LTO chief: Driver’s education requirement for license renewal mandatory, free

Land Transportation Office (LTO) Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante reiterated on Tuesday, Nov. 2, that the driver’s education seminar for license renewal is free and required under the law.

Motorists line up for inspection at a Manila quarantine control point established by the police on the first day of the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila on August 6, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

This, after Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez urged the transportation department to scrap the Comprehensive Driver's Education Program (CDEP) requirement in the renewal of driver's license, adding that it is "unnecessary and has no legal basis."

However, in a statement, Galvante said that the implementation of the CDEP is mandated under Republic Act Number 10930 which extends the validity of a driver's license to 10 years and requires all renewal applicants to undergo first a refresher seminar and pass a validating exam.

The LTO started last week, Oct. 28, the rollout of the 10-year valid license at its Central Office and at the Quezon City Licensing Center. Under the law, only drivers without violations or citations are entitled to qualify for the extended license validity.

Aside from the CDEP, the agency is currently implementing a violations monitoring system to encourage all motorists to strictly observe traffic rules and regulations.

"We intend to disseminate the Comprehensive Driver's Education Program to all and enforce the traffic violations system so we can raise the quality of Filipino drivers and improve road safety," Galvante emphasized.

The LTO chief noted that the CDEP requirement would not cause "undue delay and hardship" to applicants as it is free and readily available through its Driver's Education Centers (DECs) or online website.

"Yung mga LTO DECs, kung saan pwede silang mag-seminar, ay bukas sa publiko at walang bayad. Pwede rin nilang ma-access ang LTO portal kung saan maaari nilang mapag-aralan ang mga module at topics para maging handa sila sa validating exam (They can attend the seminar for free at the LTO DECs. They can also access the online portal where they can review the modules and topics for the validating exam)," he said in a separate virtual briefing.

Galvante announced that the LTO will begin issuing the 10-year valid driver's license in all its offices in the National Capital Region (NCR) on Wednesday, Nov. 3, and the rest of the country in the following days.

The extended license validity, Galvante said, will serve as a "reward" for drivers who obey traffic rules and regulations.

"Ito ay insentibo sa mga drivers na sumusunod sa batas trapiko at para hindi na rin sila pabalik-balik sa LTO ipang mag-renew ng lisensya (This is an incentive for drivers who follow traffic laws and also for them not to have to frequently return to LTO just to renew their license)," he said.