Facebook page posing as Philippine transport agency shares false driver's licence claim

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A Facebook page that bears the Philippines' Land Transportation Office (LTO) logo has shared a false claim that Filipinos can apply for or renew their driver's licence online without visiting government licence centres. An official from the LTO told AFP those applying for a driver's licence still needed to physically visit licencing centres for written and practical driving exams.

The false claim has been shared over 6,000 times on Facebook after it was published on December 4.

The post was published on a page called "Lto Drivers License Assistant" which bears the LTO logo and claims to be a "government official".

"As of now you can already process your licence online," the post states. "For those who do not have the time to line up at LTO and do not have rest days from work, we can process it anytime and anywhere."

It goes on to claim Filipinos no longer need to visit licencing centres to apply for or renew their professional or non-professional driver's licences.

The post also includes an image of what appears to be driver's licence templates.

Screenshot of the false post taken on December 12, 2022.

Similar false claims have also been shared on Facebook here and here.

Comments on the post suggested users believed these posts.

"Hi sir, I'm an overseas worker but I want a Philippine driver's licence. What's the procedure?" one user asked.

"How much is this? I really need a licence," another wrote.

However, the claim is false.

Not affiliated 'in any way'

According to the LTO's official website, those applying for student, non-professional and professional driver's licences needed to go to LTO licencing centres or authorised district or extension offices to take written and practical exams.

After applicants passed these exams, they would need to pay for licence fees and provide biometric information.

The office's Strategic Communications Chief Divine Reyes told AFP the Facebook page "Lto Drivers License Assistant" and other pages offering "driver's licence assistance" were not affiliated with the LTO.

"These pages are not in any way affiliated with the Land Transportation Office," she said on December 19.

She said the public should get information from LTO's official Facebook page, which features a blue verification badge and was created on February 7, 2017.

The "Lto Drivers License Assistant" page did not bear the verification badge and was only created on July 2, 2022.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the page that shared the false claim (left) and LTO's official Facebook page (right):

Screenshot comparison of the page that shared the false claim (left) and LTO's official Facebook page (right)

LTO licence department chief Richard Cortez also said the department's online services were "still being developed" and that they were only planned for licence renewal applications.

The LTO has repeatedly said here, here and here that online pages offering "driver's licence assistance" were scams.