LTO New Temporary and Improvised Plate Number For Motorcycle

Along with the guidelines for improvised or temporary plates for motor vehicles with four wheels or more, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has also released a guideline for the motorcycles, issued via the Memorandum Circular JMT-2023-2400. 

The new memo sets the new guidelines for the use of improvised and temporary motor vehicle plates, which will be used pending the issuance of an official license plate from the LTO. As plate numbers are officially required for the identification of the vehicle, thanks to the provisions of Section 17 of Republic Act No. 4136, the new rules that will govern the use of Improvised or Temporary License Plates, along with the prescribed format, are also indicated in this memo. 

Improvised vs. Temporary plates

Improvised license plates as well as temporary license plates are two different types of motor vehicle license plates. Both are only used temprarily, while the owner awaits the issuance of the official and permanent one. Despite their similarities in nature, these two plates are actually quite different. For our purposes, let’s learn more about them. 

Improvised plates

Improvised plates, for one, refers to the plates which may be made by the owner of the motor vehicle while awaiting for the official one. This plate type requires the authority or permit to use improvised plate issued by any LTO District or Extension Offices in cases where the owner requests for duplicate plates, and is valid until the actual plate is available. It also bears the words “improvised plate” below the assigned plate number on the plate. 

Temporary plates

On the other hand, temporary plates refer to plates issued by dealerships to motorcycle owners pending the actual plate. Just like the improvised plate, the temporary plate may also be made by the owner. It also bears the words, “temporary plate” at the bottom part of the plate. However, the permit or authority to use temporary plate from the LTO is no longer necessary.

What does the new memo says about the plate numbers of motorcycles?

Under the new memo, which was received by the UP Law Center on May 30, 2023, the improvised and temporary motorcycle plates – which will be usedby the motorcycle riders and owners pending the issuance of an actual license plate from the LTO – are now bigger and will follow the assigned plate number. However, the format may vary, depending on the availability of assigned plate number as well as the vehicle type.

The memo also details the colors to be used as follows:

Using Temporary And Improvised Plates

For your guidance, here’s the complete guide for the for the new improvised and temporary plate for motorcycles:

1. New Registration with Assigned Plates

If a brand new motorcycle already has its information uploaded in the LTO’s database, and there’s already a plate assigned to it, then its temporary license plate should look exactly as the image above. The actual letter and numbers of its plate will be printed with the words “Registered” and “Temporary Plate” on the top and bottom of the plate, respectively, too.

2. New Registration without Assigned Plate

In cases when there is no plate assigned to the motorcycle yet, then the temporary plate will bear the motorcycle’s MV File Number. The MV File Number will have to be printed out on the Temporary License Plate. The plate should indicate “Temporary Plate”. The dealership will also need to be indicated on the plate’s lower right-hand side.

3. Previously Registered Without Assigned Plate

If the motorcycle is already registered with the LTO, but has yet to be assigned its own plate number, then the temporary plate will need to make do with the MV File Number. Just like newly registered motorcycles with no assigned playe, previously registered motorcycles with no assigned playe will need the MV File Number to be printed on the Temporary Plate. This time, though, the dealership will no longer be indicated.

4. Electric Motorcycle and Tactical Wheeled Vehicle (TWV) with Assigned Plate

Yes, there are electric motorcycles that exist and they do have to be registered with the LTO, depending on their classification. For this type of motorcycle, the main indicator is the word “Electric” printed on the top portion of the plate, above its actual assigned plate numbers and letters. 

Just like the electric motorcycles, the Tactical Wheeled Vehicles (TWV) also need to be registeres with the LTO. They may also use temporary plates and it will bear the same information as the electric motorcycles. 

5. Vintage Motorcycle with Assigned Plate

The Vintage Vehicle Regulation Act – now a Law – is a law designed for vintage motorcycles. The law has provisions allowing for special plates for this type of vehicles. Just like the other types, however, the temporary plates will need to indicate such. Having said that, the word “Vintage” will have to be there, on the top right portion of the plate,and this will serve as its clear identifying mark.

