Yesterday, I had my driver’s license renewed at the LTO Ayala MRT branch. After more than two hours (!), I finally got to pay at the cashier. I was surprised that I was charged an additional Php75 for late renewal. So I asked the cashier when is the proper time to renew a driver’s license, to which she gracefully answered “60 days po”. Explanation later…
This morning, I called up the LTO main branch to tell them about my case. As it turns out, there was a system glitch as they were in the process of switching from the old system to the new. Upon investigation, they said that the old computer said that my birthday is on January 1, 1980 even when my old driver’s license indicates my real birthday. In short, I wasn’t supposed to be charged with a penalty as my birthday is still five days away.
I asked them what the “60 days” was all about. Apparently, they now allow renewal within 60 days before expiration of the license.
As to my Php75, it’s gone. The LTO’s explanation is this: the money had already been in the “kaha” and they cannot get it back anymore (huwaaaaat? can I help?). They said that I can try going back to the cashier at Ayala MRT branch and ask her to give me back my Php75 from her own pocket (huwaaaat? again).
I’m not going to get my money back by choice. I’ll just get it back in another way: by telling friends to be vigilant when you renew your own license.