Vanity plates in the Philippines are a bit of a controversial topic. For one, it costs a lot of money to get one, and on the other hand, there are also some non-standard vanity plates that are not issued by the LTO.
The official vanity plate issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is called the Optional Motor Vehicle Special Plates (OMVSP), which requires car owners to go through a few necessary hurdles for their vehicles to be legally allowed with a custom plate number.
What is an official vanity plate?
The officially issued OMVSPs are available for private vehicles like sedans, hatchbacks, wagons, SUVs, AUVs, pickups, and more. Your car doesn’t even need to be brand new in order to secure an official vanity plate, either. Here’s a list according to the LTO:
- Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV)
- Asian Utility Vehicles (AUV)
- Sports Pick-up
- Commuter Vans
Meanwhile, public utility vehicles as well as any vehicle above the four-wheel category will be excluded from being allowed a vanity plate.
- Public utility Vehicles
- Cargo Trucks (private/for hire)
- Service vehicle (hotel, limousines, tourist vehicles, rent-a-car, ambulance, and funeral hearse)
- Vintage Vehicle
- Government Vehicle
- Diplomatic/OE Vehicle
- Used Imported/Surplus MV
- MV with more than 4-wheel category
How do I get a vanity plate from the LTO?
First of all, your car needs to be registered with the office. So that means that you have to go through the gauntlet of tasks in order to get your vehicle registered for use on Philippine roads. Once that is done, you may proceed to the MID-Computer Section, at the LTO Central Office in East Avenue, Quezon City, or at any Regional (RO) or District Office (DO).
Remember to bring these documents along with you if you’re applying:
- A certified true copy of the Official Receipt (OR)/Certificate of Registration (CR), issued by the TDO
- Certification by the TDO that no plates have been issued to the motor vehicle together with the official receipt of payment of certification fee
- A certified true copy of the OR of payment for the plates ordered, by the Cashier and Noted by the District Head or Regional Director (applicable to Central Office “CO” applicants only)
- Sales Invoice (in lieu of other documents to authenticate year model or to determine whether the motor vehicle is brand new)
Once applied for, there are a few things to consider in terms of price with regard to vanity plates.
- AAA - 88: Will cost P25,000 to produce, which includes the handling charge by the authorized LTO courier.
- AAA - 888/AAA - 8888: Will cost P15,000, including handling charges by the LTO courier.
Following a period of about 7 working days, residents within Metro Manila will receive their plates, while territories outside of the Metro should expect a longer lead time.
Take note, however, that buying an OMVSP does don’t grant the vehicle it is registered to immunity from the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), otherwise known as number coding. The standard rulings will still follow based on the ending number of your vehicle’s plate.
- 1-2 Monday
- 3-4 Tuesday
- 5-6 Wednesday
- 7-8 Thursday
- 9-0 Friday
As it stands, custom plates are limited to conduction number plates that need to meet size and clarity regulations. As such, unless given specific permission by certain government agencies like the PNP-HPG or LTO, custom plates are not allowed especially those that do not help identify a vehicle.
As such, either the conduction number or the official license plate number of a vehicle must be displayed. Even then, permission must be granted in order to use a non-standard or third-party plate number with a vehicle.
There are certain individuals and car owners that are granted special plates by the government. These include red-lettered plate numbers that signify that it is a government vehicle, blue plates that signify that it is a diplomatic vehicle or any number of plate numbers under Executive Order No. 287. Usually, these plates only contain a few digits and alphanumerical characters. As such, there are certain plate numbers that cannot be registered with vanity plates.