6. Improvised MC Plate for Lost/Mutilated Plate

For lost, stolen, or damaged plates, the motorcycle must follow the old process and seek a replacement from the LTO. Once that has been done, a proper LTO authorization to use such improvised plates while waiting for the replacement plate. After that, then you may already use improvised plate with the details that you see above until the new pair of official plates can be issued.

When can vehicle owners use improvised license plates?

Improvised license plates can only be used in the event that the vehicle’s license plate of a registered motorcycle is damaged, lost, or stolen. However, in order to use an improvised license plate, the vehicle owner must first notify, request for a duplicate plate, and receive approval for such from the LTO.

Getting Temporary Plates

When seeking for temporary plates, motorcycle owner may get one from the following:

  • The dealerships where they got the motorcycle from as they are obliged to issue one pending the release of the actual physical license plates of newly registered vehicles; 
  • The vehicle owners can make one themselves provided that their vehicles still do not have assigned license plates, but were registered prior to the release of the memorandum circular; or, 
  • Vintage vehicle owners may also make one for themselves as long as the vehicles have been officially registered under the Vintage Vehicles Regulation Act.

Note: If there is no assigned plate number, either the conduction number or the MV file number is used. Temporary license plates do not need an authorization to use; just take note that primary responsibility for them falls upon the dealership for newly purchased brand-new vehicles, and the vehicle owner for previously registered vehicles.

What is the penalty for using an improvised license plate without the required approval from the LTO?

In cases anyone is bold enough to use an improvised license plate without the required approval from the LTO, then they need to be ready to face the consequences of violating Section II (e) of the Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01. This violation corresponds to a P5,000 fine and the confiscation of the improvised license plate from the motorcycle owner. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For your reference, here are some of the most common questions and answers related to the use of temporary and improvised plates for motorcycles:

1. What is the difference between temporary plates and improvised plates?

The main difference between temporary and improvised plates is that improvised plates require an authority or permit to use from the LTO. The primary responsibility for getting it done also falls upon the vehicle owner, who first need to report the loss or damage to the LTO to secure an authorization to use improvised plates while waiting for the replacement plates.

2. What is the new plate number for motorcycle in the Philippines?

The new plate number refers to the new format issued by the LTO. This new format not only comes with guidelines but also sets the plate numbers for motorcycle in the DDD-LLL/L-DDD-LL (where L represents a letter and D represents a one-digit number) plates for motorcycles.

3. Does the new format of plate come with color and font type?

Yes. Though the font type remains the same, the latest LTO guidelines now specify colors for temporary and improvised plates: black font for private vehicles, red font for government vehicles, blue font for diplomatic vehicles, and green font for hybrid and electric vehicles.

4. What does the memorandum circular 2023 2400 say?

According to JMT-2023-2400, improvised plates are “defined as plates which may be made by the vehicle owner while awaiting for the replacement of their lost or mutilated plate number”. It adds, “The improvised plate shall contain the assigned plate number of the vehicle and with the words ‘Improvised Plate’ below it.

5. Is it okay to use temporary plate number for motorcycle?

Yes. Not only that, there’s no longer any need to secure any document authorizing the use of these temporary license plates from the LTO. For motorcycles that are already registered but still have no assigned plate number, the MV File shall be used and should indicate “Temporary Plate”. Do note thay only dealers are allowed to issue temporary plates so the new vehicle can be brought home in accordance to the ‘no plate, no travel’ policy. As for the improvised plates, these can only be used under these specific circumstances: loss, theft, or damage of existing plates.


Depending on the type of the vehicle or registration, this guide details the specific use of improvised and temporary plates for motorcycles in the Philippines. It is generally for the dealerships, but in case your dealership does not meet these specifics, or does not meet the LTO’s proper timeline for the release of your license plates (AKA bought before this plate shortage but still no plates given), you can make a report or do something about it. After all, some dealerships have already been fined, so yes, you can make demands or simply report these instances to the authorities.

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