Pinoy Driver

LTO Eyesight Requirements for Driver’s License Application and Renewal

Having good eyesight is the most important and critical part of being a driver because driving relies heavily on the driver’s vision. Just like any other countries, Philippine’s LTO also includes eyesight check-up as a requirement before gaining a driver’s license. Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology or PAO strongly believes that is a must to set a visual standard for applicants to ensure safety and filter those who are physically fit for driving (day and night).

How does eyesight being tested?

 

Before getting your driver’s license, you will have to go through several procedures first. Right after taking the drug test, the eyesight test comes next as part of the medical exam of LTO. The testing site is conducted in the LTO office you are applying at. The test is just a basic procedure that follows the standard procedure of using a Snellen chart to check how far and clear your eyes can see. Do not wear reading or graded glassed to ensure that the physician will get your vision as accurate as possible. Negative findings or abnormalities on this eyesight test will result to driving restrictions that will later be encrypted on the driver’s license. But if you opt to wear a graded eyeglasses, it will also be included in your license stating that you needed them in driving. Any restrictions should be followed by the license holder. If not, traffic enforcers have the right to issue a ticket or arrest you if you fail to follow the restrictions stated on your license.

 

Below are the driver restrictions:

  • 20/50 vision qualifies for driving with corrective glasses/lenses
  • 20/60 vision qualifies for daytime driving only
  • Persons with cataracts are not allowed to drive at night

If you have one weak eye and the other is very strong, you might fail the eyesight test but still pass the tests of an optometrist. It would be best to seek an optometrist as well in this kind of case. An optometrist is a person whose job is to examine people’s eyes to find out if they need eyeglasses or medical treatment.

Types of vision used when driving

As mentioned above, driving requires good eyesight to avoid occurrence of accidents on the road. With that being said, below are the types of visual functions that are crucial to driving in accordance to PAO

 

1. Visual acuity

Most countries have this kind of criterion. Visual acuity describes how well you see details with your central vision. This is measured by the ability to discern letters and numbers at a given distance. It is assumed that if a person has this, it will be easier for him to detect and react to road signs, pedestrians, obstacles and other vehicles.

2. Peripheral Visual Field

Peripheral vision, also known as side vision gives you the ability to see and recognize things and movements that is already out of our central vision. This vision allows drivers to see and avoid curbs, barricades or height clearance and allows them avoid collision and see approaching pedestrians.

3. Glare and Contrast Sensitivity

This visual function is the ability to distinguish finer increments of light versus the dark. This is very important in driving in situations of low light, fog or glare that results to reduction of contrast between objects and their backgrounds. Contrast sensitivity is basically important especially in driving at night to avoid accidents.

4. Color Vision

Color vision is the ability to distinguish objects based on the wavelengths of the light they reflect or emit. This helps you recognize traffic lights, hazard warning lights and emergency lights indicators. It also helps you distinguish objects in color bands that are problematic.

5. Accommodation

Accommodation (or accommodation-convergence reflex) is the reflex action of the eye in response to focusing on a close object, then looking at a distant one afterwards and doing it vice versa. Accommodation consists coordinated changes in vergence, lens shape, and pupil size. Accommodation can be improved by doing a simple exercise where one would look at a distance then at something close to you and repeating the process over and over again.

6. Depth Perception

One contributor for achieving this is using your two eyesights. People with good binocular vision are able to judge distance accurately that allow them to maneuver the car and change lanes which are crucial skills in driving. If you happen to be monocular (one eyesight), it would be better for you to refrain from driving for a while until your vision has already  adjusted to using one vision.

 

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Types of Emergency Vehicle Sirens and Who Are Allowed to Use One

Emergency vehicle requires sirens and lights for easy recognition by other vehicles that are hitting the same road. Philippines, just like any other country has designated specific sirens for ambulance cars, police cars and fire trucks. Sirens were basically built to be loud since hearing is considered to be a primary warning sense. A loud auditory signal may exert an immediate arousing effect to the driver’s ears resulting to alertness that there is a nearby emergency vehicle coming. An emergency siren usually have two or three tones, sometime more. It is a must for drivers to give way to emergency vehicles at all times once they hear the siren.

