I’m ten days away from my birthday, and aside from the obvious, it only means one thing: it’s time for my driver’s license renewal. I came to this realization when I saw my cousin’s tweet a few weeks back.
This year, my birthday falls on a Sunday, thus I will be able to file my birthday leave the next day; however, in the Land Transportation Office (LTO)’s guidelines, a penalty fee of Php75.00 (no more than $2.00) will be charged for late renewal (i.e., one day to one year from expiration date). According to Dad, they shouldn’t penalize me if I had it renewed the next day since my actual birthday fell on a weekend, but I didn’t want to take the risk. I wanted to get it done and over with, so I thought I’d settle it by the end of this week.
For the first time in a long time, I was in bed at nine o’clock last night to ensure that I wake up early today. I had my alarm set at five, but laziness got the better of me, so I slept in for another 30 minutes. When I’ve fully awaken, I spent another 30 minutes reading through missed emails and BBMs. I left the house fifteen minutes to seven and decided to drop by McDonald’s to get myself a large cup of cappuccino and a sausage McMuffin burger with egg.
When I arrived at the LTO at around 7:00AM, I was surprised to see a quite a number of people when government office hours don’t start until nine. I was immediately escorted to the Insurance building where I need to have my application assessed. For this post, below are the steps I did in renewing my driver’s license (I didn’t get to take pictures, though):
Step 1: I was instructed to the Insurance Building and had my application assessed. I paid Php400.00 (roughly $10.00) for the drug test and medical examination fee.
Step 2: I had my drug test taken first since I was a bit early. I was asked to fill out a three-page form prior to issuance of bottle for the urine sample. This step caused a 20–30 minutes delay because I had to go back thrice to fill the bottle to the brim.
While waiting, I had my picture taken as well as fingerprint scanning for documentation purposes. I also completed the rest of the medical examination in between waiting.
TIP: Ensure to drink lots of fluids prior in order to avoid such delay in case your bladder won’t cooperate.
Step 3: Once done, I was requested to proceed to Window 1 to fill out an application form. While on queue, a staff member handed out a waiver (Reminder to Motorists) that I needed to sign, conforming to all that was written there.
Upon completion, I submitted my application form back at Window 1, and was requested to wait by Window 7 for signature- and picture-taking.
Step 4: After having my signature and photo taken, I was told to hang around Windows 5 and 6. When my name was called, the staff member informed of the amount I needed to pay at the Cashier (Window 6). This time, I paid Php417.63 for the license and computer fee.
TIP: The breakdown of fee is in the lower-right hand corner of your application form. Ensure to prepare the total amount while on queue because the lady behind the counter won’t tell you how much you’re due.
Step 5: Wait to be called in at Window 9 for releasing of new driver’s license card and corresponding receipt.
Summary of Fees:
Medical Examination Php400.00
- Drug Test
- Eye/Weight/Height Assessment
License Fee Php350.00
Computer Fee Php 67.63
*Note: Penalty Fee:
1 Day to 1 Year: Php75.00
1 Year & 1 Day to 2 Years: Php150.00
More Than 2 Years: Php225.00
Sounds easy, right? Would you believe that the entire process took me four hours to complete? Exactly. I could have shared with you a blow by blow account of my misadventures today, but I don’t want to bore you out. Also, I’m too tired to rant about the long waiting time that caused me to stay up late at work today.
Just for laughs—here’s a scanned photo of my new driver’s license card: