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Demerit points are part of the new point system introduced by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) through the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 10930.
Basically, we’re now adopting the same point system being used in most developed countries with the goal of improving the overall quality of drivers in the country. In other words, stricter rules = more responsible drivers.
Here’s how it works:
For every traffic violation that you accumulate, there will be a corresponding number of demerit points that will be assigned or charged to you.
The number of demerit points you earn depends on the gravity of the traffic violation you commit. The more serious it is, the more demerit points you’ll get.
What are the traffic violations and their corresponding demerit points?
Traffic violations have three categories, each of which have been assigned a specific number of demerit points:
As shown in the table above, grave violations will earn the highest number of demerit points because they pose the biggest threat to the safety of the driver, passengers, or the general public, and may cause substantial damage to properties.
Traffic violations under this category include driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; failure to wear seat belt/s; smoke-belching; driving against traffic; driving without a valid driver’s license; and overtaking (upon a curve, at an intersection, at no-overtaking zone, etc.).
Meanwhile, less grave violations also endanger people and properties but not as serious of a threat as the grave violations. Included in this classification are failure to dim headlights when approaching another motor vehicle; failure to yield the right to a way to a pedestrian crossing a highway; and failure to stop motor and notch handbrake or motor vehicle when unattended.
Lastly, light violations are equivalent to only 1 demerit point because they’re just considered minor violations of traffic rules, regulations, laws, and ordinances. Examples are unsafe towing, overcharging/undercharging of fare, and failure to display a “No Smoking” sign inside a passenger vehicle.
Take note that drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) will accumulate double demerit points (meaning 2X the regular demerit point) when caught violating a traffic rule while operating a “For Hire” motor vehicle. Double demerit points will also be charged to drivers of a private motor vehicle operating as a PUV but not authorized by the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Boards (LTFRB).
For a complete list of traffic violations and their corresponding demerit points, view the implementing rules and regulations of R.A. 10930.
What will happen when a driver accumulates demerit points?
The type of penalty you’ll get depends on how many demerit points you accumulate within the applicable period which is from the date of the initial issuance or last renewal of your driver’s license to the day before the date of your subsequent renewal.
If you get 10 demerit points or if you’ve committed the same traffic violation for at least 3 times within this period, you’ll be required to undergo a “reorientation course” at the LTO or any of its accredited service provider. Aside from this course, PUV drivers who have committed franchise-related violations will also undergo a training seminar to be conducted by the PUV Driver’s Academy of the LTFRB.
Should the driver refuse or fail to attend the aforementioned “reorientation course” within 30 days from the day he/she was last apprehended, his/her driver’s license will be suspended.
In addition to the above penalties, drivers will also be barred from applying for additional drivers’ license codes or applying for change of classification (from non-professional to professional) within a specific period, the length of which depends on the number of demerit points he/she has accumulated (see table below).
On the other hand, drivers who accumulate a total of 40 demerit points will have their driver’s licenses revoked and will be disqualified from getting a new license for a period of 2 years from the date the fines and penalties are settled.
Keep in mind that all the demerit points you’ve accumulated will not be carried over once your license has been renewed. Hence, getting a new license means your demerit points will go back to zero so you can have a fresh start.
Go back to the main article: How to Apply for a Driver’s License in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide