TheCebuano Guide: How to Renew Your Driver’s License at LTO (SM City Cebu)

Are you planning to renew your Driver’s License (with 5 years validity) at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) at SM City Cebu? TheCebuano presents a step-by-step guide to ensure that your renewal experience is not only hassle-free but also fast and easy. Are you ready? Let’s begin!


Before heading to the Land Transportation Office at SM City Cebu, be sure that you are ready for the tests that you will have to take. Here are some things you need to take note of:

  • You are going to have to take a drug test. And that means you will be required to pee into a small bottle. Before arriving at the office, it is best to drink plenty of liquid so that you are not only well-hydrated but also ready to pee (enough to fill an entire bottle) when it is your turn.
  • You will have to take a physical/medical test with an actual doctor. So, for issues that may arise (the doctor will be asking you a series of questions,) please be ready with the following information: blood type, injuries, medical history, disabilities, etc.
  • Be sure to look your best because your photo will be taken. Remember, this photo will be in your driver’s license for five years. It wouldn’t hurt if you get a little haircut or trim before the big day. Also, if you have unnecessary accessories and other personal effects, please remove them beforehand.


Now that you are prepared, let’s take a look at this check-list of must-haves. Be sure that you have the following with you before proceeding to LTO SM City Cebu:

  • Your OLD Driver’s License
  • A Pen
  • Cash – Bring Php2000.00 to be safe
  • Something to keep you entertained/amused/awake

License Renewal

Now that your bladder is full, your must-haves are all safely placed inside your bag, and you are looking mighty fine, let’s begin with the actual process. Ready?

Step 1: Go to the HLO Drug Testing Laboratory

Look for the HLO Drug Testing Laboratory on the third level of SM City Cebu. It is located across Primary Homes and right next to the LTO Driver’s License Renewal Center. Note that the office is only open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from Mondays thru Fridays and from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm on Saturdays. So, if you’re in a hurry to be the first in line, be sure to use the Jollibee Entrance (facing APM Mall) as it is the entrance closest to the renewal center. As soon as the mall opens at 10:00 am, run as fast as you can!

Step 2: Line Up at Cashier 1

Once you’ve located the HLO Drug Testing Laboratory, look for the cashier to pay for the Drug Test. For the whole renewal process, the Cashier is usually referred to as STEP 1. For this reason, the queue can be unusually long. So, as soon as you arrive at the testing center, look for the end of the queue and be ready with your cash and old license. If you are a senior citizen, there is a special line for you.

Step 3: Pay for the Drug Testing

When it is your turn at the counter, hand over your cash (Php700.00 for the drug test) and your old Driver’s License. After paying, the cashier will return your Driver’s License. With it is a small piece of paper which contains your priority number. Do not lose this because this will serve as your ‘ticket’ to steps 2, 3, and 4.

Step 4: Wait for Your Turn

Now that you’ve paid for your Drug Test, the next step is to wait for your turn. Now, this is the part where “Something to keep you entertained/amused/awake” would come in handy. You can play with your mobile phone, read a book, or talk with the person sitting next to you. But never ever forget to look at the number on the screen.

Step 5: Biometrics

Once you see your number flashing on the screen (Step 2 box,) head over to the Step 2 counter for your photograph and digital signature. Be ready with your pen, toom as you will be required to fill out a short form. Once you are done, you will be asked to pose for a shot. They will (usually) shoot without warning so it is best to take a look at yourself in the mirror before actually proceeding to this counter. After your photo is taken, you will have to make a digital signature and your digital fingerprints will also be taken.

Step 6: Drug Test Sample

Once you’re done with your digital fingerprints, signature, and photo, you will then proceed to Step 3 for the “pee test.” Female applicants will be asked to pee inside a restroom with the door closed. For male applicants, however, the gathering of your urine sample (peeing inside the container) will have to be done with the door kept open. Once your container is full, cover it with the lid provided and hand it over to the in-charge. He will put an adhesive over the lid to ensure that it doesn’t get opened by unauthorized personnel or replaced by someone else. You will then be required to sign on the adhesive.

Step 7: Signing More Forms

After the “pee test,” it is time to fill out some more sheets for your medical test. There are 5 sheets in total so you have to be extra careful with all the information that you provide. Samples of the completely filled out forms are posted near the main entrance to help you finish your forms easily and properly. (Imagine the hassle if you don’t bring your own pen.)

Step 8: Wait for Your Medical/Physical Test

At this juncture, the whole process will be a bit slower as the doctors will have to interview/check the applicants individually. So, you can take this opportunity to take your time with your forms. Remember, focus on completing your forms but also be mindful of the numbers flashing on the Step 4 screen.

Step 9: Medical/Physical Test

Once your number is flashed on the screen, proceed to the doctor’s office with your sheets, your priority number, and your old driver’s license. An employee will take the sheets and file each one separately. The employee will then take your weight and your height and reflect your stats on one of the sheets. The employee will then give you back that sheet and you will be asked to wait for your turn inside the doctors’ office. Once your name is called, you will be interviewed by the doctor and your vital signs (including your sight and recent medical history) will be checked. The results will be recorded on the last sheet that you have.

Step 10: Payment for Driver’s License Renewal

After your medical/physical test, you will be asked to proceed to the LTO Office next door. You will then be asked to pay for your renewal. Note that there are different rates depending on the date of your renewal. Renewing an expired license will be more expensive compared to renewing a non-expired one. Take a look at the rates below:

After paying, you will receive the Temporary Driver’s License.

And that’s it! You’re now allowed to legally drive once again. Of course, you still have to secure your plastic Driver’s License. But that’s an entirely different process.

Just to keep you ready, here are a few things you need to know about the processing of your plastic Driver’s License:

  • License printing will be done at SM Seaside City Cebu Seaview Wing AND City Wing.
  • The sites are open during mall hours from Mondays thru Fridays ONLY.
  • The sites will entertain applicants on a First Come First Served Basis.
  • Around 350 applicants will be entertained daily. If you come early, there is a huge chance that you will have your plastic Driver’s License before noon. Otherwise, you may refer to the table below for the serving time for all issued priority numbers:

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1 Response

  1. Is it possible to renew my old license up to ten (10) years at SM?

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