drivers_licenseA little over two years ago I wrote about how I got my Philippine drivers license.
A few weeks ago I went to LTO again for a renewal of it. And as expected it was easy and fast.
First I went for a drug test, which includes only by giving a sample of urine and a short physical and vision test. Both tests together costs 400 pesos. In the drug tests they are looking for Methamphetamine and / or Tetrahydrocannabinol in the urine. (If you click on the names you will be redirected to Wikipedia with an explanation of these chemicals) As far as I could see it’s only for these two chemicals that the drug test is done. If there are no other drugs which are (more) dangerous … ;-) ….
With the results of this test I went to the (main) LTO office in Quezon City, but this can be done in every LTO office nationwide. Because of my age, above 60, I was even given a priority treatment sticker. Obviously I am seen as a senior citizen, but I didn’t like to use this privilege (maybe I should try this when going to a restaurant or supermarket to get 20% of). I had to fill in a form with a few details and proceded to the window where I handed over the papers and my ‘old’ drivers license. I was given a note to be paid at the cashiers window. The amount of 418 pesos was paid and about 20 minutes later I was called to have a new picture taken. This time I could keep my glasses on for the picture. In my previous license I was asked to remove my glasses for the picture. I do not know why. I also had to make my signature electronically to be printed on the license.

Another 20 minutes later I was called to collect my new drivers license, valid for 3 years. All together it took me about two hours including the drug test. I have noticed that for some reason my drivers license expires on my birthday again. If this is common practice for all drivers licenses I do not know.

Remember that a foreigner, who is in the Philippines temporary or for a longer time, is allowed to use a valid foreign drivers license but not longer than 90 days upon arrival date. Having a drivers license is much different from knowing how to drive, especially in the Philippines. If you haven’t read my post about driving in the Philippines just click on this link.
I plan to write an update on this subject soon with more driving experiences. So come back soon or even better subscribe to my newsletter for all updates on my posts.