This is not an early April Fool's Day joke. If you have a brand-new car but you have yet to receive its license plates from the Land Transportation Office, you only have until March 31 to enjoy driving it on public roads since the agency has announced that it will enforce a "no registration, no travel" policy starting on April 1, 2015.
According to the agency, no four-wheel motor vehicle "can be used, driven or operated on the roads without being duly registered with the LTO." If a vehicle without license plates is stopped by law-enforcement authorities, its driver must present the vehicle's certificate of registration and official receipt. If only the CR and the OR are presented, the driver must pay a P5,000 fine for failing to attach the plates. If a special plate was requested for the vehicle, the driver must present the OR for said plate.
If the driver cannot present the vehicle's CR and OR, he/she must present the vehicle's certificate of stock reported, its sales invoice (which must be dated within seven days prior to the apprehension), and the certificate of insurance cover (which must be dated on or after the date indicated on the sales invoice). If none of the aforementioned documents can be presented, the vehicle owner will be fined P10,000 for using an unregistered vehicle, while the driver will be fined P1,000 and cited for reckless driving.
In addition, if the date of apprehension exceeds the date of purchase as indicated on the sales invoice by 37 days, the vehicle will be impounded.
The LTO adds that vehicle owners can contest the apprehension "within five days."
So, if your brand-new car still doesn't have license plates, maybe it's time you check with the dealership you bought it from. After all, it may be your dealership's fault, according to our blameless government.
Photo from Joseph Onipse