Michael Brian Tina

Experiencing life while taking down notes

Driver’s License Renewal at LTO SM City Cebu

Hey, guys! How’s it been going? Here’s another late post. Just turned 22 *Cue T. Swift song* last September 4, and that also meant I had to renew my driver’s license. So, I went to the LTO Office in SM City Cebu.

My sister dropped me off at around 9:30. I waited outside the entrance near Radisson Blu. All this time, I was thinking it was near VECO! I was actually on the opposite side! It’s advisable if you go at around 9 or so, so you can be first in line going in the entrance. Remember to line up at the entrance near APM Mall.

Even if I was on the wrong side, there were already a bunch of people waiting outside. About 20 people at 9:45, so I assume there were more people on the correct entrance.


At exactly 10, the guards let people in, and it was a mad dash! I realized my mistake when I got to VECO, and ran to LTO after I got some directions. It’s actually on the third floor, below where the Bowling Center is, and is a stone’s throw from Slimmers World Gym.


When I got there, I was already No. 53 in line. To think, I was there at 10:05 AM! I’m glad, because after around 15 minutes, the line swelled up to about 150 people. It was kind of crazy.


Took some pictures and some random snapshots, since information was just posted and scattered around. As you can read from above, the LTO Renewal Office is open from 10AM-6PM Monday to Fridays, and they don’t stop for a noon break.


The first step in renewing your license is to get your medical exam. The LTO certified clinic is named HLO. It used to be that you needed to pay a pretty penny for the medical portion since you needed a urine sample for a drug test, but now, you just need to pay PHP 100.00Β for the basic medical exam and to surrender your old Driver’s License. The picture below shows that you need to pay PHP 450.00, but that’s the old chart.


If you guys aren’t in a rush, I really suggest that you go get your medical exam and driver’s license renewal in the afternoon, at around 3-4, as there are less people at that time. So if time isn’t an issue, by all means, go in the late afternoon.





After you pay at the counter on the left, you will be given a priority number and a form to fill up. This form is actually your form for the LTO driver’s license renewal, and after the medical exam, they will attach the clearance to it. You will be waiting again. There is an indicator flashing red the corresponding priority number, which is kind of convenient. SM also has free Wi-Fi for around an hour, and it’s fast enough for you to check your Twitter, FB or load a few Instagram pictures. Take note that they will prioritize the Senior Citizens, so even if you are priority number 1-50, they will still get a batch or two of Senior Citizens and let them take the medical exam first. This is mainly what caused my wait at the medical exam for about 2 hours. It also lagged on because the 2nd doctor (there are two of them, and one nurse) was late in arriving.

After waiting, my priority number was flashing. I gave it to the nurse, and she took my weight and height. The doctor got my blood pressure, asked a few questions about my health, and it all seemed pretty routine. Under 3-4 minutes, and I was cleared!


So after being cleared on the medical exam, I handed my form to this guy on a desk at the right side. This is the actual LTO Driver’s License Renewal Center, as the space next to it was the HLO Medical Clinic. After the guy gets your form, he will fill in some information, and you will again be asked to wait. It’s a good thing there are chairs at both the clinic and the renewal center, but it is really lacking for the amount of people that go everyday.


After about another hour waiting, you will go to counter 1 and your picture will be taken and you’ll be asked to sign your digital signature on their table, and then you will be asked to wait again. Take note that there is no priority number or flashing indicator this time, they just shout out your last name, so you just have to listen attentively.


After about 10 minutes, you go to counter 3, and will be asked to pay! Now, if you didn’t get the penalty, which means that you renew your license before your birthday (your license expires on your birthday) you will be asked to pay a total of PHP 418.00. If you have your license renewed after the expiry date, you will be paying PHP 493.00.Β The penalty is up to 1 day up to 1 year, which means that, given that my birthday is on September 4, even if I renewed on September 5 or even 5-6 months after my birthday, I’d still pay PHP 493.00.

