LTO releases first batch of new license plates for motor vehicles, motorcycles

Manila, Philippines - The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Saturday, May 10, 2014 announced that first batch of new license plates for motor vehicles and motorcycles has been released. The new plates are designed to be tamperproof and easier to identify in order to enforce road safety and discipline.

New LTO license plate 2014

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC)—through its Twitter account @DOTCPhilippines—announced on May 8 that owners of new vehicles, who registered from February 17, 2014 onward, will soon be notified as to when they can get their new license plates. The department, likewise, announced that the replacement of existing plates will begin in the third quarter of this year.

Sleek look, modern features

The new LTO license plates—manufactured by Dutch-Filipino consortium PPI-JKG Philippines, Inc.—will replace the nine different plate designs that have been in use since 1981. Under the new standard, plates of private vehicles will now sport a black-and-white design, while “For Hire” or public utility vehicles (PUVs) will retain the black-and-yellow scheme.

Aside from the color change, the LTO also introduced modern security features to the new license plates. These include tamper-proof bolts that will permanently attach the plates to the vehicle, reflectorized sheeting for long-range and wide-angled visibility, and a “third-plate” sticker to display license plate numbers on windshields that leaves a trace when torn off.

The security features embedded in the new license plates are expected to limit, if not eliminate, illegal operations, such as the “tanggal plaka” modus operandi, and prevent criminal elements from carrying out activities such as carjacking and other heinous crimes.

In addition, the license plates for PUVs will indicate the region where it is registered. Public utility buses (PUBs), on the other hand, will display a label indicating whether it is a city or a provincial bus, and their “third plate” sticker will reflect their authorized routes.

Secretary of Transportation and Communications Jun Abaya said that the new license plates will not only ensure the safety of motorists, but also help ease traffic congestion and promote road discipline in the country.

“The security features of the new plates will help weed out colorum vehicles from the roads, which will better assure the safety of the riding public. They will also help in reducing traffic on EDSA and other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila. Of course, these features will also enable authorities to enforce criminal and traffic laws more effectively,” Abaya said.

Old rates for new registrants

While the sophisticated features of the new license plates appear expensive, Abaya assured the motoring public—especially new vehicle owners—that they will continue to enjoy the rates currently charged by the LTO.

“The new license plates will still cost the same: P450 for four-wheeled vehicles, and P120 for motorcycles. These are the current prices already. New vehicle owners, meaning those who will register their vehicles for the first time beginning February 17 this year, will be charged the same rate as everyone else before,” Abaya said.

According to the DOTC chief, the same price also applies to replace existing license plates with new ones. “But this is a one-time payment only. In exchange, we get many security features which will improve the safety of our families and loved ones,” Abaya added.

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