Stricter driver’s license requirements to be implemented by the LTO by November

As part of their agency-wide reform, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) revised the requirements of getting a professional driver's license to be effective on November 2015. This also includes rewarding those who has not committed a violation prior to renewal of their existing license.

The revised rules will ensure the fitness and capability of license card holders to drive on the country’s streets. They will also streamline the application process and make it more convenient for the public," Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya said.

LTO will publish 5 Administrative Orders which will cover all 4 types of LTO-issued licenses: Professional Driver's License (PDL), Non-Professional Driver's License (NPDL), Student Permit (SP), and Conductor’s License (CL).  This will significantly include stricter requirements on getting a PDL to operate tricycles, light and heavy vehicles, and even conductors.

In the new rule, PDL applicants with 2 or more citations of reckless driving during the validity of their current license will be disqualified.

Furthermore, applicants of PDLs to operate light vehicles will be required to have at least 6 months of valid SP prior to application. On the other hand, applicants of PDLs to operate heavy vehicles must have either a valid NPDL for at least 1 year or a PDL to operate light vehicles for 6 months.

On a lighter note, PDL and NPDL holders who has not committed any violation through the 3-year validity period is in for a treat. Upon renewal, their new license will now be valid for 5-years. This is meant to promote disciplined, law-abiding, and orderly driving.

LTO will also begin accepting medical certificates issued by any duly-licensed and practicing physician, instead of restricting these to accredited doctors stationed at LTO offices. The medical certificate form should be downloaded from LTO and DOTC websites for free and should've been issued 15 days prior. It should clearly state that the applicant is mentally and physically fit to drive, which includes the condition of his/her eyesight or hearing.

Lastly, lectures or seminars will not be conducted anymore prior to the written and practical examinations. Instead, reviewers will be given to SP holders and will also be made available to anyone at LTO offices and their website.

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