After about 10 more minutes, the guy will call your name, and you go to counter 4, and they hand you your brand new driver’s license!


I spent about a total time of around 3 hours and 30 minutes before I got my license. Maybe there were just a lot of people today, and that doctor being late also delayed things, but I heard that the usual time is about 2 hours tops. Maybe it’d also help if you just go in the late afternoon, where it’s non-peak hours.

So, that about wraps it up about my experience in renewing my driver’s license at the LTO Renewal Center in SM City Cebu.

Here are some tips for you guys:

  • Go early at about 9-9:30 so you’ll be first in line outside the mall. Wait at the entrance across APM mall so that you’ll be one of the first people there. Don’t forget that it’s a mad dash to the 3rd floor when the guards let people in!
  • Don’t forget to bring your old driver’s license and a ballpen. They won’t need any other documents aside from your old license. The ballpen is so that you can fill up the form.
  • Bring PHP 100.00 for the medical exam, and PHP 418.00 for the actual renewal fee. It’s PHP 493.00 if you’re expecting to pay the penalty fee. So bring about PHP 700.00 just to be safe.
  • There is a digitized board that indicates the priority number at the clinic, but when you actually get to the renewal center, they just shout out the last name of the person, so you have to be more attentive, otherwise they will skip you.
  • Just be patient. It’ll all be over with soon!

That’s it! If you have any questions or clarifications, I’ll be glad to answer them in the comments section. If this post helped you out, leave a comment!

Until next time,



  1. Very helpful. Thank you!

  2. Is HLO near the LTO renewal center?
    Where should I line first, HLO or LTO renewal?

  3. Very helpful Thanks!!

  4. Do u have any contact number of lto sm cebu?

  5. THANK YOU so much… very helpful

  6. Hi does drug test still needed this time? As I heard if you citations before you will have to pay for that first before you can renew, is this true?

    • Hi, Jhun.

      You don’t need the drug test anymore. You’re paying for the medical exam before you can have your license renewed. Hope this helped.


  7. Thank u for this post. I renewed my license in under 30 min i arrived at lto sm around 5:20pm. Phew that was close. Wat kept me thinkin ryt now is that they asked 400 pesos from me. They let me take the urine exam. When in fact the urine exam for renewal of license is alreay been abolished. Tsk3 i think im gonna complain

    • Thats 400 for the exam and another 418 for the renewal. Total of 818

    • I’m not sure if it’s been abolished, or if they randomly require urine tests in like 1 every 100 persons. Not sure about it, but this is just what I heard. I’m glad you were able to renew your license in such a quick amount of time!

      • Actually they abolished the drug test for a few months but made it a requirement once again afterwards due to many accidents. I think Michael took it when it was removed as a requirement and Snakedoc renew his license when they placed it back as a requirement. πŸ™‚

  8. Hi, Is LTO cebu will process Driver’s License Certification Letter? I want to get the certification as this will be requirement for me to be able to get a drivers license in Canada…

  9. Thank you for posting this. very informative =)

  10. Thanks for these tips. I’m planning to renew my driver’s license tomorrow.

  11. what is the servicing hours for SM LTO?

  12. My work is at 8AM-4PM, I went there yesterday (June 16) and arrived at about 4:20 PM. Because of the long queue or large volume of people, they decided to cut it off earlier than usual. They suggested I will take the medical exam first so that the following day before I come back, I will just have to proceed to LTO for the requirements. My question is now based on the P100 SERVICE FEE that they charged me with on top of the P100 medical exam fee. I was not able to look around and check for that signage stating such amounts. The receptionist was not accommodating at all and lacked explanation as to what the “service fee” was for, although I was not able to ask ’cause I was in a hurry to buy a birthday cake for my friend. I will return within 3 days.

