Losing a license plate, whether by accident due to some loose bolts or intentionally by someone who fancies your number, is something that can happen to anyone, and it’s okay. However, driving a motor vehicle without a number plate or with an improvised plate without any authority from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is punishable by law. Whether it was lost or stolen, failure to report that your number plate is no longer in your possession may end up badly for you, especially if your number plate gets involved in an accident or is used in the commission of a crime.
Also Read: How to Get Duplicate OR/CR from LTO
Having said that, it is necessary to request for a replacement immediately, as it will serve as legal documentation and proof that the plate is no longer in your possession. If, for whatever reason, you find yourself in need of help to replace a lost or stolen license plate, then keep reading.
Getting a Replacement for Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Plates
Number plates are required fixtures for both public and private vehicles. Not only does it serve as a special identification of the motor vehicle (MV) unit, but it also helps the government trace and identify the vehicle owner easily. Plus, it is illegal to drive a vehicle in the Philippines without a registered and official license plate, so it is a must for MV owners to ensure that their vehicle’s plate numbers are always attached and have the necessary stickers.
What is a Duplicate Plate
A duplicate plate is an LTO license plate issued as a replacement for lost, stolen, damaged, or mutilated number plate. Note that this is the actual replacement officially issued by the LTO, and is different from temporary license plates.
Benefits of Getting a Duplicate Plate
Securing a duplicate plate in the Philippines can only mean enjoying the same exact benefits prior to the loss or damage of the number plate. These benefits include:
- Having the option to drive the car on public roads.
- Having a legal proof that the car is registered with the government and is roadworthy.
- It is the ticket out of many legal problems, which can result from driving a car without license plates.
- You have the complete requirements to renew your MV or MC registration.
- You can sell your MV or MC easily as it comes with complete papers.
- You won’t be at a disadvantage in case a dispute arise due to accident or traffic collision
Who can Get a Duplicate or Replacement Number Plate
A duplicate plate can be applied for and requested from LTO by anybody who owns a registered motor vehicle or motorcycle in the Philippines, in cases of loss, theft, or damage to the original.
Requirements for Getting a Duplicate License Plate
It is necessary to prepare the following documentary requirements before applying for a duplicate LTO license plate, in cases when your original copy is lost, stolen, or damaged.
- Notarized Mutilation or Affidavit of Loss of the plate number
- Clearance from PNP-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG)
- Accomplished and Approved MVIR (Motor Vehicle Inspection Report)
- Original and photocopy of the LTO CR (Certificate Registration)
- Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) and other fees OR (Official Receipt)
- For for-hire vehicles only: LTFRB certification indicating that claimed lost plate number has not been surrendered
- For company vehicles: DTI or company secretary’s certificate
Procedures for Getting a Duplicate Plate from the LTO
To acquire a duplicate plate for your registered vehicle from the LTO, you need to follow this three-part procedures:
Step 1: Get a Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
- First, get your motor vehicle (MV) to undergo a run-of-the-mill inspection similar to the motor vehicle inspection required in registration renewal.
- Acquire an MVIR which will help you enjoy a smoother and faster transaction.
To learn more about how it’s done, visit the LTO originating branch and follow the instructions listed in our previous article about MVIR.
Step 2: Get your Certificate of Registration (CR) and Official Receipt (OR).
- Get your LTO OR/CR from wherever you hid it, make duplicate copies and prepare to bring both original and photocopies of the documents.
In cases of lost LTO OR/CR, you may visit the LTO originating branch and follow the instructions listed in our previous article about How to get Duplicate OR/CR from the LTO.
Step 3: Get a Notarized Affidavit of Mutilation or Affidavit of Loss.
- Get a residence certificate (cedula) and proceed to the Notary Public to request for either a Notarized Affidavit of Mutilation or Affidavit of Loss.
- Fill out the affidavit with your name, place of residence, and your license plate number and affix your signature and the date that it was signed.
- Wait until it gets stamped with the filing information and released.
Step 4: Get a Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) clearance.
- You will need to visit the head office or any of the issuing satellite branches of the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).
- There, make a report regarding the lost, stolen or damaged plate number to let the authorities know that it is no longer in your possession and to get a replacement at the same time. Doing so will also help you stay away from trouble associated with unmarked vehicles, and will help the authorities rule you out of an investigation should your plate be used in the commission of a crime.
Step 5: Secure the rest of the documentary requirements depending on the vehicle ownership type.
- For company-owned vehicles: Secure the Secretary’s certificate in case MV is in the name of a corporation or DTI certificate of registration in case of sole proprietorship to prove that the plate has been lost and not surrendered.
- For public-utility vehicles: Go to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and secure a certification that says that the number plate has been lost and not surrendered.
Step 6: Secure an Authority to Use Temporary Plates.
Once you have the other documents with you, the documents you need to request for a duplicate plate are already complete, so you may already initiate the replacement procedures for your lost plate number, Starting with the authority to use temporary plates. Here are the steps:
- Visit the LTO originating branch along with your documentary requirements.
