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LTO to issue new license plates in April

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will start issuing new standardized license plates for registered motor vehicles and motorcycles this April.

After months of delay, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) has finally ordered the joint venture of Power Plates Development Concepts, Inc. and J. Knieriem BV-Power Plates (PPI-JKG) to proceed with the supply and delivery of plates for the LTO.

In a notice to proceed dated February 17, 2014, PPI-JKG was instructed to commence the delivery of 5,236,439 pairs of motor vehicle plates and 9,968,017 pairs of motorcycle plates under the LTO license plate standardization program. The five-year project was supposed to commence last September if not for the delay in issuing the multi-year obligational authority for the contract by the the Department of Budget and Management.

DoTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the release of the new standardized plates will eventually phase out the nine different license plate editions that are currently in use since 1981. Private vehicles will soon sport new black-and-white plates while public utility vehicles will retain the black-and-yellow plates, which will now include the authorized routes of the vehicle as a feature to identify out-of-line public utility vehicles (PUVs).

“The security features of the new plates will help weed out colorum vehicles from the roads, which will better assure the safety of the riding public. They will also help in reducing the anticipated traffic in Metro Manila,” he said.

Under the standardized design, new motor vehicle plates will have a three-letter and four-number combination while new motorcycle plates will have a two-letter and five-number combination.

The new plates also features tamper-resistant locks and screws that will permanently attach the plates to the motor vehicle or motorcycle. According to the DoTC, this will prevent transferring plate from one vehicle to another, which is usually done in perpetrating crimes such as carnapping and in operating colorum PUVs.

Aside from the new plates, the LTO will also issue a “third plate” windshield sticker that will replace the current sticker, which is renewed during annual registration and will indicate the vehicle’s license plate number.

“These features will also enable authorities to enforce criminal and traffic laws more effectively,” Abaya added.

Former LTO chief Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres initiated the plate standardization program as a means to clean the streets of vehicles using fake or duplicated plates, especially at the height of carnapping incidents.