Renewing your motorcycle's registration with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) can be a daunting task, particularly if it's your first time. More often than not, the whole process takes up a whole day. Or worse, it can even carry over to the next day. Those among us who are very busy sometimes risk riding their motorcycle with expired registration until they can spare the time.

While it may look complicated and tedious for some, the process is actually very simple and can be done in just one hour, provided your requirements are complete. Please read below on how you can avoid frustration and have your motorcycle's registration renewed fast.

Before the LTO


Before you even lineup for motorcycle registration renewal, there are a few items you need prior. Thankfully, many of the establishments that provide this can be found near an LTO district office.

Insurance

Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTPL) is a requirement when renewing your motorcycle's registration. In a nutshell, the CTPL covers expenses to the involved third party (person or persons) in an accident. This covers repairs, injuries, and damage to property to some extent, depending on the policy you avail of. That being said, your first stop when renewing your motorcycle's registration should be an insurance agent or office.

Motorcycle registration renewal 101 for newbies imageWhat a typical CTPL policy receipt looks like.

Pro tip: While you can insure your motorcycle through insurance agents near or inside LTO grounds, they are usually more expensive vs those being offered outside. Cebuana Lhuillier, for example, offers CTPL for only PhP250.00 for motorcycles and PhP560.00 for cars.

Emission Test

The Clean Air Act (RA 8749) requires all vehicles to undergo emission testing prior to the renewal of registration. Basically, it is the government's way of making sure that all vehicles plying the roads are not smoke-belchers, whose emissions can harm the environment and its citizens. That said, your second stop should be at an authorized Private Emission Testing Center or PETC.

It goes without saying that your motorcycle should be prepared for this test. To be completely sure you pass this test, bring your motorcycle to any shop for a tune up or change oil. This simple maintenance procedure can go a long way towards producing cleaner emissions.

Motorcycle registration renewal 101 for newbies imageA PETC far from an LTO office. Notice there are no lines of vehicles waiting for their turn.

Pro tip: Many LTO offices have a “preferred” emission testing center that can be near or even inside their compound. Most of them charge more and could have a long queue of vehicles waiting for their turn. Rather than having your motorcycle tested at the PETC's nearest the LTO office, look for authorized emission testing centers outside or far from an LTO office. Most of them have little to no queue and may even charge less, saving you precious time and money.

LTO Office

After accomplishing the CTPL and emission test, you may now go to the LTO office where you want to have your motorcycle's registration renewed. Bring the necessary documents and the actual motorcycle you need to renew to your preferred LTO office.

Pro tip: Years of renewing registration of various vehicles and motorcycles has taught me to avoid going to an LTO office on a Monday, Tuesday, or a Wednesday. It's during these days that the number of transactions with the LTO are the highest. For me, the best time to renew your motorcycle or vehicle's registration are typically Thursdays or Fridays, 2 PM onwards as there are quite a few transactions by this time.

LTO: inspection

When at the LTO, look for an “inspection aide” and ask him or her nicely to have your motorcycle inspected. He or she will ask for the copies of the CTPL and emission test results, then fill up an inspection form.

Stencil

Bringing your motorcycle is necessary for the first step of the process: stenciling. Every time you apply for renewal, you are given a piece of paper, on the bottom of that paper is a space for stenciling the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and motor number. Most LTO inspectors know where this is on your motorcycle. However, if your model is not as common or familiar to these inspectors, they may need your help locating these crucial numbers to stencil. Check your motorcycle's manual or do a quick search online to find where the VIN and motor number are located on your motorcycle.

Motorcycle registration renewal 101 for newbies imageAn inspection aide (pictured) is the one who will inspect your motorcycle's road-worthiness, as well as the required documents like the CTPL and emission test result. 

Evaluation, payment, and release

After the inspection is submitted and approved by the head inspector, proceed to EVALUATION, assigned to window 8 or 9 (it may vary, depending on the LTO office) where the documents will be evaluated. Wait for your name to be called at the CASHIER window to pay the corresponding fees associated with the renewal of registration. After payment, you may now proceed to the RELEASING window.

This is where it's typically a good idea to bring your own ballpen when registering. This window will require you to submit one of the receipts and have you write  down your name, address, contact details, and signature at the back of the receipt.

Hand that receipt over and wait for your name to be called once again. Once called, you will be handed your Official Receipt (OR) and registration sticker for your vehicle or motorcycle. Renewal of registration completed.

Last optional step

Once you have the OR and registration sticker, it's typically a good idea to photocopy these alongside your Certificate of Registration (CR). Have multiple copies made. Keep these copies on your person or in your motorcycle at all times when riding.

Having the OR, CR, and registration sticker all together in one sheet of paper can be particularly useful and speed up spot inspections, and even for creating police reports after accidents.

Finally, don't forget to affix the sticker on your motorcycle's plate.

Motorcycle registration renewal 101 for newbies imageAvoid tipping or working with fixers. This is frowned upon.

Pro tip: The results from the emission testing are valid for two (2) months, according to the LTO. That said, you may opt to have your motorcycle's emission tested at your convenient time then proceed with the renewal of registration at a later date.

That pretty much sums up the process. You see, renewing your motorcycle's registration is quite easy. There's no need for fixers if you know the process and the best times to do it.