How to Change Classification of Vehicle in LTO (Private to For-Hire)

Many Filipinos use their vehicles for Grab or UV Express to earn a living, especially in areas where public transportation is scarce or unreliable. However, this is not a simple matter of picking up passengers on the road, as doing so without proper authorization is illegal and can result in fines or penalties. If you want to use your private vehicle for commercial purposes, you need to change its classification in the Land Transportation Office (LTO). This means changing your plate number from white to yellow and from private to for-hire.

This article will guide you through the process of getting a yellow plate for your vehicle, whether it is a car, a van, or a tricycle. You will learn what documents you need and what steps you need to follow to make the transition go smoothly. By the end of this article, you will be ready to use your vehicle as a legitimate source of income.

Requirements for Change in Classification

Changing your vehicle classification from private to for-hire requires different documents depending on the type of vehicle and the service you intend to provide. In this guide, we will focus on the change of classification from private to for-hire for any vehicle. For other types of changes, such as from for-hire to private or from diplomatic to private, please refer to our other posts.

Below is the list of documents you need to prepare to change your vehicle from private to for-hire, including the documents for vehicle registration renewal:

  • Photocopy of Certificate of Registration (CR) and Official Receipt (OR) of payment. If the vehicle is still under mortgage (hulugan), show the certification from the financing company that they have the CR and they agree to the change from Private to For Hire. In the case of tricycles, the CR must indicate that the vehicle has a sidecar. To learn how to do this, please read: LTO Registration of Motorcycle from Single to with Sidecar
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover (COC)
  • Duly accomplished and approved Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Emission Compliance (CEC). Get this from any LTO-accredited emission testing center.
  • Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN). If you do not have a TIN yet, proceed to the BIR-Revenue District Office which has jurisdiction over your place of residence.
  • In the case of cars, vans, or other 4-wheeled vehicles, an electronically transmitted franchise confirmation or one (1) original copy of the franchise confirmation, if connectivity is not yet available.
  • Valid Motorized Tricycle Operator’s Permit (MTOP) for tricycles (TC). To get the MTOP or tricycle franchise, please follow this guide: How to Get MTOP or Franchise for Tricycle

How to Apply for Change in Vehicle Classification

To change your vehicle classification from private to for-hire, you need to complete a few steps and submit the necessary documents. The process is not complicated, but it may take some time depending on the availability of the LTO personnel and the volume of applicants. Here are the steps you need to follow to change your vehicle classification:

  1. The venue for your registration depends on the type of vehicle you want to change from private to for-hire. For cars, vans, buses, or jeepneys, you need to go to the district office specified in your Certificate of Public Convenience, which is issued by the LTFRB. For tricycles, you need to go to the closest LTO office that covers the area where you obtained your MTOP. Your tricycle should have a sidecar attached and registered already.
  2. Go to customer service or the on-duty guard and tell them about your transaction. They will give you a Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) form.
  3. Find the authorized inspection aide who will check your motorcycle’s headlight, signal lights, brakes, and other functional parts. After the inspection, they will stencil your engine and record your chassis number. They will also complete the MVIR form. Remember to pay the inspection aide for their service.
  4. Go back to the on-duty guard or customer service desk. They will give you a queue number.
  5. Wait for your name to be called. When you hear your name, go to the evaluator’s transaction window. Submit all the requirements to the evaluator.
  6. The evaluator will check your documents for completeness and authenticity. If all is clear, he or she will submit it to the next window for further processing.
  7. Wait for your turn at the cashier window. When your name is called, pay all the corresponding fees.
  8. After paying, wait at the releasing window for your name. The officer-in-charge will hand you the new Certificate of Registration and official receipt. You will also get a Request for Confirmation document, which is your proof of registration until you receive the proper plate from LTO. Once you have this document, you can start using your vehicle as a public utility vehicle.

Cost of Changing from Private to For-Hire

The cost of changing the classification of your vehicle from private to for-hire is ₱150.00. If you opt to do this transaction during the vehicle renewal process, the total cost will be around ₱1,600 for tricycles and ₱3,300 for cars and vans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the frequently asked questions about the process of changing vehicle classification from private to for-hire:

1. Can I change the vehicle classification from private to for-hire if I do not have a franchise?

No. The public utility vehicle industry here is heavily regulated, and you cannot operate without a franchise. You need to get a franchise, which is the hardest part of the process, before going to LTO.

2. Can I use my for-hire tricycle for personal use outside my line of operation?

Yes, but you need to remove the sidecar first. In our province, you can put a “Service Only” sign over your sidecar body number to show that the vehicle is for personal use only at that moment. Otherwise, traffic enforcers and other tricycle drivers might accuse you of being a colorum or operating out of line and cause you trouble.

3. Will the LTO change my plate number after changing the classification from private to for-hire?

No. The plate number is permanent for the life of the vehicle. You will retain your plate number, and the LTO will just change it to a yellow one, indicating that it is for hire.


Changing your vehicle classification from private to for-hire is an important process you have to do before using the vehicle for public use. Getting a yellow plate is a simple process, but the real deal is getting the Certificate of Public Convenience or the franchise. If you have all of this, you can start to take passengers in your line of operation without the fear of being apprehended for being a colorum vehicle.

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