LTO fines car dealers on ‘no plate, no travel’ policy 

By Tracy Cabrera

IN PURSUIT of its uniform temporary plates and ‘No OR/CR, No Travel’ policy, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has ruled that dealers must likewise pay fines as a way to share in the burden with car owners. 

The use of non-standardized temporary plates will net the dealer P 100,000 for the first violation; P 500,000 for the second violation; and revocation of their LTO accreditation for the third. 

The same fines apply if a vehicle is released with no MV file number because it makes the standardized temporary plate invalid. 

This is the reason why several dealers haven’t had any new vehicle release for almost a week now.

 

For new vehicles

If a vehicle is newly bought, car owners often ask how long one must wait until the vehicle gets released. That depends on several factors.

Ideally, it takes only 7 days for the OR/CR to become available. Once you have it, then you can freely use your new vehicle. 

In reality though, there have been some reports of backlog at the LTO stretching up to 90 days. 

If that’s the case, you can’t use your new vehicle or even bring it out of the showroom unless you either: drive it yourself and risk being fined; or two, bring it home on a car carrier and park it in your garage. 

In both cases, your new vehicle will be decoration in your garage until you get your hands on the OR/CR.

 

Finger Pointing

Considering the delays, it seems the dealers and the LTO are pointing fingers at each other.

As a background, three types of paperwork is required to successfully register a new vehicle. You’ll need the Sales Invoice (dealer generated), PNP Clearance or MVCC (Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate) (PNP generated, applied for by dealer or manufacturer), and Certificate of Stock Reported or CSR (manufacturer or importer generated).

It seems the delays (from the dealer side) are coming from the issuance of the PNP Clearance and the CSR. 

The CSR is especially tricky since this comes from the manufacturers/distributors themselves, so the dealer has largely no control.

More often than not though, the delays have something to do with the LTO system itself. Though they have come up with solutions to reduce the registration backlog, such as implementing a DIY Registration System for dealers, the fact is, the 7-day window is rarely met. 

Also, the DIY registration system is still a concept under discussion among stakeholders. The actual implementation doesn’t even have a proposed launch date yet.

 

Antiquated Process

Apart from finger pointing, another reason for such a long processing time is that the registration process has not significantly evolved since the signing of RA 4136 in 1964!

The CSR process requires multiple clearance application and reporting by the importer/manufacturer, evaluation, and registration by dealers, while also submitting multiple copies of redundant documentation despite computerization. 

And the same process exists despite the fact that the number of vehicles sold has grown exponentially since 1964.

What ties everyone’s hands is that the old law RA 4136 and Republic Act 6539 (An Act Preventing and Penalizing Carnapping) have strictly defined how the registration process must be done. 

Without a revision of these laws, the multiple redundant steps may still have to exist.

Even if dealers have submitted all the necessary documents for registration, the paperwork is lost in the multiple manual steps and reviews resulting in delays in the release of the OR/CR.

As last advice, if you think you’ve encountered an erring LTO personnel, you can contact the LTO through their website or land line number 02-922-9061 to 66.

 

 

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