Renewing your driver's license will be more convenient and streamlined after the Land Transportation Office (LTO) announced that they will be revising the rules and regulations in issuing drivers' licenses.

According to Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya, the LTO will be releasing five new Administrative Orders (AO) next week. The AOs will take effect 15 days after publication, or within the first half of November.

“The revised rules will serve two purposes: first, they will better ensure the fitness and capability of license card holders to drive on our streets; and second, they will streamline the application process and make it more convenient for the public,” said Abaya.

The revisions will cover all four types of licenses: Professional Driver's Licenses (PDLs), Non Professional Driver's Licenses (NPDLs), Student's Permits (SPs) and Conductor's Licenses (CLs).

There will be no more lectures or seminars before the written and practical exams, as the LTO will give out reviewers to those that were issued SPs (Also available at the LTO & DOTC offices and websites).

Applicants that fail the Basic Driving Theory Test and / or Practical Driving test twice will not be allowed to apply within 1 year. Those that fail the two tests thrice will not be eligible to apply for 2 years.

Also, the minimum age requirement for acquiring a SPs will be raised from 16 to 17 years-old, while the minimum age for NPDL applicants will increase from 17 to 18.

Aside from streamlining the process, the LTO will also impose stricter standards and requirements for PDL applicants.

For starters, the applicants must have had a SP for at least 6 months before applying. Those that plan to drive heavy vehicles must have held a NPDL for at least a year prior to the application, or a valid PDL to drive light vehicles for at least 6 months.

The LTO will also disqualify PDL applicants who have had two or more violations for reckless driving during their licenses' validity period. This stricter policy will be applied for all PDL holders that operate tricycles, light and heavy vehicles as well as conductors.

On a lighter note, those that didn't commit a violation during their 3-year validity period will be merited with a 5-year validity period the next time they will renew their license. This new merit system will be applied to PDL and NPDL holders. Those that had violations will retain the traditional 3-year validity.

Lastly, the LTO will begin to accept medical certificates issued by any licensed physician, not just those employed or accredited by the LTO offices. The medical certificates, however, must have been issued not more than 15 days prior.

For conformity's sake, the LTO will have a Medical Certificate form which will be available for download at the LTO and DOTC websites free of charge.