Mug Shot

Now I know why everyone’s mug shot in their driver’s license looks bad.

I went to have my license renewed yesterday. I was at the LTO (Land Transportation Office) of San Juan (near the firestation) at 8 in the morning, when they are expected to open. Before renewal of their license, one has to have a medical check-up and a drug test taken.

When I got to the LTO, two of the three places that do drug tests were open, the clinic was even closed! I went into New Horizon Drug Testing Center only because the guy inside called me into their place.

I peed into a cup (ugh!) and handed it back to the guy for supposed “testing”. I don’t think they actually tested it, unless they could do so in…uhm…15 minutes? All they did after that was to ask me to fill out a license renewal form, and in a few minutes, I was given a slip that said I was drug-free. Strange. Cost me PhP250.00. Wonder how much it cost them: a pee bottle, some masking tape, some tissue, electricity (computer time), printer ribbon (not a lot, since they’re still using a dot matrix!), carbon paper.

Next, I waited in line for the “doctor” to come. I was the fourth in line, and when it was my turn, all she asked me was whether I wore glasses (yes, I do), what my height and weight are. She wrote these down and didn’t even ask me to do anything else! Oh, yes, and I paid again–PhP50.00.

Finally, I could go have the LTO process my license! (Oh, they require your TIN–tax identification number–now!) Time to cheer, right? WRONG! My papers were buried beneath a group of people who were there to get their very first license! Since they were all students of A1 Driving School, they were processed as a bunch—ARGH!!!!!!!!! And to think, I was even there before they arrived!

I don’t like being made to wait, especially if I am early. I was half thinking to “fight” with the people who were processing my papers, but then I realized that it would be to no avail as these were people working for the government of the Philippines (*sigh*).

So, I waited.

845AM…became 945AM, I was still waiting! I was so pissed that they were making me wait so I decided to “take matters into my own hands”. I went up to Window 5 (Photograph).

Me: Good morning ho. Pwede ho bang magtanong? (May I ask you something?)
Him: Ano po yun? (What is it?)
Me: Uhm…kanina pa ho ako dito, may mga huling dumating sa akin, pero nauna silang na process. Gusto ko lang hong malaman kung malapit na ho ako. (I’ve been waiting for a long time, and other people who arrived later than me are being processed first. I’d like to know if it will be my turn soon.)
Him: (shuffles through his papers and sees my license) Eto na ho kayo. (This is your paper, you’ll be called soon.)
Me: (not that I can do anything about it) Sige ho, thanks. (Alright, thanks.)

Again, I couldn’t do anything. All my papers were inside! (I was nearly ready to leave!) Finally, after a few more people, I was called. My picture was taken, and again, I had to wait.

Not long before 10AM, they called me to pay for the license (PhP232.50!) and I was able to get my picture card after.

All the waiting makes everyone look bad in their license pictures. Now I know why.


About jencc

a constant work-in-progress View all posts by jencc

4 responses to “Mug Shot

  • steve

    We shouldn’t be surprised. LTO is reflective of the Philippines, don’t you think?


  • mami

    What else is new? It’s the Philippines. In fact, Ruben suggested that if you need to pick up the license, do it at 3:30 pm, which is true, when Tep got his, it was fast at the time.

  • Ruth

    Thanks for sharing your story! Now I know what to expect :p I’m 3 years overdue in renewing (can’t find the ‘drive’ to face those LTO officials who were so grumpy the last time I was there) coz I don’t drive much anymore. *sigh* I guess I have to do it sometime soon. I wonder how much I’ll be paying in penalties? hmmm…

  • MrsPartyGirl

    i had trouble with my license kasi i changed my status from single to married… basta all in all, it took them 9 months to process it, puro extend ng extend pero hindi naman pala gumagalaw yung papel ko. bwiset talaga. sana mabago na ang sistema kasi lalong nawawalan ng kumpyansa ang mga tao sa gobyerno nila. and that’s really sad.

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