 

Types of siren pitch


There are three types of sirens being used and all three are alternately used depending on how urgent the emergency is.

  • Wail – prolonged high pitch
  • Yelp – a short but sharp pitch; sped up version of wail
  • Phaser – fastest pitch

 

Siren tones

 

For Police car

Since Philippines has been a territory of America for quite some time, it also adopted the Western versions of siren tones. Just like in North America, we use the ‘wail’ setting which gives a long up and down variation, with an unbroken tone. In heavy traffic, it is preferred to use the ‘yelpsetting.

 

For Ambulance car

Ambulance car also uses long up and down pitch together with a flashing light to indicate that there is an emergency on the way. The siren and light are always turned on during these two situations:

  • Ambulance is empty and going to receive a patient who is in need of emergency.
  • Ambulance is carrying a patient and going to the hospital.

 

For Fire truck

The honk of a fire truck siren was first produced before using a horn and some countries still use horns up to this day. But since technology is already here, fire truck now uses the same siren equipment of police and ambulance cars. It generally operates in wail and the siren wail tends to be longer, starting from a lower tone.

 

Are private cars allowed to use siren?

Aside from the three government vehicles mentioned above, no one (even politicians) is allowed to use any kind of siren (or any loud, disturbing horn). Though some people tried to use it to avoid traffic, they got arrested and penalized afterwards. The use of siren for private cars is prohibited because it causes confusion to other drivers and disturbs the flow of traffic.  To avoid this unlawful act, our government has passed Presidential Decree No. 96, s. 1973 which states:

  • “That it shall be unlawful for the owner or possessor of any motor vehicle to use or attach to his vehicle any siren, bell, horn, whistle, or other similar gadgets that produce exceptionally loud or startling sound, including dome lights, blinkers and other similar signaling or flashing devices.
  • The gadgets or devices mentioned above may be attached to and use only on motor vehicles designated for official use by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Commission, Police Departments, Fire Departments, and hospital ambulances.”

 

The decree also states that anyone who will violate the law is  subject to device or gadget confiscation. If there will be subsequent offenses , the violator shall suffer six months imprisonment and/or pay for a fine. In addition, the official receipt and certificate of registration  (OR and CR) of the vehicle will be canceled or revoked.

 

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Gasoline Vs. Diesel Engine: What Should You Buy?

 

The common question that every first time car buyers  is to either get a gasoline or diesel engine type of cars. It’s always a tough job to choose just between the two, right? Let this article help you out in making the right decision in choosing your car.

 

Comparison

 

You may have heard a lot of different views about gas or diesel engine cars. To a lot of people, it is the expense that they consider to be the number one factor when purchasing a car. To some it is the acceleration, speed, and  power. While to others it could be the maintenance and resale value of the vehicle. Below are the common comparisons that may help you decide what to buy between the two types of car engine.

 

CATEGORYGASOLINEDIESEL
Fuel costExpensive (average of Php 41.00/liter)Cheap (average of Php 35.00/liter)
Resale valueLow valueHigh value (costs 15% more than the price of gasoline cars)
Performance27% efficient35% efficient
EngineDoesn’t self-ignite when compressed.Compresses air in the cylinder.
Spark plugYesNo
Injection processApplies a more roundabout route.Use direct fuel injection
TorqueLess powerMore powerful (good for towing)
Engine noiseLess noise createdNoisier than gasoline  
CO2 productionProduces more CO2Produces less CO2
Value for moneyCheaper than diesel carsExpensive engine

Advantages and Disadvantages

 

Need more descriptions to identify which is better than the other? Let’s take it to the specifics then.  Anything that is man made (or even not) has it’s inevitable pros and cons.

