Applying for Your Driver’s License Renewal? Read This Guide First

Moneymax

Moneymax

Last updated June 23, 2022

Renewing the driver’s license is a priority that every motorist must do. If you keep hitting the road with an expired license, you may face not only penalties but also legal repercussions.

Driver’s license renewal in the Philippines may be a long and arduous task. But it’s good to know that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is making major changes to make its processes easier for everyone.

The most exciting change that the LTO has implemented so far is the issuance of licenses with a 10-year validity.[1] This is good news for motorists, as this simply means fewer trips to the LTO for license renewals in the future. Nevertheless, some conditions are put in place, and it’s worth knowing all the recent modifications that the LTO has applied to its renewal procedure.

Here are some of the things you need to know about driver’s license renewal in the Philippines.  

Who is Eligible for the 10-Year License?

driver's license renewal - eligibility requirements
Photo: Evelyn Dimaano (Instagram)

Under Republic Act 10930, driver’s license holders without recorded traffic violations will be granted with licenses that are valid for 10 years. From an outsider’s perspective, this looks like an incentive, which is a good thing.

On the other hand, drivers with recorded traffic violations will be issued with licenses that have only a five-year validity.

Regardless of the driver’s license validity, every applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements for renewal:

  • Holder of a non-professional, professional, or conductor’s license that is not expired for more than two years
  • Holder of a non-professional, professional, or conductor’s license who intends to leave the country and the license is due for renewal within one year

Applicants with a delinquent driver’s license must be physically and mentally fit to drive a motor vehicle and have passed the written and practical examination.

What are the Driver’s License Renewal Requirements?

driver's license renewal - application form
Instagram photo by @prettytec

The driver’s license renewal requirements will depend on the type of applicant that you are. Take a look at these three categories and check where you belong.

License Renewal Requirements for Local Applicants

  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Original and photocopy of government-issued ID that bears your picture and signature
  • Original driver’s license
  • Copy of the medical examination certificate (only electronically transmitted to the LTO by an accredited clinic)
  • Comprehensive Driver’s Education (CDE) Certificate[2]

Requirements for Local Applicants with an Expired License for Over 2 Years 

  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Copy of the medical examination certificate (only electronically transmitted to the LTO by an accredited clinic)
  • Original expired driver’s/conductor’s license

License Renewal Requirements for OFWs

  • Duly accomplished application form
  • Photocopy of passport covering the following areas: first page, visa page, and departure in the Philippines and latest arrival overseas
  • Within 30 days upon arrival at the office where the renewal was made, the applicant has to provide the following:
    • Copy of the medical examination certificate (only electronically transmitted to the LTO by an accredited clinic)
    • Photocopy of passport (first and arrival pages)
    • Original manual Official Receipt (OR)

How to Renew Your Driver’s License in the Philippines in 2022

Generally, there are two ways you can renew your driver’s license: via a physical LTO office or via online. But if you’re an OFW or you have a delinquent driver’s license, you’ll be required to follow a different set of steps.

Walk-In Application Steps for Driver’s License Renewal

driver's license renewal - lto driver's license renewal office
Photo: poringstaaar (Instagram)
  1. Make sure first that you have an account on the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) portal. Otherwise, sign up here.[3]
  2. Take the CDE Online Validation Exam on the LTMS Portal. To access the online exam, log in to the portal, click the E-Learning tab on the top menu, and then select "CDE Online Validation Exam."
  3. If you get a passing score (at least 13 correct answers), print out your CDE certificate.
  4. Visit the nearest LTO branch. Get a queue number and wait for your number to be called.
  5. Once you're called, show your driver’s license ID and CDE certificate to the person-in-charge or LTO officer in the first window, and you’ll receive a document for the next step, which is the medical exam.
  6. Go to the medical exam kiosk and show the paper to the officer-in-charge and wait for your turn until you’re called and pay for the fees as required.
  7. Return to the LTO officer desk for the processing of your renewal together with your medical results.
  8. At the front desk, the officer will require you to log in on the LTMS Portal using the public computer to verify your details—ensure they are correct or you may also update any information as needed. Make sure you know your email address and password. Don’t click the “Remember Username” as your account might still be logged and the next applicant will have access to your account. Keep in mind that once you finish verifying your information with the officer, click the Log Out button.
  9. Wait for your turn for your biometrics and headshot picture-taking. You may choose to retain your current photo as well.
  10. Wait for the release of your driver's license card.

If you’re a senior citizen, PWD, or pregnant woman, you can take advantage of the special or priority lane as it will take about only 20 to 30 minutes tops, depending on the queue. Some LTO branches have a dedicated express lane for frontliners and riders.

Otherwise, the process could take about an hour or more, especially if you come during peak hours. It’s best to come before the opening hours to avoid the crowd.

How to Book an Online Appointment for LTO Driver’s License Renewal Application

  1. Log in to your LTMS account.
  2. Take the CDE Online Validation Exam on the LTMS Portal. To access the online exam, click the E-Learning tab on the top menu, and then select "CDE Online Validation Exam."
  3. If you get a passing score (at least 13 correct answers), download your CDE certificate.
  4. On your LTMS dashboard, click Licensing.
  5. Read through the LTMS Terms of Use. Once you’re done, click the Accept button.
  6. You’ll be then directed to the online application form. Choose Driver’s License for License Classification.
  7. Click Add Medical Certificate. Then, input your Medical Certificate Number. You'll also have to upload the copy of your CDE certificate.
  8. Click Verify. Then, select Renewal for the type of application.
  9. Click the Next button. On the next page, select your desired appointment schedule and LTO branch.  
  10. Pay the renewal fees via your chosen payment channel.
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Driver’s Licence Renewal Steps for OFWs  

  1. Have your authorized representative go to the nearest LTO branch. They’ll then get a queue number and wait for their number to be called.
  2. Once the authorized representative is called, they will submit all the requirements.
  3. The authorized representative then proceeds to the cashier to pay the fees.
  4. The authorized representative will then receive the official receipt that will serve as the temporary driver’s license.
  5. Within 30 days of your return to the Philippines, submit all the remaining requirements, which include the online medical certificate, photocopy of passport, and the original receipt.
  6. Have your photo and biometrics taken.
  7. Get your Driver’s License card.

