The registration of motor vehicles, along with an LTO driver’s license, are essentials for those who wish to drive from one point to another in the Philippines. It is an important process that explicitly provides drivers and car owners the permission to operate and drive a motor vehicle on the Philippine public roads legally. Unfortunately, just as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) gives out this permission, it also has the ability to take it back from people who do not deserve it. For those people, the registration of motor vehicles may be suspended, resulting in revocation of the permission to be on the road.
The suspension of motor vehicle registration is a penalty imposed by the LTO. This penalty is usually imposed following the commission of any of the driving and traffic violations listed in this article. Having said that, motorists would want to learn more and understand the importance of following LTO rules and regulations to avoid the penalties resulting in the suspension of their motor vehicle registration. In this guide we detailed the things you need to remember as well as all the probable reasons that may lead to the suspension of motor vehicle registration in the Philippines.
Understanding Motor Vehicle Registrations
Vehicle registration refers to the process of securing a certificate of registration (CR) and an official receipt (OR) from the LTO. It is also signified by the presence of a valid plate number on the the front and back sides of the vehicle. The alphanumeric combinations as well as the colors of the plate number indicates the registration details, including the region where the vehicle was registered as well as its classification and renewal deadlines.
Plate Designs and Color Schemes
The design of the LTO plate numbers is especially created in an effort to prevent counterfeits or fakes. From the difficult to replicate fonts used to prevent fraud to the reflective paints for night visibility, each element of the plate design serves a purpose all geared towards the safety of both car owners and drivers.
Even the paint colors contain information about the car classification. It also makes it easier for authorities to differentiate vehicles especially since some rules apply only to certain vehicle classifications. The color scheme designation is as follows:
- Black Plates for private vehicles;
- Yellow Plates for public utility vehicles (Taxis, Jeepneys, etc.);
- Red Plates for government vehicles;
- Indigo Plates for Diplomats; and,
- Fully colored Indigo Plate for other exempted vehicles
Some example of special rules that apply only to specific vehicle class includes:
- Indicating drop-off points;
- Special lanes;
- Road use; etc.
It is important to know the rules applicable to the type of vehicle that you drive, especially if you want to avoid the potential suspension of your motor vehicle registration.
Suspension of LTO Registration of Motor Vehicles
The LTO registration of motor vehicles may be suspended if it is caught in the commission of any of the following violations:
Driving without a license
Driving is a privilege afforded by the Philippine government to those who have been deemed roadworthy by the LTO. These are people who have been deemed worthy to be issued a driver’s license after they have successfully passed the LTO written and practical exams and completed the driving courses required by the agency. These people are the ones who have earned legal permission to operate a motor vehicle on public roads.
On the flip side, if you drive on the open roads without a license, not only do you risk being slapped with traffic tickets and obliged to pay hefty fines, but you also risk revocation of your license which may be considered as grounds for the suspension of your vehicle registration.
Illegal use of licenses and plates
Fake or counterfeit license or plates and transferring plates from one vehicle to another is illegal. It won’t be a surprise if you get slapped with not only traffic tickets and criminal charges if you get caught. Plus, you might even get a revocation of your vehicle/s’ registration. Aside from that, using fake or counterfeit documents may cause you to be charged with the falsification of data which may be considered grounds for denial during the application for the vehicle’s registration.
Passenger and freight
All vehicles are designed with a fixed maximum capacity. That said, it cannot carry freight that weighs more than that for it to be operated safely. Going over this established max load, regardless if it’s in the number of passengers or the weight of freight, while traveling on public roads, is also grounds for the suspension of a motor vehicle’s registration.
Motor vehicle accessories
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) also monitors the items attached to the motor vehicle in order to promote safety and order on the road.
Here’s a list of some of the vehicle accessories that the LTO closely monitors:
- Tires – Metallic tires are not allowed under any situation. No vehicles are also allowed to operate with tires that are not of sufficient thickness to prevent their metallic rims from ground contact.
- Brakes – Motor vehicles with four wheels and more need a dual hydraulic brake system. At least two brakes are required so one can function in case the other one fails.
- Horns – Every motor vehicle needs a working horn or any signaling device in good working order. These signaling devices, while required, must not emit exceptionally loud, startling, or undesirable sounds. In addition, only emergency vehicles like ambulances can use bells, sirens, and exhaust whistles.
- Headlights – Motor vehicles with a width of more than one meter shall have two headlights installed on each side. The lights shall only emit a whitish or yellowish color at the front and must have a control device to adjust its intensity.
- Taillights – All motor vehicles must also have lights located at the back end of the motor vehicle. A red light must be visible at least 100 meters from the car’s rear.
- Stop Lights – Also located at the rear end of the vehicle. It must consist of at least one lamp maintaining a sustained bright red light that is visible under any conditions, including under the bright sunlight when brakes are applied.
- Mufflers – All motor vehicles that use an internal combustion engine shall use mufflers. The muffler must be connected and kept the same whenever the vehicles pass through densely populated areas. It must not also be modified to emit obnoxious or unnecessary odor, smoke, or noise.
