LTO 7 distributes 300,000 unclaimed license plates

LTO 7.
LTO 7.

THE number of unclaimed license plates in Central Visayas has been reduced from 600,000 to nearly 300,000, according to an official from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Cebu City District Office on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

LTO Cebu City District Office Chief Joel Maloloy-on said this number is already an achievement. The issue of unreleased license plates was brought to public attention in August last year.

“The LTO is doing its best to release these plates. We urge our clients to visit the LTO to get the plates. We also encourage our dealers from time to time to distribute the plates to our customers,” he said in a mix of English and Cebuano during an interview on the sidelines of the agency’s opening of a new licensing office in Talamban, Cebu City on Tuesday.

Maloloy-on, however, did not provide an exact figure for the number of distributed license plates or the remaining unclaimed license plates, but he said they were distributing 4,000 to 5,000 license plates daily.

He said they target to distribute around 300,000 remaining license plates by year’s end. The LTO 7 initially planned to completely distribute the over 600,000 unclaimed license plates by October 2023.

Maloloy-on added that they plan to expedite the process as they expect 30 more personnel to assist in the distribution.

When LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II visited the LTO 7’s facility in Talisay City in August 2023, the secretary and local reporters were informed that around 670,000 license plates stored in the facility were unclaimed.

Of the number, 530,000 were for motorcycles, while 140,000 were for motorized vehicles. Some of the license plates were issued in 2018.

LTO 7 Director Glen Galario earlier said among their challenges in distributing the license plates are intermittent connectivity issues in their Talisay City facility, lack of public awareness and shortage of personnel and equipment.

Galario said in August 2023 that their facility had only one set of scanner and computer, capable of scanning approximately 30 to 50 license plates per day. This limitation resulted in the release of only around 20 to 30 license plates daily, he said.

The LTO central office then in September 2023 deployed three personnel who also brought two computers to fast-track the scanning of QR codes and printing of RFID stickers for the license plates.

No backlogs

Meanwhile, Maloloy-on said there is currently no backlog from recent purchases of brand-new vehicles, as they are implementing the 11-day window for vehicle registration and license plate distribution. He said the LTO Cebu City District Office, with its regional counterpart, will closely monitor car dealerships to ensure compliance with the allotted registration time frame for brand-new vehicles.

Based on their guidelines, the dealer completes the processing of relevant documents for non-motorcycles, typically within seven to 11 days from the sale date to the car owner. The dealers handle requirements, sales reporting and initial registration, then LTO registers the vehicle and issues the official receipt/certificate of registration (OR/CR) and license plate to the dealer. The dealer then notifies the owner to collect the OR/CR, and license plate once issued.

For motorcycles, document processing typically takes three to five days from the sale date to the motor owner.

Additionally, Maloloy-on said they are also addressing the issue of unregistered vehicles in the region, saying they are tapping all local officers in different areas to have an information campaign and enforcement drive of registering these vehicles.

Unregistered vehicles

Maloloy-on further said that 40 percent or around 400,000 of the estimated one million vehicles in Central Visayas remain unregistered.

Maloloy-on said the lack of reinforcement of operations in the past, as well as those in the far-flung that are not reached by their services is one of the factors for such.

He said he cannot provide fresh data on the number of unregistered vehicles, but he said they are “increasing the number as far registration and licensing is concerned.”

He added that their offices cater to at least 350 to 400 registration applications each day. / KJF


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