I can still remember that day. It was a long drive. I was on my way to La Union and was traveling in my car. Everything was going smoothly until, I was pulled over at the TARLAC exit of SCTEX. I thought the person was just going to make me move to another lane. Then suddenly, he asked for my driver's license and then I realized that I was pulled over for a violation.
|Office building that handles violations and license redemption.|
To be fair, the officer was polite, courteous, and he was very patient in explaining what to do. I was caught for overspeeding in SCTEX. At 131Km/hour, it was something that was noteworthy being that the speed limit was only up to 100. Personally, I thought that maybe in the future they could revise and revisit such rule especially when newer technologies make things safer and faster in expressways. In any case, the officer greeted me in a kind manner and informed me of his name by showing his id and advised that he has a body cam on. He told me that I was overspeeding and that he needs to see my license. I didn't contest and just asked how to go about it. Since he saw that I was from Metro Manila, he informed me that I could get my license after 72 hours. It was a Saturday and he told me to go on a Wednesday. The fine was around Php1,000 for first time offenders + 78 Php for the computer fee and such.
|1st floor of the building.|
I have heard a lot of horror stories stemming from family, friends, and relatives with regards to picking up your license. I tried searching online as to the different procedures on how to go about it and it seems that there isn't really a how to guide on getting your license and paying for the ticket. Here's a little guide on how to go about it. Take note, this is based on my experience and things might change when you visit. I arrived pretty early at a few minutes past 6am to a semi-filled parking lot. I parked my car and rushed to the nearest guard to ask where the building would be with regards to getting my license back. He advised me to go on over to the TRAFFIC ADJUDICATION SERVICE BUILDING. When I reached it they had already opened and since it was still early, everyone just sat wherever they wanted to. After a few minutes, a staff said that those with violations that was within 72 (3 business days) hours should head on over to the second floor. Those that had violations that are more than 3 business days should stay at the first floor. In the second floor, it was up to the applicants to line up. Thankfully, I was pretty early and we formed a line just so as things would be orderly.
|Step by Step on how to go about the procedure.|
There are seats available for you to wait in. It's basically up to the clients to fix themselves as there will be no staff to make the line for you. It's here that you should wait for the office to actually start business hours which is at around 8am. Just before 8am, a LTO personnel would be present at the right side of the LES TRANSACTION area for you to give your TICKET also known as the TEMPORARY OPERATOR'S PERMIT (TOP). He will check it against a database and would give it back to you. Once done, head on over to the first floor.
|2nd floor of the building where you also redeem your license.|
Approach the help desk area to give your ticket. Here, a clerk would staple a number to your paper while giving you the same number stub. This is actually where the real official line starts.
You can sit anywhere since they have a speaker system to call your name and number. Just remember, if you come on over with more than 15 days after the violation, your case would be upgraded and be moved to a hearing. So, I would suggest that you go there within the allotted time frame. Furthermore, if your case is a bit complicated it might take a while before they call you.
After getting a piece of paper with the amount needed to be paid, you should head on over to the next building that houses the chapel and Landbank. Since it was only my first offense and it was speeding, I had to pay PHP 1, 000 + roughly PHP 78. Thankfully, I no longer need to do a seminar or even take a test. From my friends' experiences they had to do it before.
After entering it, stay on the left side and look for WINDOW 7 or the cashier. A guard is there to assist you. You pay at WINDOW 7 and wait for your receipt to be printed. After getting it, head on over back to the second floor and approach the help desk. Here, you would need to fill up a paper with your name, OR number, date, and signature. The last step would be to approach the LES TRANSACTION AREA/SPECIAL LANE, and submit it. They will then call your name and give your license.
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There are a couple of things that I took from this experience. First off, we should always follow the law. No matter what our opinion about it, it's basically the rule that governs us. Secondly, being early has its merits. I arrived a few minutes after 6am and was able to park. Plus, I was actually 5th in line so it wasn't so bad. I was able to finish by 8:30am. Just remember to help organize a line from the start just so as to be fair with everyone. Although, if you're a senior citizen or pwd or pregnant, you do get special privileges like being able to go on the express lane. Thirdly, it's a bit expensive and time consuming to get caught.
I would also like to thank the officer for being kind and courteous. He was straight forward and also advised me about the fees and where to go and what to do. It was a pleasant first time for me. Kudos to him!
Disclaimer: Wrote this based on my experience. If you wish for your photo not to be included in this article please let me know and I will gladly cover it up or delete it. The information written here is based on my experience and opinions. Remember to always follow the law. It's for your own safety and others as well.