  13. pag tayo ay kokoha ng license sa LTO Lapu lapu city cebu office,tama ba ang mga ginagawa nyo sa LTO. ang makapag bayad sa halagang 3000 to 4000 pasa agad. ang walang pera at kilangan mag exam na babasak. may milagro ba sa office ng LTO?

  14. if ever you lost the temporary drivers license, what wili we do?

  15. what time is the cut-off for license renewals? one time I arrived around 11 and they told me that I didn’t make it in time for the cut-off

  16. sir saan po na pinto banda papunta sa l t o kasi hindi kopo kabisado ang sm cebu kahit na taga cebu ako..salamat po sa info..god bless you all

  17. Can I also get SP there at SM Cebu?

  18. hi sir i have my drivers license way back 2008 but i forgot to renew it, and i already lost my card, my question is, how much where im going to spend for renewing it again? can i renew my lto DL here in cebu but i live in mindanao, i work here in cebu for almost 1 year? and what the main requirements for the renewal? i hope you can answer my concern… thank you!!!

  19. thanks πŸ™‚

  20. sir my driver licensed almost 5 years

  21. Thank you sir for the clear information πŸ™‚

  22. I will go there tommorrow, thanks!

  23. thank you for the info.

  24. Fantastic info thank you

  25. Sir pwede ba mag renew sa license months before it’s supposed to expire? Thanks.

  26. Hi i have a temporary id. Cause lto mandaue ran out of plastic license. can i just show my temporary id in sm and process is to the plastic license? Ive been waiting more than a month to get my non prof plastic license

    • Hi, Dunn. Sorry, I don’t have any answer for your question. But if you do get to find out, please do let us know, for the benefit of everyone reading this post. Thanks!

  27. Amandoron Jonathan

    June 20, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Sir have ahh Good day i want to ask sir..I have ahh student permet pwd ba epa Profesional ne nako dretso? or mu agey jud cya og Non-Frof??Pila xad akung na bayad aney sir?? Thanks…

  28. Hi,

    Do they process new application for driver’s license also?

    Thanks for your help πŸ™‚

  29. i lost my drivers license, can i renew at lto sm cebu?

    • Hi, Lani. My father lost his license a few months back. He went to SM and they told him that he had to get it replaced at either the Mandaue or Cebu branch. I think the one in SM is just for renewal.

  30. Hi! Can we also apply for SP license here?

  31. I think if you’ll arrive at 4:30PM, you’ll most likely get done in less than an hour πŸ™‚
    I was there today at 4PM and got my receipt (plastic cards not available!) around 5:10. I noticed at 4:30PM there were only 3 of us at HLO.

    Note that it’s only for renewal, you can’t ask trhem to add a restriction.

  32. maxell ombajin

    July 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Sir tanung lang po sa ngayun requirements paba ang drugtest sa renew ng driver license sa sm cebu city? tnx

  33. Hi, tanong lang po: Yung urine sample yun naba ang drug test procedure sa medical exam? thanks

  34. hi! plastic ba po ang release sa kanilang license? thanks

  35. Hhheeeeyyyy… didn’t I just encounter you at LTO today renewing license?

  36. Jonn Jasper Ejoc

    October 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Hi, Michael, thank you for the great information, it really helped me a lot, since It will be my first time renewing my drivers license, my drivers license will expire this coming October, 30 2015, and I’m planning to renew it early so that I don’t have to spend my birthday just to renew it., can I ask you a question? how much did you pay overall?

  37. hello Michael,
    thanks for this informative blog
    I’m renewing my license today.
    Based from your post, its 10-6 pm.

    i’ll be posting my experience soon if its a success or not. πŸ™‚
    I’m planning to go at sm around 4 pm.

    • Thanks, Arvin. Good luck!