 

Advantages of Gasoline cars

 

  • Any gasoline engine cars (small or big)  are cheaper compared to diesel cars. Let’s take for example the Toyota Innova costs around Php 832,000.00 while the diesel counterpart of it costs Php 887,000.00
  • The fuel that gasoline cars uses is cleaner in terms of carbon, thus making it more cheaper to maintain and repair
  • Gasoline engine is better to be used in small cars. So if you opt to buy a compact car that are famous nowadays, make sure it uses gas
  • Usually cheaper initial cost and runs with a quieter engine.

Disadvantages of Gasoline Cars

  • Less hauling power and lower fuel efficiency
  • Gasoline is way expensive than diesel
  • Shorter lifespan

Advantages of Diesel cars

  • Diesel engine cars are fuel efficient
  • In terms of fuel, diesel is 20% cheaper than any unleaded fuel
  • Produce less pollution with a diesel particulate filter
  • Uses common-rail and turbo charging giving it the power to tow

Disadvantages of Diesel Cars

  • Engine has a tendency to accumulate dirt from diesel that could damage the fuel system and cost you more money  if not properly maintained.
  • The engine is quite noisy compared to gasoline engine cars, though manufacturers through the years have been making efforts to silence it down.
  • Engines powered by diesel also requires special lubricants to maintain it’s great performance

 

With all the comparisons and specifications mentioned above, the choice of getting a car still depends on your preference, purpose and term of use. If you want to use the car in a long term basis, better go with a diesel engine car. Also, if you have plans of using it as a public utility vehicle, better go for it since it’s fuel is cheaper. If you want to drive your car with speed like of that in the movies, go for a gasoline engine car instead.

 

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LTO Vehicle Registration and Renewal Process

All vehicles (brand new or second hand) should be registered in a Land Transportation Office (LTO) to make the ownership valid. This is what you call ‘vehicle registration.”’ Since this is a legal process, documentations are needed to prove the ownership of the vehicle. Aside from the papers that need to be submitted, there will definitely be fees to be paid as well before getting your vehicle registration.

 

Documents needed for registration

Below are the documents that you should prepare before you go to an LTO regional branch. These documents are obtained when you buy any brand new or used car from a car dealership company.

  • Original copies of registration certificate (CR) – when renewing
  • Latest official receipt from the dealer (OR)
  • Purchased compulsory third party liability (CTPL) insurance

Bear in mind that the required CPTL of LTO is at least Php950.00. If you are not sure that the OR-CR of the second hand car you bought is genuine, you can have it authenticated at the LTO Property Section, East Avenue, Quezon City. By doing this, you will be assured before paying any registration fees and will have the confidence to do the registration too.

Schedule based on plate number

If you are doing the initial registration or renewal of registration, then you should get familiar with the schedule of LTO based on the digits on your plate number. In the event that you bought the vehicle in a second hand motor dealership, you’ll have to retain and continue using the designated plate on it. Just like any other government issued identification number (SSS, Pag-ibig, PhilHealth), plate numbers are unchangeable. This rule is indicated in the amendments of Batas Pambansa Blg. 43: An Act Providing Number Plates to Owners of Motor Vehicles and Trailers.

 

See the table below to know when is the right date to go for your car registration.

Plate Number’s Last DigitMonthly Schedule
 1 January
 2 February
 3 March
 4 April
 5  May
 6 June
 7 July
 8 August
 9 September
 0 October

 

2nd to the Last Digit of Plate NumberWeekly Schedule
 1, 2, & 31st to 7th working day
 4, 5, & 68th to 14th working day
 7 & 815th to 21st working day
 9 & 022nd until last working day

To set an example, if your plate number is AJN078, you need to register your vehicle on August between the dates of 15 – 21.

 

Emission test

Before you go to your scheduled date, your vehicle should undergo an emission test first. You should go to the head of the emission testing center to pay for the emission testing fee, which is around Php410.00. The test usually lasts for an hour or an hour and a half. It often include stencil procedure on your car’s engine, which is sometimes free. The test usually includes a stencil (which is sometimes free) which is one of the renewal and registration requirements in LTO.

