The process of renewing your LTO driver’s license today is slightly different from how it was in the past. Before, you could simply walk into a licensing center, submit your requirements, pay the fee, and get your license within a few hours. Now, you cannot just show up at the LTO’s office and renew your license. You have to do some things first, such as taking and passing an exam, before you can renew your license. This is done to ensure that only applicants who have sufficient driving skills and knowledge of road safety and proper road etiquette can renew their licenses.
This change in the renewal process also comes with good news. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is now issuing driver’s licenses that are valid for ten (10) years, in accordance with Republic Act (RA) No. 10930, which revised the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. This means that you do not have to renew your license as often as before, and you can enjoy the benefits of having a longer validity period. However, this also means that you have to meet certain conditions and requirements to qualify for the 10-year driver’s license. In this article, we will explain what these conditions and requirements are and how you can renew your driver’s license with a 10-year validity.
Who is Eligible for a Ten-year License?
To be eligible for a 10-year validity driver’s license, you must have a spotless driving record in LTO. This means that you have no demerits, tickets, or infractions in your driving history. If you have any demerit points, you will only qualify for a 5-year validity driver’s license.
Your driving record can be affected by violations that are caught by HPG or LTO-deputized traffic marshals. They can confiscate your license, and it will be recorded in the LTO. This happened to my wife, who was caught overspeeding in SCTEX in 2017. When she renewed her driving license in 2022, she only received a 5-year validity license. This was even though the violation occurred five years before the renewal. On the other hand, an MMDA enforcer flagged me in 2019 for a minor traffic infraction. But it had no impact on my record, and I was able to renew my license with a 10-year validity in 2023.
What are the Documents Needed?
Here are the requirements needed to renew your driver’s license in the Philippines:
- Your expiring or expired driver’s license: You must bring your original driver’s license, whether it is professional or non-professional, when you renew it. If you have lost your expiring or expired license, you must obtain an affidavit of loss from a notary public. For more information about lost license cards, please refer to this article: How to Replace Lost Driver’s License
- Medical Certificate: Get this one from an LTO-accredited clinic. You can get this certificate before your renewal date to save time and avoid long queues. You do not need to give urine or stool samples because the medical exam only checks your vision, blood pressure, and general health condition. The facility will electronically transmit your medical certificate to LTO.
- Comprehensive Driver’s Education (CDE) certificate: To renew your license, you need a CDE certificate, which you can obtain by passing the Comprehensive Driver’s Education Exam. You can take this exam online through the LTMS Portal. You have to answer 25 questions on local traffic rules and get at least 20 correct answers to pass. You can print the CDE certificate after passing the exam and present it for your renewal.
- Application Form for Driver’s License (ADL): You can find the application form for license renewal at any LTO branch or LTO Driver’s License Renewal Center (DLRC). Please fill out the form clearly and provide all the required information.
Renewing your driver’s license may not be possible if you have too many demerit points from traffic violations unless you submit some additional requirements. Here are the additional requirements, depending on your situation:
- If you have five (5) to nine (9) demerit points on record, submit a Certificate of Completion of the Driver’s Re-Orientation Course.
- For applicants with ten (10) or more but less than forty (40) demerit points, submit a Certificate of Completion of the Driver’s Re-Orientation Course and proof of passing the Theoretical Examination.
How to Renew a Driver’s License in LTO
Now that you have all the requirements, it is time to renew your driver’s license. You can do this at any LTO regional or satellite office or LTO Driver’s License Renewal Centers (DLRC), which are usually located in malls. However, if you want to change your address on your license, you cannot go to a DLRC because they only handle license issuance and renewals. You have to go to a regional or satellite office to process a change of records transaction.
Without further delay, here is our step-by-step guide on how to renew a driver’s license in LTO.
1. Create an LTMS Portal Account
Well, you need this first before you can take the CDE exam and print your certificate. But let’s assume you do not have it yet.
To create an LTO portal account, follow our comprehensive guide on LTO Portal account creation.
2. Generate the CDE Certificate
To take the CDE Exam and print your certificate, you need to log in to the LTMS portal. You will need your 15-digit username and your chosen password. Then, click on the E-Learning tab and select the CDE Online Validation Exam option. After that, click on the Start Exam button and begin the exam. You need to get 80% or at least 20 correct answers out of 25 questions. This is the passing score for the exam and the requirement to create your certificate. There is no time limit for the exam.
If you want to prepare for the exam, you can use our free CDE Online Validation Exam Reviewer with mock exams that use actual exam questions.
3. Go to LTO and Submit Documents
Visit the nearest LTO office or LTO Driver’s License Renewal Center. Ask the guards where to begin your transaction. They will usually direct you to customer service, but in some offices, they will give you the application form and queue number themselves.
Hand in your fully completed application form and requirements to Window 1. The evaluator will verify your documents. If they are complete and valid, he or she will forward them to the next step.
Return to your seat and wait until your queue number is called.
4. Pay the Renewal Fee
When your name is called, go to the cashier window and pay the renewal fee. The renewal fee is PHP 585.00 for both pro and non-pro license renewals. If your license has expired, you will have to pay an additional fee, depending on how long it has been expired.
- One day to one year: PHP 75.00
- One year and one day to two years: PHP 150
- More than two years: PHP 225
Return to your seat and wait for your queue number to be called again.
