If you have been following the activities of EDSA boss, Bong Nebrija, you may have also noticed that a lot of their apprehensions involve the use of fake driver’s licenses.
It may be hard to believe but they are propagating to this day.
Just recently, Department of Transportation (DOTr) assistant secretary, Goddes Hope Libiran, warned anew against these online scams. The department is now coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to trace the people behind the operation of social media pages offering LTO license assistance.
These pages are not, in any way, affiliated with the LTO or the DOTr.
According to these pages, they offer legitimate driver’s licenses, including certificates of completion of both theoretical (TDC) and practical (PDC) driving courses, minus the hassle of going through the whole process.
Unfortunately, these pages are run by scammers who ask up to PhP6,500 in fees to process.
These online scams are nothing new. In fact, back in October of last year, the LTO has set up an investigation into the people behind these schemes.
Atty. Clarence Guinto, Director of LTO NCR West, said that people should not patronize these unscrupulous schemes, especially during pandemic. They present themselves as LTO personnel, or as someone who knows someone inside the LTO, and scam people into availing of their services for a hefty sum.
“This is a form of an online scam,” said Atty. Guinto, who also heads the Law Enforcement Service of the LTO.
These fixers offer their services online through various social media groups and promise legitimate driver’s licenses, or even vehicle registration, without the need to appear before the concerned LTO satellite office.
After receiving the required documents, they request payment (usually via online means). Then, these scammers will immediately block the victim on social media and are never heard from again.
“We are having the matter investigated to identify and pinpoint these unscrupulous individuals and those who have knowingly patronized their services in order for us to institute the appropriate criminal, civil, and administrative charges against them,” said LTO Assistant Secretary, Edgar Galvante.
You can’t fool the authorities
In this video by Gadget Addict (vlogger who covers MMDA operations), a fake driver’s license holder believes he has a legitimate license. A traffic officer believes otherwise. To find out if the driver’s license is real or not, the traffic enforcer simply shines his mobile phone’s flashlight behind the card, like what we showed in this story: Is your driver's license authentic or 'talahib'?
Another way to check if the driver’s license is legitimate or not is by simply texting LTO’s text service and it will immediately confirm the legitimacy of your driver’s license.
Fake DL is more expensive
If caught in possession of a fake driver’s license, the fines and penalties are high. LTO’s Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 imposes a PhP3,000 penalty for having a fake driver’s license plus, 1-year disqualification from getting a license for the erring motorist.
Additionally, it may include up to 6-years jail time for Falsification of Documents, under Article 1, Section 56 of the Revised Penal Code.
The next time you consider going through a shortcut or the “talahib” process, think about the hassle and possible jail time you might face.