As Metro Manila reverted back to ECQ last week, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) published a new memo requiring motorcycle and light vehicle owners (cars, SUVs, pick up) to go through an authorized Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (PMVIC) if their regular LTO branch (whether distric office [DO] or extension office [EO]) has one in their Geographical Area of Responsibility (GAOR).
Though vehicle inspection is an annual prerequisite upon renewal of registration, what's new is who is performing the inspection. In that past, it was done by LTO personnel. Now, if there's an operating PMVIC near a certain LTO office (within its geographic area of responsibility [GOAR] as they say), it must be done by that center. If there isn't one, the traditional emission testing result will be accepted. Heavy vehicles like cargo trucks are still exempted from the new rule.
Return of PMVICs
In effect, this memo now makes PMVIC inspection mandatory in areas where they are operating. The only downside is the relatively low number of currently operating PMVICs compared to the former Private Emission Testing Centers (PETCs) that were abundant within an area.
So just what is a GAOR and how large is it? There's no complicated calculation involved. Instead, the LTO has a list of certified PMVICs and the LTOs that accept them.
While there are only 11 operating PMVICs in Metro Manila, their results are accepted by several LTO offices. In the case of the provinces, the inspection results from the single operating PMVIC in their region are accepted by several LTO district and extension offices. Unfortunately, some of these may be quite far.
To understand the chart, the first column lists the name of the PMVIC. The second column lists its location, and the third lists the LTO DOs and EOs that accept their results.
For example, for vehicles registered in the Las Piñas District Office (DO), vehicle owners will have to travel to Parañaque, more specifically in San Dionisio, just to get their vehicles inspected.
Vehicle owners who registered their vehicles in the Sipalay DO, Negros Occidental, must travel for 90 kilometers or 2 ½ hours to Kabankalan City, also in Negros Occidental, just to have their vehicles inspected by their PMVIC.
PETC result still accepted
If the LTO DO or extension office (EO) is not on the list, that means an emission test result from an authorized PETC will still be accepted as a prerequisite for registration renewal. Take note though that a change of venue transaction to avoid the PMVIC requirement will not be honored by the agency unless the vehicle owner has a valid change of address. Supporting documents will be required if such a change of address happened.
For the complete list of PMVICs recognized by LTO DOs and EOs (including the 11 in Metro Manila), please see the gallery below.