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MANILA, Philippines – As it continues to grapple with a shortage in driver’s license cards, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has ordered the extension of the validity of driver’s licenses that expire from April 3, 2023 to April 1, 2024.
“We have an automatic extension to those whose license expired from April 3, 2023 until April 1, 2024. It’s deemed extended automatically,” LTO head Vigor Mendoza II told Rappler in an interview.
“No need to go to the LTO. No need to pay anything,” he added, clarifying that there should be no penalties collected in relation to the expired licenses.
The extension will be valid until April 2, 2024 or until the number of plastic cards becomes sufficient, whichever comes first.
The LTO has also advised traffic enforcers to consider the technically expired licenses as valid for the duration of the extension period.
Meanwhile, motorists can also use their driver’s license Official Receipt (OR), which serves as a temporary paper license. Upon issuance of the OR, it will be stamped or printed with “Valid as Temporary Driver’s License Until Plastic Card is Released.” It should also include:
- Name of the issuing office and contact personnel
- Name and signature of releasing officer
- Screenshot of driver’s license card (front and bank) printed at the back of the OR.
The LTO also launched the electronic driver’s license in July, which motorists can access through the LTMS portal here. Although it acts as a valid driver’s license, Mendoza explained that only a few people have begun to use it.
“The electronic license, it’s not yet very popular. People don’t know how yet to use this on a day-to-day basis,” he told Rappler.
“But ultimately, down the road, it will serve as your license in lieu of the physical license. So you don’t really have to bring your license already. You just have to show your electronic driver’s license,” he said.
These various measures are expected to help motorists cope with a driver’s license shortage that has already been passed along by three other heads of the LTO before Mendoza took office.
After welcoming an initial batch of at least 5,000 plastic cards on Mendoza’s first day of office, the agency was slapped with a temporary restraining order that halted the delivery and production of the much-needed licenses. The court case, which involves the losing bidder of the contract for the plastic cards, continues to drag on. – Rappler.com