LTO to start releasing driver's licenses with 5-year validity

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 28) — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will issue driver's license cards with five-year validity beginning August 29, LTO chief Edgar Galvante said Monday.

The agency will cater to up to 400 walk-ins who will apply for or renew their licenses at their main office on Tuesday, the LTO chief added.

"The issuance is limited muna doon sa magre-renew ng license simula bukas," he said.

[Translation: "The issuance is limited to those who will renew their licenses from tomorrow.]

The licenses were to be issued earlier, if not for a delay in the printing of the licenses, said Galvante.

"We thought the earliest possible time is August 29," he said.

LTO started accepting applications for and renewals of driver's licenses with five-year validity since October 2016, but issues with the printers' contracts stalled the card printing.

Galvante said they will start processing the backlog of 3.6 million driver's licenses with a five-year validity beginning September 2017.

"By next week, the whole of Metro Manila. By middle of September we have Regions 3, 4-A, and 11 (Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and Davao). Then sometime in October, the rest of the Philippines," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on August 2 signed the law extending the validity of the driver's license from three years to five years.

Republic Act (RA) No. 10930 effectively amended Section 23 of Republic Act No. 4136, otherwise known as the "Land Transportation (LTO) and Traffic Code."

"Except for student permits, all drivers' licenses shall be valid for five years reckoned from the birthdate of the licensee, unless sooner revoked or suspended," the law stated.

It added holders of professional and nonprofessional driver's licenses who do not commit violations in RA 4136 or any other traffic laws during the five-year period "shall be entitled to a renewal of such license of 10 years, subject to the restrictions as may be imposed by the LTO."

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Makoi Popioco contributed to this report.