Even the most careful drivers can get a ticket at least once in their lives. Whether it's for smoking in a non-smoking area or for throwing garbage in the wrong place, we’ve all paid fines for doing something we shouldn't.
If you’re a motorist in the Philippines, chances are you've already received a ticket from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for violating a traffic rule or two. After all, we're all human—there are some days when you just forget or lose your cool.
However, the goal is to avoid these fines or penalties in the future. You can achieve that as a responsible and knowledgeable motorist by taking note of these LTO violations and penalties in 2023.
LTO Violations and Penalties 2023: Traffic and Administrative Violations
Before you hit the road, read up on these LTO violations and penalties in 2023.
License-Related LTO Violations
❌ Driving Without a Valid License
LTO fine: ₱3,000
Going for a quick drive but too lazy to get a driving license? Think twice before starting your vehicle then. The penalty for driving without a license in the Philippines is a hefty ₱3,000.
The fine for this license-related LTO violation also applies to those carrying a delinquent, expired, suspended, revoked, improper, or fake driver’s license.
Heads up, student drivers! You'll also have to pay this no-license penalty if you get caught driving without a duly licensed driver.
❌ Not Wearing a Seat Belt
LTO fine: ₱1,000 to ₱5,000
Wearing your seat belt should be the very first thing you do when you get inside your vehicle. For drivers and passengers who fail to do so, prepare to pay the LTO fee of ₱1,000 on your first offense. If you're a second-time offender, you'll need to pay a fine of ₱2,000. For the third offense and every succeeding one, the fine will be ₱5,000.
You'll also pay the same fine if you allow kids six years old and below to sit in the front seat. Aside from the fine, your driver's license will also be suspended for one week.
❌ Reckless Driving
LTO fine: ₱2,000 to ₱10,000
The penalty for reckless driving in the Philippines includes a fine plus suspension of your driver's license. If you get caught driving recklessly the first time, the penalty is ₱2,000. If you still don't learn your lesson and get caught the second time, you'll get a fine of ₱3,000 and a three-month suspension on your driver's license.
On your third and subsequent offenses, the penalty will be ₱10,000, plus six months' suspension or revocation of your driver's license.
In June 2022, a hit-and-run incident involving an SUV driver and a security guard in Mandaluyong City went viral. The LTO found the erring driver liable for reckless driving (his fourth time) and for violating the Land Transportation and Traffic Code when he abandoned the scene and the victim. The LTO revoked the driver's license and "perpetually disqualified" him from securing a license and driving a vehicle.
Such is the kind of situation you don't want to get into, so always practice safe driving and keep a cool head on the road.
❌ Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Prohibited Drugs
LTO fine: ₱50,000 to ₱500,000
This is a serious violation with serious consequences under the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act. If your violation didn't result in physically injuring or killing someone, the penalty will be three months of imprisonment and a fine of ₱50,000 to ₱100,000.
However, if the violation resulted in physical injuries, the penalty will be as stated in Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code, plus a fine of ₱150,000 to ₱250,000.
If the violation resulted in homicide, the penalty will be as stated in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code, plus a fine of ₱350,000 to ₱500,000.
If you're carrying a non-professional driver’s license, it will be confiscated and suspended for 18 months on the first conviction. On the second conviction, it will be perpetually revoked.
If you're carrying a professional driver’s license, it will be confiscated and perpetually revoked on the first conviction. Moreover, the driver will also be disqualified from getting any kind of driver's license after that.
❌ Not Wearing a Helmet
LTO fine: ₱1,500 to ₱10,000
Motorcycle riders and their back riders should always wear a helmet whenever they travel. Failure to do so will warrant applicable LTO motorcycle fines and penalties this 2023:
- First offense: ₱1,500
- Second offense: ₱3,000
- Third offense: ₱5,000
- Fourth and succeeding offenses: ₱10,000
Aside from the 2023 penalties stated above for this no-helmet violation, the driver's license will be confiscated for the fourth and succeeding offenses. Furthermore, motorcycle riders and their back riders will be fined if found wearing substandard helmets or those without the ICC sticker.
LTO fine: ₱1,000
If you block the free passage of other vehicles on the highway, whether it's while
loading or unloading passengers or freight, or any other similar instances, you'll have to pay the LTO obstruction violation fee for 2023 as well.
Number Plate-Related Violations and Penalties
❌ Number Plate Not Firmly Attached
LTO fine: ₱5,000
Be aware of different LTO violations on plate numbers. For instance, make sure your license plate is properly attached to your vehicle.
