Changing the body design of a motor vehicle is yet another 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 an unusual thing to do 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 to improve their car for just plain old fun. Whatever the reason, know that there are certain standards and parameters regarding changing vehicle body design and these are all implemented by the LTO in the interest of road safety, and environmental protection, among others.
The LTO standards for changing the body design 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 design of your motor vehicle safely at the LTO, we created this simple, easy-to-follow guide for you.
LTO Vehicle Modifications: Change Body Design
There are different types of car or vehicle modifications. However, for our purposes, we are only discussing the changes in body design for private and for-hire motor vehicles in the country. Just like other types of changes in motor vehicles though, any change in the body design of a motor vehicle inherently changes the factory original look and exchanges it for a unique-looking customized car tailor-made to your needs and preferences.
Changing the body design of your vehicle refers to changes of designs on parts meant to protect the driver, passengers, and other road users. Changing the body design usually refers to changes in these parts that are mostly attached to the metal shell (unibody) and usually include changing or replacing shock-absorbing components, radiator grilles, vehicle’s roof, hood, fenders, trunk lid, doors, and windows.
Benefits of Changing the Body Design of a Motor Vehicle
Being able to change your vehicle’s body design at will means enjoying the following benefits:
- You may convert your vehicle into one that suits your needs and preferences
- A change in vehicle body design may also be a form of expression or a showcase of personality.
- Depending on the type of change you wish to make on the car body design, you may be able to enjoy better car performance.
- You may be able to get a safer car, provided that the body design change is made for your convenience.
- It gives you freedom to decide what you want your car to look like.
Eligibility to Change the Body Design of a Motor Vehicle
Just like when changing the body, changing the body design of a motor vehicle is allowed to anyone who owns a registered motor vehicle and who intends to change his vehicle body design for whatever reason. These changes are allowed to the same group of people, provided that they can present all the requirements and pay all the relevant LTO fees.
Requirements for Changing the Body Design of a Motor Vehicle
Car modifications resulting in changes in the car body design requires re-registration at the LTO to inform the relevant authorities of the changes. Like when you are applying to change the body of your motor vehicle, along with the steps, 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 design, 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 Design
- 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 Design of Motor Vehicles
Changing your vehicle body design is a simple LTO process. Like other LTO transactions, it does require submission of a certain set of documentary requirements. Plus 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 body design for your vehicle, you may follow these steps:
Step 1: Visit any of 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 Design
Filing for a change in the body design of your motor vehicle can be done in any LTO Office, district or extension offices, whichever is more convenient.
Fees for LTO Change Body Design Transactions
The change in body designvçç 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 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 in the Philippines.
Video: Guide on the Requirements for Changing Vehicle Body Design in LTO
You can learn more about the procedures on how to change vehicle body design in LTO by watching this video from MamiZang Vlog.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To help make your application for change in vehicle body design as painless as possible, we rounded up the most common questions and answers related to it.
1. 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.
2. Can I apply for the change in car body from any LTO branch office?
Yes. You may file the change body design application at any LTO branch, provided that they offer the service.
3. Is there a difference when filing for applications for change of body designs 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.
Changing the vehicle body design is a lot like changing the car body. It may not seem all that important to many people, but for those who value individuality and personal expression, being able to express their individuality through their car is an important procedure. Getting the LTO to check on the modified vehicle 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 design 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.