Buying a used motorcycle can be a great way to find your dream bike and save money. However, before you can enjoy riding your newly purchased bike, you need to make sure that it is legally yours. You can ride a motorcycle in the Philippines even if it is not registered under your name. However, motorcycle riders are frequently stopped at HPG and LTO checkpoints. This is the reality for motorcycle users here: they attract the attention of HPG troopers and LTO enforcers at checkpoints. Therefore, to avoid the hassle of providing proof that you are authorized to use the motorcycle, consider transferring it to your name.
Transferring the LTO registration of a pre-owned motorcycle to your name is not as difficult or expensive as some people think. You don’t need to hire a fixer or pay extra fees to get it done. All you need are the proper documents from the seller and yourself, and you should follow the simple steps outlined in this article. By doing so, you can avoid the hassles of constantly providing proof of authority and delays at checkpoints and truly call your motorcycle your own.
Why is it is Important to Transfer the Ownership to Your Name?
One of the most important steps after buying a used motorcycle (MC) is to process the LTO transfer of ownership. This is not only a legal requirement but also a way to protect the former owner from any liabilities that may arise from the vehicle.
The LTO transfer of ownership is especially crucial because of the Registered Owner Rule1 that applies in the Philippines. This rule states that the registered owner of a vehicle is liable for any damage or injury caused while the vehicle is running on public roads or highways. This means that if you do not transfer ownership, the original owner will still be held accountable for any accidents or violations involving the vehicle. Moreover, you will not be able to purchase insurance for the vehicle unless you are the registered owner. Insurance companies need to verify your identity and ownership of the vehicle before they can process any claims.
Therefore, it is important to transfer the ownership of a used vehicle to your name as soon as possible after buying it. This will ensure that you have full rights and responsibilities over the vehicle and that you are protected from any unwanted consequences. Transferring ownership is a shared responsibility between the buyer and seller, and it must be done with proper documentation. By doing so, you will enjoy driving your motorcycle without any worries or hassles.
Required Documents to Transfer Ownership
You cannot simply request the LTO to change the name on the certificate of registration of your vehicle. Having the original copy of the certificate is not enough. You need to obtain and process certain documents to legally transfer the ownership of your vehicle to yourself. This is a necessary step to prevent the unauthorized and illegal transfer of vehicles, which could lead to an increase in vehicle theft in the country.
To transfer the ownership of a motorcycle, you have to get the following documents:
1. Notarized Deed of Sale
One of the most crucial steps in buying a used motorcycle is drafting and notarizing a deed of sale. This document contains all the essential information about the motorcycle and the transaction, such as the buyer’s and seller’s names, addresses, signatures, and the agreed price. It also includes the motorcycle’s details, such as the license plate number, chassis number, engine number, and so on. You should double-check all these details and make sure they are complete and accurate.
If you buy a repossessed motorcycle from a dealer, they will usually give you an open deed of sale and a purchase certificate. This means the buyer’s information is left blank, and you must fill it in yourself. However, an open deed of sale is not a valid document in the Philippines, and you cannot use it to transfer the ownership of your vehicle. You need to have it notarized by a notary public, which will cost you around 150 to 300 pesos. You also need to bring a copy of the seller’s ID and signature. It is advisable to make several copies of the deed of sale for your own records and for the LTO.
Please note that the notarial fee for the deed of sale depends on the vehicle’s value and is usually 1-2% of it. This fee is different from other documents, such as the affidavit of loss, which have fixed rates.
2. Original Certificate of Registration
When buying a used motorcycle, you need to check that the seller has all the original and complete registration documents under their name. These include the certificate of registration (CR) and the official receipt (OR) of the vehicle. If you do not have these documents, you may face a costly problem that prevents you from registering or using the motorcycle legally.
Make sure that the Certificate of Registration is free from any encumbrance. If there is any encumbrance on the certificate, request that the seller process its removal first before paying.
You also need to verify that the registration documents are updated and valid. If not, you should ask the seller to renew them before you finalize the deal. Otherwise, you might face penalties or delays in transferring ownership to your name.
