LTO license plate numbers are essential parts of every motor vehicle. It serves as a unique vehicle identifier and is issued as a set of numbers and letters on a metal plate by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in a bid to help protect the security of both drivers and car owners. Together with your car or motorcycle’s OR and CR, the LTO license plate number serves as the vehicle’s ID which allows law enforcers to track and tell whether a vehicle has the right to be used and driven on public streets or if it’s carnapped or stolen from someone else.
LTO license plates are essential for safety and security reasons. Unfortunately, many motorists are still waiting for their plate number to be released, despite already going through the motions of securing one. Thanks to the ever-increasing number of cars hitting the roads every year, LTO continues to have a hard time catching up, which incites anger among vehicle owners given the LTO’s No Registration, No Travel policy.
What is an LTO License Plate Number
An LTO license plate number refers to the set of alphanumeric characters printed on a slim metal plate and attached to the front and back side of a motor vehicle. It serves as a vehicle’s ID, proving its legitimacy and giving the motor vehicle a unique identifier in terms of registration, road violations, and compliance with government laws.
The LTO license plate and plate number works as a unit. After all, there can’t be one without the other. It is also an imperative for drivers and car owners to ensure that they initiate the process of securing one as driving around without a license plate number is illegal. It is be flagged down anytime and to be asked to present a Certificate of Registration (CR) and Official Receipt (OR) which could lead to hefty LTO fines and a lot of trouble for transgressors.
Use of Plate Number in Philippines
A license plate number is akin to a government-owned legal identification document, but only for motor vehicles. It comes in the form of a slim piece of metal that car owners and drivers are expected to place onto the car’s front and rear bumpers for several reasons:
- It signals to law enforcers and other motorists that the vehicle has been duly registered and has therefore earned the right to traverse public roads.
- It also helps the authorities monitor if every vehicle on the road is adhering to traffic rules and regulations.
- It serves as a visible identifier.
- With a visible number plate, motorists are assured that violators can be caught and penalized.
- It does away with the possibility of having law enforcers on your tail as they would usually need to chase or flag down vehicles just to check the registration and driver’s license.
- Having a valid and legal number plate enables both drivers and aspiring car owners to avoid as many legal problems and safety problems as possible.
According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the following can get any new motor vehicle or motorcycle registered so the car owners, drivers, and operator may get the OR/CR and secure an LTO license plate number:
- Accredited importers
- Accredited dealers
- Motor vehicle owners
Because license plate numbers may be acquired from the LTO after the initial registration of motor vehicles, hence, the process requires the same set of requirements as such.
For a complete list of motor vehicle registration requirements, you may learn more by reading this guide on how to register your motor vehicles at the LTO.
In case you wish for a unique and customized LTO license plate, then the agency also offers vanity license plates. You may be able to get the list of requirements for this one when you learn about how to secure an LTO vanity license plate.
In case of loss, the requirements for securing a duplicate license plate is detailed in this guide on how to secure a duplicate plate.
Procedure: How to Get an LTO License Plate Number
As mentioned earlier, the process for securing an LTO license plate number starts with the registration of a motor vehicle or a motorcycle. Along with the OR/CR, the agency also releases the car sticker, plate number, and RFID sticker, though they aren’t given out all at the same time. In fact the LTO plate numbers are clearly stated in the OR/CR, but the slim metal plate where it is embossed for visibility usually takes much longer to be released. With the current backlog for license plate numbers at the LTO, it now takes even longer before one is released.
For the detailed procedure on how to get an LTO license plate number, then you can follow these steps:
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.
Using the 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 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.
For a detailed guide on acquiring an LTO vanity plate, you may read about how to secure an LTO vanity license plate.
For lost plates, the procedures are listed in this guide to securing a duplicate plate.
