Dealers say there’s more to the 3-5 days registration process

Earlier this month, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) announced that they’ll be penalizing dealers of both motorcycles (MC) and motor vehicles (MV) if they do not abide by the agency-prescribed registration process and turnaround time.

For MC dealers, says the LTO, the process from customer purchase all the way to the issuance of plate numbers should only take between 3-5 days, while MV should take between 7-11 days.

While this is doable, there are just some things that go beyond the control of the dealers, says Edwin Go, the president of the Motorcycle Dealers Association of the Philippines (MDAP).

According to Go, if all paperworks are in order e.g.: Certificate of Stock Report (CSR), PNP Clearance, customer documents, etc., they can submit them to the LTO Regional Office the soonest time for processing and once received by the agency, the Official Receipt (OR) and Certificate of Registration (CR), as well as the actual plate number, can be delivered to the customer within the 3-5 days from date of purchase.

No control

Unfortunately, according to Go, there are things that are already beyond their control as dealers. For example, says Go, since only LTO regional offices (with exceptions on some district offices) can process the initial registration, it would be a real challenge for dealers to meet the 3-5 day processing especially if it involves crossing the sea via RoRo, like in some areas in the Visayas region.

That being said, the weather also creates a huge factor in those instances. Bad weather simply means no sea travel.

MC dealers: 3-5 days plaka possible but not all the time image

Another factor that dealers don’t have control over is LTO’s IT system. Like in the regular registration renewal process that a lot of us have experienced, MC dealers also encounter “off-line” – which simply means that the LTO office they’re transacting with can no longer process the day’s transactions because of technical issues with their IT system. If they encounter such, they have no choice but to go back the next day or wait until LTO’s system goes back online which no longer guarantees that they could meet the 3-5 day processing time.


If all goes well and no IT, logistics, or weather interruption occurred, a copy of the transmittal paperwork will be provided to the dealer. This is important, says Go, because it will contain the date and time when the dealer submitted the initial registration documents, as well as the date and time when the LTO transmitted the documents into their system.

A copy of this transmittal document can be requested by the customer from their dealer to make sure that they’ve already done their part with the processing of the initial registration with the LTO. This also means that the ball is already on the LTO’s side.

Our role

While it's still far from the ideal and perfect service that we Filipinos deserve, both the dealers and the LTO have greatly improved in doing their jobs compared to a few years back.

We, as customers, can also help in the process, says Go, by refusing to accept and take our newly-bought motorcycle home until the bike is fully registered. Not only that you are safe against driving an unregistered vehicle traffic violation (which is a PHP 10,000 fine + impound, BTW), but you’ll also keep your MC dealer on their toes and will process your bike’s registration ASAP.