Why Car Plate Took So Long to Release?

By Andrea Nicole

Posted on Mar 18, 2021

The government uses many identifiers for different aspects of society. Individuals are processed through passports, birth certificates, and even a tax identification number. For vehicles, they use a license plate.


What is a License Plate?

A vehicle registration plate, also known as a number plate in the United Kingdom, or a license plate in the United States, is a metal or plastic plate that is applied to a motor vehicle or trailer for official identification purposes. Road vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles, are required to have registration plates in every country.


Other vehicles, such as motorcycles, boats, and tractors, may or may not need them, depending on the jurisdiction. The registration identifier is a numeric or alphanumeric ID that uniquely identifies a vehicle or its owner in the vehicle register of the issuing area



Government Processing of Your Plate

Government databases use these vehicle plates to identify the make, model, color, year of manufacture, engine size, type of fuel used, mileage recorded (and other similar data in jurisdictions where vehicles are regularly inspected for roadworthiness every year or two), vehicle identification number (chassis number), and the name and address of the vehicle's owner. 

The government has a monopoly on the manufacture of vehicle registration plates in the vast majority of jurisdictions. Plates are made as required by either a government agency or a private company with express contractual authorization from the government, and then mailed, shipped, or picked up by the vehicle owners. This can make getting a license plate take a long time because the government has to process and collate all the information on the vehicle before deploying or releasing any license plates. 

As a result, it is generally unlawful for private citizens to make and affix their own plates, since unauthorized private production is the same as falsifying a government document. Alternatively, the government will simply issue plate numbers, and it will be the duty of the car owner to locate an authorized private supplier to create a plate.


Why Did The LTO Take So Long to Release License Plates?

The COA ordered LTO to stop paying the suppliers in July 2015, citing an alleged breach of government procurement laws. The contract was awarded in 2013 to a joint venture of Knieriem BV Goes and Power Plates Production Concept Inc. as part of the previous administration's five-year Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program.

The disallowance is for P477 million in advance payments made by the LTO to suppliers in June and July 2014. According to the DOTr, only four million of the 15 million plates have been issued, resulting in an 11 million plate backlog. The license plates for vehicles registered from 2013 to June 30, 2016, are scheduled to be issued before the end of the year, according to LTO chief Edgar Galvante.

You might be asking yourself: When will my new LTO license plate be available? Is it possible for me to change my license plate? Is it possible for me to drive without one? What do I do if my license plate is broken or lost? These issues may not be as urgent as a hot engine or a flat tire, but your plate is still important. The license plate acts as a vehicle's identification and is mandated by law when driving on public roads in the Philippines.


License Plate Releases

It appears that the long wait is over. License plates for four-wheel vehicles registered between January and June 2016 will be available for release. Last year, the LTO began issuing new and replacement plates, which are now eligible for claim. According to the LTO, the excruciating wait for vehicles purchased and licensed prior to 2016 is far from over, as the license plates for these vehicles are still being contested in court.

To verify the availability of your LTO license plate, text LTOVEHICLEplate number of your car to 2600. You may also enter your MV file number, also known as your Motor Vehicle number, on the Motor Vehicle 7-Character Plate Backlog Inquiry page. Check with the dealership where you purchased your vehicle to see if they have your license plate. 

Needless to say, license plates are important. License plates are used to indicate the region where it was sold and it falls under the control of the district, state, and LTO. The type of use of the vehicle is also indicated by the number plate, which includes transport vehicles with a national permit, government vehicles (military), and private vehicles. License plates are used to quickly locate the vehicle's owner's name and address and it aids the government in calculating the number of vehicles in certain districts.

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