How to Register Car in LTO and Get Certificate of Registration 

Being a car owner in the Philippines is good in terms of privileges, but the thing is, it comes with certain responsibilities, most of which require money or careful attention. One good example of the responsibilities aside from getting a driver’s license is getting it registered at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and acquiring an OR/CR (LTO Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration).

Also Read: How to Apply LTO Medical Certificate

When you register your car motor vehicle with LTO, you make it easy for the government and for yourself to track your car. After completing the requirements and getting a certificate of registration, you can expect that your car is in good condition and can be safely driven on the road. Doing so will ensure that you won’t be putting yourself and others in danger and you can avoid any legal repercussions due to your car’s poor-quality or illegal ownership.

To help you take the first step in safeguarding yourself and others on the road, here’s a complete guide on how to register your private car and acquire your certificate of registration at LTO for the first time.

Table of Contents

lto car registration procedure motor vehicle registration

What is a Motor Vehicle Registration (Car Registration) Philippines

Registering the motor vehicle (MV) with the LTO is the first and most important process every car owner needs to undertake. It creates a unique identifier—the registered plate numbers—which helps the government create a link between vehicles and its owners and users. Such a link is helpful in tracking the vehicles, especially when it gets lost or when it was used in the commission of a crime. It also keeps you assured that your car is always in tip-top condition and will keep you out of harm’s way whenever you drive.

In the Philippines, initial registrations of new motor vehicles usually come with a three-year validity. It means that for the first three years, a registered motor vehicle (MV) is considered roadworthy and safe to use by the government. Failure to register can mean serious trouble for the car owners as it entails hefty fines which can go as high as Php 10,000.00.

There may also be legal repercussions, especially when the motor vehicle gets involved in an accident or a crime. Non-registration may also result in getting your MV impounded if the powers that be at LTO finds that you’ve kept the vehicle unregistered for over one month. You will then have to keep paying the fines until you actually register the vehicle.

What is LTO OR/CR ?

The LTO OR/CR stands for the LTO Official Receipt (OR) or Certificate of Registration (CR). These are documents that are of utmost importance if you use or own a car. Not only do they prove that you have gone through with the legal process of getting your vehicle registered, but they also serve as a unique ID, setting your car apart from every other vehicle in the country, regardless of similarities in terms of make and model, variant, or body color. These two also play a significant role in helping the authorities control the traffic system and reduce crimes, including robberies, accidents, and the like.

LTO OR (Official Receipt)

The LTO-issued Official Receipt (OR) refers to the document issued by the Land Transportation Office to car owners who register their vehicles. It confirms that the car registration has been paid for and is considered one of the motor vehicle’s identification documents.

The LRO OR has a sky blue LTO logo as its background and it typically reflects the following vehicle information:

  • Name of the person who paid for the vehicle’s registration fees (Received from), 
  • Place where the payee is from (Address), 
  • The motor vehicle’s license plate number,  
  • A summary and breakdown of the fees paid for, 
  • The date when the transaction was made
  • Its own permanent and unalterable unique serial number, the OR number

LTO CR (Certificate of Registration)

The LTO Certificate of Registration (LTO CR) is yet another document issued by the LTO to help identify and differentiate your car from the rest if the cars in the country. Just like the OR, the CR also confirms the car ownership. As rhe other half of the LTO OR/CR, the LTO CR is predominantly yellow in color and it contains detailed technical information about the vehicle being registered. Along with the OR, it is also issued by LTO upon the completion of the MV registration procedures.

Some of the information found on the CR include:

  • Car owner’s complete name 
  • Owner’s address
  • Specific information on the car,including:
    • Vehicle make
    • Car model
    • Vehicle class
    • Motor number
    • Chassis number
    • Engine displacement
    • Number of cylinders
    • Gross weight
    • Net capacity
    • Total number of passengers

The LTO-issued OR/CR are the two most important documents where your car and your car’s registration is concerned. These two both identify your car, helping you, the car owner, as well as the authorities, track the vehicle in cases of accidents or involvement in criminal activities.

Benefits of Registering Motor Vehicle

When you register your vehicle with the LTO, you get to enjoy the following: 

  • It makes it easier for LTO and other relevant authorities to track the vehicle and trace it to you as the owner. 
  • If you lose the car or get into an accident, they can trace the vehicle back to you.
  • It ensures that the vehicles are roadworthy 
  • It helps reduce car accidents because of poor-quality vehicles. 
  • It also helps car owners avoid illegal car ownership.
  • Upon renewal, it ensures that your car remains in a good state and is safe to drive.

