Press Release
July 26, 2016

Recto eyes longer validity period of car registration

A provision lengthening the validity period of a motor vehicle registration can be included in the proposed law making a driver's license valid for five years, the bill's proponent said today.

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said he is listening to proposals "from many groups and chatter in the social media" to also lengthen the validity of car registration.

He said he "finds merit in some proposals to include certain types of motor vehicles" in the bill stretching the legal life of the non-professional driver's license from three years to five years.

He said the registration of brand-new private vehicles can be made valid up to at least four years, from the present three.

"After which, the registration can be done every two years, from the current yearly," he said.

"This will spare car owners from making an annual pilgrimage to LTO offices. This yearly requirement to register is an almost 100-year-old rule. Many new developments - in technology, engineering, legal rules - had happened since," he said.

Recto said such extension may only apply to private vehicles "because franchises of for-hire vehicles call for their annual inspection and registration on reasons of public safety."

"Siguro naman kung gravel-and-sand hauler 'yan or school bus of kindergarten kids, kailangan ng yearly inspection and registration," he said.

Recto said such proposals can be "deliberated and fine-tuned "in the Senate public hearings that will be called to discuss his bill.

"We have to solicit the views of law enforcement agencies, motoring associations and other stakeholders," he said.

There are gray areas that need to be addressed, Recto said, citing as an example "the existing requirement that a vehicle must pass the yearly emission test as a precondition for registration."

"But one letter-writer suggested na yung isang sasakyan pwede namang mag-pa-test yearly at kumuha ng certification or sticker or tatakan ang rehistro na pasado sa smoke test," he said.

"Masalimuot din ang ilang diskusyon-tulad ng cut-off date ng taun-taon na registration. Ten years? 12 years? 15 years? We have to hear the views of experts," Recto said.

Recto has filed Senate Bill No. 271, amending Republic Act No. 4136 and Batas Pambansa Bilang 398 in order to extend the validity period of a driver's license to five years.

The five-year validity will not, however, apply to student permits and new licenses.

"It will not be an unconditional permit to drive for five years. Rules allow for early disenfranchisement if the holder is a serial violator of traffic rules," Recto said.

At present there are 8 million registered motor vehicles in the country today, more than half of which are motorcycles.

Government expects to earn P14.49 billion this year in registration fees, officially called the Motor Vehicle's User Charge.

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