LTO Yields to Demand for Postponing Standardized Temporary Plates

Wilbert Tan

In a memorandum released on February 23, 2017, the Land Transportation Office announced to all LTO accredited dealers their intention to delay the use of standardized temporary plates. Instead of February 15, 2017, the plates will now be required for all vehicles released from June 1, 2017 onward.


The prescribed format still requires the inclusion of the conduction sticker number as well as the motor vehicle (MV) file number. Dealerships must furnish the standardized temporary plates before releasing or delivering the purchased vehicle to the buyer.

A response to demands

LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante, who signed the memorandum, said the revised version is the government agency’s response to dealers who aired their disapproval for the original memorandum, which required dealers to provide temporary license plates that follow the new specs while also using CS as the primary means of vehicle identification.

Though the dealerships didn’t oppose the move, most of them complained that the memo didn’t give them ample time to prepare or even locate suppliers.

LTO’s inefficiency

LTO’s call for standardized temporary plates came at the heels of the agency’s long-running inability provide proper license plates that car buyers must pay for in full when purchasing a new vehicle. Due to this delay, many vehicles bought in 2015 and even 2014 still do not have their proper plates. To date, LTO is still unable to supply an actual date or time frame on when they can deliver the permanent license plates.

In addition, LTO branches still do not have the plastic license cards for drivers renewing their licenses due to the backlog that lasted from January 1 to October 16 last year.

Requirements of the standardized temporary plates


The original memorandum came with plenty of specific requirements, which included the size of borders and gaps, along with the type and size of font for use. The LTO ordered the temporary plate made of “Reflective Sturdy Material” using 160-point Arial Black font (90-point for motorcycles).

The CS remains as the vehicle’s primary mode of identification, thought it must now include the word ‘REGISTERED’ plus the name of the selling dealership, region of registry, and MV file number.

The new memo reiterates the need for vehicles to be registered before they can be driven on public roads. LTO will apprehend and fine drivers of unregistered vehicles, regardless if the vehicle is a two-, three-, four-, six-, or even eight-wheeler.

Their own versions

Prior to the new standardized temporary plate requirement, dealerships, motorists, and even accessory shops resorted to making their own temporary plates using their own designs. This lasted nearly four years given the LTO’s long-standing problem with supplying registered vehicles with license plates. Some plates went the fashionable way, mimicking the plate number styles of other countries such as Japan and Europe.

Suffice to say, the days of such fashionable plates are now numbered.

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