The LTO recently released a statement in which it would be temporarily close down its offices that are located in Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) areas for two weeks. This means that for the duration of MECQ within Metro Manila the public will not be able to transact with the government office. Those who want to transact will have to wait until August 19, 2020, when the Quarantine level gets dropped to a lower level again.
With that in mind, the question now arises what if your driver’s license expires during the MECQC period, and will you have to pay for late fee penalties?
To answer that, the LTO has released a new memorandum clarifying the issue. The government office has now stated that those with expiring licenses that fall on a day covered by either MECQ or ECQ, will not have to pay penalty fees. The memorandum further states that “the counting of the 7-day period for new registration transactions are suspended during the previously mentioned quarantine periods, and shall resume on the next working day.” To add to this the validity of student permits that expire during these quarantine periods will also be extended to the next working day.
However, the LTO states that only driver’s licenses that are due to expire can only be renewed without a penalty if it is presented for re-issuance on the next working day when its normal operations have resumed. If the extra day extension is missed then the license or student permit will become expired and void.
With an extension in play, the public is advised to get their documents ready for when the LTO offices reopen for transactions. The public is further advised to expect long lines at these branches and to properly adhere to the health and safety protocols put into place. Even with the quarantine limiting movement, it's still nice to see that the LTO has decided those with expired or expiring licenses and permits the chance to drive even during MECQ. With the expected number of people lining up to transact with the government office let's hope that it has a plan for the huge number of people waiting to renew.