LTO Chief Galvante says 2021 start of 10-year driver's license for law-abiding drivers

Still waiting on the implementation of the 10-year validity of driver's licenses? Now, there's a definite answer, and it comes from LTO Assistant Secretary, Edgar Galvante, himself.

A few months ago, we talked about the possibility of this being implemented. Unfortunately, we could not say when as the LTO has not committed to a definite implementation date.

In a new development, Galvante said that they aim to implement the 10-year validity by October 2021. Why so far away in the future? He explained that Congress told them to let the five-year validity license take its course first before transitioning to the extended licenses.

Once that is set into place, the full 10-year extension is not yet automatic for everyone. Galvante reiterated the points (or demerit) system that will determine how many more years can you add on your license. Those with clean records (who have not committed a traffic violation before renewal) are immediately eligible for the 10-year validity.

To recap, Republic Act 10930 states, "Except for student permits, all drivers' licenses shall be valid for five (5) years reckoned from the birthdate of the licensee, unless sooner revoked or suspended: Provided, however, That subject to Section 26 hereof, any holder of a professional or non-professional driver's license who has not committed any violation of Republic Act No. 4136 and other traffic laws, rules and regulations during the five (5)-year period shall be entitled to a renewal of such license for ten (10) years, subject to the restrictions as may be imposed by the LTO."

But whether or not you committed violations, you will be required to undergo an eight-hour driving theory seminar. This is applicable if you have either no violations or have less than five points on your license. For those with five to nine points accrued over the course of five years, it's an extra four hours for a total of twelve hours for the aforementioned seminar.

However, if the motorist has earned more than ten points on their license before renewal, the driving seminar will be sixteen hours long, plus an additional four-hour intervention seminar. As for those who have more than 20 points on their license, it's eight hours of driving theory and eight hours of intervention.

So if you don't want to spend the next two (or even three) days in seminars, the solution is simple: behave on the road so you don't rack up those violations.

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