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Travel | Got My Drivers License in One Day

One time before my renewal, I lost my driver's license.  I still have my UAE one, what got lost was the one I use here in the Philippines.  So I was hesitant to drive without one, but sometimes I get away with it (sssshhh).

Today was my day to finally do my renewal and this is my story for now.  All these happened inside the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Compound in Muntinlupa.

First off, to report my license card missing.  I went up to the renewal office in Muntinlupa and asked how to go about this.  The guy at the information desk was very helpful.  He "referred" me to a person at the back who prepares forms such as "affidavit of loss".  Going to see Arnel (the guy) was quite easy, I went up to him, and he immediately typed the form in my presence.  

After the form left his typewriter (still old school), told me to sign over my name, he then notarized it for Php250.  Fastest and easiest to earn Php250 for his sake.  After the accomplished document, I went back to the information desk and he then instructed me to get a medical examination.

For this LTO branch, they only have one medical office.  Great business as he takes all the certifications from new drivers and renewals like me.  I went there and immediately I was tested.  Basing from my last renewal, I was tested for drugs which was mandatory, so I thought I would pee in a cup and wait.  This time however they waived this procedure.  They only tested my eyes, took my weight and height.  Done in 5 minutes.  Boy that was fast.  My payment for the doctor took more time than the actual test.  Far more better business than my Notarized document.

Bringing the medical results back again to the main building to the information desk, the guy checked for the documents attached.  My notarized form and my medical certificate, he said everything was in order.  He signed the form and he queued it inside the office to be processed. 

After waiting for 10 minutes, my name was called and I was told to stand in front of a white wall for my picture.  Asked me then to put my fingers on the scanner, and asked for my signature to be digitized.  Easy and done.

After the pictorial I was told to wait.  This step took a long time.  During my wait, I realized I was already near the end of my renewal ordeal.  The reason for the long wait was, it was the cashier.  This is where I had to pay for renewal fees.  Not only this window (window 11) accepts payments from drivers' license fees, they also include those payments from car registrations and all other payments to be made to LTO.

It was a difficult wait as there were a lot of people in the same boat with me.  Although there were a lot of chairs for us, they still are not enough to cover those waiting.  I had to stand for sometime to finally find a seat.  I lost track of time waiting, as I finished reading and answering my emails.  Made research for my future articles, and read/ replied to my direct messages in Facebook.  Hey I even liked FB post of people I despised (just joking LOL)..  

When finally my name was called, I went up to Window 11, paid my renewal fees (amounting to Php900+).  They gave back my application form along with its attachments and asked to forward the same to Window 4 for my license card releasing. 

Actually during this time, I was not expecting to get my card.  Before coming to LTO I learned in previous news articles that they have a back log in issuing of these cards.  Having a paper license is okay as long as I can drive the streets of Manila.

When I submitted my papers to Window 4, they asked me to stand again in front of a wall to have my picture taken again.  I was wondering what was my first picture for?  Oh well, its red tape I guess, but since I wanted to get out of LTO, better follow the rules.

After picture, the lady told me to wait for my name to be called so again I waited.  This time however it was a quick one.  After maybe 5 minutes, they called my name and they handed me my license plastic card.  Wow, they are updated already.  Nowhere was I to be given a paper license.  Great work LTO.  I was happy and glad that this was prepared during my visit.  I won't be going back again here in LTO to get "the card".

Overall I started my renewal request around 130pm and I was done before 4pm.  If only the cashier was fast enough or just had a lot of cashiers, I could have just done this in an hour or so.  Having my plastic card license was a great accomplishment for them.  The only improvement that I can suggest or maybe aspire for is for them to process payments faster.

The present administration even with all the criticisms are doing something right for a change.  I can't complain now, but I do hope they won't rest on their laurels.  I hope they will still improve things in the LTO as there are still a lot of things to be done.  Maybe next time they will do my renewals in record time.

The still have 5 years to improve till my next renewal.  That time frame is another accomplishment I can be proud of.  My last license was only good for 3 years and 3 years goes fast.  Having it good for 5 years means I can use the time to do whatever I want, time for business, time for work, and best of all time for family.