On the walls of that LTO branch, you will see a step-by-step procedure on how to get your license. If you’ve only been to Manila for a short while, you would say that maybe licensing is such an easy process since drivers this reckless are issued legal driver’s licenses. Thinking about it, it is simple. Except it takes ages.

If I had to write my blurb in one word, I would definitely put ‘impatient’. It’s real. I would prefer not waiting in line for Chowking’s Choco Pao, nor would I want to be #176 in a government process I woke up at 5am for.

But I have no choice. As a law abiding citizen, I cannot complain. And heads up, you can’t either. You can only bask in the glory of the century’s greatest invention that is the smartphone.

So, aside from my phone and a power bank, here are a few things I brought with me to the licensing center to survive that 6-hour madness.

Packed Lunch and a Thermos

Chances are you’ll get to hear the words, “Balik nalang po kayo mamaya, mga 2:00pm, para sa driving test.” Great. Don’t get mad because you’re hungry. Save your energy for better things like getting mad at why they’re asking you to wait so long..

On a serious note, pack some snacks and a tumbler filled with cold water. The process itself is a tiring thing, and you’ll be at risk for dehydration and fatigue. Plus, you don’t have to buy crappy lunch from outside.

Ballpoint Pen 

The LTO specifies that you must not use a gel pen on your written test. I did. It’s okay though, no one noticed. So to be very sure, bring your own ballpoint pen. It’s very important that you do not bring any pen that will bleed through paper.

There are people selling ballpoint pens inside the licensing center but I find it a bit useless to buy something that you’ll only use for a while. That is, of course, unless you really planned on buying a pen from them, which I doubt you were.


This one’s a no-brainer, but I’ve had friends who were not aware they needed to pay a P250.00 rental fee for the driving test car. Be sure to know the fees you have to pay for whatever you’re applying for — professional, non-professional, or student license.

Online Written Test Reviewer

If you did not have driving school, be sure to check out some driver’s written test reviewers online. Most of the questions on test will be from a standard reviewer, and in verbatim too. The written test also involves some identification of traffic signs. You don’t need to study for this. The signs and their names are all written on the wall nearest you.


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