‘Doble Plaka Law’ IRR Is Out—Here Are The Details

5 min. read By eCompareMo on

On March 28, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2019 into law. And because of its “discriminatory” take on riders—especially with the push for license plates placed both in front and behind the motorcycle—it earned the infamous “doble plaka” law moniker. But we’re not here to discuss the good or bad side of the law. It’s too late for that.

More than a year since then, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) finally released the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 11235.

Ready to find out what awaits all motorcycle owners? Ride along as we discuss how various government agencies will execute the infamous Doble Plaka law.

Owner registration and transfer of ownership

For brand-new motorcycles purchased locally, owners or dealers must register the unit within five days from the indicated date on the sales invoice. Meanwhile, buyers of imported motorcycle have the same deadline based on the date on their certificate of stock reported.

If you decide to buy a used motorcycle from another person, you have three days to provide the LTO a copy of the notarized deed of sale or any other document proving that you are now the owner of the motorcycle. Furthermore, you should submit the said documents to the LTO branch where the registration was last made.

Failure to register or report your transfer of ownership within the given time will result in arresto mayor (imprisonment from one to six months) or prison correccional (up to six years), a fine between ₱20,000 and ₱50,000, or both.

Doble Plaka Law version 2.0

Yes, it’s still a “doble plaka” law because it mandates riders to install two license plates. But hear us out first.

You know the initial plans where riders must install a metal front plate slightly above the headlights? The government is ditching that. Instead, they have to use an adhesive decal version of the license plate, which will be installed by placing it on the front side.

The LTO will also change the dimensions of the motorcycle license plate. Originally, plates for two-wheeled vehicles use the 228.6mm x 108mm, with the plate number using a 90px font size. Under RA 11235, the rear metal plate will “made from aluminum substrate material” and must be 235mm x 135mm. Meanwhile, the decal sticker plate will follow these dimensions: 135mm in width and 85mm in height.

For the plate color, motorcycles will follow same color-coding scheme used by four-wheel vehicles:

  • Private vehicles: White background and black characters (with color stripes based on region of registration)
  • Public vehicles: Yellow background and black characters
  • Government vehicles: White background and red characters
  • Diplomatic vehicles: White background and blue characters

To easily identify which region the motorcycle is registered, the LTO will use the following color stripes:

  • Cordillera Administrative Region: Pink stripe located at the top of the license plate
  • Region I: Green stripe located at the top of the license plate
  • Region II: Red stripe located at the top of the license plate
  • Region III: Blue stripe located at the top of the license plate
  • Region IV-A: Purple stripe located at the top of the license plate
  • Region IV-B: Orange stripe located at the top of the license plate
  • Region V: Gray stripe located at the top of the license plate
  • Region VI: Purple stripe located at the bottom of the license plate
  • Region VII: Orange stripe located at the bottom of the license plate
  • Region VIII: Green stripe located at the bottom of the license plate
  • Region IX: Red stripe located at the bottom of the license plate
  • Region X: Gray stripe located at the bottom of the license plate
  • Region XI: Blue stripe located at the bottom of the license plate
  • Region XII: Brown stripe located at the bottom of the license plate
  • Caraga Administrative Region: Pink stripe located at the bottom of the license plate

Motorcycle registry

The LTO will be in charge of maintaining a “registry of motorcycles” that will be easily accessible “for the official investigation and law enforcement purposes.” Under the law, entities with special access to the registry will see the following information:

  • Owner name
  • Driver’s license number
  • Address and contact details
  • Identification numbers such as engine/motor, chassis, and vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Motor vehicle file number
  • Plate number
  • Make and model
  • Body color

Penalties and offenses you must know under the ‘Doble Plaka Law’

Failure to register or report your transfer of ownership within the given time will result in arresto mayor (imprisonment from one to six months) or prison correccional (up to six years), a fine between ₱20,000 and ₱50,000, or both.

Now for the dreaded part, owners of motorcycles used to commit any crime under the Revised Penal Code will be just as liable as the people found guilty of the said crime. In addition, the government will seize the motorcycle and take ownership of it until the owner is found not guilty.

Two-wheeled rides without a license plate will also receive a stiff penalty of imprisonment up to six years, payment of up to ₱100,000, or both. In addition, the motorcycle will be impounded by the police and retrieval is only possible upon showing proof of ownership, payment of penalties and cost of seizure, and license plates. 

Lost or damaged plates must be reported within 24 hours to the Joint LTO and PNP Operations and Control Center. In addition, the owner must submit a notarized affidavit to the LTO within 72 hours of reporting to the police. They will be given the form to replace their lost or damaged plate and provisional authority to allow them to use temporary plates until the new one arrives. Not doing this within the said time period will set you back by up to ₱50,000. 

Erasing, tampering, and forging of plates will be met with imprisonment of up to 12 years, a maximum fine of ₱100,000, or both. Intentionally buying and selling fake plates is a sure way to get up to 12 years in prison while those who unknowingly do those will be jailed for only up to six months. 

For some good news, officers who will not be able to surrender your sequestered motorcycle to the impounding center within 24 hours will face administrative charges. Meanwhile, if they damage your ride while it is under their custody, they are liable to pay you the full amount of your bike.

Too harsh?

Based on the detail of the IRR, it seems like the bike owners have a lot of things to worry about. Fortunately, the rules can be changed one year after its implementation, thanks to the provision that requires the government to form a Congressional Oversight Committee.

The group, which will be composed by five members from both the House of Representatives and Senate, will be helmed by Senate Committee on Justice and the House Committee on Transportation. Their main task to review RA 11235 is to review the penalties under the IRR and make the necessary changes if they find certain provisions too harsh.

Are you ready for the stricter rules under the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act?

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