In the Philippines, if your LTO-issued driver’s license is confiscated by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), then you will be issued a Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP). It is basically known as a pink slip or a traffic ticket and is issued to drivers who were apprehended by the LTO or its deputized agents for violating traffic rules. However, it also does serve as a driver’s temporary license for seventy-two (72) hours or three (3) days to allow you to continue operating a motor vehicle legally while giving you time to settle your violations and collect your license back from the LTO.
Pursuant to Section 29 of RA 4136, otherwise known as the “Land Transportation and Traffic Code” as amended, and in relation to Section 27 of RA 8792, known as the “Electronic Commerce Act”, the LTO also started to issue electronic Temporary Operator’s Permit (e-TOP) in all roadside inspection and apprehension activities. According to the agency, this is to maximize the use of information technology (IT) for fast and efficient service delivery to the transacting public.
What is the TOP?
The Temporary Operator’s Permit or TOP is a citation ticket issued by the Philippine Land Transportation Office (LTO) and its deputized agents to those whose license gets confiscated because they violated the rules and regulations of the road. It serves as a temporary authorization and it’s crucial to carry it along with you while driving until such time that the driver is able to settle the violation and retrieve his license.
The TOP is also issued to serve as a summon to the apprehended driver to settle the apprehension within 15 days from the date and time of apprehension and as a receipt of confiscated license. Don’t get it wrong though, while you have fifteen (15) days to settle the violation before your license is suspended, the TOP is only valid for seventy-two (72) hours or three (3) days only. By then you are expected to have already settled your fine or penalty as the validity of the temporary permit can not be extended. Failure to settle within three days means you are not allowed to drive until the violation is settled and the license is redeemed.
Manual vs Electronic Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP)
A manual Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP) refers to the citation ticket issued by LTO-deputized traffic enforcers from a booklet. It is accomplished in four copies, by the apprehending officer. A manual TOP is also sometimes called the pink slip, as it is the second (pink) copy that is issued to the apprehended driver/operator and presented when redeeming his apprehension.
The three (3) other copies include:
- The original copy
This is the copy that is attached to the daily apprehension report (DAR) by the apprehending officer for submission to the LEDCS, Sectoral Office, or Operations Division, Regional Office, for encoding purposes.
- Third (yellow) copy
The third copy of the citation ticket refers to the copy kept by the apprehending officer for his file or record.
- The fourth (blue) copy
The blue copy refers to the fourth copy designed to be submitted by the driver shall be submitted to the COA Resident Auditor.
An electronic Temporary Operator’s Permit (e-TOP), on the other hand, refers to the three (3) electronic printout version of Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP) generated and printed using the officially-issued law enforcement handheld mobile device. Just like the manual TOP, the e-TOP ticket is used in all apprehensions made during the conduct of field apprehension/operation against violators of the provisions of RA 4136 as amended, special laws and other related transportation laws, rules, and regulations and is issued to the driver as copy and information of infraction/s.
Use of Manual TOP/Ticket
At present, most TOP are issued electronically and are generally e-TOP, except in the following situations when manual TOP is used:
- When there is no or intermittent internet/data connection in the area of operation;
- When there is a technical failure of handheld mobile device;
- Unavailability of officially issued law enforcement handheld mobile device;
- And other circumstances that may be encountered during the roll out of the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For your reference, here’s a list of the most common questions and answers about the Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP) as well as the electronic Temporary Operator’s Permit (e-TOP) issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO):
1. How long can you use the temporary permit?
The Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP), manual or electronically issued, is valid for seventy-two (72) hours or three (3) days only. By then you should have already settled your fine or penalty as the validity of the temporary permit can not be extended.
2. Can a traffic enforcer confiscate my driver’s license?
While traffic enforcers can apprehend you for violating traffic rules, only an LTO officer and its deputized agents can confiscate your license as per the Republic Act 4136 also known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
3. Who can issue a Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP) or an Electronic Temporary Operator’s Permit (e-TOP)?
According to the provisions of Section 29 of RA 4136, the use of TOP and e-TOP is limited to the deputized agents and apprehending officers under the Regional Administrative Division, Traffic Safety Division (TSD), Field Enforcement Division (FED), LTO Sectoral Office, LTO Transportation Regulation Officers (TROS), and Deputized Transportation Regulation Officers (DTROs) of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Both the TOP and the e-TOP serve as a temporary authorization issued upon confiscation of the driver’s license due to a traffic violation. It is being issued by the LTO to motorists who had their license confiscated due to a traffic violation. With a TOP or an e-TOP on hand, drivers are allowed to continue operating a motor vehicle legally while waiting for the resolution of any issues related to their license. It is valid for three days (72 hours) following the citation of the driver.
Traffic regulations and procedures may be subject to updates or changes, and the LTO can provide the specific details based on your situation. So, in order to get the most accurate and up-to-date information on this process, it’s recommended to contact the LTO directly or visit their official website. You may also reach out to them via the following:
Land Transportation Office (LTO)
LTMS portal: Visit the LTO’s official website and fill out their Contact Us form at https://portal.lto.gov.ph/ords/f?p=PUBLIC_PORTAL:CONTACT_US:115716301949471.
Phone call: You may contact them at their telephone number (632) 922-9061 to 66.
Email: You may also send them an email at email@example.com.
LTO Text Hotline Service: You may use LTO’s nationwide SMS service for drivers and vehicle owners by typing LTOHELP and sending it to 2600
LTO office: For information, you may check with any of the LTO branch offices near you.