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Wisdom > G-Force

No LTO plates yet? Your vehicle must have legal temporary plates

You shouldn’t be on the road if you don’t have one

The delayed issuance of license plates is not an excuse for not having temporary tags like this one. PHOTO BY MIGGI SOLIDUM

License plates have become a rather hot issue in the past few weeks. We’ve repeatedly called out owners who put illegal plates on their vehicles. More recently, if it wasn’t for the license plate, the owner and driver of that infamous Toyota RAV4 might not have been found. We’ve also shared a lot of photos showing motorcycles with fake plates.

We can all collectively raise our middle fingers at the Land Transportation Office for the delays in the issuance of our license plates. I’ve experienced waiting over two years for plates, and paid for new ones that never came. But even as the agency continues to avoid owning up to its incompetence, vehicles in this country still need to display some kind of identification when they’re on the road.

Kudos to motorcycle riders who have plates on their vehicles. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Enter this LTO memorandum dated January 11, 2017. It says that until the actual license plates are delivered, temporary ones must be used with the following information on them:

  • Conduction-sticker numbers for brand-new vehicles
  • MV file numbers for imported and rebuilt vehicles, and motorcycles

It even has templates on what these temporary tags should look like.

In addition, there is Republic Act 4136. According to Section 18, the plates must be attached to every motor vehicle in a manner that is legible and clearly visible. So, it is as clear as day that any vehicle making use of the country’s road network needs to be easily identifiable.

By the way, if your lousy excuse for putting “For Registration” plates is that your vehicle has yet to be issued its certificate of registration, then it shouldn’t be on the road.

The MV file number can be used as a temporary plate number. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

However, these rules having actual teeth is anyone’s guess. People in authority seem to be the role models in defying these ordinances. I’m even willing to bet that the motorcycle next to you in traffic right now doesn’t have a plate.



Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.



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