Soon, it will be much more difficult to get a driver’s license as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has just released a memorandum circular that details the required driving instruction seminar hours for each kind of license.
New student permit, license applicants and license renewal applicants must show proof that they have attended and completed the required number of hours before being allowed to apply for, or renew their license.
Tough on students
These new requirements are in line with President Duterte’s mandate to require driving seminars for all license holders in order to mitigate road accidents and improve driver discipline. This is merely a memorandum circular and they are NOT the current requirements yet. The LTO will announce WHEN these requirements will be officially applied.
They are as follows:
For student permit applications, each applicant must show proof of having attended a minimum of 15 hours of theoretical driving classroom seminars from LTO-accredited driving schools or the LTO itself.
For driver's license applicants, it’s a minimum of 8 hours of hands-on driving lessons from an LTO-accredited instructor from an LTO-accredited driving school or the LTO itself. Written and practical exams must be a part of this curriculum.
The requirements change for the applicants for renewal, particularly if they have demerits on their license.
For the first renewal of a license with 5-year validity, it’s a minimum of 8 hours theoretical driving classroom seminars.
For license renewals after the first with 5-9 demerit points, it’s a minimum of 4 hours theoretical driving classroom seminars.
For license renewals after the first with 10 or more demerits, it’s a minimum of 8 hours theoretical driving classroom seminars.
It gets much worse for those with more demerits, ranging from 10 or more. For every 10 demerits points, an additional 4 hours of intervention program seminars have to be attended.
Even if you have less than 10 demerits, if you have committed the same violation at least three times, you will also be required to attend 4 hours of intervention program seminars.
Take note, these intervention seminars are on top of the already required theoretical driving seminars. Have 20 demerits on your license, and that’s 8 hours theoretical driving and 8 hours intervention.
Tough on schools
The requirements are not only tough on students. They’re tough on driving schools as well. Each driving school must have instructors free from violations for the past 12 months, possess driving instruction certification, passed drug and psychological tests, and passed the accreditation exam.
The driving school itself must have a maneuvering area 14 x 14 meters, a classroom with 1.5 meters of space per student, at least 2 light 4-wheeled vehicles (manual and automatic), at least 2 motorcycles (manual and automatic), all of which must not be more than 7 years old, with appropriate “student driver” markings.
For the complete list of new requirements, the memorandum circular can be downloaded here.
These new, stringent requirements are designed to ensure that those applying for a driver’s license truly do grasp the rules and ethics of the road. It is hoped that these new requirements, along with the new demerit system will weed out any bad drivers from the road.