      • Hello,

        Been at Sm LTO at exactly 4 pm, in HLO it takes about 30-40 minutes to get things done. By the way, drug testing is required. Had my BP, height, and weight taken.
        in the next door (LTO) i was lucky that the man sitting near the entrance accept my application since no more priority number, he said they’ll be calling me and they did after an hour, that’s around 6 pm. But since there were many people inside that room, they extend the office hours and cater those in there. Around 5 pm, they started to deny those application and told them to continue monday.
        overall, it took about 2 hours and 30 mins more or less, that’s from 4 to 6:30 pm.
        so i can recommend to go there at around 3 to 3:30 to finish around 6 pm.

  38. Hello Michael ask ko lng po meron bang seminar na kailangan kung mgpa renew ako ng driver license ko?

  39. Hi MIKE,
    Will LTO accept renewing an expired license? 5months expired to be exact.

  40. tonik_ken@yahoo.com

    November 15, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Good day…i just want to ask if the l.t.o will also ask for the o.r of expired drivers license?? Or simply they only need the expired license card????

  41. totoo bang kailangan na daw ngayon ng police clearance, nbi clerarance at birth crtificate kapag nag renew ng drivers license?

  42. Hi Michael. Your blog was so helpful to me in renewing our passports (we went to DFA mid-afternoon) that I was amused to open your site again when I googled “renewing my driver’s license in the afternoon. I have always renewed my D.L. early in the morning, 3 years ago, I was even the first in line. But I felt the wait was still too long so I wanted to try going in the afternoon in the hopes that maybe, like in DFA, it’ll be easier. Nope, not this time. I went Nov. 10, true enough, few people were there. I went around 3pm. After maybe an hour, I moved on to renew my license, This is were it doesn’t work going in the afternoon. I was told to come back because it was already cut-off time. He advised me to come in the morning because I might get cut-off again if I go late. If it’s your birthday or if you’re a senior, your can proceed. The following day, I went 10am. Since you’re not allowed to loiter in SM before 10, I waited awhile in Slimmer’s. At around 9:50, I decided to go there, and there was already someone standing near the entrance so I was no. 2. A few minutes before 10, the guy inside signaled us to go in and submit our papers. Just as he was handing out our numbers, the rush of people arrived. It was not until 10:40 that they called no.1 for the photo. Then another long wait, the cashier started collecting from 3 seniors first before no. 1. Then she gave me a new number…. 87! Apparently, they have a huge backlog, thus everyday, the cut-off time is much earlier than their office hours. I was told releasing will probably be about 1pm. Until then, we can’t drive πŸ™ Finally, I was able to get my new license at about 2:30.

    • Hi, JFe! Reading your comment brought a smile to my face. Glad to have had you read both my posts for the passport renewal as well as the driver’s license renewal. This is noted. Apparently, going in the afternoon doesn’t work for the LTO, especially hearing about the backlog that you had to encounter even though you were second in line. Sucks! But at least you have your license now. Cheers! πŸ™‚

  43. Just went to LTO SM Cebu at around 2.30 pm to get my plastic id card only to find out that I still need a priority number to get it. I was so shocked to find out that the plastic card is not yet printed. Worst part is that they told me to come back tomorrow at an earlier time for them to print it. Do you happen to know the cmplaints mobile number?

  44. Hi!
    Just want to ask if you have any idea if the 493.00 fee applies for a drivers license which is expired for about 3-4 years now?

    • Hi, Leah. I believe whether it’s 1 day or 10 years late, it’s still the same fee. πŸ™‚

      • Hi Michael,
        I’ve never tried renewing when my license is already expired but I renewed it just a few months ago and I think I read that the penalty for 1 year 1 day to 2 years is higher. Then if I remember right, after 2 years you have to reapply. P493 fee is for 1 day to 1 year.

        • Hi, JFe. Thanks for the input. It’s been a while since I went to the LTO. Not sure what the fee is now. The PHP 493 is familiar, but I didn’t know it was only up to 1 year.

  45. Hi,

    Do they accomodate license renewal which was expired 5 years ago? πŸ™‚ Because Im planning to renew my license near Emall..but SM LTO is more accessible to me.

