Many motorcycle owners modify their bikes for various reasons, but the primary reason is to improve their appearance. In the Philippines, owners of “pantra” bikes often perform different types of builds on their motorcycles, such as Cafe Racer, Scrambler, and Brat Style builds. These modifications involve changing the wheels, fairings, headlights, and other parts to resemble the styles of these genres of motorcycles. These changes can turn a dull “pantra” motorcycle into a head-turner that is sure to make people take a second look. However, as cool as these modifications may seem, it’s important to consider whether they are street legal and can be registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO). In this article, we will discuss the process of registering your custom motorcycle with the LTO. Please read on to learn more.
Can I Renew the Registration of a Modified Motorcycle?
Yes, you can still renew its registration as long as you do not modify the chassis or change the engine, and have all the required parts installed. According to LTO Administrative Order No. AHS-2008-015, motorcycles or scooters must be equipped with the required parts, such as a headlight, taillight, signal light, brake light, side mirrors, and horn. So, as long as you have these parts and they are in their standard sizes and colors, you can apply for the registration renewal. In addition, the muffler sound should not exceed the limit of 99 decibels. It doesn’t matter if your motorcycle has stock or aftermarket exhaust; as long as the sound level is within the set boundaries, it should not be subject to apprehension and can be registered in LTO.
Requirements for the Renewal of Modified Motorcycle
Before you go to LTO to renew the registration of your custom motorcycle, you need to secure the documents first. Here are the documents you need to proceed to the next step:
- Certificate of Cover: This is compulsory third-party liability (CTPL) insurance that you can purchase from an LTO-accredited insurance provider. You can save money by buying it from a provider outside the LTO premises, as they tend to charge lower rates than those inside. The provider will electronically transmit the certificate to LTO, but you still need the hard copy of it for LTO.
- Certificate of Emission Compliance: This is proof that your motorcycle passed the emission test required by the Clean Air Act (RA 8749). You can get this certificate from an LTO-accredited Private Emission Testing Center (PETC). You can save time and money by choosing a PETC that is far from the LTO office, as they usually have a shorter queue and a lower fee than those near or within the LTO compound.
- Photocopy of Certificate of Registration (CR): This is a copy of your original CR that you need to show to the insurance and emission testing providers. They will use it to record your motorcycle’s engine and chassis numbers. Do not give them your original CR, as it is very hard to replace if you lose it.
- LTO Official Receipt: This is the receipt from your previous registration renewal. If you do not have it, you need to secure an affidavit of loss from a notary public.
If you also modified the color of the motorcycle, you need to file a change of color in LTO. To do this, you need an HPG clearance and an affidavit of change of color. To secure your HPG clearance, please follow this guide: How to Get a PNP-HPG Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate. Execute a Joint Affidavit of Change Color of Owner and Painter. Go to the nearest notary public and have it notarized. Please note that HPG and LTO base the color of the motorcycle on the color of the fuel tank. If the color of your fuel tank differs from the one indicated on the CR, you have to file a change of color at LTO.
How to Renew Registration of a Cafe Racer, or a Scrambler Motorcycle?
The renewal of registration of a modified motorcycle is the same as the renewal of a stock one, as long as you did not change the color, engine, or chassis. To do this, please follow the instructions below:
- Go to the nearest LTO District Office or LTO Licensing Office. Do not forget to bring the motorcycle for inspection and make sure that all the accessories are complete and working.
- Go to customer service or the guard on duty and ask for a Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) form.
- Present the MVIR form to an authorized LTO inspection aide, who will inspect your motorcycle for its accessories and functionality. The inspection will cover the headlight, taillight, signal light, brake light, side mirror, horn, and other parts. Since LTO no longer requires a stencil of the engine and chassis numbers as of May 2023, the aide will no longer take them. The inspection aide will complete the MVIR form for you and charge you a fee for the service.
- Return the completed MVIR form and the required documents to the LTO office. A LTO evaluator will check your documents and send them for processing. If they have a queue number system, get a queue number and wait for your turn. You can also request that they link your motorcycle to your LTMS account, which will allow you to renew your registration online in the future. If you do not have an LTMS account, you can create one by following this guide: [How to Create an LTMS Account].
- When your number is called, proceed to the cashier and pay the registration renewal fee and any other applicable fees.
- Wait for your name (or the name on the CR) to be called at the releasing counter. You will receive the official receipt (OR) for your payment. Do not ask for a sticker, as LTO does not issue stickers anymore.
Depending on the number of applicants that day, it will take you around 30 minutes to 1 hour to finish the transaction.
For a complete guide on how to renew the registration of a motorcycle, please follow this link: Motorcycle Registration Renewal Guide. It includes a guide on how to determine if your vehicle is due for renewal and how to do it online using LTMS.
Cost Breakdown of Modified Motorcycle Registration Renewal
Here is the breakdown of fees for the renewal of your modified motorcycle:
|Legal Research Fee
|Change of Color*
|Affidavit of Change Color*
*If you did not change the color of the motorcycle, remove the cost of HPG clearance, the change of color fee, and the notarial cost. Please note that the amount stated above is for plain renewals only and without any penalty due to late renewal. If you register your motorcycle past the LTO’s deadline, you will be charged a penalty fee.
Late Registration Fees
|Beyond the registration week (but not more than 1 month)
|Beyond the registration month (but not more than 12 months)
|PHP 120.00 (50% of the MVUC rate)
|Beyond 12 months without apprehension for LTO violations
|PHP 120.00+ renewal fee
|Beyond 12 months with apprehension for LTO violations
|PHP 120.00 + renewal fee for every year of delinquency
If you have a cafe racer, scrambler, tracker, or brat-style motorcycle, you can register it as easily as a stock one. The only complication is if you change the color of your motorcycle, as you need to update it in your Certificate of Registration (CR). The process will be even more difficult if you modify the engine or the chassis. However, if you only install standard-size side mirrors and keep your headlight, signal light, and brake light in their standard size and color, you will have no problem renewing your registration. By following the guide above, you can renew its registration and enjoy riding your modified motorcycle without violating any LTO rules and regulations.