to the LTO's portal where you'll register and enter your license number, expiry, and DL serial number on the back of the card. After proceeding, you'll need to wait for an email from the LTO to be able to activate your account with a link.
Once you do get the activation link and update your data, you can check if you don't have any violations in their system. In our case, there were no violations.
More importantly agency says that motorists need to undergo a Comprehensive Driver's Education (CDE) program to get a certificate. The LTO says the materials are available at their LTO offices, accredited driving schools, as well as their online portal (portal.lto.gov.ph).
On the LTO Portal, we can't seem to find a CDE anywhere apart from the Online Validation Exam. We're currently taking the OVE to see how we do, and we'll report on the issues we found with it later if it is in fact the CDE, albeit with a different name.
The other, and perhaps the most unusual part of the LTO portal is the Online Refresher Course. You can browse through the many slides (albeit numbered only, no description) or you can sit through the two part video that the LTO had uploaded to their YouTube channel on October 8, 2021.
Shown above is the screenshot of LTO's Comprehensive Driving Course. It is 2 hours and 25 minutes long.
This one is the screen shot of Part 2 of the LTO's Comprehensive Driving Course. It is 3 hours and 8 minutes long.
Do you have 5 hours and 33 minutes to spare to learn about defensive driving, road rules, courtesy, first aid, and BLOWBAGETS? If you do, get comfortable and enjoy the two videos from the Land Transportation Office.
While there's no solid mandate that explicitly says that these are requirements, do remember that having a driver's license is a privilege and not a right. Educating yourself on how to be a knowledgeable, responsible driver will always be a good thing. And at this point, that could help you avoid future violations so you can get a valid license for 10 years.