Complete Guide to LTO Car Registration and Renewal

Published: August 11, 2021 | Updated: September 23, 2021 | Posted by: Moneymax | Car Insurance


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Buying a car is one thing―registering it is another. Before you hit the road with your brand-new car, make your ownership formal through the LTO car registration. Similarly, you need to renew your registration if you have an existing car. Your failure to do one of these things will result in fines and troubles with the traffic authorities.

We understand that LTO car registration can be quite complicated, especially during these trying times. But you can make things much easier if you know where to start. Get through the system with the following step-by-step guide that will cover the following:

  • New car registration
  • Renewal of registration
  • Registration via LTO’s online platform

LTO Car Registration Process for New Vehicles

lto car registration - car registration process

Many new car owners let their dealers handle the processing of their LTO car registration. But this, of course, comes with a price. If you want to save money, do the legwork and register your brand new car on your own. Below are the steps on how to register your car with the LTO.

Step 1: Prepare the Required Documents

The following requirements are for the following vehicles: brand new locally assembled, manufactured completely built units (CBU), imported CBUs, and brand-new local imported trailers.

  • Original sales invoice
  • Original LTO copy or electronically transmitted appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover (Third Party Liability)
  • Original Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR)
  • Original PNP-HPG MV Clearance Certificate and Special Bank Receipt (SBR)
  • Payment Reference Number if payment is made through e-PAT

Remember that each type of vehicle has a set of additional requirements.

Additional Requirement for Brand-New Motorcycle with Sidecar

  • Original Affidavit of Attachment for sidecar executed by the owner and the mechanic who attached the extension. This document should include the date of completion.

Additional Requirements for Tax-Exempt Vehicles

  • Original duly accomplished Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Compliance to Emission Standard (CCES) if the unit is used-imported
  • Certified true copy of Release Certificate if the unit is used-imported
  • DFA Endorsement

Additional Requirements for Used-Imported Vehicles (Exempted from EOO 156/877)

  • Photocopy of commercial invoice  or Certificate of Title with English translation authenticated by the Embassy
  • Original duly accomplished Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Compliance to Emission Standard (CCES)

Additional Requirements for Vehicles Acquired Through the No Dollar Importation (NDI) Program

  • Photocopy of commercial invoice of motor vehicle or Certificate of Title issued by the country of origin
  • Original or certified true copy of Authority Under the No Dollar Importation. If there’s no authority, Seizure Proceedings and Notice of Award will suffice.
  • Original affidavit of first and last importation
  • Original duly accomplished Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Compliance to Emission Standard (CCES)
  • Certified true copy of Release Certificate

Additional Requirements for Rebuilt Trucks and Buses (With New or Used Imported Engine and/or Chassis)

  • Photocopy of commercial/sales invoice from country of origin
  • Original Affidavit of Rebuilt executed by the accredited rebuilder with the date of completion
  • Original Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR) of the rebuilt vehicle
  • Certified true copy of endorsement from DTI-FTEB
  • Photocopy of Certificate of Payment in case the vehicle’s parts and components are imported

Additional Requirements for Vehicles Acquired Through Public Bidding

  • Certified true copy of the Notice of Award
  • Certified true copy of Official Receipt proving the payment of acquisition cost

Step 2: Visit an LTO Office Near You

Not all LTO branches process new vehicle registration. Below are some of the branches that do.

LTO Branches for Car RegistrationAddressContact Number
Makati LTOButel Building, 9624 Pililla, Makati City8895-8678
LTO National Capital Region-EastLTO Main Compound, East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City(02) 924 6763
Pasay District Office LTODomestic Road, Pasay City(02) 8851-0987
LTO NCR20 G. Araneta Avenue, Brgy. Sto. Domingo, Quezon City(+63) 8273-3628
Navotas LTOGen. Gas Plant  Building, Fishport Complex, North Bay, Navotas City8283-3510
Mandaluyong LTO121 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City8523-2726

Important note: Due to the ongoing lockdown, the offices above may be closed. But their operations will resume eventually once the lockdown is lifted. We strongly encourage you to get in touch with the offices first through their phone number or social media pages before proceeding with  your LTO registration.

Step 3: Submit All Required Documents

Proceed to the transaction counter and submit all required documents to the evaluator for assessment and computation of fees.

Step 4: Submit Your MVIR

Wait for your vehicle to be inspected by an LTO officer. Submit your MVIR (Motor Vehicle Inspection Report) right after.

Step 5: Pay for the Car Registration Fees

How much will it cost to register your car with the LTO? Here’s a quick breakdown of the fees you should expect.

  • Initial fee: PHP 1,000/category
  • Stickers and tags: PHP 50 each
  • Regular plate: PHP 450

To see the other fees that you may possibly cover, take a look at this list.[1]

Step 6: Receive Your Certificate of Registration, Plates, and Stickers

Get your Certificate of Registration, plates, stickers, and other documents at the releasing counter.

Remember that it’s necessary to register your vehicle before taking it out for a drive. LTO has a “No Registration, No Travel” policy[2] that prohibits vehicles from traveling without a license plate. Penalties can be high, so don’t skip the LTO car registration process.

Read more: Taking the Driver’s License Exam? Learn How to Pass the LTO Tests

Get car insurance today!

LTO Renewal Process for Existing Vehicles

Your LTO car registration is only valid for three years. Once it expires, you need to renew on schedule to avoid a weekly fine of PHP 200. However, you can’t just drive to an LTO office and file for renewal. There’s a way to determine your LTO registration schedule and it all depends on your license plate. With that, you need to give yourself at least one to two months to prepare the necessary documents. That way, you won’t have to stress yourself out at the last minute.

To know the schedule of your renewal, just look at your plate number. Its last digit corresponds to the month you need to renew your vehicle.

