Conversion of Foreign License to Philippine Driver's License: My Asawa's Experience is concluded today with this post. My wife had made the trip to the main Land Transportation Office in Iloilo, located in the Jaro District, to have her Illinois Driver's License changed to a Filipino license before her birthday in September.
My wife has had over four years to take care of this task, but decided, approximately 3 weeks before her Illinois license expired, to finally make it over to the local LTO. Conversion can be done without taking any written exam or driving test, if your foreign license hasn't expired, so the advantages of getting this done before the expiration are obvious.
So after obtaining her required medical certificate (which consisted of a blood pressure check) my spouse was called over by an LTO employee to process her conversion request. Looked at her passport. Looked at her application. There was a problem.
My asawa's first name on her passport, "Maria Melinda", did not match the first name on her Illinois Driver's License, which was "Melinda". When my wife obtained her Permanent Resident "Green Card," which isn't permanent if you leave the States for over a year and isn't green, she had the option to how she wanted to list her name on the "Green Card." She opted to drop the "Maria," which she rarely used, and only use "Melinda."
The LTO employee informed her that she would have to have an attorney issue an affidavit for a name correction before conversion of her foreign license to a Philippine Driver's License could be done. My spouse sensed the employee was trying to pry a little extra money from her to expedite the process. But she asked how much the attorney's fee would be. 100 pesos she was told. The lawyer's office was conveniently located next door to the main LTO office.
After paying the attorney 150 pesos (as opposed to 100) she received an "Affidavit of Correction" which stated "I would like to correct my rel (should be "real" but misspelled on the document) name to Melinda. …to Maria Melinda." Simple enough. Signed and notarized by the lawyer.
My asawa took the affidavit back to the LTO employee. Problem. The worker protested that the document should read "correction of name" and not "Affidavit of Correction." My wife kept her cool. The employee obviously knew my wife was married to a "rich" foreigner. Was this a shakedown? My asawa replied "But sir, the affidavit clearly states that this is a correction of my name."
The LTO employee finally relented and said he would speak to the attorney about this to avoid future problems. Paid 637 pesos for the license conversion fees to the cashier and then my wife's picture was taken. Two hours later and she had successfully converted her foreign license to a Philippine Driver's License. Now all she needed was a vehicle so she could put that new license to good use.