On 11 May 2020, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) issued the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act (Republic Act No. 11235). The law/IRR is the subject of serious opposition from riders or motorcycle owners, but until the law/IRR is nullified by the court, or its implementation restrained, it is important to be aware of the pertinent provisions. Here are the salient points of the IRR:
1. NEW NUMBER PLATES REQUIRED
Owners must secure the bigger, readable, and color-coded number plate for every motorcycle, which shall consist of:
- (a) a metal number plate to be installed at the rear of the motorcycle; and
- (b) a decal number plate to be displayed in front. It shall bear a unique combination of alpha numeric characters.
Owners of existing motorcycle units which do not have space for front plate are required to provide a bracket or any other provision where the same shall be installed.
The renewal registration of motorcycles already registered prior to the effectivity of the IRR shall carry with it the application for the new bigger number plates. Registration of motorcycles which have already been renewed for the current year until the effectivity of the IRR shall be deemed to have applied for issuance of the new number plates.
Tricycles are included in the term “motorcycle,” which is defined as a powered two or three-wheeled motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles with appendages such as sidecars, tricycles, or trikes. It includes government-owned vehicles.
2. NO PLATE, NO DRIVING ALLOWED; PENALTIES
Driving without a number plate or a readable number plate is prohibited. The driver of a motorcycle without a number plate or readable number plate is subject to prision correccional or a fine ranging from P50,000 to P100,000, or both imprisonment and fine.
A motorcycle driven without a number plate or readable number plate shall be stopped, seized and impounded.
3. NEW MOTORCYCLES REGISTERED WITHIN 5 DAYS; PENALTY
Initial registration of a motorcycle shall be made with the LTO by the owner or the dealer, if authorized by the former, within 5 days from the date of the sales invoice for brand new locally purchased motorcycles, or from the Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR) report date for new or used imported motorcycles.
If the motorcycle that is not yet registered with the LTO is used in connection with an offense, the maximum penalty of the relevant offense shall be imposed on the offenders.
4. “OPEN” SALES NO LONGER ALLOWED; PENALTY
The existing practice of selling a motorcycle, with the Deed of Sale not indicating the purchaser, is effectively prohibited. This is because any sale or disposition must be reported within 3 days from such sale. The Deed of Sale must be filed at the LTO office where the latest Certificate of Registration was issued.
5. NO SALE OF NON-COMPLIANT MOTORCYCLES
No person, natural or juridical shall be allowed to sell motorcycles, unless the same has the capability to bear and showcase a readable number plate.
6. LOST, DAMAGED, STOLEN PLATE MUST BE REPORTED; PENALTY
If the number plate of a motorcycle is lost, damaged, or stolen, the owner of such motorcycle shall report the same within 24 hours to the Joint LTO and PNP Operations and Control Center.
After the report, the owner shall, within 72 hours from the time the loss or damage was reported, submit a duly notarized Affidavit of Loss or Damage to the nearest LTO Office. The LTO shall issue a certification of application for replacement plate, and an authority to use improvised plate which shall be valid until the issuance of the replacement plate.
Failure of the owner to report the loss, damage or theft, and apply for a replacement plate from the LTO within the prescribed periods, shall render the owner liable for a fine ranging from P20,000 to P50,000.
Worse, if the lost, damaged, or stolen number plate or readable number plate is used in a crime, the failure of the owner to report such fact within 3 days shall subject the owner to a penalty of imprisonment of arresto mayor to prision correccional.
A damaged plate refers to a number plate in which any of the alphanumeric characters is no longer readable from a distance of at least fifteen (15) meters due to fading, cracking, chipping, delamination, or as a result of a road crash or vandalism. This shall also pertain to any number plates which are mutilated, defaced or deformed in a manner materially affecting its color, reflectivity, readability, security features and the like.
7. USE OF STOLEN NUMBER PLATE
The use of a stolen or the transfer of number plate or readable number plate in a motorcycle shall be punished by prision mayor or a fine ranging from P50,000 to P100,000, or both at the discretion of the court.
8. TAMPERING OR CONCEALING NUMBER PLATE; PENALTY
The following are punishable with imprisonment of prision mayor, or a fine ranging from P50,000 to P100,00, or both imprisonment and fine:
- Erasing a number plate or readable number plate
- Tampering a number plate or readable number plate
- Altering a number plate or readable number plate
- Forging a number plate or readable number plate
- Imitating a number plate or readable number plate
- Covering a number plate or readable number plate
- Concealing a number plate or readable number plate, or
- Intentional use of such erased, tampered, altered, forged, imitated, covered or concealed number plate or readable number plate
The buyer and the seller of the foregoing number plate or readable number plate shall be liable for imprisonment:
- Prision mayor, in case the buyer and seller has knowledge of the erased, tampered, altered, forced or imitated number plate or readable number plate
- Arresto mayor, if the buyer or seller has no knowledge of the erased, tampered, altered, forced or imitated number plate or readable number plate
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