Your driving offenses will soon go on permanent record. This is because the Land Transporation Office (LTO) is planning to employ a demerit system for all drivers. This demerit system hopes to keep closer tabs on all drivers’ records. It will also determine who gets the right to receive the coveted 10-year license validity.
This is not a new ruling. It is based on Republic Act 10930, 'An act rationalizing and strengthening the policy regarding driver's license by extending the validity period of driver's licenses, and penalizing acts in violation of its issuance and application for those purposes Section 23 of Republic Act No. 4136 as amended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 398 and Executive Order No. 1011, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.’ The Implementing Rules and Regulations to enforce this are being finalized as we speak.
The demerit system is similar to how other countries deal with traffic violators. Drivers and riders will receive a demerit point (or more) on their license for each violation. Points incurred will be accumulated throughout the validity period of the license. They will revert back to zero upon renewal of the driver's license. However, the LTO says all points incurred will be archived and form part of the driver's permanent record.
The number of demerit points will depend on the violation. They fall under three categories: Grave Violations worth 5 demerit points, Less Grave Violations worth 3 demerit points, and Light Violations worth 1 demerit point.
Drivers who have accumulated at least 5 points will be required to take a complete reorientation course by the LTO before they are allowed to renew their license. Those who accumulate 10 or more demerit points shall be required to pass the theoretical examination on top of the reorientation course. Finally, a driver who has accumulated at least 40 demerit points will automatically have his license revoked by the agency.
This ruling extends to drivers of public utility vehicles (PUV), who will be dealt with double demerit points for every traffic violation committed while using a PUV. Meanwhile, those with a student-permit can also receive demerit points. Student drivers who incur at least 5 demerit points during the validity of their permit will have their permits revoked. The student driver will also be banned from applying for a license for one year.
Don’t worry, according to the R.A. 10930, demerit points won't be immediately recorded. Drivers will have the opportunity to contest the violations they are given within a certain period. Demerit points will only be recorded if the person admits to the violation or loses the adjudication.
According to the agency, this new system is to ensure that only “deserving applicants with sufficient driving skills and knowledge on road safety and proper road courtesy” are issued a driver's license.
The LTO has yet to announce when this new demerit system will be implemented. Since the IRR is already being crafted, it is likely to happen within the year.
You may read R.A. 10930 in full here. and see the full list of violations below.