The topic of requiring testing at Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) has been a hot one over the past year. In fact, when the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) tried to roll it out at the start of the the year, it was met with public uproar to a point that even the senate called for its suspension. Thankfully, a compromise was reached where the inspection was made optional, fees were lowered, and re-inspection fees were waived for good.
A couple of months later, LTO is encouraging motorists to undergo vehicle inspection at PMVICs again. However, there's a catch. The DOTr wants you to test at the PMVIC nearest your LTO. This is because each LTO district office has its own Geographical Area of Responsibility (GAOR) and is more likely to easily retrieve the test result from the PMVIC nearest it.
Geographic Area of Responsibility
The DOTr recently issued a memorandum circular MC-SC-2021-02 or the Implementation of Geographical Area of Responsibility for the renewal of registration for light vehicles and motorcycles.
In a nutshell, all LTO branches, including their district offices (DO) or extension offices (EO), will only accept a Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) from an authorized PMVIC that is within their designated GAOR.
For example, if your vehicle’s registration is filed in Imus, Cavite, the MVIR should only come from the PMVIC also in Cavite. MC-SC-2021-02 also means that an MVIR from another area like Pampanga or Bulacan will not be accepted by LTO Imus as it is under another district office's jurisdiction.
“Kung may PMVIC within the GAOR, doon na dapat magpa-test. Same price lang naman. Mas mabilis din marerehistro dahil automatic ang uploading ng results. (If there’s already a PMVIC within the GAOR [of your district office], that’s where motorists should get their vehicles tested. It’s the same price [with emission testing] anyway. It’s also faster in terms of vehicle registration as the results are automatically uploaded to the LTO’s system), said DOTr assistant secretary, Goddes Hope Libiran to MotoPinas.com.
No PMVIC in the GAOR
In the event that there is no PMVIC yet within a certain LTO district office's area of responsibility, MC-SC-2021-02 makes it clear that vehicle owners have the option to have their vehicles tested and inspected at the nearest PMVIC or just pass the emission test result from a Private Emission Testing Center (PETC).
Visual inspection only
For those who are worried about their vehicle failing the tests, no need to worry. A previous memo from the DOTr, MC-SC-2021-01, is still in effect. This means that the visual and emissions test results will be the basis for registration renewal. Passing or failing marks for other factors like brakes, gauges, lights, aftermarket upgrades will not be used as a basis for vehicle registration.