Steps for Applicants with a Delinquent Driver’s License

  1. Head to your preferred LTO branch. Get your queue number and wait to be called.
  2. Once called, submit all the requirements.
  3. Proceed to the cashier to pay the fees.
  4. Take the written examination. If you pass, you’ll proceed to the actual driving test. But if you fail, you’ll receive a computer-generated letter, prompting you to come back the following day at your convenience.
  5. Take the actual driving test. If you pass, you’ll be asked to complete the rest of the steps.
  6. Proceed to the cashier to pay the required fees.
  7. Proceed to the biometric/encoding window. Fill out the form for the encoding of your complete details in the new LTO-IT system.
  8. Get your official receipt and Driver’s License card.

How Much is the Renewal of Driver’s License?

driver's license renewal fees
Photo: @kim0fthew0rld (Instagram)

The LTO fees you’ll need to pay will depend on the type of license to be renewed and the type of applicant that you are. Here are the driver’s license renewal fees in the Philippines.

Driver’s License Renewal Fees for Local Applicants

Type of FeeRegular FeeLicense Expired for 1 Day to 1 YearLicense Expired for More Than 1 Year to 2 YearsLicense Expired for More Than 2 Years
License fee₱585₱585₱585₱585
PenaltyNone₱75₱150₱225
Application feeNoneNoneNone₱100
Total₱585₱660₱735₱910

Driver’s License Renewal Fees for OFWs

Type of FeeRegular FeeLicense Expired for 1 Day to 1 YearLicense Expired for More Than 1 Year to 2 Years
License fee₱585₱585₱585
PenaltyNone₱75₱150
Total₱585₱660₱735

Where Can I Renew My Driver’s License in the Philippines?

The processing of your driver’s license renewal application is done at the following offices.

  • LTO Central Office (License Section)
  • LTO Licensing Centers
  • Authorized District Offices or Extension Offices

Read more: Complete List of LTO Branches in Metro Manila

Tips to Make Your Driver’s License Renewal Safer and More Efficient

If you want to fast-track your driver’s license renewal, you may keep the following in mind. Some of these tips will also help you stay safe while you’re outdoors.

1. Settle Past Traffic Violations

driver's license renewal - how to check violations

Before you head to a LTO branch for your driver’s license renewal, see to it that all your traffic violations have been settled. Pay all your fines ahead of time. Settling the fees on the day of your renewal will just delay the entire process.

You can check your unsettled violations online. Just log in to your account at the LTO online portal. Then click the Violations icon. There, you'll see your demerit points and unsettled apprehensions. If the system shows 0 Points and "NO UNSETTLED APPREHENSIONS FOUND," congratulations! That means you're qualified for the 10-year driver's license validity.

2. Double-Check Your Documents

If you’re a walk-in applicant, fill out your application form in advance. That way, you’ll be able to save time and move on to the next step of your renewal. After filling out your form, double-check the details that you’ve inputted. Any inconsistencies and inaccuracies will just delay your application

3. Have Your Medical Exam in Advance

driver's license renewal tips
Instagram photo by @adriancruz20

A medical certificate is one of the driver’s license renewal requirements. Typically, driver's license applicants get a medical certificate when they undergo a medical examination on the day of their license renewal.

However, to avoid standing in a long line, you may want to have your medical exam in advance. A few days before your appointment date, undergo a medical check-up at an LTO-accredited clinic.[4] Getting a medical certificate for your driver's license renewal in the Philippines will cost you ₱500.

Note that the medical exam is taken not only on the year of your driver's license renewal but also every third year. That means if you have a license with a 10-year validity, your medical exam should happen every fourth and seventh year. If your license is valid for five years only, then you should also have your medical exam every 3rd year.

4. Bring Some Snacks and Water

You’ll never know how long the queue will be. Moreover, you won’t have any idea of how long each renewal step will take. Be prepared by bringing snacks and refreshments with you. A bottle of water and some crackers will suffice.

5. Bring Your New Normal Essentials

The pandemic is not over yet, so don’t be complacent when going out. Bring your new normal essentials, such as hand sanitizer, face mask, and face shield. Furthermore, always follow the safety protocols at the LTO branch.

6. Avoid Fixers at All Costs

The whole driver’s renewal process may be quite tedious, but that’s not an excuse to get a fixer. Working with a fixer isn’t just an added cost. It’s one way of encouraging and perpetuating corruption in a government agency. Nevertheless, you’ll run the risk of facing legal repercussions in case you get caught.

Final Thoughts

Now is the best time for a driver’s license renewal, as the new driver’s license has 10-year validity (provided that you have an untarnished driving record). While there have been some improvements on the renewal process (i.e. online application), you must still manage your expectations and plan things well. That way, you’ll be able to get your hands on your new driver’s license sooner than expected.

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