How to replace a license plate in the Philippines

It can happen to anyone regardless of if you live in the Philippines or the rest of the world. It could be a delinquent who fancies your number, or it could be a loose bolt and some speed on the highway. Heck, you can even lose a plate in a flood or a typhoon. Regardless of the reason, we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to do in order to replace a lost or stolen license plate. 

Even if it is a conduction plate, your vehicle needs to have identifying marks in order to be used on the road. Driving without a plate is like driving without a driver’s license, it could get you into heaps of trouble. Even if it means using markers to write the plate out, do it, but make sure that it is the actual registered number assigned to your vehicle. 

It is important that you don’t stick to this temporary plate for long periods of time, and is only a cautionary measure for you and your vehicle either while in the process of securing a new plate, or while waiting for your replacement to be produced. Remember, driving around with an improvised plate can get you into some trouble, sans the proper authority to do so. 

Vehicle Certificate of Registration and Official Receipt Philippines

This important document must be kept at home and in a safe place. Grab it from your drawer and photocopy it, or create a few more copies of it on top of the ones that you should already have, and bring it with you while securing the rest of the documents. 

For this document, you either need to make one from scratch, or you can get a readily-made template. Then what you need to fill out are your name, place of residence, and your license plate number. It will also need your signature and the date that it was signed. 

An affidavit must indicate that you have lost the item/document indicated as well and be notarized by a public notary. Depending on the notary, getting this document notarized could cost you a bit of money, so make sure to keep some cash on hand when you’re securing an affidavit. 

After this, you need to go to the head office or any of the issuing satellite branches and report that your plate number has been stolen or is lost. Notifying the authorities will let the system know that your vehicle is missing a plate number and that you are in search of a replacement. Notifying the PNP-HPG will help you keep away from trouble associated with unmarked vehicles, and will help the authorities rule you out of an investigation should your plate be used in a crime. 

Next, you need to go to the LTO where your vehicle was last registered. After you’ve attached a temporary plate onto your vehicle for good measure, make your way to the office and proceed to the receiving and evaluation counter at the branch. You will have to pay an inspection fee in order to have the office process your request. After that, your vehicle will be inspected and you will receive the MVIR. 

This should be a run-of-the-mill inspection just like in registration renewal, and it lets the LTO know that your vehicle is road-worthy. 

For these types of cars, there are certain detours that you have to take. If it is a company-owned vehicle, then you need to get the DTI or company secretary’s certificate. For public utility or for-hire vehicles, you have to get Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) certification that indicates that the plate has been lost and not surrendered. 

  • A temporary plate
  • An affidavit of loss 
  • OR/CR
  • PNP-HPG Clearance 
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report 
  • DTI, LTFRB, Company secretary’s certificate (if owned by a company) 

Now, we know you might be wondering why there is a lot of work involved with reporting a stolen plate. As mentioned, delinquents could have gotten hold of it, and being a traceable government document, you could be implicated in a crime that you know nothing about. As such, it’s a bit of a big deal to get you and your car’s identification out of the way. 

On top of that, a plate number helps identify your vehicle in the event that it is stolen or if it is involved in an accident. Insurance companies require that the plate be visible in photos to make sure that the claim is free from fraud. 

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