During our recent interview with one of the head honchos of the Land Transportation Office, Executive Director, Atty. Romeo Vera Cruz, he revealed that a holder of a driver’s license may in fact extend their DL for up to 10 years.
“We have a law already: the Republic Act 10930 and we have already submitted the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR)," said LTO ED Vera Cruz. "For publication na yun [It is ready for publication].”
The implementation of the standard 5-year license and the potential 10-year license is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to rid the unnecessary red tape in government services. He signed into law Republic Act 10930 on August 2017, otherwise known as 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.
Section 23 of Republic Act 4136, which was signed into law in 1964 by President Diosdado Macapagal, is amended by the provisions of Republic Act 10930 which states that:
"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 nonprofessional 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."
The Executive Director also expressed his excitement over this new law, as it would encourage drivers to be more conscious about not violating any traffic laws – comparable to the merit system abroad where drivers are merited if they did not break any traffic laws, and are given demerits until their license is revoked if they frequently break traffic laws.
When asked if the 10-years validity would be too much for the Driver’s License card itself in terms of structure rigidity, the Executive Director confidently declared: “No, it is already made of polycarbonate material, not PVC (the old DL plastic material).”
We of course got pretty excited too, especially when it means not spending a whole day (in some LTO satellite office) every time your DL expires in 5 years. So we asked the Executive Director how much more it would cost compared to the current fee schedule, and he simply replied: “Mas mahal lang ng kaunti, kaunting-kaunti lang” (it is priced a tad more than the current fee, but just by very little).
So there you have it fellow motorcycle riders, this is one good reason to OBEY the traffic rules whenever we ride our beloved steeds (and it is for our own safety too).