 

Presentation of documents

After doing the test, it’s now the time to present your documents to continue with the registration. The registration fee is Php1, 974.00. Make sure to follow the scheduling matrix above to avoid paying for a late registration penalty fee of Php200.00. If you plan to register or renew in a different regional branch, do expect an additional fee of Php100.00 for the change of location.After doing all the legal procedures above, your vehicle is now registered and is good to hit the road again. Enjoy the trip and drive safely!

 

 

 

 

 

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Smoky Exhaust: Types, Causes and Fines

Smoky exhaust or popularly known as smoke belching in the Philippines is a type road violation. Smoke belching has always been scrutinized in the country not only because it causes air pollution (according to a study, almost 65% of pollution is coming from smoke belching), but also it now contributes to some road accidents. Also, emission of smoky exhaust causes a lot of health diseases mainly on respiratory system and later on can translate into cancer. This is why emission test is part of vehicle registration renewal; to determine if the vehicle is creating harmful level of smoky exhaust or not.  Another goal of emissions testing is to cut down smoke pollution that are harmful to all living things, with particular focus on improving air quality.

 

Emission test

 

Emissions testing checks the levels of hazardous materials that escape from a motor vehicle with a combustion engine.  The government has prescribed that gasoline-fueled vehicles should not emit more than 3.5 percent CO (by volume) and 600ppm (particles per minute) HC to be given a certificate of emissions compliance. Diesel-powered vehicles must not exceed 2.5K for natural aspirated engines and 3.5K for turbocharged diesel engines. Motorcycles must meet a 4.5 percent CO standard, while the HC limits have not been set.

 

What does the color of your exhaust mean?

 

Passing the emission testing doesn’t really depends on how thin or thick you smoke is, instead it looks at how dangerously polluted the fumes are on the smoke. The typical color of vehicle smoke is white but there are other smoke colors that you should be aware of. You can also identify the problem in your car by just using the colors listed below.

 

Smoke ColorCauses
White and thick
  • Overheated engine
  • Blown head gasket
  • Cracked engine block
Black
  • Burnt engine
  • Clogged air filter
  • Fault in the sensors, fuel injectors, fuel pressure regulator
Gray
  • Bad turbo charger
  • Problem with transmission fluid
  • Faulty transmission vacuum modulator
Blue
  • Burning oil
  • Oil leak in the combustion chamber

Fines and penalties for smoke belching

There are a lot of cases in which a vehicle passes initial emission testing, but later on be arrested for smoke belching since smoke emission changes through out the use of the vehicle. If you will be unluckily accused of smoke belching on the road,  do not be scared right away. Before surrendering your plate to the traffic officer, an on the spot test will be done first. A device called opacimeter will be used to examine the vehicle’s exhaust.  If the vehicle fails the test, you need to surrender your license plate to the officer. All confiscated plates will be turned over to the Land Transportation Office (LTO). To get  your plate back,  you must first obtain an Emissions Clearance certificate (just like in the initial registration) from an LTO-accredited testing center. To do this, go to LTO and present the Emission Clearance certificate and then pay the appropriate fine for the violation. Fines are as follows:

  • First offense – Php 1,000.00
  • Second offense – Php 3,000.00
  • Third offense – Php 5,000 plus a seminar on pollution management

 

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Here’s All You Need to Know About The LTO Medical Requirements

 

LTO has always required drivers to submit a Medical Certificate along with other documents such as application form and eye test result if they are applying for a driver’s license (e.g. student permit, non-professional, professional.) This is to ensure that the driver is mentally and physically fit since driving is considered as a physical and mental activity. Not only first time applicants are required to submit this, but also those who are applying for a renewal or replacement of license. Aside from the medical certificate, a negative drug test result is also included in the medical requirements.

 

How to get a medical certificate?

 

A certificate will be issued once you are finish with the medical exam. Medical examinations are done from an LTO accredited or government physician and government clinics or hospitals. Usually, LTO accredited clinics are just around the vicinity of the LTO office. There are times that these clinics are closed or unavailable. If such case happens, you can take the medical exam instead from a different clinic, just make sure that it is also LTO accredited. This medical exam usually costs around Php500.00 but still depends on the clinic you are going to take it. The certificate is valid within fifteen days from the date it was issued.

