Updated on October 28, 2022

lto plate number

Check Out This Verification Guide to See If Your LTO Plate Number Is Finally Available – In the Philippines, getting a vehicle owner’s license plate number from the Land Transportation Office is one of the most frequent problems (LTO).

In terms of registration, traffic infractions, and adherence to legal requirements, a vehicle’s LTO plate number serves as evidence of validity and as an identification number.

The majority of drivers are still waiting for the LTO to release their plate numbers, even though many owners of recently registered cars are able to secure their plates within a month of registration.

LTO appears to be struggling to keep up with the yearly increase in vehicles on the road, which is causing additional delays in the issuance of license plates.

Naturally, this has enraged a lot of car owners who would otherwise wait patiently for months or even years to receive their plates.

Given the LTO’s “no registration, no travel” policy, it makes sense that vehicle owners would want quicker outcomes.

For more on the topic, you may also be interested in:
LTO Policy: ‘No Registration – No Travel’

In accordance with the aforementioned policy, unlicensed vehicles may be stopped at any time and requested to produce a Certificate of Registration (CR) and an Official Receipt (OR). Transgressors will also be subject to hefty fines.

Do you know when the Philippines will issue new license plates? Get all the necessary updates below.

Why Do You Need an LTO Plate Number?

If you’re wondering why there is such a push to hasten the release of the LTO’s new plate numbers, it is primarily due to safety and security concerns, aside from the obvious reason that license plates are required to move vehicles around as mentioned above.

Additionally, your LTO plate number acts as your vehicle’s identity along with the Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration for your car or motorcycle.

A license plate is a thin piece of metal that you attach to the front and rear bumpers of your car. It is similar to a government-owned legal document.

It indicates to law enforcement and other drivers that your car has been properly registered and is thus authorized to drive on public roads.

Additionally, license plates assist law enforcement in keeping track of every vehicle on the road and determining whether or not drivers are obeying traffic laws.

Senator Richard Gordon, who was in office at the time, criticized the LTO in 2021 and demanded that its officials be fired for failing to put the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2019 into effect.

This failure can be attributed to another problem: the LTO’s mounting backlog in the production of license plates.

Gordon believed that over 36,000 riding-in-tandem crimes occurred between 2010 and 2020 as a result of the delay in the issuance of larger, easier-to-read license plates.

Motorists can be confident that those who violate the law can be found and punished because the identifier is visible even from a distance.

In the Philippines, law enforcement would need to pursue or flag down vehicles without a lto plate number just to check the license and registration.

The LTO Plate Number Delay Timeline

lto plate number

2013 – As part of the five-year Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program, the LTO and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) awarded a manufacturing contract to the partnership between Knieriem BV Goes and Power Plates Development Concept Inc.

2015 – The LTO made an advance payment to suppliers totaling ₱477 million in June and July 2014. The Commission on Audit (COA) disallowed this payment.

Only four million of the 15 million license plates were released, according to DOTr, leaving an 11 million plate backlog.

2016 – After the supplier-importer of the license plates failed to pay the necessary customs duties, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting LTO and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) from releasing and distributing 700,000 license plates from the Bureau of Customs.

2018 – The Supreme Court lifted the TRO, and the COA also lifted the disallowance, allowing for the distribution of ₱477,901,329 license plates totaling 300,000 for cars and 400,000 for motorcycles.

To commemorate its 106th founding anniversary, LTO opened its motor vehicle plate manufacturing facility in the same year. Up to 22,400 car license plates can be printed at the facility each day.

2021 – LTO looked for vendors to assist them in clearing their 18 million backlogs.

2022 – There are plans to print and distribute 19 million new LTO plate numbers in the Philippines.

Through a modernization initiative that makes use of automated plate-making equipment that can expedite license plate distribution, it hopes to accomplish this.

According to LTO Chief Edgar Galvante, the organization is on track to meet its target for plate production.

Out of the 18 million plates in the backlog, six million have been produced to date.

The second robot for creating motorcycle license plates has been operational as of April 2022. It is able to produce 450 plates per hour or about 158,400 plates per month.

In order to finally finish the backlog and issue plates for every registered vehicle by June of this year, LTO is requesting additional funding.

LTO’s Efforts to Reduce License Plate Release Backlogs

In accordance with the Doble Plaka Law, LTO-13 Caraga issued over 35,000 larger motorcycle license plates in 2020 that have three numbers and three letters on them.

Unlike other regions, LTO-13 also released lavender motorcycle license plates for Caraga. In addition, LTO-NCR released 70,000 motorcycle license plates from its backlog of 1,386,895.

By May 2021, all registration documents for vehicles purchased on or before April 30, 2021, had already been made available by LTO Central Visayas (LTO-7).

Victor Emmanuel Caindec, the regional director, says that vehicle owners can now ask their dealers for their registration papers.

Additionally, LTO-7 declared that 18,000 motorcycle license plates are available for purchase.

