Vehicle registration is a pretty straightforward process especially on the consumer side as most of the harder paperwork is handled by the dealership and by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). All the buyer has to do is wait for the paperwork to be processed and receive the Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration (CR) within the next 7 days and wait for the official license plate to be issued.
With that in mind, we recently got a question from one of the commenters on the Facebook page asking us “Can you use a vehicle registered in Mindanao or Visayas in Luzon?” This poses an interesting question as the LTO has stated that once a vehicle has been registered in the Philippines it is automatically allowed to drive on any public road in the country. With that said, we dive a little deeper into understanding if you can drive a vehicle registered in one region in the country to a completely different one.
What does it mean if my car is registered in a different region?
To give a bit of background, vehicles that are registered within certain regions of the Philippines are assigned a specific starting letter for their license plates. Examples of these are vehicles that are registered in the NCR region will come with the starting letter of N on the license plate, while vehicles that registered in the Visayas start with the letter H. This means that the starting license plate letter will vary depending on the region that the vehicle is registered in. Aside from that, there are no other restrictions for the vehicle unless it is being utilized as a mode of public transportation i.e taxis, or if it has a specialized plate such as a diplomatic or government one.
Will I be “out of bounds or out of region” if I drive to a different region in the Philippines?
Your vehicle, so long as it is registered properly will not be “out of bounds or out of region.” An example of this is if you were to take an NCR registered vehicle and bring it to Davao to be used as a private vehicle. If this is the case then you will not encounter any problems or penalties along the way. If it will be used as a form of public transportation then additional paperwork will be involved allowing the vehicle to be used for its intended purpose in the area. Aside from this, the only issues that you might face are when you want to register the vehicle with the regional Davao LTO as it will require additional fees to transfer your papers from the NCR office.
Can I transfer my registration papers to a different regional office?
As previously mentioned, you can have your vehicle registered at a different regional office, however, be prepared to pay extra fees. These fees will revolve around the transfer of your files from one office location to another. It is important to note, however, that the LTO can prevent you from renewing the registering your vehicle if it keeps being transferred to a new regional office each time its registration has expired.
Does this mean I can use my car in other regions in the Philippines?
If you are up for a long drive and if your vehicle is properly registered with the LTO, then yes you can use your vehicle in other regions in the Philippines without an issue. The government agency can only penalize you if you commit traffic violations or if your vehicle isn’t properly registered. Aside from this, you should have no problems using it anywhere else in the country.
So, to answer the question “Can you use a vehicle registered in Mindanao or Visayas in Luzon?” yes you can as long as your registration is up to date.
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