Thinking of applying for a new student permit soon? Well, you might have to wait until August 4 as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) recently announced that it will be temporarily suspending the issuing of student permits.

According to LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante, this was done in order to prepare for the shift to the mandatory requirement of a 15-hour theoretical driving course for all new applicants starting on August 3, 2020.

“Effective July 1, isu-suspend muna namin ang pag-issue ng student permit kasi by August, ire-require na na dapat 'yung nag-apply ng student permit went through these 15 hours of theoretical,” said Galvante.

[Effective July 1, we will be temporarily suspending the issuance of student permits because, by August, we will require those applying for a student permit to go through the 15 hours of theoretical]

Last January, the LTO released Memorandum Circular No. 2019 – 2176 wherein it will require driving instruction seminars to each kind of license. These include new student permit, license applicants, and license renewal applicants. Under the new M.C., those that wish to get a student permit are required to attend a minimum of 15 hours of theoretical driving course before they're allowed to apply or renew their license/permit.

LTO to temporarily stop issuing student permits starting July 1 image

Originally, the LTO said that student driver applicants will be required to attend the 15-hour lecture by April 6, 2020. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the LTO had to postpone its implementation.

Come August 3, 2020, student permit applicants will now be required to undergo the theoretical lessons. This is why the LTO had to temporarily suspend the issuance of permits as both the LTO and driving schools are setting up where student permit applicants can enroll.

These lectures will not be free of charge according to the LTO. Galvante said that this is in order to add value to the work that the lecturers will do to teach up and coming drivers. By putting a fee for the application process, Galvante said that applicants will put greater value on the topics and lessons that were discussed.

With the mandatory theoretical driving lectures set to be introduced, the LTO believes that this will help in making new drivers more disciplined on the road, as well as be more courteous. Whether this will be effective to get more educated drivers on the road and behind the wheel, however, remains to be seen.