Requirements

When registering your motor vehicle for the first-time, here is a list of the documentary requirements you need to bring, which may vary depending on the car type.

Brand New Locally Assembled/Manufactured Completely Built Units (CBUS)

  • Original Sales Invoice
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover
  • Original Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR)
  • Original PNP-HPG MV Clearance Certificate

Brand New Imported CBUs

  • Original Sales Invoice or Commercial Invoice issued by the Country of Origin
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover
  • Original Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR)
  • Original PNP-HPG MV Clearance Certificate

Tax Exempt

  • Commercial Invoice of Motor Vehicle or Certificate of Title issued by the Country of Origin
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover
  • Bureau of Customs Certificate of Payment
  • Certified True Copy of Tax Exemption Certificate
  • Original Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR)
  • Original PNP-HPG MV Clearance Certificate
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) if imported second hand
  • Certificate of Compliance to Emission Standards (CCES) if imported second hand

Imported Second Hand (Used) Exempted from EO 156/877-A

  • Original Sales Invoice and/or Commercial Invoice of Motor Vehicle/ Certificate of Title issued by the Country of Origin
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover
  • Original Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR)
  • Original Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) MV Clearance Certificate
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Compliance to Emission Standards (CCES)

Imported Second Hand Through the No Dollar Importation

  • Commercial Invoice of Motor Vehicle or Certificate of Title issued by the Country of Origin
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover
  • Certified True Copy of the Authority under the No Dollar Importation issued by the Department of Trade and Industry-Bureau of Import Services (DTl-BIS)
  • Seizure Proceedings and Notice of Award. (If no authority from BIS)
  • Original Affidavit of first and last importation
  • Original Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR)
  • Original PNP-HPG MV Clearance Certificate
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Compliance to Emission Standards (CCES)

Imported Acquired Through Donation 

  • Commercial Invoice of Motor Vehicle or Certificate of Title issued by the Country of Origin
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover
  • Original Deed of Donation duly signed by donor and the donee
  • Original Secretary’s Certificate/Board Resolution when donor is a corporation
  • Original Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR)
  • Original PNP-HPG MV Clearance Certificate
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Compliance to Emission Standards (CCES)

Locally Manufactured/Assembled Electric Vehicles (New Chassis/Body and with New Imported Electric Motor)

  • Original Sales Invoice
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover
  • Original CSR for Electric Motor and Chassis
  • Original PNP-HPG MV Clearance Certificate

Rebuilt with Local Chassis/Body and with Used Imported Engine

  • Original Sales Invoice of Engine, Chassis & Body
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover
  • Original Affidavit of Rebuilt executed by the Owner and/or Mechanic with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
  • National Certificate 11 (TESDA NC 11) stating among others the date of completion
  • Original Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR) for Engine and Chassis
  • Original PNP-HPG MV Clearance Certificate
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Compliance to Emission Standards (CCES)

Rebuilt with Engine and/or Chassis that are Parts of Previously Registered Motor Vehicles

  • Original Sales Invoice of Body
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover
  • Original Certificate of Registration and Latest Official Receipt of payment of registration fees of the engine or chassis
  • Original Affidavit of Rebuilt executed by the Owner and Mechanic with TES DA -NC 11 stating among others the date of completion
  • Original PNP-HPG MV Clearance Certificate
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Compliance to Emission Standards (CCES)

How to Process Car Registration in LTO

Now that you know the requirements you need to register your car, it’s time to figure out the steps you need to take to initiate the LTO car registration process.

In Person, at the LTO Office 

Step 1: Gather and prepare all the required documents for registering the type of motor vehicle you have. 

Note: There is a different set of car registration requirements for brand new cars depending on the type—whether it is Locally, Imported, Registration of Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) (AO-2006-01), Registration of Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV), Three Wheeled Vehicle, or Tax Exempt.

Step 2: Visit the nearest LTO office that processes new vehicle registrations as not all LTO branches do so.

Note: You may always call the customer hotline of the nearest LTO branch from you to ask if they process new vehicle registration and save yourself the trouble of having to go there only to find out that they don’t process car registrations.

Step 3: Once there, go to the appropriate transaction counter.

Step 4: Submit all the documentary requirements you have gathered so the LTO evaluator can assess if the documents are complete and compute the fees based on the information that they have regarding your vehicle.

Step 5: Have the MV tested for emissions and submit the Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) containing the results.

Step 6: Pay all the necessary fees at the cashier and wait for your OR (official receipt).

Step 7: Once done, wait for your turn at the Releasing Counter to obtain the Certificate of Registration (CR), plates, and stickers.

