How to Count 3 Years LTO Registration 

Counting down the three years for LTO (Land Transportation Office) motor vehicle or motorcycle registration in the Philippines involves understanding the registration period, the plate number-based system, and planning your renewal well in advance.

The 3 Years LTO Registration refers to the process of registering a vehicle with LTO for a period of three years. It is a requirement for all motor vehicles in the Philippines, including cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses.

As a responsible rider or vehicle owner, keeping track of your car registration renewal is crucial to avoid fines and penalties. It will also help you avoid committing violations, allowing you to renew your vehicle registrations without spending a lot of money. 

LTO has implemented a structured process and understanding how to count down the three years for renewal is essential for every motor vehicle owner. Not only does it help you plan and renew your registration on time, but knowing how to count the validity period of your LTO registration means avoiding fines and penalties which are all unnecessary expenses. In this guide, we’ll delve into counting the years of your registration validity by decoding the plate number-based system and in cases when plate numbers are not yet available, providing practical tips to check for your renewal schedule, for a hassle-free experience.

How to Count 3 Years LTO Registration 

How to Count Your LTO Registration Validity

Being aware of your car registration’s validity is a sign of being a responsible driver. It is a necessary aspect of vehicle ownership and is a sign that you are willing to comply with the law, maintain road safety, and avoid legal and financial consequences.

By knowing how to determine if your motor vehicle registration is valid, you will be able to tell when you need to process a registration renewal and do so on time. This is particularly important, as the LTO has set a new rule granting three years of initial registration validity to motorcycles, even those with engines that are 200cc or lower.

The LTO registration process involves several steps, including submitting necessary documents such as proof of ownership, certificate of registration (CR), and official receipt (OR) of previous registration. The vehicle will also undergo an inspection to ensure it is roadworthy.

Three-Year Motorcycle Registration Validity (Memorandum Circular No. JMT-2023-2395)

In order to make it easier for motor vehicles (MVs) owners,  the LTO has introduced a new rule, released in detail via Memorandum Circular No. JMT-2023-2395. According to this rule, the initial registration for brand new motorcycles, including those with engines of 200cc and below, will now be valid for three years. This is a change from the previous practice where only motorcycles with engines of 201cc and above had a three-year validity.

Along with the longer validity period for initial motorcycle registration, the MC also includes provisions for adjustments of the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC), a fee collected during initial registration, to align with the new three-year validity period. This means that the amount collected will now cover the registration for the extended period of three years instead of the previous one-year validity for motorcycles with engines of 200cc and below. This means that motorcycle owners and riders must learn how to count the validity period of their initial registration, or they can risk facing fines and penalties for late renewal. 

Why is it important?

Knowing how to determine the valid years on your car registration is crucial for several reasons:

  • Legal Compliance: Vehicle registration is a legal requirement, and driving with an expired registration can lead to fines, penalties, and even impoundment of your vehicle. Being aware of the valid years ensures you comply with the law.
  • Avoid Penalties: If you drive with an expired registration, you may incur penalties and fines. Understanding the valid years helps you plan and renew your registration on time, avoiding unnecessary expenses.
  • Insurance Requirements: Many insurance policies require a valid and up-to-date vehicle registration. Failure to renew on time could impact your insurance coverage, leaving you without protection in case of an accident.
  • Road Safety: Updated registration often signifies that your vehicle has passed safety and emissions standards. Regular renewal also contributes to road safety by ensuring that vehicles on the road meet the government’s standards. Registered vehicles are also more easily traceable in case of accidents or violations.
  • Smooth Transactions: Knowing the validity period helps you plan ahead for your visit to the LTO office for the renewal process. It allows you to complete the necessary paperwork and payments in a timely manner, preventing last-minute rushes and potential delays.

Procedures for Counting the Validity of your LTO Registration

With the recent change in registration validity, the burning question for many vehicle owners is, “When do I need to renew my car registration?” In order to figure out the end of the validity date of your motor vehicle’s registration as well as the due date for renewal of your motor vehicle registration, here’s a step-by-step guide that you can use:

Step 1. Identify Your Initial Registration Date

The three-year registration period begins from the month of your initial car purchase. Note this date, as it marks the starting point for counting down the years until renewal.

