How To Transfer Ownership of a Donated Motor Vehicle

If a family member or a relative gifted a used car or motorcycle to you, you might be wondering how to transfer the ownership of the vehicle to your name. Driving a vehicle not registered to you is legal in the Philippines. But if you want to call the vehicle your own, it is time to process the transfer of ownership.

Transferring ownership of a donated used vehicle is not as simple as handing over the keys and the documents. You need to follow certain procedures and requirements to ensure that the transaction is legal and valid. In this article, I will discuss the step-by-step process and the amount involved in transferring ownership of a motor vehicle from donor to donee. I will also provide some tips and reminders to make the process easier and faster for both parties.

Benefits of Transferring Ownership

You should transfer the ownership of a donated vehicle to your name as soon as you receive it. This is not only a legal obligation but also a way to shield the donor from any liabilities related to the vehicle.

The LTO transfer of ownership matters because the Philippines follows the Registered Owner Rule. This rule holds the registered owner of a vehicle responsible for any damage or injury caused by the vehicle on public roads or highways. This means that the donor will still face any consequences for accidents or violations involving the vehicle if you do not transfer ownership. Besides, you cannot buy comprehensive insurance for the vehicle unless you are the registered owner. Insurance companies require your identity and ownership proof of the car before they can handle any claims.

Required Documents to Transfer Ownership

To transfer the ownership of a donated vehicle, you need more than just the original Certificate of Registration (CR) and official receipt. You cannot simply ask the LTO to change the name on the CR. You have to obtain and process certain documents from different government agencies to legally transfer ownership to yourself.

1. Notarized Deed of Donation

Visit a notary public and obtain a Deed of Donation or a Deed of Waiver of Rights. You must bring the Certificate of Registration, Official Receipt, and valid IDs of both the donor and donee. The donor and donee must also appear before the lawyer in person to verify their identities.

If the donor or donee is not present and is transacting through a representative, you must provide a Special Power of Attorney. If the vehicle is not in the name of the donor, you must provide proof of ownership, such as a previous deed of sale or donation.

The notarial fee for the deed of donation is around 500.00 pesos.

2. Original Certificate of Registration

Make sure that the Certificate of Registration is free from any encumbrance. If there is any encumbrance on the certificate, ask for the cancellation of the mortgage certificate from the donor.

If the vehicle has had more than one previous owner, you should also request the original CRs and ORs from all of them.

3. Photocopies of ID and Specimen Signatures

To draft the deed of donation and obtain the HPG clearance, you need to provide photocopies of the identification cards and signature specimens of both the donor and the donee.

4. PNP-HPG Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate

This document confirms that your motorcycle has a clean record and no history of crime, accident, or violation as of the date of issuance. It is easy to obtain, but it can be time-consuming. The processing time may vary depending on the number of people transacting at the HPG office, but it usually takes around three days to get this document.

To help you get this document, please follow our guide on How to Get a PNP-HPG Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate

5. Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTPL)

CTPL insurance can be obtained from reliable providers located near the LTO premises. However, they tend to charge more, with prices ranging from 450 to 500 pesos. You can negotiate with them or buy your insurance from another source to save money. For instance, Cebuana Lhuillier pawnshop outlets offer CTPL insurance at a much cheaper rate than the providers inside the LTO premises.

6. Original Copy of Certificate of Emission Compliance

The Clean Air Act (RA 8749) requires all vehicles to pass an emissions test before renewing their registration. This test is done by a Private Emission Testing Center (PETC) accredited by the LTO. Your vehicle must be well-maintained and not emit harmful emissions that damage the environment. Many LTO offices have nearby or on-site emission testing facilities, but they often charge more and have long queues. You can save time and money by looking for authorized emission testing centers far from an LTO office. These centers usually have little or no waiting time and may charge less.

How to Transfer Ownership of a Donated Motor Vehicle

To transfer your motorcycle ownership, you need to complete all the required documents and go to the LTO. The best option is to do this at the LTO branch where the motorcycle was originally registered, so you can finish the transfer right away. If that is not possible, you can go to the nearest LTO branch and ask for a confirmation of registration, but this may take longer. You can also transfer the registration to any LTO branch if the CR’s mother file is at the LTO main office on East Avenue in Quezon City

STEP 1: Approach the customer service window or the guard on duty and ask them about the first step in transferring ownership. They will gladly assist and give you the list of requirements and a Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) form.

STEP 2: Take the Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) and a copy of the Certificate of Registration (CR) to an inspection aide outside the LTO office. The aide will check your vehicle for any missing parts, busted lights, or other issues. He will also fill out the MVIR form with the information from your CR. Pay the aide for his service. A fee of 50 pesos is usually enough.

STEP 3: Return to the LTO office and submit the MVIR along with the required documents. The evaluator will verify that your documents are complete and valid. Once verified, he or she will pass them on to the next person for further processing.

STEP 4: Wait for your name or number to be announced. When it is your turn, proceed to the cashier window and pay the transfer fee and any other charges. Then, return to your seat and wait for your name to be called again.

STEP 5: Wait until your name (or the name on the CR) is announced by the releasing counter. Then, collect the updated Certificate of Registration (CR) and the Official Receipt (OR) from them.

Total Cost of Transferring Ownership of Motor Vehicle

The cost of transferring ownership of a vehicle varies depending on the type of vehicle. The table below gives you an overview of the fees and charges for the transfer of ownership and vehicle registration renewal in 2023. However, these are only approximate figures, and they may vary depending on the situation.

Notarial Fees₱500.00
Insurance (CTPL)₱250.00
HPG Clearance₱300.00
Transfer of Ownership +
Registration Renewal

The above example is for transferring the ownership of a motorcycle. If you have a car or an SUV, the cost will be about ₱3,500 pesos.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if the Original Certificate of Registration is Lost/Damaged?

To apply for a duplicate CR/OR, the registered owner needs to obtain a notarized affidavit of loss/mutilation stating that the original document is lost or damaged. The donee can then file the application at the LTO office where the CR was first issued, along with two valid IDs and an accomplished MVIR. The LTO will verify the original document before issuing a replacement CR, which may take some time. Only after getting the duplicate CR/OR can the new owner transfer the ownership.

2. Do you still need to go to the BIR to get the deed of donation?

No. You don’t need to go to the BIR anymore because there is nothing to pay there.


Receiving a vehicle as a gift can evoke a mix of overwhelming joy and excitement. Once the initial celebration of acquiring your own vehicle subsides, the subsequent step involves transferring the vehicle’s ownership to your name. This crucial step safeguards the donor from potential legal issues associated with the donated vehicle. Although the process might seem daunting, it is not overly complicated, albeit it can be time-consuming. All you need to do is prepare the necessary documents and adhere to the steps outlined in this guide. By successfully transferring the vehicle’s ownership, not only can the recipient fully enjoy their new ride, but it also provides the donor with peace of mind.

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