    Thank you.

  46. I have my driver’s license in 2007. Never got a chance to renew it till present. I don’t even know where the receipt is. Do you think I can renew my license without the receipt and already expired about 9 years? I have an active driver’s license from a different country. I am planning to renew it if possible and use it during my stay in the Philippines. As much as possible I don’t want to use my foreign driver’s license especially in the Philippines. Just a precaution. Any inputs are really appreciated.

    • Hi, Chym. I don’t think you need the receipt to be able to renew your driver’s license. As long as you have the old ID, I think that should just be fine for renewal purposes. πŸ™‚

  47. Hi, I’m planning to upgrade my SP to NON PROF, do you think I will have a penalty for 2months expired?

  48. Hello ,

    Very good blog po…
    Do u have any idea if they give priority also to pregnant women? Thanks

  49. hi michael! i plan to get a student license,.will it be processed within one day?

    • Hi, Jaja. I don’t think you can get a student’s permit in SM. As for my case, I got it from the LTO in the city. Got it after one full day. πŸ™‚

  50. Hi Michael. Can I renew my old drivers license here in Cebu even if I got it from LTO Bohol?

  51. For clarification, is it open on a saturday? Thanks. God bless.

  52. hi Michael, I am planning to renew my license from Non-prof – Prof same restrictions . will I be able to do it in Lto SM Cebu branch? thanks

  53. does it require written exam for a foreigner to renew his ph driving license which expired 11month ago?

  54. Hi! I have here a Student’s license. I want to have a Driver’s license. Do they accommodate new applicants for Driver’s License? or just renewal?

  55. Hi gd am..naa na bay plastic diha sa sm?salamat

  56. it helps a lot! thanks brother.. Be Blessed

  57. Hi, Michael. I’m confuse if I can get a Non-Prof license in SM LTO, this will be my first time to get non-prof after my SP. Is it possible that I can just apply for Non-Prof in SM LTO? Thank you! God Bless.

  58. Hi I’ve renewed my driver license last mar 16, but the lto sm gave me the renewed license which is a paper not the plastic. last oct i was able to get back and verify but the information counter adv me to wait until february for the releasing of plastic or wait the lto post by february 2017. it’s too long to wait what was happening for the reproduction of plastic driver’s license at lto SM.

    • I renewed my license last September as well, and I only have the paper receipt as well. They let me keep my old driver’s license. They said production of the plastic card is put on hold indefinitely. So we’ll just have to wait and see.

  59. open cla tommorow mga boss????

  60. hi.is it true that they only entertain 100 persons per day?…thanxπŸ˜€

  61. Hey guys anyone knows about getting international license? I will coming Cebu nextweek would like to know any ideas …

  62. Thank you!
    Your information of drivers license renewal helps a lot .

  63. SM Cebu entertain convert student license to non-pro?

  64. nice 1!!πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ thanks bro

  65. Carly Mae Albaracin

    March 6, 2018 at 6:21 am

    Paano pag wala ng OR ung lisensya, maka pag renew paba????? Need help lng jud. Tnx

  66. Paano pag wala ng OR makapag renew paba? Need lng jud og help..

  67. anong need e present sa SM seaside in getting the plastic driver license? I renewed my license Jan of 2017 but during that time wala pa yong plastic na driver license. Sabi tawagan lng daw if available na pero until now wala pa.. so plano ko kukunin sya sa SM Seaside but my problem d ko na makita yong original na driver license na nasa papel lng.. xerox lng meron aq.. so tama ba na need e present yong original na paper driver license to get the plastic driver license?

    Thanks advance for your relies.

  68. Hi! I find this post very helpful, thank you! I’m living in Tokyo and my driver’s license expired October 2017. It is now October 2018. I will be in Cebu this December and will be renewing my license. Do you have an idea how much the total cost is? Is LTO still at the same location? Thank you in advance.

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