Complete List of Impoundable Violations in the Philippines

As the primary regulating body responsible for implementing and enforcing the rules and regulations on the road, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) plays an important role in maintaining order and ensuring road safety for drivers, operators, passengers, and pedestrians all over the country. There are some violations wherein the penalty is the confiscation of the motor vehicle. It’s good to know which of these rules warrant the said impounding of vehicles so that motorists will be able to avoid such hassle and inconvenience.

As part of its mandate, the LTO imposes stiff fines and penalties that vary depending on the seriousness and frequency of traffic offenses committed by drivers and operators on the road. One penalty that often raises eyebrows and demands attention is the concept of impoundable violations—a multifaceted approach carried out by the agency in a bid to shape a responsible and law-abiding driving culture while safeguarding the well-being of individuals on the road.

list of violations to impound vehicle in philippines

Understanding Impoundable Violations

Impoundable violations refer to specific traffic offenses that the agency deems serious enough to warrant the temporary confiscation or impounding of a vehicle, whether it is a car or a motorcycle. This means that your vehicle will be seized and taken into legal custody because you violated certain rules.

These violations go beyond the realm of mere fines and demand more stringent consequences to discourage repeat offenses and safeguard public safety. The LTO has outlined a list of specific violations that fall under this category, each carrying its own set of penalties and procedures.


Though generally frowned upon, impounding vehicles is a multifaceted form of punishment that combines deterrence, public safety, regulatory compliance, penalty enforcement, and the promotion of road order. It plays a vital role in shaping a responsible and law-abiding driving culture while safeguarding the well-being of individuals on the road.

Some of the things that the impounding penalty of Land Transportation Office (LTO) serves include:

  • Deterrence: Impounding vehicles for certain violations acts as a deterrent to discourage motorists from engaging in risky and illegal behavior on the road. The inconvenience and potential financial consequences associated with impoundment are designed to discourage repeat offenses.
  • Public Safety: Impounding vehicles involved in serious violations, such as reckless driving or driving under the influence, helps ensure immediate removal of potential threats to public safety. This swift action prevents the continuation of unsafe practices and irresponsible drivers on the road.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Impoundable violations often involve non-compliance with specific regulations, such as driving without the necessary permits or exceeding vehicle load limits. Vehicle impounding reinforces the importance of adhering to these regulations and promotes a culture of compliance.
  • Penalty and Rehabilitation: Impounding also serves as part of the penalty for committed offenses, providing a tangible consequence for violating traffic rules. Additionally, the temporary loss of a vehicle aims to encourage a sense of responsibility and reflection on the part of the offender, promoting safer driving behavior in the future.
  • Road Order and Discipline: By impounding vehicles, the LTO contributes to maintaining order and discipline on the roads. This is particularly important in a densely populated country like the Philippines, where effective traffic management is crucial for the safety and convenience of all road users.

Common Impoundable Violations (DOTC – LTO MC-89-105)

According to Section 73 of the DOTC-LTO Memorandum Circular 89-105, the following violations are possible reasons that could get your motor vehicle or motorcycle impounded:

  • Unregistered/Improperly registered/delinquent or invalid registration
  • Unregistered substitute or replacement motor, vehicle engine, engine block or chassis
  • Unauthorized change of color or configuration
  • Operating, allowing the operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked Certificate of Registration
  • Using license plates different from the body number
  • Illegal Transfer of plates, tags, or stickers
  • Violations involving absence of required parts, accessories or devices or defective parts, accessories or devices which pose danger to the public
  • Authorized route not properly painted
  • Unauthorized/improvised number plates
  • Failure to paint on vehicle business or trade name
  • Failure to paint required markings
  • No body number for Public Utility Vehicle (PUV)
  • Using radio or stereo in violation of existing regulation or without the necessary permit, or in breach of the condition in permit regulation.
  • Installation of jalousies, curtains, dim colored lights, strobe lights, dancing lights or similar lights, colored tinted or painted windshield on window glass on “for hire” vehicles
  • Driving without a license plate
  • Fake drivers license/ Ordinance Violation Receipt (OVR)
  • Fake sticker
  • Fake license plate
  • Fake Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration
  • Tampered documents pertaining to franchising, registration and licensing
  • Failure to present any document regarding motor vehicle ATTA
  • Breach of Franchise Conditions
  • Improper use of drivers license
  • Expired drivers license
  • Expired Traffic Violation Receipt
  • PUV