- Submit your documents at the designated evaluation window and wait for them to be evaluated.
- Once the evaluation is complete, proceed to the computation of fees window and wait for the fees to be computed.
- After which, proceed to the cashier and pay for the necessary fees.
- Wait for the official receipt (OR) to be released.
- With the official receipt (OR) at hand, go to the releasing window and wait for your turn.
- Once your name is called, present the OR to receive the necessary documents you’ve requested.
- You should also receive the Authorization to Use an Improvised Plate besides that.
Note: The Authorization to Use an Improvised Plate allows one to use temporary conduction plates with stickers, and is valid for up to three months or 90 days.
Step 7: Wait for the Duplicate Plate/Replacement Plate to be released.
- After which, all you have to do is wait for the new plate number to be issued. The waiting period will be between one and three months, so just be patient and follow up when necessary. Do note that since you are using an improvised plate number, you should carry with you, at all times, the authorization to use such. If not, you might be penalized for not using a legal license plate.
Where to Get Duplicate Plates
To secure a replacement number plate in cases of loss, theft, mutilation, or damage, car owners will need to visit the LTO office where the vehicle was last registered to process a request for duplicate plates.
Cost of Getting a Duplicate Plate
If you are looking to get a duplicate plate in cases of loss or damage to the original one, you need to visit the LTO originating office and pay the corresponding fee for Duplicate/ Replacement of OR/CR which may vary depending on the type of vehicle:
- Cost of plate (MV) – P450.00
- Cost of plate (MC or TC) – P120.00
- Cost of plate (trailer) – P225.00
- Replacement plate (regular) – P450.00
Note that these fees do not include expenses for the other requirements like the MVIC inspection fee (MC or TC – P50, UV – P50, or Trucks or buses – P75), the MVUC, or the cost of having an Affidavit made.
For those who are looking to request for a replacement for their lost, mutilated, or damaged OR/CR, here are some reminders worth remembering:
- You will need to visit the originating LTO office within their operational hours.
- You will need to prove that the number plate is mutilated, lost, stolen, or damaged and not just hidden.
- You need to bring your LTO OR/CR with you at all times.
- There is a lot of work involved with reporting a lost, stolen, or damaged plate, but because it’s a bit of a big deal to get you and your car’s identification in the clear, it’s best to get it done as soon as possible.
- Insurance companies require the visibility of license plates in photos to ensure that the claims made by car owners are free from fraud.
- If you are using an improvised plate number, you should carry the authorization to use one with you, at all times, or you might be penalized for not using an LTO-issued official license plate.
Video: Getting a Duplicate Plate from LTO
Offering duplicate plates in cases of loss, theft, mutilation, or damage to the original one is a service offered by almost all LTO branches nationwide. It’s a simple process, and you will see that it is so by watching Tongbits TV as he walks you through the process on how to get a duplicate plate for your motorcycle (MC) through this video:
For the dos and don’ts of using improvised or temporary plates properly, this video from Pare Nyo TV will teach you everything you need to know:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For your reference, here are some common questions and answers related to securing a duplicate number plate from the LTO:
1. How much do I need to spend to get a duplicate plate from LTO?
Depending on the type of vehicle, the actual fee for processing duplicate plates only ranges from P120.00 to P450.00. However, you must keep in mind that all the other requirements cost money too, like the MVIR, the MVUC, the Notarized Affidavit of Mutilation or Affidavit of Loss, as well as the PNP-HPG clearance.
2. What is an Originating District Office?
The originating District Office is the LTO branch or office where you originally registered or transacted with, which may be different from the last LTO office of transaction or the transacting LTO office.
3. Is a LES Clearance required when securing a duplicate plate from the LTO?
Yes. A LES Clearance or Law Enforcement Clearance is a required certification for for-hire motor vehicles and/or their authorized liaison officer/personnel. It is required only when securing duplicate motor vehicle license plate/s and windshield stickers/year tags.
4. Is a LES Clearance necessary for private and for-hire motor vehicles securing duplicate plates?
No. LES Clearance applies only to for-hire motor vehicles.
5. Can I request a duplicate plate from any LTO Office?
No. You will need to go to the originating LTO office where you first got your vehicle registered. You may, however, transfer to a different LTO office if you request a transfer of records, which essentially moves your entire LTO records history from the originating LTO office to your new preferred LTO office.
6. How long does it take to receive my replacement plate?
The waiting period usually lasts between one to three months, but you will need to follow-up on it occasionally.
Getting a duplicate license plate from LTO may seem like a bureaucratic nightmare, but in reality, this long, tedious process is a lot simpler than what you’ll need to go through when you end up incriminated in something bad due to your lost number plate. Plus, you will still need a visibly displayed number plate to be able to use your vehicle anyway, so you will need to process a request for a replacement just the same. To make it less painful, you can simply consider the process a two-in-one request for a plate and a reporting procedure. You simply need to prepare the money and set aside enough time to get the requirements ready before you proceed to the originating LTO Office and initiate the requesting process for a replacement plate in the Philippines.