LTO says it will grant a one-year validity extension for expiring driver’s licenses

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) says it will be granting a one-year extension of validity for expiring driver’s licenses as it continues to deal with license card supply shortage and issues.

The extension was confirmed by agency chief Vigor Mendoza II near the end of a House Committee on Appropriations briefing on Monday, September 4, for the 2024 budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Quick recap of how we came to this point: In April, the LTO had already extended the the validity of driver’s licenses expiring from April 24 onwards until October 31, as its stock of blank license cards ran out. In July, it secured a new card supply deal that would have helped it eliminate the backlog “within the year,” but in August, this agreement became the subject of a temporary restraining order (TRO) after a losing bidder complained that the contract was awarded to another company that had offered a higher price per piece to supply the license cards.

Earlier in the September 4 briefing, Mendoza initially stated the LTO would need the DOTr’s guidance in approving the one-year validity extension, explaining this would affect the “revenue-generating capacity” of the agency.

Near the end of the session, however, Representative Paul Ruiz Daza called upon the LTO chief again: “I would like to confirm with the LTO that they will agree with the Committee and some members to go ahead and allow one-year renewal of those driver’s licenses that cannot be renewed at this point because of the pending case.”

“Yes, Mr. Chair,” Mendoza replied, “we confirm the one-year extension.”

No further details have since been released by the agency particularly in the event the TRO on its card supply contract is lifted, which Mendoza said he is “very confident” about. The 20-day TRO period, during which driver’s license processing and deliveries are put on hold, will lapse on September 6.

In case the TRO is not lifted, other solutions pitched by the LTO are the use of electronic driver’s licenses and the stamping of driver’s license official receipts (OR) to indicate the extension of their validity.

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