Digital driver’s license to replace paper printout
In yet another proposed solution to its shortage of plastic cards, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said it would soon launch “digital drivers’ licenses,” as an alternative to that document’s issuance on paper.
The LTO, in a statement on Monday, said it would integrate the electronic version of the driver’s license into a “super app” being developed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
The digital license would replace the temporary driver’s license printed at the back of the official receipt issued to the motorist.
“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,” LTO chief Jose Arturo Tugade said.
According to Tugade, the electronic version can also be used for registration renewals and other transactions in the agency.
He assured the public of the digital license’s security, saying that the existing security features of the physical driver’s license would be integrated into its digital version, on top of the super app’s security measures.
“We also appreciate the way the super app functions similarly to a wallet, containing all government IDs, among other things, within your mobile device,” Tugade said.
Another stopgap measure of the agency is the extension of the validity of driver’s licenses.
“All holders of driver’s license cards expiring on April 24 onwards shall no longer be required to renew their licenses until Oct. 31, or as soon as the driver’s license cards become available for distribution to the public,” Tugade said in a memorandum dated April 21.
Last month, the transport official announced a projected shortage of plastic cards for drivers’ licenses—a nationwide problem seen to affect around 5.2 million holders of these licenses.
Tugade said the LTO monitored the critical level of plastic cards inventory as early as November last year, prompting him to constitute the committees that would have procured the materials.
But in January, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) directed the LTO to defer any procurement worth P50 million and above to the DOTr central office.
“Had we been able to continue with our procurement activities, we would have sufficient plastic cards right now,” Tugade said.
Days after warning of a shortage of plastic cards for drivers’ licenses, the LTO said license plates for motorcycles and motor vehicles were also in short supply.
The agency’s inventory showed that there were only about a million license plates left for motorcycles and 300,000 for motor vehicles. INQ