The launch of the LTOPlateReplacement.com website 70 is still very fresh, and the agency is quickly following up on its full utilization. In an aired interview, Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Asec. Vigor Mendoza II went on to talk about the current issues with license plate backlogs, the apparently “forgotten” stockpile of already-stamped plates, their distribution, and – get this – possibly penalizing vehicle owners who do not claim their plates. Read on if you want to know what the plans are.
60 days to claim license plates, and if you don’t LTO will penalize you
ASec. Vigor Mendoza has helmed the LTO for barely two weeks but he’s been on a definite roll since the reins were handed to him. The agency Chief was interviewed and was asked about the new plate-checking website, as well as a few other questions on the baring of stockpiled and un-delivered license plates. But most importantly, Mendoza answered a question about the agency’s response to a Senator’s suggestion to penalize motor vehicle owners who do not claim their plates, if they’re already available.
As it stands, there are about 1.8M license plates stuck in regional offices. Whether it’s a case of vehicle owners not claiming them or dealerships being remiss in their responsibility of claiming them for their customers and distributing them, the stockpile exists. That said, sanctions and penalties for such dealerships are being eyed. While the Chief has admitted to some shortcomings of the agency, he did say that things are being moved along.
Regional Directors of the LTO will be tasked to execute an information campaign to let owners know that their plates are already available for pick up. Yes, pick up, because delivering them will take a longer time for the plates to reach their rightful owners. The current policy is for the old, green plates to be surrendered to be able to claim the new white plates.
In terms of the information campaign, the LTO is looking at setting a 60-day period within which vehicle owners must claim their plates. A failure to do so may merit a penalty, the heaviest of which is a cancellation of the motor vehicle or motorcycle’s registration. Senator Francis Tolentino was the main proponent who suggested this penalty. This brings to light a problem that Mendoza also mentioned, that a number of these cars might already have been sold, hence the non-claim of the plates. That could be bad news for the new owners in this case, then.
It must be said, though, that as of this publishing, the 60 days and the aforementioned penalty are not yet set in stone and are still being reviewed. Once the campaign has ended its prescribed 60 days, then Mendoza said that the use of the current (updated) white license plates will be strictly enforced. Pending a final date for the execution of the information campaign and possibly further and deeper study and consideration from the LTO, let this simply serve as a warning that big things are happening, and the claiming of license plates must be the priority for every vehicle owner as well as dealerships.
The estimated 1.8M license plates in various LTO regional offices include those for motor vehicles and motorcycles. If you want to check on the status of your plates’ availability, you can click here 101 to go to the newly launched plate-checking site of the LTO.
Penalties being mentioned, we’re sure that Sen. Tolentino’s idea will be met with a lot of disagreement and even anger. But again, this is all still being reviewed. There is a possibility that the said penalty may actually be implemented but for now, let’s all remind ourselves that we should do our part and use technology to check on our plates. That is our due diligence as vehicle owners, especially now that a means has already been provided for us. Let’s not wait for the information campaign of the LTO and do it ourselves, if we can.
The agency has a long way to go to become an “ideal” government office, but let’s see how they address the issues and serve the public moving forward.
Our wait and watch continue.