The LTO-MMDA Experience
This happened 3 weeks ago but I totally forgot about it because I planned to write about this when I was with the process, unfortunately I still don’t have the car registration with me. So here’s the story.
My driver’s license has expired last year and I never got around to renewing it. Delinquent, I know. It’s either I get lazy, I don’t have the money, something happens, I have the money but something happens that I have to use the money for that instead, I forgot to do it, or I don’t feel like doing it, in short I’m too lazy. Then there’s the car registration which expires annually every February and I only remembered on the 2nd day of March. The thing is, I got away with the driver’s license because I’ve been careful and if ever I get caught by a traffic enforcer, I’ll just demand a ticket or whatever punishment I deserved and they usually let me go because I didn’t really violate anything in the first place, they just want a bribe. But I did get a ticket twice on separate occasions and never got to pay it because we lost the tickets. LOL.
Since it was March already and I really needed an ID, I went to LTO [Land Transportation Office] to get both my car registration and driver’s license renewed. Everything was going smoothly, there weren’t many people and the insurance office took care of the car registration while I went ahead to renew my driver’s license. After the guy took my photo and signature, I had to wait while they assessed my papers. When my name was called after a while, I was informed that my name triggered a warning from the MMDA [Metro Manila Development Authority] database. I had to go to their office and get it sorted out. I went the next day.
Before I left the house, I had the feeling that I should probably wear pants, but I shrugged it off and wore shorts. When I arrived at the MMDA office, the guard would not let me in because people wearing shorts and slippers weren’t allowed inside. The female guard suggested that I buy a pair of pants from the nearby thrift shop so my trip wouldn’t be wasted. Luckily, I had shoes in the car.
There weren’t many people in the MMDA office too, and there’s even a special lane for women and the elderly so I didn’t really have to wait that long. I thought I would be done that day and I would be able to make it back to the LTO office to get everything done, but they told me that I have to attend a seminar because their system said I had 3 violations. Apart from the 2 last year, there was another from my first year of driving, a violation I don’t remember committing. Anyway, I went to the seminar the next day.
Apart from the facilitator, I was the only woman in the room. I sat in the back and tried to stay awake because I haven’t had any sleep that night. A folder was handed out and inside it was the questionnaire. We were to answer this and then discuss afterwards.
I knew more than half of the signs in the sheet of paper but I didn’t have a pen with me so I was thinking of waiting for the guy next to me to finish so I could borrow his pen. A guy facilitator came inside because the woman had to get something from her office. This guy started giving out answers, mostly the hard ones [signs I didn’t know] but then some of the guys taking the test started asking him what this number was and so on. It was a bit shocking to find out that most of these guys who are public transportation drivers DO NOT KNOW MOST OF THE COMMON ROAD SIGNS. After that short test, we discussed what the signs meant and other rules and regulations. I fell asleep near the end because I couldn’t help it anymore.
After the seminar, I headed straight back to the MMDA office to get my clearance so I could go back to the LTO office. The waiting area was full of men, and there were only 3 of us women. Initially, no one bothered to give up their seat for any of us. But then one guy who I was in the seminar with offered his seat, but I said it’s all right because I’m going to get called soon. Chivalry is extinct.
I got my driver’s license that day and it felt good. The only problem was the car registration wasn’t done yet because they couldn’t find the records from last year, so I had to come back a different day but when I did, it still wasn’t ready. I was supposed to pick it up last week but I forgot and then it’s too late so I’ll have to try again tomorrow. I hope it’s finally done so I can get on with my life or something.