In addition, the following violations shall also cause the impounding of the motor vehicle: 

  • Driving without a license plate
  • Fake drivers license/TVR
  • Fake sticker
  • Fake license plate
  • Fake Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration
  • Tampered documents pertaining to franchising, registration and licensing
  • Failure to present any document regarding motor vehicle ATTA
  • Breach of Franchise Conditions
  • Improper use of drivers license
  • Expired drivers license
  • Expired Traffic Violation Receipt
  • Involved in Accidents
  • Illegally Parked

LTO’s Role in Enforcement

The Land Transportation Office as the primary regulating authority on the road is in charge of dispatching deputized enforcers to monitor, regulate, and implement rules against these impoundable violations. When a driver is apprehended for such an offense, the LTO may impound the vehicle for a specified period. The duration of impoundment varies based on the severity of the violation and may range from days to weeks.

Penalties and Redemption

Apart from the inconvenience of losing access to their vehicles, individuals faced with impoundable violations are also subject to fines and other penalties. The impounded vehicle can only be redeemed after the completion of the imposed impoundment period and settling of all fines and fees. This multi-faceted approach aims not only to punish but also to educate and deter individuals from engaging in reckless behavior on the road.

Challenges in Implementation

Impounding vehicles for violations in the Philippines, while serving important purposes, comes with its own set of challenges which includes the following:

  • Enforcement Consistency: Ensuring consistent enforcement of impoundable violations can be challenging. There might be variations in how different regions or localities interpret and apply impounding regulations, leading to disparities in enforcement.
  • Infrastructure Limitations: Some regions may face challenges in having adequate impounding facilities or storage spaces. This can result in delays, logistical issues, and additional costs associated with impounding operations.
  • Public Awareness: Lack of awareness among the public regarding impoundable violations and their consequences can hinder the effectiveness of the impounding system. Proper education and communication are essential to ensure that drivers understand the reasons behind impounding and how to avoid such situations.
  • Legal Procedures: The legal process surrounding impounding, including the documentation and administrative procedures, can be time-consuming. Streamlining these processes is crucial to ensure that impounding is both effective and efficient.
  • Corruption and Bribery: In some cases, there may be instances of corruption or bribery that undermine the integrity of impounding procedures. This can lead to inconsistencies in enforcement and diminish the deterrent effect of impounding.
  • Challenges in Retrieval: For individuals whose vehicles have been impounded, the process of retrieval may pose challenges. This includes the payment of fines, completion of required documentation, and sometimes a lack of clarity on the steps involved.
  • Alternative Solutions: While impounding serves as a deterrent, exploring alternative solutions, such as community service or educational programs, may be more effective in certain cases. Striking the right balance between punitive measures and rehabilitative approaches is an ongoing challenge.

Addressing these challenges requires a collaborative effort between government agencies, law enforcement, and the public. Continuous evaluation and refinement of impounding procedures, coupled with public awareness campaigns, can contribute to a more effective and equitable impounding system in the Philippines.

Important Tips and Reminders

When dealing with impoundable violations and the potential for vehicle impounding by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in the Philippines, it’s crucial for drivers to be aware of the following tips and reminders:

  • Know the Impoundable Violations

Familiarize yourself with the list of impoundable violations outlined by the LTO. Understanding what actions may lead to impoundment is the first step in avoiding such situations.

  • Stay Informed on Traffic Regulations

Keep yourself updated on the latest traffic rules and regulations. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, and staying informed helps you make responsible decisions while on the road.

  • Comply with Licensing and Permits

Ensure that you have the necessary and valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and other required permits. Non-compliance with these documents is often a basis for impoundment.