MonthLast Digit of Your Plate Number
January1
February2
March3
April4
May5
June6
July7
August8
September9
October0

The second to the last digit of your plate number, on the other hand, corresponds to the weekly deadline of your car registration renewal.

WEEK2ND TO THE LAST DIGIT OF YOUR PLATE NUMBER
1st to 7th working day1,2,3
8th to 14th working day4,5,6
15th to 21th working day7,8
22nd to the last working day9,0

If your vehicle, for example, has a plate number of 895, your renewal deadline is from the 22nd to 31st of May. As mentioned, you can renew your car registration a month before its deadline.

General Requirements

  • Original LTO copy or electronically transmitted appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover (Third Party Liability)
  • Duly accomplished and approved Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Original Copy of Certificate of Emission Compliance

Also, each type of vehicle has a set of additional requirements. 

Additional Requirement for Tax-Exempt Vehicle

  • Original Endorsement with control number

Additional Requirement for Other Exempt Vehicle (OEV) under Special Economic Zones

  • Original certification that proves the motor vehicle is still classified as an OEV

Additional Requirements for Vehicles Used for Rentals (For Hire Units)

  • Electronically transmitted franchised confirmation or Provisional Authority (PA) or petition for extension of validity duly received by the LTFRB with OR
  • Certified copy of the Valid Motorized Tricycle Operator’s Permit (MTOP) with Official Receipt

Additional Requirements for Stolen and Recovered Vehicles

  • Presentation of original and submission of a photocopy of the Lifting of General Alarm
  • Presentation of original and submission of a photocopy of the Report of Recovery
  • Presentation of original and submission of a photocopy of the of Alarm Sheet
  • Original Certificate of re-stamping in case of tampered engine/chassis
  • Original PNP Crime Laboratory (macro etching report) or National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) report fully identifying the motor vehicle and stating therein the tampering done on the engine or chassis, if any

Steps to Vehicle Renewal

The LTO renewal process is basically the same as when you register your car for the first time. Your vehicle just needs to go through an inspection and emission test to acquire a CEC.

As for the serving LTO branch, you can renew your car registration at any LTO online district/extension office.

LTO Renewal Fees

The fees for LTO renewal are the same as the initial registration except that you have to pay a renewal fee of PHP 400.

LTO Inspection Process for MVIR

lto car registration - lto mvir

One of the most important requirements in the LTO car registration and renewal process is the MVIR or Motor Vehicle Inspection Report. Below is the inspection process in securing an MVIR.

Step 1: Submit Your Documents to the LTO Receiving Clerk

Provide the original copy or photocopy of your Official Receipt (OR) or Certificate of Registration (CR). You would also have to submit your Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) or Order for Dropping and Substitution (Change Classification) if your vehicle is for hire.

Step 2: Pay the Corresponding Fees

Per the Department of Transportation (DoTr), the cost of having the vehicle inspected should be the same as the cost of an emission test given by a private emission testing center. This means that the fee will depend on the testing center of your choice.[3]

Step 3: Undergo Vehicle Inspection

An inspector will take a look at your vehicle and conduct an emission test for the inspection report. An approving officer will confirm the accuracy of the report.

Step 4: Receive Your Inspection Report and Requirements

Head over to the releasing clerk to accept your MVIR and returned requirements. If you failed the inspection report, you’ll be asked to correct your vehicle’s defect and return for reinspection.

Important note: Motorists are given the option to have their vehicle inspected either by a private inspection center or by the LTO. Should you go for the former, make sure that they are truly accredited and authorized by the LTO.

How to Do the LTO Car Registration and Renewal Online

Motorists may now use portal.lto.gov.ph to ease “car registration and license application procedures, which may take some time and may necessitate close contact with other people — violating physical distancing protocols,” according to LTO in a statement.[4]

This LTO online service has been made available for vehicles and licenses registered in Metro Manila, Laoag, Bayombong, Roxas, Tagbilaran, Dumaguete, Ormoc, Butuan, Pagadian, Malaybalay, Lipa, Calapan, Naga, Tagum, Davao, General Santos, and Baguio.

How to Use the LTO Online Portal

lto car registration - lto online portal

1. Go to the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) public portal.

2. Click Register Now.

3. You’ll  be directed to a page featuring different transactions. Click Enroll as an Individual.

4. Supply all the required information. Once done, click Create Account. Activate the account via email.

5. Once you have an account, you can already set an LTO online appointment at your preferred LTO branch.

6. Pay your fees online for either car registration, driver’s license, car registration renewal, or motor vehicle inspection services. LTO fines for traffic violations can be paid here as well.

Read more: Here’s How You Can Claim a Confiscated Driver’s License

LTO Car Registration and Renewal Tips

  • Be early. It’s best to come before 8:00 AM to avoid long lines.
  • Don’t forget to bring your early warning device.
  • Prepare loose change for the photocopier.
  • Bring a book or an entertainment device to pass time.
  • Keep your car in good running condition to prepare it for inspection.
  • Hold on to your documents and receipts to avoid delaying the process.
  • Avoid fixers or LTO officers. Otherwise, you may face some legal repercussions.
  • Bring your new normal essentials: alcohol or sanitizer, face mask, and face shield.
  • Observe safety protocols at the LTO registration center.

Read more: 12 Tips for a Quick and Stress-Free Driver’s License Renewal

Final Thoughts

If you’re a car owner, you know too well that vehicle registration and renewal with LTO can be quite complicated. The process is so tedious that some have resorted to under-the-table dealings just to finish the registration. This is one thing that you should avoid no matter how painfully slow the process is.

If it’s any consolation, the LTO car registration will teach you how to be patient. This is something that new car owners will have to anticipate.

Read more of our LTO articles:

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