Want to learn to drive? Read this.
MOTORING TODAY - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2015 - 9:00am

After oh so many years, the LTO (Land Transportation Office) revised regulations for getting a student permit to learn how to drive and to apply for a non-professional and professional driver’s licenses.

Over the years, teenagers couldn’t wait to turn 16 to qualify for a student’s permit to learn how to drive as part of the process to get a driver’s license and be legal on the road. Now 16 year olds need to wait another year for a students’ permit.

The LTO under the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) has seen it fit to revise the regulations for getting student’s permits to drive and for applying for or renewing non-professional and professional driver’s licenses.

For many this came as a surprise. There was no particular clamor for raising the minimum age for a student’s permit. Still authorities may have found reason to issue LTO Administrative Order No. AVT 2015-030, titled “Revised Rules and Regulation Governing the Issuance of Student Driver’s Permit”.

While many in the public and private sector agree with the change, others including fathers who are just as excited to see their son finally drive the family car, all licensed and legal, can’t see the need to fix something that — to their perception — “ain’t broken”.

Whether for the good or unnecessary all those applying for student’s permit must be at least seventeen (17) years of age and above and must present an NSO-authenticated Birth Certificate to prove this. The original plus a photocopy.

Furthermore, if the applicant has not yet reached the age of 18, he or she must present a parental or guardian’s consent — again original and photocopy — plus the original and photocopy of at least one government issued photo ID of the parent or guardian.

The applicant must also submit a medical certificate issued by a licensed practicing physician attesting that the applicant is physically and mentally fit to operate a vehicle.

On this note, the LTO has made it more convenient, or at least not quite a farce, for applicants to get medical certification of their fitness to drive. Now any licensed medical physician can issue the certification instead of just those accredited clinics inside the LTO branch offices.

The LTO says medical certification forms can be downloaded from its or DOTC’s website.

Those who get their student’s permits will also be receiving reviewers on all possible questions to be asked during the written exams. The reviewers will also be made available to anyone who asks for them at LTO offices. These can also be downloaded from the LTO or DOTC website.

This may seem a little redundant but there is a little-known requirement that has been in place for a long time now but has not been discussed much in public.

This is the requirement that student permit applicants must be able to read and write Filipino, English or any applicable local dialect in the Philippines.

Foreigners can also apply for a student’s permit to drive. They are of course subject to all the requirements set for locals plus the following:  The foreigner applicant must present proof that he or she has been residing in the Philippines for at least one month prior to applying for the student’s permit. The applicant must also present proof that he or she will stay in the Philippines for at least one (1) year from date of application.

According to the LTO, the proof is residency comes in the form of original and copy of passport with entry date of at least one month and visa duration of at least one year.

The LTO says the student’s permit will be valid for one (1) year from date of issuance.

When applying for a non-professional driver’s license, the applicant must be at least 18 years old on the day of the application and must have had the students’ permit for at least 30 days prior to the application.

There is more on new tighter regulations for the application and issuance of driver’s license. We shall also take up in detail the new requirements and regulations for getting a non-pro and professional drivers license in our future articles.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments: sunshine.television@yahoo.com / motoringtoday-star@stv.com.ph.

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