Renewal of Driver's License
The recent bombing in Davao City had a lot of bomb scares and leaked police documents circulating in my social media (particularly messaging platforms, because most of them say, top secret, do not share - so obviously, people share). There was one about SM North EDSA being a target, so I had to reconsider having my driver's license renewed there (see previous post).
I called LTO again at around 12:50 pm to ask where else I could have it renewed. Obviously, no one answered. So I decided to wait until after lunchtime.
At 1:30pm, it took me about ten times, dialling different numbers as listed in the website. I finally got through a line. This time, the man obviously knows more than that lady who told me that the SM North EDSA DLRC is open. Apparently, in Quezon City, only LTO Main and La Loma District Office is open. I asked the guy if he knew if the La Loma District Office is really open, because Google said it was not. And then he said he wasn't sure. But LTO Main was open. So I decided to go to that one.
My brother drove me to LTO Main in East Avenue. At 2:33pm, I was walking to the Renewal Center section. I went to the help desk to get an application form. The clerk casually recommended a place where I can do my medical.
When I stepped out of the LTO compound to go to the adjacent building for my medical, another bloke asked if I needed to have my medical certification and that he knew a place. To be fair, I think this is not illicit fixing, this is just a direct form of marketing. I chose the runner/promoter's medical place. It was both good and bad. The good: the doctor was super nice, the type who explained everything she examined about me (my eyes, mostly, because I got corrective surgery from the last time I renewed my license). The bad: the clinic was on the third floor and you have to pass by this scary spiral staircase, and when I left the clinic, a REAL fixer offered me assistance with an LTO insider. I refused. There were a lot of "no fixer" signs in LTO, so I guess it makes sense for them to offer their services in the medical clinics.
Anyone who would accept a fixer's services is literally just risking their limbs and wasting money. There was literally no queue when I went back to LTO. Okay, maybe one person before me. I arrived again at the renewal center at around 2:54pm, and it was a nice air-conditioned place. I was out of the place by 3:15pm. The only reason why I took longer was because the assessor made me photocopy my medical certificate because I was to have a condition changed in my driver's license. Other than that, it would have been shorter.
I don't know how my picture turned out to be. The card is NOT yet available, and I was advised by the cashier to text a number two to three months from now. I tried to get some insider information, but apparently, the last time they issued cards was in 2015.
In the meantime, I only have the receipt that will serve as my temporary Driver's License. Oh, and the old card. I hated my picture in that.
- Life in the Philippines: Part I-A