October last year, after getting my driver’s license, I bought myself a Yamaha SZ150 motorbike. And ever since I have been waiting for the paperwork and license plates.
The last week of February the call from the dealer came, my papers were ready. Right after the evening on which LTO announced on the local news that dealers would be served with a huge fine if they stalled the paperwork and bike owners would face a fine also for driving without proper papers or plates.
Just great. The country that was lovely disorganized by little rules is now flooded with rules and regulations. LTO has been issuing loads of changes: you are not allowed to
have custom add ons to your motorbikes like mirrors or fancy lights
have a lot of stickers on the motorbike (please LTO define: a lot….)
have temporary plates that do not meet standard plate requirements
These rules come upon the rules that one can not travel without proper paperwork, risking a huge fine when running into a checkpoint or having to passport authorities.
All these rules serve one purpose only, so the government implies: to prevent bikes from being stolen, and stolen bikes from being sold off easily.
I went to the dealer to get my papers. My plate was nog available. From hearsay, I learned that might take up a year or so. So I asked my dealer how to handle the plate issue if I wanted to leave the island with the motorbike. It was okay to have temporary plates they told me.
So I had my plates made. To get yourself temporary plates from an official shop you pay something up till 400 pesos for stickers and a plastic plate. My dealer already provided me with a temporary plate and a “for registration” notification on it.
Jason, the local artist I went to get my plates done, removed the “for registration” and painted for 50 pesos my license plate number.
This is what it looks like:
The next day LTO introduced new looks for the plates, and my plate does not meet those requirements. But men…..with all those new rules, it is hard to keep up.
These just have to do. I passed my first checkpoint a few days later and had n problems whatsoever getting through.
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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.