Special plate? LTO issues 2024 update on “personalized” license plates

Two years ago, we discussed the little-known “legality” by which you can get a special plate. That said, two years hence, the LTO (Land Transportation Office) has issued an update to the conditions by which you can do so. In a nutshell, all possible combinations of two- and three-numbered plates have already been used, so if you want a personalized plate, here’s how you can get it, and how much it will cost you.

LTO updates letter and number combination “rules” for special plates

Lto Ev Special Plate Hb House Bill 8570 Main 00 Min

Yes, you read that right. The Land Transportation Office has declared that all possible combinations for two- and three-numbered combinations for license plates have already been issued. More specifically, the agency’s Memorandum Circular No. VDM 2024-2614 states “Please be informed that the two (2) and three (3) numbers for MV license plates series are no longer available since this Office has utilized all its possible combinations”.

That said, if you’re looking at a custom plate, then you can only opt for the following combinations.

Lto Rizal Plate To New White Plate Claim Process Final Screwed In special plate

Your first option is to opt for “Any Three (3) Alpha combination + Quadruple Numeric except 0000” OR, as a second option, opt for “Any Three (3) Alpha combination + Four (4) Numeric combination which are not yet issued as a series”.

The first simply means that you can use a combination of any three letters plus 4 of the same numbers except four zeros (eg ABC 1111, XYZ 8888, etc). The second, on the other hand, means that you can (also) use a combination of any three letters plus any numerical sequence (random, consecutive) that in its entirety (meaning the letter and number combination) has not been issued yet to any vehicle (eg ABC 1234, XYZ 7890, etc).

Just to add to our previous article, you can only apply for a special plate if your new motor vehicle is classified as any of the following: cars, sports utility vehicles (SUV), Asian utility vehicles (AUV), sports pick-up, commuter vans, or Imported motor vehicles (used or unused) similar to the above-mentioned types.

There are also some types of vehicles that are exempted from applying for special plates, and this list includes PUVs, cargo trucks (private or for-hire), service vehicles (hotel limousines, tourist vehicles, rent-a-car, ambulances, and funeral hearses), vintage vehicles, government vehicles, Diplomatic/Other Exempt Vehicles (OEVs), and motor vehicles in the more than 4-wheel category.

Lto License Plate Storage special plate

Photo: Land Transportation Office

Finally, seeing as the 3-letter plus 3-number combination plates are no longer legally available for PHP 15,000, and the 3-letter plus 2-number combination plates for PHP 25,000 aren’t either, your special plate, should you choose to have them issued for your new motor vehicle, will set you back for the same (and very hefty) price of PHP 35,000.

Take note that the PHP 35,000 fee is an addition to all the other fees that the LTO issues for the (purchase and) registration of a vehicle. Expensive, innit?

So, dear reader, if you were to decide, would you cough up the coin to get a custom plate, or would you leave it to the Fates to decide your letters and numbers (and your Coding Day)?

Mikko Juangco
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