Other LTO offices that gradually cleared their backlog of LTO plates include LTO-CAR, which released 8,000 safety-compliant plates, and LTO-9 Zamboanga Peninsula, which earlier in 2021 cleared its backlog of roughly 600,000 motorcycle plates.

LTO Plate Backlog Management Efforts

The LTO published a database of brand-new replacement license plates that were available for claim in April 2022.

It seems, though, that the update only covers automobiles with license plates that end in numbers 1 through 5.

Visit the LTO’s online database to verify your LTO plate number if your car falls under this category. To quickly locate your license LTO plate number, use a laptop or desktop computer.

Simply enter your license LTO plate number while pressing the CTRL + F keys, with no spaces between the letters and numbers. You can also use the website’s chat feature to request assistance.

If you recognize the LTO plate number in the database, contact LTO by going to any branch to learn more about how to reclaim your plate.

A list of LTO branches in Metro Manila can be found online. To find out if your license LTO plate number is available for a claim, you can also visit your local district or extension office.

For more on the topic, you may also be interested in:
List of every LTO branch in Metro Manila

If this most recent update does not apply to you, you will need to wait once more for announcements.

Knowing that LTO has at least extended the registration validity of vehicles with license plates ending in 4 and 5 might be comforting.

The new registration deadlines are May 31 and June 30, giving you more time to use your car without incurring fees and to register it if you haven’t already.

By reading a guide to LTO car registration and renewal, you can refresh your memory on the procedure.

Checking in advance the various LTO fees for vehicle registration, driver’s licenses and violations may also be helpful.

For more on the topic, you may also be interested in:
Guide to LTO Car Registration Renewal
Fees for LTO Car Registration, Driver’s License, and Violations

Of course, this deadline extension is only a temporary fix, and LTO must still deal with the underlying problem of plate number backlogs.

LTO License Plate Rules and Updates Every Motorist Should Know

1. You Can Verify Your License LTO Plate Number Availability

Yes, there are various ways to determine whether your LTO plate number is available for release.

How to Check LTO Plate Number Availability

lto plate number

  • Texting the word “LTOVEHICLE” and the LTO plate number of your car to the number 2600 will allow you to check the availability of LTO plates.

Just wait a short while to get an automatically generated response outlining the fundamental information about your cars, such as their make, model, manufacturing year, color, last registration date, and LTO violations, if any.

For more on the topic, you may also be interested in:
Philippines List of LTO Violations and Penalty Fees

  • You can also visit the LTO website and enter your motor vehicle (MV) file number, which is located in the top-left corner of your certificate of registration, to request information about a specific LTO plate number.
  • Another way to determine whether an LTO plate number is available is to speak with the car dealer where you purchased your vehicle and inquire as to whether they have your LTO plate number.

They might be able to give you an update on your MV plate’s situation.

  • You can also get in touch with the LTO regional offices where you registered your car. For more information, visit the official Facebook pages of the LTO regional offices.
  • Another option is to call the LTO Plate Unit hotline at 02 8922-9063 local 225.

How to Get Your Plate Number in LTO

You can either go get your new license LTO plate number by yourself or by appointing a representative. Bring the following paperwork when requesting your license plate number from the LTO:

  • Certificate of Registration (CR)
  • Latest Official Receipt (OR) of payment
  • Government-issued ID

The LTO will issue a certification that the new plate number given to you is assigned to your vehicle if the LTO plate number is not printed on your CR.

Your assigned LTO plate number will be entered into the LTO database as well. Additional documents may also be requested by the LTO.

For instance, the Central Visayas LTO requests an affidavit from car owners so that their dealers can obtain their license plates from the regional office.

How to Apply for a Replacement LTO License Plate

  1. File an affidavit of loss or mutilation at the LTO office where your car is currently registered.
  2. Submit your OR/CR, PNP-Highway Patrol Group clearance, and other LTO requirements.
  3. Have LTO inspect your car and issue an accomplished and approved Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR).
  4. Pay the replacement plate cost at the cashier and get your proof of payment.
  5. Get a copy of LTO’s authorization to use an improvised plate, which is valid for 90 days.

2. Your Temporary License Plate Should Follow LTO Official Specs

You can still use a temporary license plate if you need to wait for your license plates.

lto plate number

For “uniformity and ease of visual recognition,” the LTO has provided temporary license plate specifications that apply to vehicles that have been on the road since February 15, 2017.

  • Use of conduction sticker number and MV file number as temporary license LTO plate numbers (the MV file number can be found on the Certificate of Registration from LTO)
  • Reflective sturdy material
  • Arial Black font
  • Use of the LTO’s official temporary plate design and layout
  • The name of the dealer is to be placed at the end of the plate for tricycles and motorcycles, and on the sides for four-wheel vehicles

Auto dealers who break the rules will be fined. You might also be stopped by a traffic cop if you have an irregular temporary license plate or one without an MV file number.

Therefore, be certain that your recently acquired vehicle has a temporary license plate that is standardized and includes the dealer’s name, MV file number, and conduct sticker number. If not, bring it up to the dealer before the vehicle is released.

