The Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) is a new program in the Philippines to ensure the road-worthiness of the vehicles to be registered. As per the LTO's Memorandum Circulars Nos. 2020-2240 and 2018-2158, the former of which is still in drafting, The documents affect passenger vehicles, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, and also public utility vehicles (PUVs) and public utility jeeps (PUJs).
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is the government agency responsible for implementing the standards for the MVIS. Not all LTO offices will require that you pass the MVIS to be able to register your vehicle.
The MVIS test will be required if you want to register your vehicle, passing the test will mean that your vehicle is roadworthy and that it is able to be registered. Read on to find out everything that you need to know about this new system.
Editor’s note: At the time of publishing, the MVIS program and the 2020-2240 Memorandum is still not finalized. So this article is still subject to changes and updates, however, here is everything we know so far based on the finalized documents and recent news.
As of February 11, 2021, passing the MVIS is no longer a requirement as part of the renewal of registration of a motor vehicle according to the Office of the President. Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) will still be allowed to operate for the benefit of motorists who want to check if their vehicles are roadworthy. These PMVICs will also be operating on a new set of fees that are more affordable than before. In the event that a vehicle fails the testing of the PMVIC, there will be no charge for retesting with the center within a period of 1 year.
Vehicle information and specification
To pass this portion of the inspection, here are the pieces of information that need to be in order.
- Plate number
- File number
- Chassis number
- Motor number
- Name of owner/operator
- Address of owner/operator
- Type of body
- Year model
- Gross vehicle weight
- Net capacity
- Fuel type
All the information on the certificate of registration of the vehicle must be in line and the same as the information currently stamped and on the vehicle. The engine number and the chassis number must match, as well as the plate number or conduction sticker of the vehicle.
Above Carriage Inspection
Your car’s body must be in good condition and in good order, without any body panels missing or out of place and alignment. The panels must not be fastened with duct tape or with rope. Your vehicle’s headlights must also be functional, aligned, and clear. Also, your brake lights, signal lights, reverse lights, turn signal indicators, and license plate lights should also be working properly and holding steady. The windshield should also be free of cracks and structural damage, the same goes for your windows and sunroof if applicable. The vehicle’s doors should also be functional and able to open up fully and close securely. Side mirrors are also part of the inspection and must be clear and undamaged. You should have side mirrors installed on your car on both the left and the right sides. Your wheels should also structurally sound, with no structural damage or cracks. Cosmetic damage is fine as long as it doesn’t compromise the structural integrity of the rim. Your tires must also be younger than 5 years and mustn’t be worn down to the wear indicators, have sidewall damage, be free of chips and punctures. The wheel lug nuts and bolts must also be securely fastened. A fuel tank cap that seals properly must also be present in order to keep the fumes from the gasoline or diesel tank exposed, and it will keep the fuel from mixing with other contaminants.
The inspection will then move to the functional parts of your car’s interior. Your car must have a working horn that will produce a constant tone when active. You should also have seatbelts that are in good condition, which means no fraying or integral damage. The belts should also be attached securely to the chassis and are able to lock when pulled with some force. Your vehicle must also come with a rearview mirror. Your vehicle’s seats must also be secured to the chassis firmly with a railing system or secure bolts and brackets. If your vehicle comes standard with an air conditioning unit, as most modern vehicles do, that also has to be in working condition. Finally, you need to make sure the car has an early warning device (EWD), a sign that will mark you as a hazard in the event that you become an obstruction on the road.
The controls will also be tested in the interior. What is to be expected is a working braking system, parking brake, clutch system (if it's a car with a manual transmission), and steering. That being said, your braking system must be able to bring your car to a stop consistently and deliver a consistent feel regardless of the number of pumps. The same goes for your clutch, it should actuate reliably and return reliably as well. The parking brake must be tensioned and should be able to hold your car on an incline. Steering, meanwhile, must feel consistent turning left and right. The steering wheel should also be free of any unnecessary play and your input left to right should be the same lock to lock.
Above Carriage Checklist
As per the MVIS Checklist:, here is the list of items to be inspected:
- Body Appearance
- Windshield/Window Glass
- Signal lIghts (Front)
- Signal Lights (Rear)
- Parking Lights (Front)
- Parking Lights (Rear)
- Brake Lights
- Backup Lights
- Clearance Lights
- Number Plate/Lights
- Hazard Lights
- Interior Lights
- Top Light (Taxi)
- Seat Belts
- Floor Board
- Side Mirror/Rearview
- Clutch system
- Brake system
- Driver’s/Passenger’s seat
- Wheel Bolts/Nuts
- Fuel Tank Cap
- Panel Gauges
The chassis frame/chassis number of your motor vehicle must be inspected and must match what is stated on the documents. Driveshaft bolts must be secured, and there should be no oil leaks in the transmission, differential, and engine. Steering linkages, the idler/section, and the power steering pump/motor must also be secured and working. As for your gearbox mounting, all the bolts must be secure and the bell housing must be secured on the engine. Apart from that, the inspectors will check your radiator for damage or leaks. Shock absorbers will also be checked for any leaks or defects. Your propeller shaft couplings will also be inspected to see if it spins freely and without intermittence. Also included in the inspection will be your front and rear suspension shackle eyes, pins, and bushes. From here, the spring clips and stabilizer bushes are also part of the list. Following your suspension system, are your brake lines, and calipers, specifically the hoses and the cylinders of your brakes. The fuel lines are next and will be inspected for leaks.
As for the checklist, here is the list of items to be checked by the LTO in their undercarriage inspection.
