Because el padre is overseas, I had no choice but to learn how to drive and apply for a driver’s license. Never in my wildest dreams have I thought that a time would come when I would finally drive.
I have prepared for the “big day” way back in July of 2016 when my 17-year-old daughter and I applied for a student license. Applying for one was a breeze. Processing time was only less than 2 hours. We paid around 600 pesos – 300 bucks for medical and another 317 for the license itself.
So, just a few weeks ago, I went back to the LTO (Land Transportation Office) in Binan, Laguna to apply for a non-professional driver’s license. I went there on a Monday afternoon hoping that I would be spared from the morning rush. It was a bad move on my part though, as I was told that the application for licenses is only processed in the mornings. They have a quota of 80 applications per day and this is easily filled as early as 9 am. Since I was required to get a recent medical clearance, I just went on to process that first in a nearby “clinic” and paid a whopping 300 pesos. They only took my height, weight and then did a vision check, where they let me read some block letters.
I went back the next day at 8 am hoping to be the first in line. When I arrived, my queue number was already 47. What?! What’s worse, officers at the LTO said they were having a system failure and operations was stalled for more than an hour. It was around 12 noon that I was able to complete the first step of my application – that is to submit my application form and get the officer to key in my details in the system. I then got my photo captured and then paid P167 for my written exam. As it was already past 2 o’clock and I was starving, I decided to come back the next day for my exams.
To prepare for the test, I have answered the questionnaires at http://www.ltodrivingexam.com. The website says if you are able to master the “mock exams”, you are most likely to pass the actual written test. I reviewed day and night because if I didn’t pass, I would have to wait for another month before I can retake the test. It came as a surprise when during the actual test, the questions were phrased differently. I was really hoping that everything would appear exactly as I have read them from the reviewer. The passing rate was 30 over 40 items. I didn’t think I would pass, but I got 35 answers correctly. Whew!
After getting the written test results, I was asked to go outside and pay P250 for the car rental. I asked the examining officer if I could go back the next day instead and he asked, “Bakit, magdadala ka ng auto?” (why, are you bringing your own car?). I told him, “Hindi po, kinakabahan ako.” (No, I’m feeling anxious). Ha ha. That was just me being truthful. He then replied, “Don’t worry. Ako’ng bahala sa ‘yo.” (I’ll take care of you). I was almost tempted to say, “Huwag po!” (please, don’t) but I was in dire need of a license. After I paid, we hopped on to the car and he started the engine; he told me not to step on the brakes. He instructed me to turn the steering wheel to the right and then to the left, and then we’re done. Hurrah! That was a piece of cake. I’d say, I passed the test with flying colors. Lol!
Here are the requirements, fees, and steps in applying for a non-professional driver’s license.
- A valid student permit
- Medical clearance
- Filled-out application form
- Medical Clearance – P300
- Test Fee – P167.63
- *Car rental fee: P250 (optional)
- Driver’s License: P652.63
*You don’t have to pay this fee if you’ve brought your own vehicle.
- Get queue number
- Obtain medical clearance
- Get your documents verified and keyed into the system
- Photo capture
- Pay for testing fees
- Take the written test
- Take the actual driving test
- Pay for your license
- Claim your license
Visit the LTO website for more information.