3. There’s a Law for Preventing Motorcycle Crimes

lto plate number

To protect citizens from crimes involving riding in tandem, Republic Act 11235, also known as the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act or the Doble Plaka Law, mandates the use of bigger, more readable, and color-coded number plates for every motorcycle. The following are significant clauses in RA 11235:

Display Instructions

The rear of a motorcycle must have a metal plate, and the front of the motorcycle must display a decal number plate.

Color Scheme

The LTO created a color scheme for new plate numbers in the Philippines:

  • White background and red alphanumeric characters for government motorcycles
  • Yellow background and black alphanumeric characters for public utility motorcycles
  • White background with color stripe (dependent on the region) and black alphanumeric characters
  • White background and blue alphanumeric characters for diplomatic motorcycles

Specifications

The measurements of LTO plate numbers for motorcycles should be as follows:

  • Decal plate – Sticker material 135mm in width and 85mm in height
  • Metal plate – Aluminum substrate of 235mm in width, and 135mm in height

Penalties, Fines, and Punishments

  • Failure to register within five days from purchase or to report after the sale: ₱20,000 up to ₱50,000
  • Driving without a number plate or readable number plate: ₱50,000 up to ₱100,000
  • Erasing, tampering, forging, covering of number plates: ₱50,000 up to ₱100,000
  • Using a motorcycle for the commission of a crime: reclusion temporal (12 to 20 years imprisonment) to reclusion Perpetua (20 to 40 years imprisonment)

On March 8, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Law. The Doble Plaka Law was supposed to go into effect right away by the LTO.

But due to the pandemic, it had to be postponed in order to make room for additional safety features on the license LTO plate number, such as an RFID sticker, QR Code, and reflectorized sheeting.

Additional LTO License Plate Reminders

1. You Still Can’t Apply for a Vanity Plate Yet

Obtaining a vanity plate is completely unnecessary due to the delayed release of license plates.

lto plate number

Customizing your license plate number has benefits and drawbacks, but some might contend that the disadvantages currently outweigh the advantages.

For more on the topic, you may also be interested in:
LTO Vanity Plate: Advantages and Disadvantages of Changing Your Plate Number

In addition, since December 15, 2017, LTO has temporarily halted applications for Optional Motor Vehicle Special Plates.

Also, keep in mind that you are not permitted to add stylistic elements to your plate. Just leave it without any modifications.

If you really want to add your own flair, consider making changes to the rest of your car. The license plate cannot be touched.

2. Driving Without a License Plate Can Get You in Trouble

Driving without a license plate is prohibited, as is obvious. The “no registration, no travel” policy of LTO is primarily to blame for this.

A fine will be assessed if you are found operating an unregistered vehicle without a license plate.

Even worse, your car might be seized. Don’t take a chance; register your vehicle as soon as you can, or renew your LTO plate number registration.

Additionally, each time you drive, bring your Official Receipt or Certificate of Registration (OR/CR).

3. Your License Plate Number is Permanent

Do you wish to alter your license plate? Perhaps the combination of letters is bad for Feng Shui, or it makes you think of your ex’s initials and anniversary. Or maybe you simply don’t like it.

lto plate number

Don’t even consider it. Invoking Batas Pambansa Blg, the LTO prohibits changing a vehicle’s license plate.

43 that mandates the lifetime permanent assignment of a license plate to a vehicle.

Only if you’re converting your private vehicle to a hired car can you change your license plate number.

Your license plate number is, therefore, permanent. It has no time limit. Yes, may forever, buti pa sa plaka.

4. Beware of Fixers

No matter how much you want a new license plate, never work with fixers. The frustration of car owners may be exploited by dishonest individuals who promise to expedite the process for a fee.

The LTO has warned the public not to use these unlicensed individuals. Paying a fixer to help you complete LTO transactions such as obtaining a driver’s license, claiming your license LTO plate number, and other tasks will only contribute to the spread of corruption in the government.

If you’re adamant about receiving your LTO documents as soon as possible, look into alternatives to fixers for obtaining a driver’s license quickly.

For more on the topic, you may also be interested in:
Say no to Fixers’ LTO Drivers License Assistance and take these instead

Final Thoughts

The Plate Standardization Program, which LTO introduced in 2014, is the cause of the license plate backlog issue in the Philippines.

The project was expected to be finished by 2017. Now, in 2022, five years have passed, and the backlog of license plates is still colossal.

One wonders if LTO will actually be able to catch up this year and, at long last, meet the rising demand for quicker plate production and distribution.

For the safety and security of vehicle owners and those who frequently use the roads, motorists can only hope and pray that the LTO plate number availability issue will be resolved soon.

Consider the current LTO backlogs and the ongoing global health crisis if you’re thinking about buying a new car.

It’s best to moderate your expectations up front and go over the registration timelines with your dealer.

The difficulties of getting your new license plates will be made easier if you keep yourself informed and current.

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