Roads and traffic rule violations
Violating the rules imposed on driving on public roads and highways can also be used as the basis for suspending a motor vehicle’s registration. Most of these rules are learned when taking a driver’s license. Some good examples of these rules and regulations are as follows:
- Right of Way and Signals
- Overtaking and Passing and Turning at Intersections
- Turning and Parking
- Driving under Influence
- Reckless Driving
- Tampering of Vehicles
- Driving or Parking on Sidewalks
- Obstruction of Traffic
Other violations and the resulting fines and penalties involving suspension of motor vehicle registration:
- Smoke Belching (Section 46, RA 8749)
- First offense – P2,000.00
- Second offense – P4,000.00
- Third offense – P6,000.00 + 1 year suspension of Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR)
- Succeeding offenses – 1 year suspension of Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR)
- + vehicle impoundment + undergo seminar on pollution control management
- Fraud in relation to the registration of the motor vehicle and/or its renewal – P3,000.00 + vehicle impoundment + barred from registration for 1 year
- Illegally transferring or using regularly issued Number plates, Tags, and/or stickers – driver’s license will be suspended for 3 months and if it is proven to be involved in criminal activity you will be fined P12,000.00 + your plate/s, registration certificate, and official receipt(OR) will be suspended for 2 years
- Colorum violation
- Bus – P1,000,000.00 + vehicle impoundment for 3 months
- Truck – P200,000.00 + vehicle impoundment for 3 months
- Jeepney – P50,000.00 + vehicle impoundment for 3 months
- Van – P200,000.00 + vehicle impoundment for 3 months
- Sedan – P120,000.00 + vehicle impoundment for 3 months
- MC – P6,000.00 + vehicle impoundment for 3 months
+ revocation of the entire Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) + blacklisting + revocation of registration
A motor vehicle registration can also be suspended when it appears on the Commission’s records that the vehicle has been subjected to more than three warnings for the violations of R.A. 4136 have been given to the owner during any twelve-month period or when the said owner has been convicted by a competent court more than once for violation of such laws.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For your reference, here are some common questions and answers regarding the reasons that a motor vehicle registration can get suspended.
1. How are LTO violations recorded and tracked in the Philippines?
The Land Transportation Management System (LTMS), an online system portal for the LTO, is used in the Philippines to track and report LTO violations. It has a built in database that compiles data on driver’s licenses, car registrations, and traffic infraction specifics normally detailed in a traffic citation ticket. The LTO processes the traffic ticket which gets it recorded in the LTMS database together with the driver’s license and car registration information. Depending on how serious the offense was, the algorithm calculates the appropriate demerit points, making it a simple task to hunt down, check, confirm, retrieve, and settle infraction records either through LTO offices or online.
2. Are there any LTO violations that can lead to immediate license suspension?
Yes. In the Philippines, certain LTO offenses like drunk driving, reckless driving, and hit-and-run can result in an automatic license suspension as these are regarded as serious ones that seriously jeopardize traffic safety.
3. Can a motor vehicle registration be suspended upon the request of a motor vehicle owner?
Yes. A motor vehicle registration can be suspended at the request of the motor vehicle owner, in cases like, if a motorized vehicle is in a state of severe damage and cannot be operated anymore or if the public motor vehicle can no longer be operated as public transportation.
4. When can a motor vehicle registration be suspended in the Philippines?
A motor vehicle registration can be suspended due to the following reasons.
- when it appears on the Commission’s records that the vehicle has been subjected to more than three warnings for the violations of R.A. 4136 have been given to the owner during any twelve-month period
- when the said owner has been convicted by a competent court more than once for violation of such laws.
- after two suspension due to violations, re-registration of the vehicle concerned for one year may be denied
- Upon getting caught for the following violations:
- Driving without a license
- Illegal use of licenses and plates
- Illegal use of motor vehicle accessories
- Smoke Belching
- Fraud in relation to the registration of the motor vehicle and/or its renewal
- Illegal transferring or using regularly issued Number plates, Tags, and/or stickers
- Colorum violation
5. Will there be a problem with registration renewal of vehicles when the driver with traffic violation fail to settle the fines within the specified period?
Yes. Non-payment of fines within seven days will also mean that violators’ vehicles would not be accommodated for renewal of registration. They might also have problems with license renewal as one of the requirements of renewing the LTO driver’s license is the settlement of outstanding violations.
Each motor vehicle needs to meet the standards laid out by the LTO for a safe driving experience. Not following these standards will revoke the vehicle’s registration, making it illegal for use when driving on public roads and highways. After all, it is essential to keep in mind that only registered vehicles or those that the LTO has deemed roadworthy are allowed to travel on public roads and highways. In addition, heavy fines and vehicle confiscation can be a problem, especially when driving a car without registration since criminal charges are unavoidable if you get in an accident using an unregistered vehicle. Having said that, it’s best to always update your motor vehicle’s registration on time to be able to legally access public roads and avoid any hassle on the road.