We have some good news for motorists that weren't able to renew their driver's license due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has announced that it has extended the validity of driver's licenses that expired during the ECQ. Upon the lifting of the restrictions, all expired driver's licenses will still be valid up to 60 days (or two months).
The 60 day count does not start from the day a driver's license expired according to LTO Executive Director Romeo Vera Cruz. The 60 day count begins from the end of the ECQ on 11:59 PM on May 15. That would make a license that expired between March 17 (ECQ implementation) to May 15 (ECQ relaxed) technically valid up until mid July 2020; by our count, that date would be July 14, 2020.
Moreover, no penalties will be incurred for the renewal of the expired driver's license. This also applies to motor vehicles that need to have their registration renewed. The LTO actually already applied this as early as March via a memorandum.
As for the renewal process, the LTO will limit its transactions once the ECQ has been lifted in order to observe health protocols and physical distancing measures. In addition, the LTO will also reduce the amount of personnel at the counters as a way to minimize exposure. The government agency, however, is considering to operate during Saturdays to accommodate renewals, as well as front liners.
Despite the extension provided by the LTO, they did mention that applicants must process their registration before the end of the grace period. That way, they avoid overcrowding the offices of the LTO.
With the ECQ set to be lifted on May 15, 2020, motorists that wish to renew or apply for a driver's license will be able to do so in the coming weeks. The government has already confirmed that more government functions (including the LTO's) will be available soon once General Community Quarantine (GCQ) has been implemented. Let's just hope that everyone will follow the physical distancing measures despite the more relaxed restrictions.