5. Get Ready for Biometrics Capture
When your name is called again, proceed to Window 3 for your biometric capture. They will record your photograph, signature, and fingerprint data.
Make sure you comb your hair and freshen up before you renew your license. You don’t want to end up like me. I forgot to comb my hair before they took my picture, and now I have to live with an ugly license photo for ten years. Or maybe it’s not my fault; maybe their cameras are just low-quality.
6. Wait for the Release
The last step is to wait for Window 4 (Releasing) to call your name and give you your renewed driver’s license. They will print your license and have it ready for you to sign the driver’s license release log. If you have a clean driving record with no violations, you will receive a license with a 10-year validity period.
The time it takes to renew your driver’s license may vary depending on where you do it and how many people are there that day. If you go to an LTO Driver’s License Renewal Center, it may take you from 25 minutes to 1 hour. If you go to the LTO office without an LTMS account, it may take you an extra hour or two, or they may ask you to come back another day or until you have an LTMS account.
How to Renew a Driver’s License Online
You can also renew your driver’s license online using the LTMS Portal. This way, you can upload your documents, pay the renewal fee, and schedule your appointment for the biometric capture. However, this process is not completely online, as you still have to go to an LTO office for the final step. However, it will significantly reduce the application time compared to the process without an online appointment.
Step 1. Log in to the system using your username and password. For more information about using the LTO Portal for various transactions, please refer to this guide: LTO Portal Guide
Step 3. Tap the Driver’s License button to highlight it, then click the Add Medical Certificate link.
Step 4. If you already have a medical certificate from an LTO-accredited clinic, enter the Medical Certificate Number in the space provided. Click the Verify button. If it is valid, you will be redirected to another window.
Step 5. Select the application type you want to apply for. Click the Renewal option, then click the Next button.
Step 6. Set your LTO appointment schedule and time.
Step 7. Choose your preferred payment channel and pay the required renewal fees.
Step 8. Go to the LTO office on your appointment date. Submit all the required documents and have your biometrics captured. Wait for the issuance of the renewed driver’s license.
Depending on your luck, you may get your license printed on a plastic card or on paper. If the LTO office where you processed your renewal does not have plastic cards yet, you will receive a paper license. But don’t worry; you can always use the digital ID that is available on your LTMS account.
I Now Have a 10-year Validity License. What’s Next?
You can now drive until your next license renewal, whether it is in 5 or 10 years. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has waived the Periodic Medical Examination (PME) requirement for holders of driver’s licenses with five-year and 10-year validity. This means that you only need to undergo one medical exam before renewing your license.1
The LTO made this decision based on the findings that PME does not prevent road accidents. “There’s no empirical data saying that the Periodic Medical Examination could prevent road crashes,” said LTO chief Jay Art Tugade.
The LTO amended its Memorandum Circular 2021-2285, which implements Republic Act 10930. The circular states that holders of driver’s licenses with five-year validity should have a medical exam by the third birthdate from the issuance of the license, while holders of driver’s licenses with 10-year validity should have a medical exam by the fourth and seventh birthdates from the issuance of the license.
Under the amended circular, the medical exam is only required 60 days before or on the specified renewal date for both types of licenses.
For Filipino driver’s license holders working abroad, they still need to have a medical exam within 30 days of their arrival in the Philippines before they can drive in the country.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the frequently asked questions related to driver’s license renewal in LTO:
1. How can I renew my driver’s license that has been expired for more than 10 years?
No. LTO guidelines prohibit the renewal of driver’s licenses that have expired for more than 10 years. You have to apply for a student permit again and start from the beginning.
2. Can I renew without creating an LTMS Account?
No. You cannot take the CDE Validation Exam and generate a CDE Certificate without having an LTMS account
3. Is there an age limit for driver’s license renewal?
No. You can renew your driver’s license at any age, as long as you pass the medical examination.
4. Can I drive with an expired driver’s license?
No. Driving a vehicle with an expired license is illegal, even if you are going to an LTO office to renew it.
5. How can I know if I have demerits, infractions, or unsettled traffic violations?
To check your unsettled violations online, log in to your account at the LTO online portal and click on the ‘Violations’ icon. You’ll be able to view your demerit points and any outstanding apprehensions. If the system displays ‘0 Points’ and ‘NO UNSETTLED APPREHENSIONS FOUND’, congratulations! You’re eligible for a 10-year driver’s license validity.
Renewing your driver license in the Philippines can be a simple and straightforward process if you follow this comprehensive guide. Although it may seem like a hassle, you should remember that it is a legal requirement for all drivers in the country. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has made significant improvements to the renewal process in recent years, making it faster and easier than ever before. You can complete the renewal process quickly and efficiently by preparing the necessary documents and fees and following the steps carefully.
However, you should also avoid dealing with fixers who promise to expedite the process for you. Dealing with fixers is not only a waste of money but also a form of corruption and a violation of the law. As a responsible driver, you should renew your license through the proper channels and keep it valid at all times. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of having a 10-year validity license and avoid any penalties or hassles on the road.
- CNN. “LTO Scraps Periodic Medical Exam Requirement for Driver’s License Holders,” n.d. https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/4/16/LTO-scraps-periodic-medical-exam.html. ↩︎