Starting October 2021, drivers with clean records with the Land Transportation Office-Philippines (LTO) will be able to enjoy “premium” license cards, as the agency will roll out new licenses with ten-year validity.

In a press briefing Thursday, 19 August 2020, LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said that the issuance of licenses with 10-year validity is in line with the implementation of a provision in Republic Act No. 10930, signed into law in 2017.

The law states, “Except for student permits, all drivers’ licenses shall be valid for five 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-year period shall be entitled to a renewal of such license for 10 years, subject to the restrictions as may be imposed by the LTO.”

With this, the LTO devised a new point system, wherein drivers will accumulate demerit points for each violation committed and earn incentives for drivers with good standing.

Under the point system, a motorist accumulates “demerit points” depending on the gravity of his or her violation. These violations are classified according to their corresponding categories: grave for five points; less grave for three points; and light for one point.

In the said press briefing, Asec. Galvante emphasized that the examples of grave violations are driving a motor vehicle in the commission of crime, operating a colorum vehicle, and driving under the influence. However, the LTO chief clarified that less grave or light violations may also be considered as grave, if violations are committed repeatedly.

Further, the driver’s license of an erring motorist may be suspended if he/she will accumulate 10 demerit points, while earning 40 points will result in its revocation.

Violations committed by motorists will be uploaded or recorded in the LTO’s system. Asec. Galvante shared that the license holder will also be notified of the committed violations, which will be the basis of issuing a new license upon renewal.

On the other hand, Asec. Galvante emphasized that the 10-year validity of driver’s licenses aims to incentivize those who strictly obey traffic laws.

“Hopefully, with this measure mababawas-bawasan ang road crashes, road or traffic incidents na nagka-cause ng injuries and even pagkamatay,” Asec. Galvante said.

“Not all license holders are entitled to this privilege. For those who have clean records, you may enjoy not coming back for renewal not only for five years, but ten years. That is if you are not delinquent,” the LTO chief added.

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