Vehicle registration plates of the Philippines

Vehicle registration plates of the Philippines

Vehicle license plates in the Philippines are issued and regulated by the Land Transportation Office, a government agency under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

History

Current specifications

"In this section, "L" stands for a alphabet letter and "D" stands for a digit in defining license plate formats."

Dimensions and medium

The current series of Philippine registration plates ("plaka" in the Tagalog vernacular) measure 390mm X 140mm. The characters are stamped on an aluminum plate then applied with reflectorised paint, with watermarks of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) logo stamped all over the plate as well as a small logo of the plate manufacturer. This was replaced with a reflectorised, printed coloured sticker featuring the statue of Dr. José Rizal in 2003 with the words "Matatag Na Republika" (Strong Republic) at the bottom. All plates issued by the LTO (as of 2008) are solely produced by a privately-funded manufacturer in Manila.

There were many variations prior to the current format, and it depends on who is the incumbent president. This can be seen on what is the slogan written at the bottom of the plate.

*PILIPINAS (most common format)
*PHILIPPINES 2000
*PERLAS NG SILANGAN
*ANGAT PINOY 2004
*MATATAG NA REPUBLIKA

Typeface

There were numerous typefaces for Philippine registration plates. The current typeface used for Philippine registration plates was first implemented in 1981. It is loosely based on the Australian license plate system. There have been slight variations on the font design since then.

Talks have been going around in the Land Transportation Office regarding the use of the German Fälschungserschwerende Schrift/"FE-Schrift" (falsification-hindering script; similar typeface used on German vehicle licence plates) on new licence plates for vehicles with regular registration, to serve as a more effective way preventing plate falsification. This typeface is already used on personalised and vanity license plates.

Protocol/High-ranking government plates

These plates are green D or DD plates reserved for the top government officials of the Republic of the Philippines.
* 1 - President
* 2 - Vice President
* 3 - Senate President
* 4 - Speaker of the House of Representatives
* 5 - Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
* 6 - Cabinet Secretaries
* 7 - Senators
* 8 - Congressmen
* 9 - Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
* 10 - Presiding Justice and other Justices of the Court of Appeals
* 11 - Chairman of the Commission on Elections
* 12 - Cabinet Undersecretary
* 13 - Solicitor General
* 14 - Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Chief, Philippine National Police
* 16 - Regional Trial Court Judges

Regular government plates

Red characters on a white background, LLL DDD plates that start with the letter "S".

Diplomatic plates

Blue characters on a white background plates reserved for diplomats, embassy and consulate officials, country ambassadors and some expatriates such as scientists and researchers at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in the form of DDDD or DDDDD.

Ambassadors' plates are always "1000" and have the country they represent at the bottom of the plate. These plates have a small decal on the bottom left part with a "CM".

1001 - 9999: a small decal on the bottom left part, displayed as "DC" for "diplomatic corps"
10000 - 25999: embassy vehicles - a small decal on the bottom left part displayed as "OEV" for "official embassy vehicle"

Private vehicles

For private vehicles, the plate contains green-colored symbols on a white background with the number format as "LLL DDD". The first letter usually indicates the region where the vehicle is registered.

Public utility vehicles

Yellow plates (black characters on a yellow background) in the form LLL DDD and usually begin with either the letter "P" or "T". Since 1999, they always have either "W", "X", or "Y" in the middle of the letter block.

Trailers

Yellow or green plates that mostly have either "U" or "Z" in the middle of the letter block.

Electric vehicles

For electric vehicles, orange plates are used (white symbols on orange background).

Motorcycles

Private

Green characters on a white background with the letters "MC" stamped on the upper right-hand corner next to the registration sticker. Usually in the format LL DDDD, but with the rise in the number of motorcycles on the road, the DDDD LL format has also come into use.

Public utility

Black characters on a yellow background. Same format as in private motorcycles. This plate is very rarely seen.

Tricycles

Private

Green characters on a white background with the letters "TC" stamped on the upper right-hand corner next to the registration sticker. This is also rare because when a tricycle is purchased, its immediate use is to be a public transport vehicle and will be registered with black on yellow plates.

Public utility

Black characters on a yellow background with the letters "TC" stamped on the upper right-hand corner next to the registration sticker.

Coding scheme

Geographical designation

* "A" - Region I (Ilocos Region) and CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region)
* "B" - Region II (Cagayan Valley Region)
* "C", "R" - Region III (Central Luzon Region), "R" are overflow series since the "C" series has been exhausted
* "D", "V" - Regions IV-A (CALABARZON) and IV-B (MIMAROPA), "V" are overflow series
* "E" - Region V (Bicol Region)
* "F" - Region VI (Western Visayas Region)
* "G", "Y" - Region VII (Central Visayas Region), "Y" are overflow series
* "H" - Region VIII (Eastern Visayas Region)
* "J" - Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) and ARMM
* "K" - Regions X and XIII (Northern Mindanao and Caraga)
* "L" - Region XI (Davao Region)
* "M" - Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN)
* "N" - National Capital Region, 1981-1982
* "P" - National Capital Region, 1982-1991
* "T" - National Capital Region, 1991-1995
* "U" - National Capital Region, 1995-1998
* "W" - National Capital Region, 1998-2001
* "X" - National Capital Region, 2001-2005
* "Z" - National Capital Region, 2005-current

I & O are not used to avoid confusion with the numbers "1" & "0"
Q is a special letter and is not used on regular plate circulation.

pecial designation

* "S" - Government
* "P", "T" - Public utility vehicles (they usually begin with these letters but not always). They always (since 1999) have "W", "X", or "Y" in the middle of the letter block (LLL). e.g. PWM 757

Personalized plates

A motorist who would like to have personalized plates can have any letter combination he fancies upon three conditions:
# It is unique i.e., the plate does not have a registered duplicate anywhere else in the Philippines.
# The plate should not have the same format as government vehicles.
# The motorist can afford to pay its PHP 25,000 ($500+) price tag.

Optional motor vehicle special plates (OMVSP)

A project of the Land Transportation Office since 2004, these plates are in the form of LLL DD.

External links

* [http://www.lto.gov.ph/omvsp_insurance.html Optional Motor Vehicle Special Plates (OMVSP)]
* [http://www.worldlicenseplates.com/world/AS_PHIL.html License Plates of the World - Philippines]
* [http://plaque.free.fr/as/rp/ Pictures of Philippine license plates from Francoplaque]


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