When you by a new motorcycle in the Philippines usually the dealer has an offer to pay the first year of registration and insurance. When you buy a bigger motorbike the registration, depending on the weight of the bike values 3 years and the dealer will pay for the first three years. Registration cannot be done without any form of liability insurance. So if you are up for renewal you have to get new insurance also.
Your dealer will process all the paperwork to get you a legal OR (Official Receipt) and CR (Certificate of Registration) and a Letter of Authorization signed by the head of LTO in your region.
Although on the official receipt there is also a payment for plates, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is so far behind with official license plates that you seldom get one.
You will be given a temporary number and you, yourself have to get a temporary plate somehow.
Every motor parts shop in town knows a place where you can have plates made. And some are just laminated paper, others are stickers on plexiglass. Ti depends on how much money you want to spend on it.
When you obtain your temporary license plate make sure it matches the requirements from LTO. For they can be very strict in that in ports and at checkpoints. Plates should hold the title ‘temporary’ or ‘registered’ and the plate number or case file number, the Region number and the dealer’s name. Although about the dealer’s name there is some confusion. Some people refuse to make free advertisement for dealers. I do not have my dealer’s name on it for GUD Moto Trading, where the bike was purchased, has such shitty aftersales and maintenance services that I found another mechanic. I preferred not to have the brand on the plate.
Once you have your OR/CR and temporary plates you are allowed to take your motorcycle out of your province and on the National roads. Make sure you have a copy of the official paperwork with you all the time, the law says you should have 1 set of Xerox in your bikes storage compartment. My bike does not have any compartment to store that properly so I always have them in my pocket, together with my driver’s license.
For my first bike, the Yamaha SZ150 I never got the official plates and I sold the bike with the temporary plates on it. I hope, one day the Kawasaki will have the original plates.
Without OR/CR you are not allowed to take your motorbike out of your province or Region
Once you have a temporary or definite number on the website of LTO they explain how to know when it is time to renew your registration. That depends on the last two digits of your plate number. For more information on that, you visit the website of LTO. Since departments are stepping up and new laws and rules are developed every year, it is not wise to write about that here.
It is very important that you follow the latest rules and those are to be found on the official webpages. On this page, you also can check out the requirements for the temporary license plate. And all the prices involved renewal of your registration.
About temporary plates: here are two types of plates made, one costs me 50 pesos, the other 250 pesos but that one is according to the official license plate rules from LTO Philippines.
updated November 2019
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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.