  • Avoid Reckless Driving and Driving under the Influence of alcohol (DUIA) and other dangerous drugs (DUID)

Practice safe and responsible driving habits. Reckless driving and driving under the influence are serious offenses that can lead to immediate impoundment.

  • Respect Load Limits

Adhere to prescribed load limits for your vehicle. Overloading is not only a violation but also a safety risk that may result in impoundment.

  • Be Mindful of Street Racing

Avoid participating in illegal street races, as this is an impoundable violation that poses risks to yourself and others on the road.

  • Stay Calm During Traffic Stops

If stopped by traffic enforcers, remain calm and cooperative. Arguing or resisting may escalate the situation and lead to more severe consequences.

  • Be Prepared for Impoundment

Understand the impoundment process, including the duration and steps for retrieval. This includes settling fines, providing necessary documentation, and completing any required procedures.

  • Keep Emergency Contact Information

Make sure your vehicle has updated and accurate contact information. This ensures that you can be reached promptly in case of impoundment.

  • Seek Legal Advice if Needed

If you believe there are discrepancies or issues with the impoundment process, seek legal advice. Understanding your rights and responsibilities is essential in navigating such situations.

Remember that responsible driving is not only a legal obligation but also a safety precaution. Being proactive and informed helps you avoid impoundable violations and ensures a smoother experience in case you encounter enforcement actions by the LTO.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For your reference, here are some common questions and answers related to the impoundable violations on Philippine roads:

1. What are impoundable violations according to the LTO?

Impoundable violations refer to serious traffic offenses that may lead to the temporary confiscation or impounding of a vehicle. These include reckless driving, driving under the influence, unauthorized street racing, colorum operations, and overloading, among others.

2. How long does the LTO impound vehicles for violations?

The duration of vehicle impoundment varies depending on the severity of the violation. It can range from days to weeks. The specific period is determined by the LTO, and the vehicle can only be redeemed after completing the impoundment period and settling all fines.

3. Can I contest the impoundment of my vehicle?

Yes, you have the right to contest the impoundment. You can follow the prescribed appeal process outlined by the LTO. It’s important to gather relevant documentation and provide a clear explanation of your case during the appeal process.

4. What happens if I refuse to pay fines associated with impoundable violations?

Refusing to pay fines may result in prolonged impoundment, and additional legal actions may be taken. It is advisable to settle fines promptly to facilitate the release of the impounded vehicle.

5. Are there alternatives to impounding for certain violations?

In some cases, alternative penalties such as community service or attendance at educational programs may be considered. The decision depends on the nature of the violation and the discretion of the LTO.

6. How can I retrieve my impounded vehicle?

To retrieve an impounded vehicle, you need to complete the designated impoundment period, settle all fines and fees, and comply with any other requirements specified by the LTO. The retrieval process involves documentation and payment procedures.

7. Is impoundment the only penalty for impoundable violations?

Impoundment is one of the penalties for impoundable violations, but fines and other sanctions may also apply. The combination of penalties aims to deter repeat offenses, promote road safety, and ensure regulatory compliance.

8. Can impounded vehicles be released before the completion of the impoundment period?

Generally, impounded vehicles cannot be released before the completion of the impoundment period. However, individual cases may be subject to review, and the LTO has the authority to make exceptions under certain circumstances.

9. How can I stay informed about impoundable violations and LTO regulations?

Stay updated on LTO regulations by regularly checking their official website, attending road safety seminars, and being aware of any public announcements. Local LTO offices and law enforcement agencies can also provide information on current traffic regulations and impoundable violations.


Impoundable violations serve as a crucial component of the LTO’s strategy to maintain road safety and order in the Philippines. While the consequences may seem stringent and harsh, they are designed to protect the well-being of all road users. As drivers, it is your responsibility to stay informed about traffic regulations, adhere to the rules, and contribute to creating a safer and more organized transportation environment for everyone by avoiding these violations while on open roads. 

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