Changing the body of a motor vehicle is just one of the many types of car modifications allowed by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Not many people want to do it, but it isn’t unusual at all. Some who do it do so to improve the vehicle’s performance while others do so to showcase their individuality through a unique car or for just plain old fun. Whatever your reason is, know that there are certain standards and parameters regarding changing vehicle design in the interest of road safety, environmental protection, and more.
The LTO standards for changing the body of the motor vehicle are lifted off of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) standard for motor vehicles—a standard adopted by many countries in the ASEAN region, including the Philippines who used it as the concrete basis for the guidelines to car modification in the country. To learn more about the standards, requirements and procedures in changing the body of your motor vehicle safely at the LTO, we created this simple, easy-to-follow guide for you.
LTO Vehicle Modifications: Change Body
There are different types of car or vehicle modifications. However, for our purposes, we are only discussing the body change for motor vehicles in the country. Just like other types though, change in the body of a motor vehicle changes the factory original look and exchanges it for a unique-looking customized car through the use of body kits.
Changing the body of your vehicle naturally involves the car or the vehicle body. If you are an enthusiast, you know what the car body refers to. If you aren’t, then it refers to those parts meant to ensure the highest level of safety for the driver, passengers, and other road users. These parts are mostly attached to the metal shell (unibody) and usually include shock-absorbing components and radiator grilles as well as the vehicle’s roof, hood, fenders, trunk lid, doors, and windows.
Benefits of Changing the Body of a Motor Vehicle
Being able to change your vehicle’s body at will means enjoying the following benefits:
- You may convert your vehicle into one that suits your taste or showcase your personality.
- Depending on the type of changes you wish to make on the car body, you may be able to enjoy better car performance or even a safer car.
- It gives you freedom to decide what you want your motor vehicle to look like.
Eligibility to Change the Body of a Motor Vehicle
Anyone who owns a registered motor vehicle and who intends to change his vehicle body is welcome to do so, provided that he can present all the requirements and pay all the relevant LTO fees.
Requirements for Changing the Body of a Motor Vehicle
Car modifications resulting in changes in the car body requires re-registration at the LTO to inform the relevant authorities of the changes. This procedure requires the following list of documents from the applicants.
The basic requirements include the following:
- Original Certificate of Registration (CR) / Certificate of Registration – Encumbered (CRE) with conformity of the financing company interposing no objection as to the change of body/body design / engine/ color
- Original Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate
- Macro-etching report
- Special Bank Receipt (except for Motorcycle with sidecar)
- LTO Copy or electronically transmitted appropriate insurance Certificate of Cover (COC) / Endorsement of insurance
- Duly accomplished original Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
The need for additional documents may vary depending on the type of change the car owner wishes to apply for. For changes in the car body, here’s a list of the additional requirements
- LTFRB electronic confirmation (For Hire)
- Original Joint Affidavit of Change Body indicating source of body
- Original Certificate of Registration (CR) and latest original Official Receipt (OR) of payment
- Original copy of Sales Invoice of Body
- Affidavit of Change of Body
- Clearance from Philippine National Police-Traffic Management Group (PNP-TMG)
- Endorsement from the Insurance Company
- Actual inspection of MV with duly accomplished Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
- Confirmation of Dealer’s Report from Registration Section / Regional Office
- Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
How to File Application for Change Body of Motor Vehicles
Changing your vehicle classification from one class to another is a simple process. It does require submission of a certain set of documentary requirements, depending on the type of change you wish to make, but the procedures for doing so remain the same.
To apply for a change in classification for your vehicle, you may follow these steps:
Step 1: Visit the LTO Office closest to you.
Step 2: Secure a queue number at the LTO officer-in-charge and wait for your turn.
Step 3: Once your number is called, proceed to the transaction counters.
Step 4: Submit all the required documents to the Evaluator for evaluation and computation of fees.
Step 5: Once the evaluation is completed, get the actual inspection of motor vehicles with duly accomplished Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) done.
Step 6: Once the MVIR is ready, proceed to the queue for the cashier window and wait for your turn.
Step 7: Once your name is called, pay for the necessary fees and secure an Official Receipt (OR).
Step 8: Once done, proceed to the Releasing Counter.
Step 9: Present the OR to get the new Certificate of Registration (CR), plates, stickers, and other requested documents.
Step 10: Once you have received the CR and other relevant documents, signs in the CR log book.
Where to File Application for Change in Vehicle Body
Filing for a change in the body of your motor vehicle shall be done in any LTO Office, district or extension offices, whichever is more convenient.
Fees for LTO Change Body Transactions
The change in body of motor vehicles will require applicants to pay a total of one hundred pesos (P100.00) in addition to the other regular charges.
For your reference, here are some things you need to remember when applying for a change in vehicle body:
- Note that all types of changes are subject to inspection as it needs to be checked for safety.
- That said, the change body procedure always comes with other fees.
- Changing the body of a motor vehicle is an optional procedure.
- It can be done at any of the LTO offices anywhere in the Philippines.
- Changes in the body of the motor vehicle may affect its roadworthiness so it isn’t impossible for a modified car to fail inspection when not professionally modified.
Video: Guide on the Requirements for Changing Vehicle Body in LTO
Learn more about the requirements and procedures on how to change vehicle body in LTO by watching this video from MamiZang Vlog.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To help make your application for change in vehicle body as painless as possible, we rounded up the most common questions and answers related to it.
1. What is motor vehicle or car modification?
Car modification refers to changes in the motor vehicle, including change in body, body design, color, and engine or chassis.
2. Can I make more than one type of change to my car?
Yes. It is possible to make several changes at once but you will have to declare the change with LTO by filing for application to change whatever you wish to change, be it the body, body design, color, or engine/chassis.
3. Can I apply for the change in car body from any LTO branch office?
Yes. You may file the change body application at any LTO branch, provided that they offer the service.
4. Is there a difference when filing for applications for change body between private and for hire vehicles?
Yes. Though the procedures may be similar, there are differences in documentary requirements so make sure you pay attention to it depending on your vehicle classification.
5. For questions or concerns, who should I reach out to?
For questions regarding LTO change in the body of your motor vehicle, you may reach out to:
Land Transportation Office (LTO)
LTMS portal: Visit the LTO’s official website and fill out their Contact Us form at https://portal.lto.gov.ph/ords/f?p=PUBLIC_PORTAL:CONTACT_US:115716301949471.
Phone call: You may contact them at their telephone number (632) 922-9061 to 66.
Email: You may also send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LTO Text Hotline Service: You may use LTO’s nationwide SMS service for drivers and vehicle owners by typing LTOHELP and sending it to 2600
LTO office: For information, you may check the LTO branch offices closest to you.
Changing the vehicle body may not seem like an important service to many people, but for those who wish to express their individuality through their cars, it is an important procedure. It ensures that the car stays safe and roadworthy despite the changes and that the LTO is informed that the car has been changed. It’s a simple and straightforward transaction, too, so there’s really no reason to shy away from making changes to your car body or to not declare making such changes in your motor vehicle. After all, it might even save your life when they find any problems with the modifications.