Thinking of applying for a student permit or having your driver's license renewed but afraid of having to take a 15-hour lecture in one of the Land Transportation Office's (LTO) renewal centers? Well, it looks like the planned implementation of the lecture won't be happening any time soon.

Recently, the implementation of the 15-hour seminar requirement for student permit applicants (as well as the 8-hour lecture for driver's license holders) has just been temporarily suspended. Originally set to be implemented last April 6, 2020, the LTO decided to postpone it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the applicants required to sit closely with one another during one of the lectures, the LTO deferred its implementation in lieu of the government's strict health protocols and safety measures amid the pandemic.

Under the Memorandum Circular No. 2019 – 2176, new applicants looking to get a student's permit or a driver's license, as well as those looking to renew their permits/driver's license, will be required to attend a lecture from LTO accredited driving schools, or from the LTO itself. Not only that, but new applicants and those seeking to have their licenses renewed will also have to attend two phases of the course of instruction. These include Classroom/Theoretical Instruction and Practical Driving Instruction.

These lectures will not be free, however, as LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante mentioned that this is to add value to the work that the lecturers are putting up. By putting a fee for the application process, Galvante said that those who apply will put greater value on the topics and lessons that were discussed.

There is no exact date as to when the LTO plans to re-introduce the 15-hour and 8-hour lectures for student permit holders/applicants and license holders. But thanks to the LTO extending the validity of ECQ expired driver's licenses and vehicle registrations up to 2 months, those worried of having to take lectures won't have to. Well, for now.