Wheels of Jus­tice

Tem­po­rary li­cense plates

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Car Culture - ROBBY CONSUNJI

‘the car owner has to care for and keep the li­cense plates clean and firmly af­fixed’

Ques­tion: i lost my li­cense plates. What are the rules i should fol­low for the use of a tem­po­rary li­cense plate while wait­ing for the of­fi­cial one?

You must re­port the loss of the li­cense plate to the LTO District Of­fice that is­sued the Cer­tifi­cate of Regis­tra­tion for your car, and ap­ply for a re­place­ment li­cense plate as well as an au­tho­riza­tion to use an im­pro­vised li­cense plate for the time be­ing.

While the laws and reg­u­la­tions are silent on the pe­riod to re­port the loss of the li­cense plate, it’s best to re­port the mat­ter within seven to 15 days from the loss. After that, the au­thor­i­ties may ques­tion you for not hav­ing a li­cense plate and not re­port­ing the loss. If the li­cense plate is used in the com­mis­sion of a crime, you will be dragged into the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The act of driv­ing a mo­tor ve­hi­cle with­out the proper li­cense plate is pun­ish­able with a fine un­der Joint Ad­min­is­tra­tive Or­der No. 2014 - 01.

I can hear you all scream­ing, “But where is our li­cense plate?” I need to stress the need to strictly com­ply with the stan­dards set by our laws, and not to ac­cept what has be­come a wa­tered-down prac­tice by the reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties, en­forcers, and car own­ers. The de­layed pro­duc­tion and de­liv­ery of li­cense plates is not an ex­cuse to skip the car owner’s duty to re­port the loss of yours.

After all, the li­cense plate dis­tin­guishes one car from the next. It iden­ti­fies the car and the owner; if stolen, it is used to track down and iden­tify ve­hi­cle. It is the ba­sis to in­ves­ti­gate the owner of the car for in­volve­ment in crime or ac­ci­dent. For the tax au­thor­i­ties and banks, the li­cense plate iden­ti­fies the sub­ject of a tax lien or chat­tel mort­gage.

Un­der the Land Trans­porta­tion and Traf­fic Code, all mo­tor ve­hi­cles used or op­er­ated on any high­way of the country must be reg­is­tered with the LTO for the cur­rent year. All reg­is­tered mo­tor ve­hi­cles shall dis­play its li­cense plate in con­spic­u­ous places, one in front and one in the rear. The car owner has the duty to care for and keep the li­cense plates clean and firmly af­fixed to make them en­tirely vis­i­ble and al­ways leg­i­ble.

In ad­di­tion, the Code provides that: “No per­son shall make or use or at­tempt to make or use a driver li­cense, badge, cer­tifi­cate of regis­tra­tion, number plate, tag, or per­mit in im­i­ta­tion or simil­i­tude of those is­sued un­der this Act, or in­tended to be used as or for a le­gal li­cense, badge, cer­tifi­cate, plate, tag or per­mit, or with in­tent to sell or otherwise dis­pose of the same to an­other.” The penal­ties are as pro­vided by the Re­vised Pe­nal Code.

To ap­ply for a re­place­ment li­cense plate and an au­tho­riza­tion to use an im­pro­vised li­cense plate, you must sub­mit to the LTO the fol­low­ing:

1) the reg­is­tered owner’s af­fi­davit at­test­ing to the orig­i­nal’s loss (or dam­age); 2) a cer­ti­fied true copy and the orig­i­nal copy of the Cer­tifi­cate of Regis­tra­tion and cur­rent Of­fi­cial Re­ceipt; 3) a duly ac­com­plished and ap­proved Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle In­spec­tion Re­port; 4) the Of­fi­cial Re­ceipt show­ing pay­ment for the re­place­ment li­cense plate; 5) in case of for-hire mo­tor ve­hi­cles, a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the LTFRB that the plates have not been sur­ren­dered; 6) in case of com­pa­ny­owned ve­hi­cles, a Sec­re­tary’s Cer­tifi­cate au­tho­riz­ing a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to file the ap­pli­ca­tion; and, 7) a Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice– High­way Pa­trol Group clear­ance that the ve­hi­cle is not stolen or re­ported in­volved in a crime.

After sub­mit­ting these doc­u­ments, you can se­cure the au­tho­riza­tion to use an im­pro­vised li­cense plate and wait for the is­suance of a du­pli­cate or re­place­ment li­cense plate.

It sounds so sim­ple, but with­out the au­tho­riza­tion to use an im­pro­vised li­cense plate, you can­not in­stall any­thing that looks like a clone of the of­fi­cial one—and that in­cludes the so-called ‘Euro’ or ‘JDM’ plates.

The rules above ap­ply to the old li­cense-plate se­ries (or the 1981 se­ries) and to those in the cur­rent se­ries (or the 2014 se­ries). For cars with an as­signed plate number un­der the cur­rent se­ries, but with­out the is­suance of the li­cense plate (dubbed ‘Vir­tual Plate’), there is ob­vi­ously nothing to de­clare lost; however, the re­quire­ment for an au­tho­riza­tion to use an im­pro­vised li­cense plate will ap­ply.

For cars us­ing the con­duc­tion sticker alone, and with­out the as­sign­ment of the plate number or the is­suance of the li­cense plate, the car owner and the car dealer is re­quired by the MMDA Me­moran­dum Cir­cu­lar No. 06, Se­ries of 2013, to dis­play the con­duc­tion sticker number promi­nently on the space al­lot­ted for the reg­u­lar plate number in the front and rear of the car. Thus, the con­duc­tion sticker serves as the ba­sis for the UVVRP or cod­ing scheme. This dis­play of the con­duc­tion sticker shall be re­placed with the LTO plates once is­sued.

So long as the con­duc­tion sticker num­bers at the space for the li­cense plate do not ap­pear to be a reg­u­lar plate number for ve­hi­cles re­leased prior to June 1st, 2017, the re­quire­ment for an au­tho­riza­tion to use an im­pro­vised li­cense plate will ar­guably not ap­ply.

For the ve­hi­cles re­leased from June 1st of this year and on­wards, the con­duc­tion sticker number shall be used as the tem­po­rary plate number. In ad­di­tion, the tem­po­rary li­cense plate must con­tain the dealer’s name and the MV File Number (LTO Me­moran­dum dated Jan­uary 11th, 2017, and Fe­bru­ary 23rd, 2017). As this is an ex­press re­quire­ment of the LTO, we as­sume that the re­quire­ment for an au­tho­riza­tion to use an im­pro­vised li­cense plate will not ap­ply.

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