For a no-plate violation, you'll incur a hefty fine of ₱5,000. Driving with a loose number plate may not only cause damage to your vehicle but also risk your safety and that of other motorists you share the road with.
❌ LTO Sticker Violation
LTO fine: ₱5,000
This fine applies to motorists and motorcycle riders attaching improper third-party stickers or tampering with LTO stickers. For LTO decals violations, you'll also incur the same penalty.
❌ Tampering with License Plates
LTO fine: ₱5,000
Aside from the fine, the unauthorized license plate will be removed and confiscated as well.
❌ Illegal Transfer or Use of Regularly Issued Vehicle Plates, Tags, or Stickers
LTO fine: ₱10,000
If your vehicle is involved in the illegal transfer of plates or stickers, your license will be suspended for three months.
If the vehicle was used in criminal activity, you'd be required to pay an LTO penalty of ₱12,000. The plates, registration certificate, and Official Receipt would also be suspended for two years.
Note that security plates on authorized vehicles are exempted from the LTO fine.
Parts and Accessories-Related Violations and Penalties
❌ Driving with a Defective Tail Light
LTO fine: ₱5,000
The defective tail light penalty can really hurt your wallet. So as a responsible motorist, check that everything is working properly before you hit the road. This fine for defective/improper/unauthorized accessories, devices, equipment, and parts also applies to the following:
- Early warning device (EWD)
- Foot and hand brakes
- Brake lights, headlights, interior lights, signal lights
- Metallic tires/spare tire
- Any other accessory, device, equipment, or part that may risk road safety
Apart from paying the fine, your vehicle will also be impounded until you replace or properly install the said part. Unauthorized plates, accessories, or devices will be confiscated as well.
❌ Smoke Belching
LTO fine: ₱2,000 to ₱6,000
When caught for smoke belching for the first time, you'll have to pay a ₱2,000 penalty. For the second offense, apprehended motorists will face a fine of ₱4,000. For the third offense, violators will get a ₱6,000 penalty plus a one-year suspension of the vehicle’s registration.
FAQs on LTO Violations and Penalties in 2023
1. How to check LTO violation in 2023?
You can easily check the LTO violations you've committed, if any, through the LTMS Online Portal (portal.lto.gov.ph). Enroll for an account first and then log in to the LTO portal. Click on Violations to see your demerit points (the point/s you get for every committed driving or traffic violation).
To check your unsettled violations, click the Unsettled tab. The History tab is for viewing the violations you've already settled.
2. How much is the LTO fine and penalty in 2023 for a DTS violation?
The Disregarding Traffic Sign (DTS) penalty this 2023 is ₱1,000. This 2023 DTS violation fee applies to all driver activities that don't follow road rules and traffic signs while driving.
3. How much is the LTO fine and penalty in 2023 for brake light violation?
If your brake light is defective, you'll be fined ₱5,000. It's the same for the no tail light violation fee.
4. What is an LTO alarm violation?
LTO alarms are placed on vehicles with bad LTO records. This may be because its driver was apprehended, or because the vehicle is a "hot car" that was previously carnapped.
5. Where can I pay my LTO violation fee this 2023?
Settle your fines at any LTO branch and satellite office. You can also pay your fines online through the LTO Portal.
6. Does the LTO fine dealerships for slow registration processes?
Fed up with waiting for your dealership to process your vehicle registration? Registration for four-wheeled vehicles should take seven to 11 days, while registration for motorcycles should take only three to five days.
In February 2023, the LTO fined dealerships that took up to 11 days to process the registration of motorcycles with a penalty of ₱20,000.
Motorists, motorcycle riders, and passengers can easily avoid fines if they follow the rules. So to avoid the above-mentioned fines, stay alert on the road and keep these LTO violations and penalties in 2023 in mind.
Note: These are just some of the 2023 LTO violations in the Philippines. Click on the link below for the complete list.
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-  SUV driver in hit-and-run: License revoked, banned for life (Inquirer.net, 2022)
-  House passes bill providing stiffer penalties for drunk, drugged driving (Inquirer.net, 2021)
-  Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code (Lawphil.Net)
-  Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code (Lawphil.Net)
-  LTO fines 8 dealerships for taking too long to register motor vehicles (TopGear, 2023)
-  Revised Schedule of Fines and Penalties for Violations of Land Transportation Rules