Preparing to Renew Driver's License
I really dread having to renew my driver's license. Or doing anything bureaucratic in the Philippines for that matter. So to do it a bit "smarter," I decided to go online and check where I could do my driver's license renewal. Last year, 2015, a lot of the Driver's License Renewal Centers (DLRCs) closed down because the LTO was not able to provide license cards or printers. My fiancé renewed his license last year, and he said when he went to the SM North DLRC, the only thing they were able to do was his medical certification. He was redirected to the LTO La Loma District Office to do the other steps in the renewal process.
So given that information, I started with the LTO website. The website was difficult to navigate. I couldn't even find the information of current DLRCs. You would see the memorandum describing the new process, pero aanhin ko yun diba, kung hindi ko alam kung saan ako pupunta? No way you could make me go to LTO's Main Office in East Avenue. Then I Google-d The LTO La Loma District Office. According to Google, it was closed today and will only be open on Saturday. That was a bit weird. Weirder than the fact that Google had the information, but the LTO Official Website didn't even list opening days/hours of its offices.
I checked the blogs. Blogs are only secondary information, and if government itself could not even bother to provide the information real time in their website, paano mo pa aasahan yung mga bloggers who are just giving their share of experiences? So that was really just a waste of time, but I guess if you read enough, you would be able to get a clue on what else to do.
So, I did what my mother would have done before the rise of the Internet. I called. Of course, I was expecting to stay in the line a long time, getting one busy number after another. But apparently, it's easier to call LTO than the monopolistic cable companies in this country. I called two of LTOs numbers (922-9062 worked for me) before being able to talk to a useful individual. Last time I called the cable company, I was dialing for a solid 30 minutes and no one was answering. And that was a weekday morning, a direct line to the person who is supposed to assist our account. So frustrating, I had to email instead.
Going back to the topic. The LTO woman said that the DLRC SM North Edsa was the best option for me!
I hope it is. I am still paranoid. Maybe I should give them a call first? With all the traffic in this country, you want to get all the information set before getting in an Uber or GrabCar or taxi (or other forms of traditional public transport - I can't drive for obvious reasons). Otherwise, you would have wasted three hours of your life, wandering about with no productivity.
- Living in the Philippines: Part I