There was a time when law enforcers would confiscate vehicle license plates for one reason or another. The LTO has responded to a recent public outcry and has come out with a reminder that the “Baklas-Plaka” practice or the confiscation of license plates is not allowed by the agency.
Law enforcers, deputized agents cannot confiscate license plates confirms the LTO
Last week saw reports of motorists complaining about instances of law enforcers confiscating the license plates of vehicles involved in traffic rule violations. While a common practice only a few years ago, this has since been prohibited by the Land Transportation Office, and as such, it has issued a reminder that this is not allowed.
The reminder and clarification were through a memorandum issued and signed by agency Chief Jay Art Tugade. The Memo called on a provision in Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01 that states “a driver’s license, student permit, or vehicle can only be placed on alarm if a violation or fine cannot immediately be issued to or paid by the apprehended driver or vehicle”.
Further, it states “In all cases where the penalty includes the confiscation, suspension or revocation of a driver’s license or student permit as well as the suspension or revocation of the registration of a motor vehicle or impounding the motor vehicle, and the same cannot be immediately implemented, the driver’s license, the student permit, or motor vehicle as the case may be shall be put on alarm until the proper penalty may be implemented.”
The agency Chief reiterates that all LTO law enforcers and its deputized agents are not allowed to remove vehicle license plates even if they cannot yet be impounded. Tugade is confident that his agency’s Central Command Center can disseminate this information to enforcement units on the ground, as well as information regarding vehicles that currently have an alarm status.