More road time for vehicles with temporary plates

More road time for vehicles with temporary plates
File photo

THE country’s top land transportation official will issue a directive allowing brand-new vehicles to ply the roads for 15 days while bearing a temporary license plate. This would be an extension from the current seven days’ allowance.

“Maglalabas ho kami ng memo,” Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II, chief of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), told SunStar Cebu. “First time ko’ng i-aanounce ‘to, kasi pagbili mo ng kotse [with] provisional plate, wala pang rehistro ‘yan, di ba? But we would allow you to use the vehicle kasi di mo naman kasalanan ‘di agad may plaka.”

(We will release a memorandum. This is the first time I am announcing this. Because when you buy a car with a provisional plate, it doesn’t have a registration yet, right? But we would allow you to use the vehicle because it’s not your fault that there’s no plate immediately.)

Mendoza made the remarks in Cebu on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, amid the region’s backlog of unreleased license plates.

Mendoza said he would release the directive once he gets back to Manila.

He also reminded motor vehicle dealers that they have only up to 11 days to process the registration and release the license plates for brand-new vehicles.

Mendoza explained that allowing vehicle buyers to freely use their newly purchased vehicles ensures that delays in the plate issuance process do not inconvenience vehicle owners.

However, he emphasized that they will be strict in limiting the privilege to 15 days only.

Mendoza said they added eight days to the current seven-day allowance to accommodate the 11-day window that dealers follow to process the vehicle’s registration and license plates.

Mendoza was in Cebu City to attend a series of engagements, including the ribbon cutting of the relocated regional licensing office of the LTO at Piazza Elesia on Gov. M. Cuenco Ave. in Barangay Talamban.

The previous location of this office was near the Cebu South Bus Terminal in Cebu City.

The process

The process of vehicle registration and securing of license plates goes like this.

The dealer completes the processing of relevant documents for non-motorcycles typically within seven to 11 days from the date of sale to the car owner.

The dealer handles the requirements, sales reporting and initial registration. Then the 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 vehicle license plate once issued.

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

Failure to comply can result in fines of up to P100,000 for car dealers and P20,000 to P50,000 for motorcycle dealers. Repeated offenses may lead to suspension and certificate cancellations.

Additionally, a memorandum issued last year outlined new guidelines for motor vehicle dealers to display the prescribed processing time for vehicle registration to help inform their customers and ensure its timely completion.

Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in show cause orders and fines for dealers. According to the memorandum, the penalty for the first offense is a fine of P100,000, while the second offense could lead to a P500,000 fine and up to six months of suspension.

Multiple violations may lead to severe consequences, including the cancellation of accreditation certificates, blacklisting, and the cancellation of reported certificates of stock, sales reports, and registrations as deemed necessary.

To ensure compliance, the memorandum mandates all LTO regional officials, through their Regional Accreditation Committees, to submit monthly reports on the number of issued plates per dealership, identifying any violations. / KJF


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