Confiscation of plates, licenses questionable – LTO

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BAGUIO CITY – The detaching of license plate numbers of motor vehicles and the confiscation of driver’s licenses of violators of transportation and traffic law is questionable and illegal, an official of the Cordillera office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO-CAR) said here recently.

LTO-CAR regional director Francis Ray Almora said the plate number is the fixed identity of a motor vehicle while the driver’s license is the personal property of the individual purchased from his or her personal resources, thus, the same could not be detached from the vehicle or simply confiscated from his or per possession because of violation of transportation and traffic laws.

He added that even if the law enforcers, barangay officials, and other individuals are deputized, they are not allowed to detach the plate numbers of vehicles or confiscate the licenses of drivers violating transportation and traffic laws.

The LTO-CAR official claimed that despite the existence of local ordinances authorizing the detaching of plate numbers and confiscation of driver’s licenses, the same could not supersede the national law that prohibits such acts, thus, law enforcement agencies and local governments must start levelling up by directly linking with the LTO management system to be able to tag an alarm but not to remove an alarm.

According to him, the LTO is the depository of license plate numbers and driver’s licenses contrary to the prevailing practice that the same are being kept by the apprehending law enforcers and the local governments.

Director Almora explained that what is currently happening is that owners of motor vehicles whose license plates are detached and individuals whose licenses are confiscated because of violations simply declare the same as lost and apply for the issuance of the same that result to unclaimed plate numbers and licenses in the offices of law enforcers and local governments because of the absence of a link to the existing LTO management system for the tracking of violators.

He disclosed LTO personnel are no longer allowed to detach the plate numbers or confiscate the licenses of drivers violating transportation and traffic laws as they simply get the needed information from the concerned individuals and tag the same in the existing management information system that is why violators can not renew the registration of their vehicles without settling their accumulated fines.

Further, drivers with violations will now be subjected to the so-called demerit system where every committed violation has a corresponding point that will be deducted from a prescribed limit and that frequent violators cannot be issued a 10 year license or even face the revocation of the same.

Almora challenged law enforcement agencies and local governments to start linking up with the LTO management system and devise measures that will prevent them from detaching the plate numbers and confiscating the licenses of violators to avoid being placed into a difficult situation once motorists will be forced to file the appropriate charges against them.

By Hent

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