Why stolen Philippine license plates can be a real pain

Listening to: My Wish by Rascal Flatts

So I’m back from a one-day hiatus to file my papers for a duplication of license plates since my original set was stolen. Suffice it to say that, well, government has improved, but only in baby steps.

My day started out at around 830AM by getting a Community Tax Certificate at the local barangay hall. This didn’t take long, although declaring my real income (as opposed to most people’s declaring a false, lower salary) in September 2006 as opposed to early 2006, resulted in a disproportionate amount of money paid over to the government.

I then drove to the Land Transportation Office (LTO)’s main office and parked inside at around 9AM. I then secured myself an affidavit of loss at a notary public near the LTO offices. Since the car was in Cathy’s name, the affidavit was in her name, but with mine as representative. Cost: Php150.

After that, I returned to the LTO main office, where I was sent on a tour of their offices in search of this signature and that signature. I respected the process, though, and saw why we had to do what we had to do (Smoke Belching unit on the 3rd floor of the building, to see if my license plate was confiscated for smoke belching; Plate Retention Unit to see if my license plate was confiscated for some other offense, like illegal parking).

After all the papers were processed, at around 10AM (Cost Php98.00), I thought I was done, but it turns out that I needed Cathy’s signature on the affidavit of loss. I had to drive back home to secure her signature. Oi vey. Got back to the LTO by 1130AM in time for the gentleman at window 19 to approve it and send me to the LTO Manila East branch in Sta. Mesa to begin processing of the license plate duplication because that’s where Toyota got my license plates made in the first place. From East Avenue to Sta. Mesa. You can imagine.

I drove through at Burger King (terrible meal, blech) and arrived at the LTO Manila East branch at around 120PM, after 50 minutes of searching for the office (two jeepney drivers and one MMDA cop had no idea). When I stepped inside to file my papers, I was told I was missing one step – a Motor Vehicle Inspection Report – that had to be done at the LTO Main Office – along East Avenue. Where I just came from. After a mild rant (I made it a point not to lose my temper at any point during the process), I had to do what I had to do.

So I drove back to the LTO Main Office and waited my turn for the MVIS processing and for a licensed gentleman to stencil my car (Tip Php30). The MVIS processing had me done by 345PM. Rushing back to the LTO Manila East branch, I arrived at around 430PM and submitted my papers. I paid the cost of duplicate licenses and miscellaneous fees (Cost Php460), then waited an hour (photocopied some papers for file, total cost Php30. I had my papers ready by 545PM.

Total cost of doing everything, not including CTC, lunch and gasoline: Php770. Now you know. :)

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