If the motorcycle has had more than one previous owner, you should also request the original CRs and ORs from all of them. This will ensure that there are no gaps or issues in the transfer process. You don’t want to waste your time and money looking for a missing signature or document that could prevent you from owning the motorcycle.
3. Photocopies of ID and Specimen Signatures
To draft the deed of sale and obtain the HPG clearance, you need to provide photocopies of the identification cards and signature specimens of both the buyer (you) and the seller. The deed of sale usually requires at least two copies of each party’s driver’s license or other government-issued ID. You also need to prepare a signature specimen with three signatures for each party. This will help to verify the identity and authenticity of the deed of sale.
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)
You can obtain this from reliable insurance providers that offer CTPL. They are usually located near the LTO premises, but they tend to charge more. Their CTPL prices range from 450 to 500 pesos, while you can find it for 250 pesos elsewhere. You can either negotiate with them or buy your insurance from another source to save money.
Tip: You can get a cheaper CTPL from any Cebuana Lhuillier pawnshop outlet. They charge much less than the providers inside the LTO premises.
6. Original Copy of Certificate of Emission Compliance
You need to visit the nearest Private Emission Testing Center (PETC) and get your motorcycle tested. Before you go to the PETC, make sure you have changed your oil and tuned up your motorcycle. This will help you pass the emission test.
You should arrive at the site as early as possible to get a low queue number. The PETC usually has only one test equipment for each fuel type, so the lines can be very long. It also takes about 15 to 20 minutes to test each vehicle, so you can imagine how much time you will spend waiting if you have a high queue number. The PETC also has a cut-off policy. If you are late, you will not be accommodated, and you will have to come back the next day.
Procedure on How to Transfer Ownership of Motorcycle in LTO
You can go to the LTO to process the transfer after you have completed all the required documents. Ideally, you should do this transaction at the LTO branch where the motorcycle was first registered. This will enable you to transfer ownership immediately. But if that is not feasible, go to the nearest LTO and then request a confirmation of registration. However, this may take some time to process. If the Certificate of Registration (CR) has its mother file at the LTO main office on East Avenue in Quezon City, you have the option to transfer the registration to any LTO branch.
STEP 1: Approach the customer service window or the guard on duty and tell them that you want to do a transfer of ownership transaction. They will provide you with a 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.
Congratulations! You have successfully transferred your motorcycle to your name. Remember that when you ride your motorcycle on public roads in the Philippines, you must always carry a copy of your Certificate of Registration (CR) and the Official Receipt of Payment (OR). Do not ever forget these documents, because driving a vehicle without them is illegal and you may face fines and penalties.
Total Cost of Transferring Ownership of Motorcycle
If you want to transfer ownership of a motorcycle in the Philippines, you need to know the costs involved. The table below gives you an overview of the fees and charges for the transfer of ownership and motorcycle registration renewal in 2023. However, these are only approximate figures, and they may vary depending on the situation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about transferring ownership of motorcycle or any vehicle in LTO:
1. My motorcycle was just donated to me. Can I transfer it to my name?
Yes. To transfer ownership of a donated vehicle, you need to get a Deed of Donation or a Deed of Waiver of Rights from a lawyer instead of a Deed of Sale. You also need to present the original OR and CR, the valid IDs of both the Donor and the Donee, and an SPA if you are acting on behalf of someone else.
2. Is it okay to drive a motorcycle that’s not registered to me?
Having the right driver’s license is enough to ride a motorcycle that you’re borrowing temporarily. However, if you’re the new owner of the motorcycle, you should complete the Transfer of Ownership process as soon as possible. This will help you avoid any trouble with the authorities, renew your registration smoothly, and verify that the motorcycle has a clean history.
3. 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 new owner 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.
Buying or selling a secondhand motorcycle involves transferring ownership of the vehicle in the LTO. This is a crucial step that protects both the buyer and the seller from any legal issues. The process is not complicated if the buyer and the seller have all the required documents ready and follow the correct steps. By transferring ownership of the motorcycle, the buyer can enjoy his or her new ride, and the seller can have peace of mind.
- Acosta, Persida. “Registered Owner Rule.” The Manila Times, June 15, 2021. https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/06/16/legal-advice/registered-owner-rule/1803370. ↩︎