Step-by-step guide to claim your confiscated car license plate in the PH

Updated Sep 12, 2019 | Same topic: Survive driving in the Philippines

6 steps and requirements on how to get a confiscated car plate back in the Philippines.

A car license plate number is its identity. Also called as a vehicle registration plate or a number plate, it is usually a made in metal or plastic plate attached to the car. All countries require these registration plates and just have another level of identifier specific to a purpose, car type, and passenger among others.

In the Philippines, vehicle license plates are being issued and regulated by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). The LTO is a government agency under the Department of Transportation.

It is imperative that the license plate is duly and visibly attached to either front or at the back of the car. Only when the vehicle plate number has been confiscated, or the plate is still pending to be released should the car be without identification and nothing more.

In the Philippines, vehicle license plates are being issued and regulated by the Land Transportation Office

In the Philippines, vehicle license plates are being issued and regulated by the Land Transportation Office

Vehicle registration allows all drivers to use our national road networks. Without an official car registration, the vehicle has no official owner and thus, it should not be allowed to use our roads. Beside the official receipt and the certificate of registration, the license plate of the car is the most outward proof of registration.

A car plate in the Philippines can be confiscated as stressed on the memorandum circular NO.2018-2132 which was released last February 2018. It is stated and mandated by the LTO that at any given time, the Assistant Secretary and his deputies can examine and check a vehicle.

The purpose of the inspection can be to check the registration status, determine if it is improperly marked of equipped, or if deemed unfit to be operated. The random spot check can also be to check if the vehicle passes the acceptable emission standards.

If a car fails to pass this random audit, the license plate is then confiscated, and a Motor Vehicle Inspection System Report (MVISR) issued.

Police inspecting a taxi cab

A car plate in the Philippines can be confiscated as stressed on the memorandum circular NO.2018-2132

There are also instances when the offending driver chooses not to surrender their license when apprehended. In such cases, the traffic officer has the right and duty to take and remove the car’s license plate instead. This is in accordance with Section 74 and 75, MC 89-105.

1. What you need for settling a confiscated vehicle plate?

Before going to the police and take back your vehicle plate, we advise you to secure the documents below:

  • The pink copy of the Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP), in case that the TOP was lost, an Affidavit of Loss TOP is required.

Certificate of registration sample

One of the documents you need to present is a copy of the Certificate of Registration

  • Photocopy of the Certificate of Registration (CR) of the car.
  • The Unit Verification from the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the photocopy of Decision and/or Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) if the vehicle is for hire.
  • Resolution or Judgment from the Traffic Adjudication Service (TAS).
  • The official receipt that all fines and/or penalties have been paid and settled.
  • A copy of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR).
  • Certificate of Emission Compliance (CEC).
  • Certificate of Attendance or the results of the exam.

>>> Must read: Lost plate number in the Philippines: Step-by-step guide to report

2. 6 steps to have your license plate back

If you are still confused about how to claim your confiscated license plate, follow our step-by-step guide below.

Step #1

Go to your local LTO office or to the nearest branch where you have been apprehended.

The first step is to go to your local LTO office or to the nearest branch where you have been apprehended

The first step is to go to your local LTO office or to the nearest branch where you have been apprehended

Step #2

Prepare and present the pink copy of the Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP) alongside all other needed requirements mentioned above to the assigned Evaluator.

Step #3

You will be issued a Notice of Hearing and this should be duly signed by the Officer. This will contain the date and time or the schedule of the hearing. Note that the directive is served to the apprehending officer following a three days lead time before the hearing timetable.

Step #4

The driver or the operator shall then present all the needed documentation and pieces of evidence to warrant the violations listed in the TOP to be dismissed.

Step #5

Settle all penalties and fines as indicated in the judgment.

Step #6

If the violations are dismissed, the apprehended driver can then go on to the Law Enforcement Custodial Section (LECS) or to the Releasing Officer to claim back the confiscated vehicle license plate. During the redeeming process, the driver or operator would need to surrender the following documents:

  • The pink copy of the Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP).
  • The Resolution or final judgment.
  • Official receipt of all settled payments of fines and penalties.
  • Photocopy of the OR or CR of the car.

Car plates in the releasing area

If the violations are dismissed, the drivers can go to the LECS or the Releasing Officer to claim back the confiscated vehicle plate

For drivers or operators whose license plate was confiscated due to some traffic violations would require an additional step to claim their car plates. They need to coordinate with the Traffic Safety Division for the Road Safety Training Seminar. Moreover, after taking part in this seminar, an examination is waiting for them!

Only then will their motor vehicle’s license plate will be released. A ‘Certificate of Attendance’ will be issued and this is another requirement for the release of the confiscated plate.

3. Be wise with your license plate!

Getting your license plate is a big hassle. Claiming it is not only time consuming, but it is also a financial burden as there are corresponding fines and penalties involved. You have to invest ideally half a day to get everything settled, and the fines are not cheap with sanctions related to license-plate violations that can cost up to PHP 5,000.00.

Every driver should always be responsible owners. They should be pro-active in ensuring that they are aware of any changes being implemented by the Land Transportation Office. Right now, efforts from said department to be more socially involved are very much appreciated.

Like any government branch, there is still the ongoing delay and backlog of the issuance of new license plates to drivers and operators. With this alone, it would be best to check the current updates related to car plates like the virtual plates, conduction stickers, and commemorative plates among others.

LTO website

LTO official website 

It will also be a good idea to check available online resources like the official page of LTO and even the Manila Metropolitan Development Authority or MMDA for updates and procedures.

These sites are very comprehensive and detailed to ensure that you are well prepared for any transactions including claiming confiscated PH plate or processing a lost plate. 

We hope that this article helped you figure out how to claim the confiscated car plate of your vehicle. Check our tips and advice for more useful information.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez

Author

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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