- Engine Bracket/Mounting
- Engine Oil Leakage
- Transmission Oil Leakage
- Steering Ball Joints
- Steering Leakages/Gearbox Mounting
- Steering Idler/Section Shaft
- Front/Rear Shackle Eyes/Pins/Bushes
- Stabilizer Bushes
- King Pins and bearings
- Front Suspension Joints/Bushes
- Rear Suspension Joints/Bushes
- Rear Linkages
- Brake Hoses/Pipes/Cylinders
- Fuel hoses/pipes
- Spring U Bolts/Nuts
- Spring Clips
- Shock Absorbers
- Drive Shaft Bolt/Nut
- Differential Oil leakage
- Propeller Shaft Couplings
- Exhaust Pipe and Silencer
- Chassis Frame
- Chassis Cross Member
- Body Floor Board
- Power Steering
- Parking Brake Wire
- Mobile Air Conditioner (MAC)
Bottom line is that you need to properly maintain your vehicle to pass inspection. Visit some of our guides and our maintenance checklist in order to get a guide on what needs to be done.
Tests to be conducted
The following are the tests that your vehicle will be put through once you bring it to a PMVIC. These tests will examine certain parts of your vehicle to see if it is indeed roadworthy.
Through the Sideslip Test, it will determine if your vehicle’s wheel alignment is correct. This will also include the scrutineering of the toe-in and toe-out of the vehicle.
The process of testing begins when the inspector drives the vehicle forward to the sideslip sensor plate. From there the machine will measure the later slip movement of your vehicle as it enters the first switch. The result of the test is determined once the vehicle has passed through the last switch of the tester.
This test is meant to test and measure the effectiveness of the shock absorbers on each wheel of the vehicle. It will also deal with checking the absolute damping levels and comparing them to the relative damping balance between the right and left side of each axle. The test will also measure the efficiency of the shock absorbers using the EUSAMA principle or its recognized equivalent.
For the testing procedure, the axles and wheels of the vehicle will be placed on shaker plates. Once in position, these will automatically measure the axle weight of the vehicle. After this is done, the test will proceed to its second part in which the plates will begin to oscillate to test out the damping abilities of the suspension. From there the data will be sent to the computer where it will compare the results of your vehicle to a database to see if it will pass.
Roller Brake Test
This test will measure the braking force of the left and right wheels for both the front and rear axles of your vehicle. This will be done on a rolling road in order to get the vehicle up to speed and to effectively measure the braking force that each wheel can generate. The parking brake will also be tested with respect to the axle incorporating the parking brake mechanism.
For those with automatic or electronic parking brakes, we highly recommend that you inform the testing center about it so that your vehicle can be properly accounted for.
This test is designed to measure the actual speed of your vehicle and checks the accuracy of the speedometer reading.
For the testing procedures, the inspector will bring your vehicle to a rolling road and will accelerate it to a speed of 40 km/h, and will then decelerate it to rest. The vehicle will pass if the reading is within 10 km/h of what is being displayed on the speedometer versus its actual speed.
For this test, the headlights of the vehicle will be examined. The PMVIC will use a headlight test to measure the luminous intensity and photometric axis or optical axis of deviation of your vehicle’s headlights.
The testing procedure is automated as your vehicle will be parked at a predetermined distance in relation to the headlight test.
Similar to what the LTO used to require, the emission test is done in order to determine the concentration of Carbon Monoxide and Hydrocarbon emissions from in-use motor vehicles running at idle speed.
The testing procedure will have the vehicle remain in its neutral gear with the handbrake engaged. The vehicle’s temperature must also be at least 70 degrees celsius or higher in order for the engine to be at its proper operating temperature. A probe will then be inserted into the exhaust pipe of the vehicle by at least 30 cm from the tailpipe outlet.
For diesel-fed engines, the testing procedure is a little bit different. The test will be instead measuring the opacity of the smoke that comes from the exhaust. In the same way that gasoline-powered vehicles are tested, the vehicle will also remain in neutral, at idle, and must be at its proper operating temperature. The engine will then be revved two to three times to allow for proper smoke sampling. This is done to remove deposits or soot from the tailpipe. While the engine is idling the inspector will then insert the sampling probe into the exhaust pipe to measure its readings.
Another test that works in conjunction with the exhaust of a vehicle is the sound test. This is done to determine if your vehicle is too loud and is a source of noise pollution.
For the testing procedure itself, sonometers will be placed behind your exhaust pipe at 45-degree angles. They will be set up 0.5 meters away from your exhaust. The inspector will then measure your vehicle at idle and at the 2,500 rpm mark. Your vehicle must come with a result lower than 99db in order to pass the test.
In order to get your vehicle tested in the MVIS, for motor vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of less than 4,500 kg, it used to be that you needed to pay P1,800 for the initial inspection, and P900 for the re-inspection fee as per the 2018-2158 LTO Memorandum. The re-inspection fee would hypothetically apply if a motor vehicle fails the first inspection, and will only cover the stage where it failed previously.
Motorcycles and Tricycles, meanwhile, will be charged P600 for the initial inspection, and P300 for the reinspection.
UPDATE: As of February 11, 2021, the MVIS fees have been reduced from the original LTO 2018-2158 document.
The new fees are as follows:
- P600 for Private Vehicles
- P500 for Motorcycles
- P300 for Public Utility Vehicles
As stated in Section 18 of the 2018-2158 LTO Memorandum, An inspection fee of P1,800 may be collected for the following transactions:
- MV modification (change body design/configuration)
- Miscellaneous transactions such as change engine/chassis, change color, revision of Gross Vehicle Weight, re-stamping of engine, and
- Recovered carnapped vehicle