Settlement of Apprehension Cases regarding driver’s license in the Philippines

Updated Aug 31, 2018 | Same topic: Survive driving in the Philippines

What to do when we are apprehended by the MMDA?

One of the unpleasant scenarios that driver would like to avoid is getting apprehended by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) enforcers. Imagine your car being towed or your driver’s license being confiscated by these people in blue uniform while the public look at you with incriminating eyes.

If you ever confront this kind of situation, the first thing to remember is to never respond with discourtesy because it could be a ground for another violation. The best thing to do is to know your right and to undergo the right process of settling your case under the law.

Settlement of Apprehension Cases

The first thing to remember is to never respond with discourtesy because it could be a ground for another violation

Before we start to delve into the process of settling of apprehension cases, let briefly discuss its different types. There are two types of apprehension cases – admitted and contested. The former type presupposes the admission by the driver of his violation which warranted his apprehension. 

It is furtherly divided into two subtypes: those cases which are settled by the driver within 15 days following his apprehension and the those that went beyond 15 days from apprehension.

The second type is contested apprehension cases, which means the apprehended driver questions the validity of his apprehension. This is a contentious type, which involves the process of sending summonses to the driver and the traffic officer who made the apprehension.

A contested case follows different and tedious steps as opposed to the settlement of apprehension cases, which only involves less complicated processes.

Before going to the LTO office, one must be armed of the right documents to carry. The documentary requirements vary depending on what confiscated item the driver intend to redeem.

I. Driver apprehended and driver's license is confiscated

If the Philippine driver’s license is confiscated, the following requirements should be furnished:

1. TOP or his Temporary Operator’s Permit which serves as the driver’s temporary license upon apprehension. If he lost his TOP, he will need to present an affidavit of loss of TOP

2. The resolution or decision issued by the Traffic Adjudication Service (TAS)

3. Official receipt of the payment of fine

4. In case there is an accessory penalty imposed (e.g. attendance in seminars or examination), the driver also needs to submit a certificate of attendance of the said seminar/examination. Where do I get this?

Those drivers whose offense include running or moving violations like illegal parking, reckless driving, disregarding traffic design are required by the law to further attend a seminar at their Seminar Room or Traffic Safety Division or Road Safety Training Seminar.

A written examination will follow after the said seminar. Only those who passed the exam will be issued a certification, which will be presented upon claiming of the confiscated item.

5. Other documents that may be required by the LTO.

an officer confiscating a driver's license

Here are the steps you need to follow when your license has been confiscated due to a violation

II. Apprehended and plate number confiscated

On the other hand, if the confiscated item is the motor vehicle’s plate number, the driver needs to furnish the following requirements, aside from the above-mentioned requirements:

1. A photocopy of the motor vehicle’s certificate of registration (CR)

2. A photocopy of the motor cycle’s official receipt

3. If the subject vehicle is a common carrier, a photocopy of its certificate of public convenience (CPC) and unit verification issued by the LTFRB

confiscated plate numbers by the MMDA

In same cases, authorized officers may detach the driver's plate number

III. Apprehended and vehicle impounded

Lastly, if the vehicle was impounded, aside from items a-h, additional requirements should be furnished:  

1. A copy of the Impounding Receipt of Motor Vehicle (IRMV) or a receipt issued during apprehending officer when the vehicle is impounded. If it is lost, the driver needs to get an affidavit of loss of IRMV.

2. If the violation involved is motor vehicle related like failure to wear the prescribed seatbelt/helmet or driving with broken windshield, it is incumbent upon the driver to correct the defects.

Once corrected, the motor vehicle will be handed to the Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (MVIC) to check whether the subject vehicle has corrected its defects. Consequently, a motor vehicle inspection report (MVIR) will be issued.

apprehended and impounded vehicles

For impounded vehicles, more papers are required to be submitted

After preparing the necessary documents, the driver is now ready to go to the LTO office and proceed with these simple steps to settle his apprehension:

  • Submission of TOP and other pertinent document - In this stage, the receiving clerk is tasked to receive, check, and docket the documents submitted by the driver. The officer in-charge will issue a queue number to the applicant. Thereafter, the documents will be passed either to an Evaluator or Hearing officer.
  • Evaluation and Hearing Stage - At this point, the officer in-charge retrieves the details of the apprehension as well as generates transaction ID. The officer also evaluates the encoded violation, will now print the resolution.
  • Issuance of Judgment and/or Resolution - After evaluation and in case the apprehension is settled within fifteen (15) days, the LTO Evaluator will issue and sign his “Judgment” or “Resolution” to be given to the driver. Otherwise (i.e. the apprehension exceeds 15 days), a “Judgment” or “Resolution” will be issued by the Hearing officer. Usually, an accessory penalty and notice of suspension are also indicated in the resolution.
  • Payment - After receiving the Judgment or Resolution, the driver is now ready to pay the fine indicated on the decision. 

>>> Read more: Complete Guideline on Driver License Suspension Appeal in the Philippines

IV. Releasing of Item

The official receipt issued by the cashier and other pertinent document to prove the driver’s ownership of the item claimed should be presented to the releasing clerk.

Before releasing the item confiscated, the officer in-charge should indicate in the log sheet the item/s released to the client.

LTO windows for releasing of items

The official receipt issued by the cashier and other pertinent document to prove the driver’s ownership of the item 

It is also worth to note that fines and penalties imposed in case of apprehension vary, depending on the gravity of the offense. Nevertheless, he is entitled to contest his case within five (5) days after apprehension.

These available remedies are guarantee to avoid arbitrariness of our traffic enforcers. While it pays to know your recourse under the law, it is more prudent to follow simple traffic rules and regulation in order to avoid hassle while on the road. 

>>> Click here to get more helpful tips and advice for your safe driving

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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