Traffic > Decree

Temporary and improvised plates will not be allowed starting August 1

Better get your proper plates from the LTO or the dealers

Say goodbye to improper temprary plates starting August 1. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

License plates have always been a bit of an issue in our country. Whether it’s a vehicle not having them months after purchase due to a backlog or the concerning prevalence of vanity plates, it’s essentially the Wild West for vehicle identification here.

But this should hopefully end with the implementation of Memorandum Circular No. VDM-2024 2721, as the Land Transportation Office has issued new guidelines for the usage of improvised and temporary plates.

According to the memo, “the absence of backlog in the production of motor vehicle plates vis-à-vis our continuous improvement and alignment of policies with current standards and practices,” the use of all improvised/temporary plates is revoked, which will take effect on August 1.

Hopefully, these are the only temporary license plates we'll see in a month. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Of course, there are a few instances when a non-LTO-issued plate will be allowed, but they’re much fewer than before:

Improvised plates will only be valid for the duration of the permit issued by the LTO district/extension office, while the owner awaits his replacement plates.

Temporary vintage plates must have the words “Vintage Vehicle” and the model year on them. Owners don’t need permits to utilize these, but these should at least fit proper plates once they are available.

New four-wheeled vehicles will only be allowed to use the dealer plates for 15 days from the issuance of the sales invoice. These must include the conduction sticker number and, to help differentiate vehicles, must be color-coded similar to proper plates:

  1. Private – white background with black characters
  2. Electric and hybrid vehicles – white background with green characters
  3. Government – white background with red characters

Motorcycles that are newly purchased will only be allowed to use the dealer plates for 15 days from the issuance of the sales invoice. Interestingly, for motorcycles purchased before January 1, 2023, they will be allowed to use temporary plates that have the MV File Number on them until the actual plates are available.

So there. No more funny-looking plates, please?

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.