Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My LTO (Land Transportation Office) Experience

I was at the LTO on my first day here in Manila to renew my license. I'd like to share my very detailed experience so that the people out there would know what (and what not) to do when renewing your driver's license.

My flight arrived slightly delayed and I got here around 4.30am via Jetstar. We had breakfast at the Borough in Ortigas while waiting for the LTO office to open at 8am.

Now the thing is my license has been expired since Oct 2007 and according to the LTO website, if your license is expired for 2 -10 yrs, it is considered delinquent (click here, note that the fees on that link are not accurate and I'm not sure what happens if expired for more than 10 yrs, maybe start from student permit again?) Thus, you need to do the written and practical exam all over again which is not much different than a new license application - much to my detriment and disappointment (I know, my fault, I shouldn't have have waited so long but as you know I've been in SG for the past 4 yrs). I'll be honest with you to say that we approached a contact in LTO to find our way out of this but we were told we had to go to Pasay LTO because apparently in East ave they are VERY strict (which is good actually). As it was a Friday, we didn't want to brave the traffic all the way to Pasay so we decided to just go through the entire process at East Ave (a decision which cost me 5 freaking hours!).

Here are the steps which took 5 LooooonnNNnnggg hours:
1. Take Medical/Drug exam through an LTO accredited clinic (costs Php 400)

2. Fill out and submit application form with your expired license and medical/drug results

3. Have your picture and digital signature taken after your name is called (literally after your name is called as LTO has no digital queueing/numbering system or the like... aren't we in the 21st century now??!)

4. Pay for the application fee (Php 100) and computer fee (Php 67.63) after your name is called (seriously, computer fee??!)

5. Take the written examination after your name is called (it's good that they have a study room with review materials where you can go to while waiting for your name. It's funny though that the review materials contain the exact same questions and answers as the written exam haha!)

6. Proceed to "Puno Langka" for briefing prior to the practical driving test after your name is called (Now this was just hilarious, there literally was a "puno ng langka" (jackfruit tree) where people would huddle for the briefing. It's good though that the speaker gave driving tips and precaution however it was a total waste of time when she had to ask each and every person on which driving restrictions were they applying for [this is already indicated in the application form] and if you brought your own car or motorcycle for the driving test - you need to pay Php150 to rent the motorcycle and Php250 to rent the car if you didn't bring your own).

7. Take the practical driving test (another FAIL for LTO as this procedure took very long and you had to wait under the sun in an open area where only 2 motorcycles and 2 cars were being used at one time. Plus, the person who called out your name was using a very weak loudspeaker where you had to strain your neck to hear your name being called. Uggghhhh!)

hahaha yuck I look stupid

8. Go back to the cashier and pay for the following fees and charges after your name is called: (click here for full details)
License Fee - Php 350
Computer Fee - Php 67.63 (AGAIN??!!!!)
Penalty (more than 2 yrs expired) - Php 225

9. Collect your driver's license card and receipt after your name is called.

10. Praise God you made it through the LTO hellish experience.

It was really disappointing how the procedure took so long. Seriously 5 hours??! To think I was there at 8am plus they charge you computer fees for every procedure when in fact most of the steps were very manual. It's good though that at least this branch does not allow fixers and you really have to go through the entire process but 5 hrs is just too damn long. I was awake for more than 30 hours and it was really excruciating.

Lesson here is never EVER have your license expire for more than 2 years. There are so many LTO satellite offices around the country where you can have your license renewed in a much much speedy manner.

So there you go, I hope this blogpost is able to help. Goodluck on your next LTO adventure!


cary said...

very helpful, am on my way to renewing this friday, mine had been expired for 9 years. hahaha.-carissa (had to put my name as i dunno if it magically appears)

Shan Abellaneda said...

goodluck! let me know if you take 5 hrs as well haha

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