LTO scraps health exams for driver license renewal

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THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) announced it has scrapped the periodic medical examinations for holders of driver’s licenses with 5-year and 10-year validity.

According to LTO Chief Jay Art Tugade the initiative will “ease the burden of motorists who are periodically required to secure medical clearances.”

Before the memorandum circular was released, 5-year license holders are required to secure medical clearances during the third birthdate from license issuance. Those with 10-year licenses, on the other hand, are scheduled for medical examination on the fourth and seventh birthdates from the issuance of their license.

Tugade noted that the move was based on “studies, data collected and consultations,” which, he said, showed that “failure to undergo periodic medical examinations is not a proven cause of road accidents.”

“There’s no empirical data showing that periodic medical examinations could prevent road crashes,” he said.

The mandatory medical exam shall only be required before applying for and during renewal of a driver’s license, Tugade said.

“For motorists who will be issued driver’s licenses with 5 or 10 years validity, the medical examination shall only be required sixty days prior to or on the specified renewal date,” he said.

Meanwhile, Filipino driver’s license holders who are working or living abroad are required to undergo a medical exam within 30 days upon arrival in the Philippines before they can drive in the country.

“We at the LTO believe that this move will ease up the burden of our motorists. This not only reduces their expenses on medical exams, it will also enable them to focus on their work. They are, however, free to undergo a medical exam as they wish,” Tugade explained.