About a year ago, the Land Transportation Office said that the validity of driver's licenses can be up to 10 years. If you've noticed, we've worded it as 'up to' and not straight up ten years. That's because the LTO has a bit of a reward system coming soon when it comes to license renewal.

These days, driver's licenses are valid for five years. However, if you don't incur and driving offenses within those five years, you are entitled to having another extension of five years, bringing the total to ten. While it sounds like a novel policy, it's actually draws on a law that dates back all the way to 1964 under Republic Act 4136.

Now under Republic Act 10930, it is now called 'An act rationalizing and strengthening the policy regarding driver's license by extending the validity period of driver's licenses, and penalizing acts in violation of its issuance and application for those purposes Section 23 of Republic Act No. 4136 as amended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 398 and Executive Order No. 1011, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.' Under the amendment, it now states:

"Except for student permits, all drivers' licenses shall be valid for five (5) 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 (5)-year period shall be entitled to a renewal of such license for ten (10) years, subject to the restrictions as may be imposed by the LTO."

According to LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante, this new law is a privilege for motorists who diligently follow the road rules of the land. However, if the licensee gets a violation within the said ten years, the motorist is stripped of that incentive. Upon the renewal of his or her license, the validity of it will be back to five years, or even less, said Galvante.

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