Register Car Online using LTO LTMS Online Portal 

Here are the steps you should follow if you want to register your vehicle with the help of LTO Land Transport Management System (LTMS) portal online:

Step 1: Visit the LTO LTMS Portal online.

Step 2: Log into your account, or if you do not have one yet, register for an LTMS portal online account.

Step 3: Once done, you can then start using the LTMS portal for your specific needs with LTO, like paying off your traffic violation fines as well as your car registration and renewal fees. 

Step 4: Take note of the payment reference number (PRN) if you pay the fees online. 

Note: You may also schedule an online appointment to visit your preferred LTO branch to streamline the process for your car registration and renewal.

Costs and Fees of LTO Car Registration 

The price that you will need to pay when you register your car for the first time may vary depending on a few factors, but it typically costs somewhere around Php 1,000.00. There are also some additional fees for other things including the license plate, the stickers, vehicle tags, and inspection fees.

These fees are broken down as follows:

  • License plate – Php 450.00
  • Stickers and tags – Php 50.00 each. 
  • Inspection fees – Php 90.00 to Php 115.00
  • Penalty fee if you fail to show up during the schedule of your car’s registration – Php 50.00

Important Reminders

When it comes to registering your car, here are a few things that you will need to remember:

  • Not all LTO branches process new car registrations. So please make sure to check with the branch you plan to visit to make sure they can process your registration. Additionally, some LTO branches have different requirements that must be fulfilled in order for them to accept your application. For this reason, you should also inquire about any specific requirements ahead of time so that you can ensure all documents and other materials are ready when you arrive at the office.
  • First-time registrations are typically handled by the motor vehicle dealer, though there are instances when the new car owners need to do it themselves.
  • Some factors that affect the rates of fees you will need to pay for failing to register your MV properly, include:
    • The type of vehicle that you have
    • How long you haven’t been registered
  • All Pinoy motorists must stick to the schedule or LTO car registration renewal, otherwise, they might need to pay fines amounting to as much as Php 10,000.00, or worse, the LTO might even impound your vehicle. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For your reference, here are some common questions and answers regarding the LTO OR/CR:

1. What happens when you don’t register your car?

Not registering your car can only cause troubles. These are the things you can expect if you fail to register your MV:

  • You may be fined for up to Php 10,000.00 if you get caught driving an unregistered vehicle.
  • If you’ve kept the vehicle unregistered for more than one month, they will impound your vehicle until you register.
  • If you commit any traffic offenses or violations, the fine usually costs about 50% of your Motor Vehicle User’s Charge or MVUC along with the registration fee.
  • If you fail to register your vehicle for more than 12 months and you’ve committed a traffic violation, you will pay 50% of your MVUC along with the registration fee for every year you’ve missed out on registration.

2. What does OR/CR mean?

The LTO-issued OR/CR refers to the LTO Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration. These are the two of the most important documents to secure where your car is concerned. These two can be used to identify, distinguish, and even track your car anywhere in the Philippines, even if there are other cars of exactly the same model, variant, or body color. It’s like a unique ID for your car. 

3. What happens if you lose your LTO OR/CR? 

LTO-issued OR/CR are just like your other identification documents made from papers. There could be serious consequences if you don’t keep them well, which could result in various problems, including:  

  • Not being allowed to drive your car on public roads since you won’t have legal documents to prove your car ownership. 
  • Being caught and suffering from detention or jail time for using unregistered vehicles. 
  • Not being able to renew its registration due to the lack of original documents. 
  • Not being able to sell your car for anyone as you don’t have convincing proof (documents) to prove your ownership to the car. 
  • In cases when a dispute arises over your car due to accident or traffic collisions, you will be tagged as an illegal owner with no right to use your own car.
  • Having no right to win any dispute related to your unregistered vehicles 

4. What should you do if you lose your LTO OR/CR?

If, for whatever reason, you end up losing your LTO OR/CR, then you will need to head to the nearest Land Transportation Office (LTO) branch where your car was first registered to get a copy. 

Here’s how you can get a legal duplicate of your car’s OR/CR. 

Requirements

Before going to the LTO branch, you will need to prepare the following documents: 

  • Notarized Affidavit of loss. 
  • Latest LTO OR (Official Receipt) 
  • Approved Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Two valid, government-issued identification cards 

Procedures

Here are the steps to legally securing a duplicate copy of your LTO OR/CR:

Step 1: Secure a duly notarized Affidavit of Loss, or if you are not the owner, get it from them.