Step 2. Understand the Plate Number-Based System

The LTO uses the last digit of your plate number to indicate the renewal month. Refer to the following correspondence:

January: 1

February: 2

March: 3

April: 4

May: 5

June: 6

July: 7

August: 8

September: 9

October: 0

Additionally, the second to the last digit of your plate number corresponds to the weekly deadline for renewal:

1st to 7th working day (first week): 1, 2, 3

8th to 14th working day (second week): 4, 5, 6

15th to 21st working day (third week): 7, 8

22nd to the last working day (fourth week): 9, 0

Step 3. Calculate Your Renewal Deadline

Combine the last and second to the last digits of your plate number to determine your renewal month and week. For example, if your plate number ends in 892, your renewal deadline falls between the 22nd and the last working day of the month corresponding to the last digit (in this case, February).

Step 4. Plan Ahead for Renewal

To avoid fines and ensure a smooth renewal process, plan to renew your car registration at least a month before it officially expires. This proactive approach allows for any unforeseen issues that may arise during the renewal process.

Step 5. Keep Track of Reminders

The LTO often issues reminders to vehicle owners regarding their car registration renewal. Stay informed by regularly checking official LTO announcements and notifications.

Step 6. Gather Required Documents:

Before heading to the LTO office, ensure you have all the necessary documents for renewal. This typically includes a valid ID, the original receipt of the last registration, and the certificate of registration.

Step 7. Visit the LTO Office:

When the time comes for renewal, visit the nearest LTO office. Arrive early to avoid long queues, and be prepared to submit the required documents and pay the necessary fees.

Step 8. Receive Your Renewed Registration:

After completing the renewal process, you will receive a renewed certificate of registration and license plates. Ensure that all details are accurate, and keep these documents in your vehicle as proof of registration.

By following these steps and understanding the plate number-based system, you can successfully count down the three years for LTO car registration, ensuring compliance with regulations and contributing to a safer road environment. 

What if I do not have a Plate Number Yet?

Simple! If you got a motorcycle or a car, but the official license plate from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is taking a while because they’re a bit behind, hou my still renew your registration. The only thing is, uou’ll have to use something else as your starting date. But, you can’t use the MV file number (a temporary identifier) as the basis for your yearly registration. Instead, you should use the date when you got your motorcycle from the dealership as the reference. In other words, until you get your official license plate, just keep track of the release date from the dealership for your yearly registration.

Sample Guide to Counting the Years of LTO Registration Validity 

Say, for example, you bought a motorcycle and the dealer released it to you on October 28, 2023, as per the LTO guidelines, your initial registration will have a three-year validity, and it would be valid until October 2026. If you do not have a permanent plate yet, you would need to renew your registration in October 2026, and it’s easy enough to tell. 

However, if you already have a plate number, then it is a bit tricky. Your initial registration is still only valid until October 2026, but depending on the last two digits of your plate number, your due date for renewal changes to the specific month and week dictated by the plate number system. 

Now, say your plate number ends in 15. Using the plate number system, you are supposed to renew in the first week of May. Now you need to renew the registration in the first week of May 2026, though you will only have to pay a small amount to cover for the stickers and the months between October 2026 to May 2027. This is because the MVUC and registration fees paid for your plate number is already paid for until October 2026 during the initial registration. 

However, if you got lucky with the numbers and your plate number ends on 31, then your renewal is due in the third week of January 2027. The fees will adjust accordingly to cover for the unpaid months—from October 2026 to January 2027.

Note that you can always process the renewal application procedures as early as one month prior to the due date to avoid incurring late penalty fees. 


Renewing your car registration doesn’t have to be a maze of confusion and stress. The LTO’s plate number-based system simplifies the process, offering a structured and organized approach to counting down the three years for renewal. Armed with this knowledge, vehicle owners can navigate the renewal landscape with ease, avoiding fines, ensuring compliance, and contributing to a safer and more efficient road environment. So, the next time you find yourself asking, “When should I renew my car registration?” Remember: the answer lies in the digits on your plate and in your counting skills.

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