17 January 2015

LTO: Time to Change License Plates

LTO License
According to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) last year, the new license plates with multiple security features will be available to replace old license plates starting 6 January 2015, in line with government’s license plate standardization program.

"It’s time to change old license plates with new ones. (6 January 2015), we begin phasing out the 9 various designs currently in use with modern, standardized, and security feature-packed license plates," Secretary of Transportation Jun Abaya said.

"We advise the public that their new license plates will be ordered upon renewing their motor vehicle registrations beginning this year. The new plates will be available 45 days after ordering them," added LTO’s chief, Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan Jr.

Since May 2014, the LTO has been issuing new license plates to brand new vehicles that were being registered for the first time. January 2015 marks the start of replacing old or existing license plates with the new ones.

The new license plates for private motor vehicles sport a black-and-white design, similar to those in most countries around the world. They have tamper-resistant locks and screws which permanently attach the plates to the vehicle, preventing their removal and transfer. They also feature reflectorized sheeting to make them visible from afar and from any angle.

The permanent “third plate” windshield sticker replaces the current yearly sticker, and will indicate the vehicle’s license plate number and other relevant registration information. It cannot be peeled off without leaving these pieces of information on the windshield.

"These new plates will help improve road safety by curbing illegal practices such as tanggal-plaka or plate removal and switching, which is prevalent in carnapping and colorum operations. They will help enforcers catch criminals, and enhance safety for the public," Abaya explained.

"Just to remind those who have old license plates: the new plates will not change your alphanumeric combination. Your existing plate numbers will be retained. Only vehicles registered for the first-time will be issued the new 3-letter 4-number combination," Tan said.

The entire standardization or replacement program will last until 2017. New plates will cost the same as existing plates, which is P 450.00 for 4-wheeled motor vehicles. Once replaced, the old license plates will no longer be valid for any purpose, but may be kept by their owners.