Press Release
June 27, 2015

Time to extend validity of car registration, driver's license - Recto

As soon as it resumes session late next month, the Senate will hear proposals to extend the validity of motor vehicle registration and driver's license.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said resolutions will be filed and public hearings will be called to study the feasibility of extending the life of both car and driving permits.

"We will be crowdsourcing ideas on how this can be done. We'll be getting the views from all sides, from those who apply for these licenses and those who issue them," Recto said.

At present, the registration of a brand-new motor vehicle is effective for three years after which it must be renewed annually.

In the case of a driver's licence, it is valid for three years, with the expiry coinciding with the holder's birthday.

Recto said senators "have taken cognizance of requests to have the legal life of these documents extended."

"There is, for example, a proposal to increase the validity of the rehistro of new car to at least four years, and old ones to two years. So we'd like to know if this can be stretched to five years for new cars," he said.

Recto said there is also "a flurry of proposals on lengthening the validity of the lisensya. Yung iba gusto apat na taon, may nagsasabi gawing lima."

"The benefits of having their validity extended are obvious from the holder's point of view. Wala ng red tape. Walang pila. In the case of cars more than three years old, no more yearly long wait for stickers."

"But if our regulatory agencies see some problems with the proposed extension, then they can air their concerns during the public hearing," Recto said.

But Recto said, "the time has come to extend the expiry dates on licenses and registration."

"It is the best anti-red tape app. It is commonsensical and costs nothing. Dumarami ang sasakyan, di naman dumarami ang Land Transportation Office (LTO) branches na pwede mong pagdalhan ng kotseng irerehistro."

"We haven't seen an increase in the number of LTO field offices that is commensurate to the tremendous rise in the number of vehicles," he said.

Recto said concerns that a longer validity of permits will cut government income have no basis.

"Eh kung gagawing two years ang rehistro, e di i-multiply mo lang ng dalawa. Kung 3 years, eh di by three. Basta ang importante, wala ng annual pilgrimage sa LTO. Ang lisensya, kung apat na taon, eh di i-adjust mo by 25 percent ang formula. Pero ideally, there should be a reduction in fees. May premium in paying forward," Recto said.

He said adjusting existing pollution checks before a car can be registered will have to be made once the life of a car registration is lengthened by law.

"Kaya ang gusto natin ay find the sweet spot that will lengthen the effectivity without sacrificing safety and roadworthiness," Recto said.

Recto describes the LTO, which issues the permits, "as one big government cash machine."

In 2013, its income rose to P17.2 billion, or a 17 percent jump from the P14.7 billion it earned in 2012.

The reason, Recto explained, can be traced to the steady increase in the number of motor vehicle registrations, from 7,138,000 in 2011 to 7,690,038 in 2013.

"Simply put, more than half-a-million vehicles were added in two years," Recto said.

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