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After buying new car, you should receive your plate within 7 days

PUBLIC CONFUSION. There has been much confusion over the procedures and policies regarding the DOTC and LTO's 'no registration, no travel policy.

' File photo by Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines – After buying a new car, you should receive your license plate within 7 days.

Since the LTO implemented Administrative Order No. AVT-2014-24 in February 2014, the new one-stop registration process has cut down processing time down to 7 days, from the previous 3 to 4 weeks, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said in its March 31 statement.

This is relevant due to the DOTC's new “no registration, no travel policy” which took affect April 1.

LTO earlier said that the delay in registration is due to car dealers who did not start the process of registration promptly, while automotive manufacturers have said that streamlining the process is a joint effort.

Officials from other government agencies have also weighed in on the debate.The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it would not apprehend violators of the policy, saying it was unfair to motorists.

To clear the confusion, here are the guidelines from the LTO for new car buyers to secure copies of their official receipt (OR), car registration (CR), stickers, as well as license plate from their dealers.

The 7-day period

In a statement released March 31, LTO Chief Alfonso Tan Jr advised new motor vehicle owners who have yet to receive their license plates to ask their dealers to furnish them with proof of registration application.

"We’ve received reports that some dealers have taken months to even start the application process, so this will help the public monitor whether they are getting the services they paid for,” Tan said.

New motor vehicle owners should also ask their dealers for copies of:

These are the supporting documents needed to start the registration process. Without the supporting documents, the dealer will not be able to start the process, the LTO said.

For drivers who are apprehended driving new vehicles within the allowed 7-day registration process, they must present the following documents to the traffic enforcer:

If these documents are presented, the traffic enforcer will not penalize drivers.

What to do if the 7-day period had elapsed

Without the OR, CR, and plate, you will be apprehended if you take out your newly bought vehicle beyond the 7-day grace period, LTO Spokesperson Jason Salvador said.

Salvador advised motorists in such a situation to file a complaint with the LTO which will then investigate and present a “show cause” document to the dealer where the car was purchased.

He added that the car buyer will be provided a copy of the show cause document upon request. However, this will not serve as a temporary registration.

A P10,000 ($225) fine for driving an unregistered vehicle will be charged to the vehicle owner, and a P1,000 ($22.50) fine assessed against the driver.

Should the date of the sales invoice exceed 37 days on the date of apprehension, the motor vehicle will be impounded by the LTO.

For vehicle owners who were apprehended within the 7-day period and who believe that the fault is due to their dealers’ delay, the LTO advises them to contest the apprehension by filing a written protest within 5 days from apprehension.

This will allow the LTO to look into the potential fault of the dealer and take appropriate action.

The LTO may impose fines, suspend or even revoke the accreditation of erring dealerships.

The automotive dealer's responsibility

Below is the procedure for vehicle dealers to obtain the license plate, stickers, and OR and CR for brand new vehicles.

Step 1

The automotive dealer must submit to the LTO Receiving Officer all required documents for both sales reporting and initial registration:

The receiving officer will then evaluate the required documents and stamp “RECEIVED” on the receiving copy of the sales invoice.

Step 2

 The Sales Reporting Evaluator will then:

Step 3

The Registration Evaluator then registers the vehicle in the LTO system and approves the transactions.

Step 4

The cashier then accepts payment of fees.

Step 5

The Releasing Officer then issues the license plates, stickers and OR/CR to regional LTO offices.

The dealer will then have to pick them up from these regional offices and buyers can make arrangements with the dealer.

The dealers, for their part, are hoping that the plates recently made available are released to them immediately, given the policy's implementation. – with reports from Chris Schnabel/


$1 = P 44.38