Saturday, May 4, 2013

How to Get Your Driver's License at the Iloilo City LTO

LTO stands for Land Transportation Office.

1. Office hours begin at 8, but consider arriving at 7:30 because professional and non-professional licenses are issued only twice a day (arrive at 12:30 for the afternoon session). Why this is so used to puzzle me until yesterday, when I realized after I'd gone home at twelve-freakin'-thirty that this office is so efficient and careful, they can only process around twelve non-professional licenses in a morning. 

2. Submit your forms to the customer service representative. Here, he's blessed with a morbidly protuberant beer belly, I feared he'd succumb to a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm any second. He's also a joker, but he's not as funny as he thinks (really).

3. The forms should include a drug test taken from one of the "authorized" testing centers located beside the office. Pay around P300 and see if you're dumb enough to have used meth or  smoked weed in the very-near-past and not taken into consideration pharmacokinetics. 

4. The forms should also include a medical examination, again, from one of their "authorized" centers. Pay around P150 for an incorrect Snellen's exam, and to have your blood pressure taken by an overtly flirtatious nurse.

5. After submitting your forms, wait for one hour because the cashier wants to open at 9:00 instead of her 8:00 call time.

6. You will be called to have your photo and signature taken.

7. Time for the written examination! Get a reviewer, or if you're lucky (?), a lecturer will be present to sputter inanities. Tip: Take the Tagalog version of the exam because the questions are word-for-word in the reviewer that is actually a compilation of the exam questions (and there are only a hundred). Tip: If your memory is terrible, you will likely flunk this test. If your Filipino is terrible and your English, barely passable, you will also likely flunk this test. Oh, and have I mentioned that the Tagalog reviewer is also available online?

8. Assuming you passed the test, it's now time for the practical driving exam! If you drive the ubiquitous automobile, you will be asked to drive for a minute. In first gear. Inside a subdivision where neither person nor animal will be present to provide distraction. In other words, imagine it's the first day of driving lessons! Then pay P250 for this "practical exam."

9. If you're a motorcycle person, just sit back and relax. But also, state your intention to drive autos in the future. That way, you get to pay P200 for the motorcycle restriction AND P250 for the auto restriction.

10. After the practical exam, do not immediately get off the car. The examiner will collect your payments IN the car, without official receipt.

11. Go back to the office and pay up. That's gonna be around P420 for everything sans the practical exam. 
12. You will be called to have your photo and signature taken--again. Because, oops! They somehow screwed up and "your name does not match with the picture" (whatever that means).   

13. Time to get your license--but wait, there's more! It's the first Friday of the month, which means the holy, incorruptible LTO wants to celebrate mass, presumably to cleanse the souls of blabbermouths like me. If you're non-Catholic, this is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to observe how Catholics do it. 

14. The mass has ended. Here is your license. Go forth and celebrate!

15. You can, of course, skip everything and just bribe them officers with money (P500 for customer service, P500 for each examiner, P500 for the cashier... something like that), especially if you have a contact, which, as we all know, has always been all the rage in this country. As they say, it's more fun to get your license in the Philippines, especially in Iloilo City's LTO! Mabuhay!

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From where I was during the first half of the week:


Anonymous said...

fuck you

Anonymous said...

This definitely convinced me to just go get a fixer.