Press Release
May 30, 2017

Senate bill seeking extension of validity of driver's license okayed

The Senate approved today on third and final reading a bill seeking to extend the validity of all professional and non-professional drivers licenses from three years to five years. Senate Bill No. 1449 or a measure Extending the Validity Period of Driver's Licenses to 5 Years, was approved with 21 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and zero abstention. The measure was authored by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Richard Gordon, JV Ejercito and Joel Villanueva.

Sen. Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services and sponsor of SBN 1449, said, "We are streamlining the process, cutting bureaucracy and also corruption. I hope this initiative will immediately be felt by ordinary citizens."

Poe said holders of professional or non-professional drivers licenses who did not commit any violation during the five year period would also be entitled to renewal of their licenses for another 10 years.

The proposed law sought to amend Section 23 of Republic Act No. 4136, as amended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 398 and Executive Order (EO) 1011 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

"Although the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has already issued Administrative Order No 2016-34 in line with the President's pronouncements to extend the validity of driver's licenses, we should bear in mind that an EO cannot amend a law. What Congress prescribes, only Congress can amend," Poe explained.

For his part, Recto said he expected shorter queues of drivers applying at the LTO for the renewal of their licenses with the passing of the bill into law.

LTO data showed that in 2016 alone, drivers license applications totalled 5.8 million.

Recto said the bill was "the best anti-red tape measure the government could adopt for LTO." He said the measure was not complicated and could derive results immediately at the least cost to the government and the public.

Poe assured the public that the licenses would not cost more. Citing the LTO, the lady senator said that from the current fee of P820 for new licenses, the LTO was expected to charge only P700 for the new cards.

She added that the new licenses would have better security features as the cards would feature a hologram mark and 'hidden data.' She said traffic violations would be uploaded on the system and the barcodes in the license will reflect the changes immediately.

"When scanned, the barcode can easily inform police officers of any violation committed by the driver. In the bill, we will require all agencies and even the local government units issuing traffic violations to continue this practice of uploading violations to the LTO's system within 24 hours," she said.

Poe said the bill also required LTO to create an online process for the application of new licenses and those for renewal "LTO is now in the process of revising the examination questions for license applications, especially for professional drivers, to ensure that qualified and disciplined drivers are allowed to drive," she said.

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