Step 2: Find the most recent official receipt (OR) of payment of registration at LTO.

Step 3: Get a duly accomplished and approved Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR).

Step 4: Visit the originating LTO branch concerned and get a queueing number for the appropriate transaction window.

Step 5: Wait for your turn and once called, submit the documents for evaluation and processing.

Step 6: Once the evaluation is completed and the documents are processed, pay foe the appropriate fees and wait for the release of the duplicate LTO OR/CR.

5. What should I do if I still haven’t received my car’s OR/CR?

According to the LTO, car owners are allowed at most, seven days—beginning from the date indicated on the car’s sales invoice based on the vehicle’s issued conduction sticker—of privilege to use their brand-new car on public roads with or without an LTO OR/CR. After that seven-day grace period, the new car should have a an LTO OR/CR before it can be used legally on Philippine public roads. 

Car dealers know about this so when you go and buy your dream car, you can expect to receive your OR/CR within this period. If, for some reason, the car dealer fails to do so, you may file a complaint against  the dealer, as their failure to provide an LTO CR within the allowable grace period violates the Consumer Protection Act.

6. Can I change my motor vehicle plate? 

No. As per Batas Pambansa Blg. 43: An Act Providing Number Plates to Owners of Motor Vehicles and Trailers, Amending for the Purpose Section 17 of Republic Act 4136, specifically Section 1, Sec. 17, change of plate number is not allowed. The identification and letters of any MV number plate is permanently assigned during the motor vehicle’s lifetime. The only acceptable change in plate assignment is when a change in denomination is effected, like when changing a private vehicle to a for-hire or government to private, and the likes.

7. Can I transfer my next registration to another LTO registration unit? 

Yes. It is possible to transfer your next registration to another LTO unit that is more convenient or accessible to you. However, there will be an additional Php100.00 charge for Change of Venue (CV) of your MV registration. 

8. How much is the fine for a late registration? 

There is a weekly fine for late registration of Php200.00.  And for a month delayed of payment, the fine shall become 50% of the MVUC. 

9. How can I check if the OR & CR of an MV are genuine? 

You may have both the LTO Certificate of Registration (CR) and Official Receipt (OR) verified for authenticity at the LTO Property Section, East Avenue, Quezon City. 

10. What is the difference between an Originating District Office and a Transacting District Office? 

An Originating District Office is the LTO office where the first or initial registration of a motor vehicle was effected, whereas the transacting District Office refers to where you are presently registering the renewal or miscellaneous transactions of your car. 

11. How can I verify the details of a motor vehicle? 

Verification of the details of an MV may be done at any online LTO District Office, though private requests will be coursed through the Office of the LTO Assistant Secretary for approval first to ensure the integrity and security of information relating to motor vehicle ownership and details.

12. What are the requirements needed to secure a duplicate plate and a replacement of a lost sticker? 

The requirements for securing duplicate plate or replacement of lost stickers are as follows:

  • Original Affidavit of loss / mutilation
  • Certified True Copy of CR / Original CR
  • Certified True Copy of OR/Original OR of latest payment of MVUC and other fees
  • Duly accomplished and approved Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Proof of Payment (OR) for the cost of replacement plate / duplicate plate / lost sticker
  • (In case of For Hire MVs ) Certification from LTFRB that plates have not been surrendered
  • (In case of sole proprietorship) Secretary’s Certificate in case of MV is in the name of a corporation or DTI certificate
  • PNP-HPG clearance
  • Some factors that affect the rates of fees you will need to pay for failing to register your MV properly, include:
    • The type of vehicle that you have
    • How long you haven’t been registered
  • All Pinoy motorists must stick to the schedule or LTO car registration renewal, otherwise, they might need to pay fines amounting to as much as Php 10,000.00, or worse, the LTO might even impound your vehicle. 

Summary 

Getting an LTO OR/CR by going through the motions of registering your private car plays a significant role if you use or own a car. These two documents not only help authorities to control the traffic system better but also reduce the commission of crimes like robbery or accidents while driving a car. Both documents also present the owner’s name and select information on the vehicle registered, much like a valid ID card. ‘

Unfortunately, though the LTO OR/CR is mandatory for car owners and drivers, they aren’t really valid identification documents so they can’t be used for other public transactions that doesn’t involve your cars.

Nevertheless, getting your car registered means you are ensuring that you aren’t putting yourself and others in harm’s way due to your car’s poor-quality. It also ensures that you don’t suffer from any legal repercussions or illegal ownership. In any case, getting your car registered and securing an LTO OR/CR is an important first step to take after purchasing a car.

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