The Temporary Operator’s Permit, otherwise known as TOP, is an important document issued to the driver or operator who was apprehended for traffic violation at the exact time and location of the apprehension. It is being issued to serve as a temporary driver’s license for a maximum of seventy-two (72) hours or three (3) days so the apprehended driver or operator will have time to take care of any necessary license-related matters that will help them secure and use their license once again.
The issuance of the Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP) is mandated by the LTO Memorandum Circular No. 515-2004 dated 25 May 2004. According to the MC, the TOP, Impounding Receipt of Motor Vehicle (IRMV), and the LTO accountable Forms No. 21-A and 43 are all issued to apprehended drivers or operators with traffic violations at the exact time and location of the apprehension in order to keep an immediate record of the offense committed.
Can TOP be temporarily used as a driver’s license of the apprehended operator/driver?
The LTO Memorandum Circular No. 515-2004 dated 25 May 2004 also notes a few guidelines about how the TOP is issued and used, both by the enforcer and the drivers and operators. For the drivers and operators, the TOP is issued to be used as a temporary driver’s license. However, since it is issued due to a violation, keep in mind that the TOP has limited validity. It is only valid for a short period of time, specifically seventy-two (72) hours or three (3) days so those who have been issued a TOP must make sure to take care of all necessary license-related matters within the said time frame.
The TOP is basically the ticket issued to drivers apprehended by the LTO for violating traffic rules as stipulated by the provisions of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01. The TOP, as mentioned above, serves as a driver’s temporary license before the driver collects their license from the LTO.
How long is the TOP valid?
The TOP has a limited validity period. It is only valid and effective for use for seventy-two (72) hours or three (3) days. Beyond that, it can no longer be used legally. However, it does not mean that the license will be suspended or revoked just yet. Apprehended drivers are given a maximum of 15 days from the date of apprehension to pay the corresponding penalty.
Failure to do so within the given period will cause the automatic suspension of his driver’s license for a period of 30 days from the date of apprehension, in addition to the prescribed fines and penalties.
Is there an electronic TOP (e-TOP)?
Yes. Earlier this year, the LTO hinted at the possibility of launching a shift to electronic TOPs. The initiative is a part of the agency’s efforts to move towards digitalization, with the goal of simplifying the process and improving its enforcement, while curbing corruption at the same time. With an e-TOP, the traffic violations are automatically entered into an online database, negating the need for manual TOPs. However, the agency also did say that they will review process for Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP) issuance and align it with the existing provisions of both the LTO Memorandum Circular No. 515-2004 and the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01.
The Temporary Operator’s Permit, otherwise known as TOP, is an important document. It is usually issued to apprehended drivers or operators to serve as their traffic ticket and as their temporary driver’s license so they can move around while they take care of any necessary license-related matters that will help them secure and use their license and legally drive on the open roads once again.