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Plastic Card Shortage Solution: LTO to Implement e-Driver’s License

An official announcement was made last July 13, 2023, stating that in order to tackle the scarcity of plastic cards, the Land Transportation Office or LTO will introduce a digital or electronic rendition of the driver’s license this month. 

Quick Recap

In April 2023, LTO expressed that they were running out of plastic cards nationwide, and may provide temporarily issued driver’s licenses printed in paper to people who are planning to renew their licenses or apply for the first time. Moreover, LTO Chief Jay Art Tugade made it clear that the supply of 147,000 plastic cards nationwide can only last until the end of April. (source: Spot.ph)

He also stated that to ensure authenticity, temporary driver’s licenses will be equipped with individualized QR codes to enable road enforcers to verify their legitimacy.

Then in May 2023, LTO announced that in light of the shortage of plastic cards for physical IDs, motorists may soon be provided with a digital version of their driver’s license. 

Chief Tugade also added that “the advantage of the digital license is that motorists can present it to law enforcement officers during apprehension. It is equivalent to presenting the physical driver’s license. 

They plan to develop a “super app” in collaboration with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). As part of this initiative, they aim to incorporate the electronic version of the driver’s license as an alternative to the physical card.

The format of the digital version may differ a bit from the old one, but it still contains identical information to a standard physical license. It includes the license holder’s name, address, as well as additional details like height, weight, blood type, and restriction codes. Furthermore, each digital card is associated with a corresponding barcode.

Fast Forward to the Implementation of e-Driver’s License

Starting July 26, LTO will implement Memorandum Circular No. HAV-2023-2410, which establishes the regulations for the digital driver’s license. In addition to that, for the next two months, the Department of Transportation has contracted Banner Plasticard Inc. to supply and deliver one million license cards. 

According to Hector Villacorta, the officer-in-charge of LTO, the introduction of the e-driver’s license aligns with the agency’s digitization initiatives and aims to enhance the effectiveness of the licensing system.

He also added that “the digital driver’s license is a valid, secure, and an alternative form of identification for persons driving motor vehicles.”

Villacorta further emphasized that the digital driver’s license will be accepted by traffic enforcers as a valid form of identification to drive a motor vehicle. And holders of the e-driver’s license will have the same rights and obligations as those who hold a physical license.

In the event of being apprehended for a traffic violation, the LTO has specified that motorists are required to provide their e-driver’s license accessed via the Land Transport Management System (LTMS) portal account. It is important to note that photographs and screenshots will NOT be considered as valid proof of license.

Additionally, apprehended motorists will receive a temporary operator’s permit or an electronic TOP, which remains valid for 72 hours. After this period, the driver is prohibited from operating any vehicle.

Furthermore, motorists who have unresolved traffic violations may face suspension of their LTMS account.

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