 

What should the medical certificate state?

The medical certificate should confirm that the applicant is:

  • mentally and physically fit for driving
  • drug free
  • not color blind and has good eyesight or needs correction glasses
  • able to hear clearly or needs a hearing device

Aside from what was mentioned above, all other existing diseases/medical conditions or disabilities should be declared such as:

  • high blood pressure
  • stroke
  • visual disturbances (glaucoma or cataract)
  • limb problems
  • dementia
  • diabetes

Make sure that you let the physician know all medical conditions you have as of the present since these conditions might affect your capability to drive safely.

Department Order No. 2015-014 has revised some guidelines for renewal of license. Within the department order, applicant’s medical certificate should now show the name, address, Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) number and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) number of the Physician who did the exam if the applicant has the following disabilities:

A. Orthopedically Impaired

  •    For upper limbs: amputated left or right arm with prosthesis
  •    For lower limbs: amputated left or right leg with prosthesis
  •    Post-Poliomyelitis: with one paralyzed leg either left or right

B. Partially blind

C. Speech and Hearing Impaired

D. Free from highly contagious diseases (for PDL applicants)

Passing of fake medical certificates (forged, duplicated, or processed from a non-licensed physician) are not tolerated by LTO. According to the department, no one shall be allowed to have a license or even renew license using a fake certificate. If any license will be issued by accident, it will be immediately recalled by LTO and proper case shall be filed.

 

Are foreigner’s required to present a medical certificate?

Like any other Filipino applicants, foreigners are also required to submit a medical certificate even if they have dual citizen license. Foreigners need to submit a medical certificate issued by any licensed physician practicing in the Philippines.

 

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How to get an MTOP (Motorized Tricycle Operator’s Permit)


MTOP (Motorized Tricycle Operator’s Permit) is a necessary document for one to be qualified to use and operate a motorized tricycle for any livelihood purposes. Whether for a local delivery or transportation business. If you’re planning to use a motorized or electric tricycle for business or livelihood then you need to get a MTOP first and foremost. MTOP has a validity of three (3) years and local application fees vary for different cities and towns here in the Philippines.

QUALIFICATIONS you need to apply for a MTOP (Motorized Tricycle Operator’s Permit)

  • Must be a Filipino citizens
  • Partnership or corporation whose capitalization is sixty percent (60%) Filipino owned

 

MTOP Requirements:

  • Community tax certificate
  • Certificate of registration from LTO (original and photocopy)
  • Proof of purchase or official receipt of purchased tricycle unit (original and photocopy)
  • Barangay clearance that indicates residency
  • Certificate or letter of reference from TODA
    Photocopy copy of driver’s licence
  • Two (2) copies of 2×2 colored ID picture

 

Where to Apply?

MTOP application can be conducted at any Franchising and Regulatory Board office nearest your local town or city.

 

STEPS and PROCEDURES in order to get a MTOP

  • Go to local Franchising and Regulatory Board office nearest you and present the list of requirements
  • Present the motorized or electric tricycle unit to Traffic Management Group (TMG) at local municipal or city hall
  • Proceed to Franchising section of Business Permit and License office and present all the required documents
  • Wait for all your fees and charges to be assessed
  • Go to the License division of the Treasurer’s office and pay all required fees
  • Claim your MTOP and sticker

 

Fees and Charges:

Fees and chargesAmount in Php
MTOP filing fee50.00
Inspection fee20.00
Permit fee75.00
Franchise fee (paid once every 3 years)300.00
Fare adjustment fee50.00
Regulatory fee (paid annually)100.00
Provisional permit fee (paid every 3 months)75.00
Total670.00

 

Take note that these charges vary in other Municipalities, so to verify the exact fees and charges you may need to got to or phone the nearest local Municipal Hall where Franchising Regulatory Board usually is located.

 

 

 

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