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 100.00 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. 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,


71 thoughts on “Driver’s License Renewal at LTO SM City Cebu

      1. Ask ko lng po if anung gagawin kapag accidentaly nabali po yung license ko?kukuha po ba ako ng panibagung license or mag renew nlng or ano po ba gagawin ko?pls.rply asap po..salamat..

  1. 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?

  2. 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

    1. 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!

      1. 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. :-)

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

  6. I think if you’ll arrive at 4:30PM, you’ll most likely get done in less than an hour :)
    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.

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

  8. 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?

  9. 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. :)
    I’m planning to go at sm around 4 pm.

      1. 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.

  10. 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????

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

  12. 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 :-( Finally, I was able to get my new license at about 2:30.

    1. 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! :)

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