Fees: How Much Does it Cost to Get an LTO License Plate Number
Since the registration procedure for motor vehicles is the same procedure for securing an LTO license plate number, then the price you will need to pay when you go through the procedure remains the same as when you register your car for the first time. It may vary depending on a few factors, but it typically costs somewhere around P1,000.00 plus additional fees for the license plate, the stickers, vehicle tags, and the inspection.
These additional fees include:
- Metal 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
Where to Get an LTO License Plate Number
The date and location for the release of the metal plates are usually found when you verify your LTO license plate numbers online. However, it is usually at the originating LTO office where you process your initial registration, which could be at the following LTO offices:
- New Registration Units of the Regional Offices (ROs)
- New Registration Units of the authorized LTO District Offices (DOs)
- New Registration Units of the LTO Extension Offices (EOs)
- For exempt Motor Vehicles (MVs), Under bond, and MVs under written commitment: LTO Diliman District Office
- For Used Imported MVs: From Subic Freeport – LTO SBMA Extension Office
How to Verify Your LTO License Plate Number
Since the LTO license plate is usually released much later than the OR/CR, you may check for the license plate number via the following channels:
By checking the OR/CR
The LTO license plate number is actually printed out on the OR/CR issued by the transacting LTO office upon completing the MV registration procedures
Via the LTO plate number verification online
A plate number verification for private vehicles can be done online, via the LTO SMS plate number verification system to see if the plate number and registration are legitimate. It is unclear if public utility jeepneys (PUJs) and other public utility vehicles (PUVs) such as taxis, tricycles, motorcycles, and trucks are included in the LTO’s verification system database.
There’s an option for LTO SMS plate number verification, too, and it works regardless of network service (Globe, TNT, Smart, Sun Cellular, Dito, or Gomo). Likewise, it costs the same across all networks and is only serviceable during regular office hours, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
For your reference, here are some important reminders you need to keep in mind when getting an LTO license plate number:
- The LTO license plate number is usually issued after the LTO registration procedures for motor vehicles are completed.
- The LTO plate number can be verified through the LTO verification system online or via SMS.
- Getting the LTO plate number verified is extremely helpful if you do not want to stay too long at a police or a military checkpoint as you can just show them the message from the LTO proving that your car is totally clear of any apprehension and records.
- This service is also quite useful for the police force, especially if they are out to get crooks and carnappers in a checkpoint.
- The costs for the actual license plate (P450.00) is included in the fees paid for during registration.
- Securing a duplicate plate is possible, in cases of loss, theft, or mutilation.
Video: How to Get a License Plate in case of Loss
Learn more about how to get a new LTO license plate in case of loss or theft, watch this video posted by Tongbits TV:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You may also check on the common question and answers regarding how to get an LTO license plate here:
1. Can I use a temporary plate before my license plate is released by the LTO?
Yes. You may get a temporary plate from the dealer where you purchased the motor vehicle or simply use your car’s conduction stickers as the temporary plate. Both are allowed by the LTO anyway.
2. How can I check if the LTO license plates are available for pickup?
You may use the 15-digit Motor Vehicle (MV) number on the OR/CR on the LTO verification system online or via SMS to check if the license plates are ready for release. Of course, you may always reach out to LTO directly, either by making a phone call, sending a message, or making a personal trip to the LTO office where you processed your MV’s registration.
3. Where can I find the 15-digit Motor Vehicle (MV) number?
The 15-digit Motor Vehicle (MV) number can be found in the original official receipt/certificate of registration (OR/CR). If you check your OR/CR, you will see your Motor Vehicle (MV) number on the top-left side. You will need this to run plate number checks. Once the system recognizes the status, it will tell you all the registration information as well as when and where you can pick your plate up from an LTO office, if it has not yet been released.
If you are still reading, we’re pretty sure you are no longer wondering why there’s so much clamor to speed up the release of the LTO plate numbers. After all, the license plates are necessary to drive vehicles both for identification and safety and security reasons.
Moreover, together with your car or motorcycle’s OR and CR, your LTO plate number serves as your vehicle’s unique identifier, making it easier to track in cases of accidents.