lto classification of three-wheelers

New LTO Classification of Three-Wheelers

New LTO Classification of Three-Wheelers. On the 20th November 2020, LTO released Memorandum Circular 2020-2227 which declared that L5 Symmetrically arranged Three-Wheeled Vehicles (TWV) would no longer be incorrectly registered as Motorcycle with Sidecar and would be registered correctly as Three-Wheeled Vehicles.

The registration fees on a three-wheeled vehicle would be the same as a Car-Light Motor Vehicle, so you will be paying more for your registration, but with the benefit of less restrictions.

Don’t Celebrate too Soon

While the LTO Classification of Three-Wheelers is a move in the right direction the battle is not over by a long way.

The reason it is not over is LTO went on to say

Considering that specifications of these types of vehicles have advanced through time, operation of these vehicles along secondary national highways may be allowed if there is no alternative route designated by Local Government Units, and shall take the outer most lane or the right most portion of the road. In addition with respect to powers of LGUs in relation to traffic management they may prohibit or allow the operation of these vehicles along roads within their jurisdiction.

The above is the reason it is not time to celebrate.

What do they mean by this? it comes across that they maybe insinuating that three-wheeled vehicles will not be allowed on Primary National Highways. However they have not said as much probably because LTO does not have the power to make laws it is just their job to enforce laws. So it probably means we are allowed on Primary National Highways

Wording it the way they have could well mean that enforcers will presume that three-wheelers are banned on Primary National Highways and drivers will still get harassed and ticketed by enforcers. And as most people just pay up and don’t appeal tickets it will carry on happening.

They then talk about alternative route designated by LGUs. It seems like they are presuming that all three-wheelers are for hire when in reality it seems from our research that 40% are private owners.

Then there is the fact that LGUs do not follow the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals which states when a vehicle is prohibited there shall be a prohibited road sign which should be a silhouette of the vehicle that is prohibited, it should be inside a red circle, the prohibited signs must be reflective or illuminated and placed at every intersection.

Because they do not put up prohibited signs drivers often are unaware that they are prohibited and end up getting tickets. If you get caught like this please appeal it as there being no prohibited signs is grounds for getting the ticket overturned and it is the only way they will learn they must follow the law.

Also they should signpost and clearly mark the alternative route.

Remember you will now be paying the same for registration as a small car it is only right that you get the same benefits.

Enforcers Will Still Stop Us

Now we have a correct LTO Classification of Three-Wheelers will enforcers still stop us?

I suspect they still will if there is one thing I have discovered from my dealings with enforcers is many do not know the law.

Many enforcers seem to have little understanding of the law do not keep up with changes to the law and just go by what is in their mind, for example it has three-wheels so it must be a tricycle.

The problem is they get away with handing out tickets for laws they do not understand because the majority of drivers pay the fine and do not appeal even if they know they have not broken the law.

The only way these enforcers will learn is by you appealing as shown by the appeal against a tricycle ban citation by an LTO enforcer.

Who to thank for the registration change?

We would mainly like to thank the owner that appealed to MMDA and the Attorneys of MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division, that declared the registration of Motorcycle with Sidecar was incorrect.
The fact that the MMDA appeal was on the 21st of October 2020, and LTO announced the change in registration on the 20th of November 2020, could just be a coincidence but I suspect it was a major reason for it.

Attorneys of MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division say the registration is wrong and 31 days later the registration is changed, and you can bet Attorneys of MMDA Traffic Adjudication Division contacted LTO about it.

Secondly I would like to thank all the owners that have worked on the research and all the ones that would never let the fact their vehicles were incorrectly registered be forgotten.

New LTO Classification of Three-Wheelers

File Name: MC-2020-2227.pdf

4 thoughts on “New LTO Classification of Three-Wheelers”

  1. avatar of george kuhn

    This is great news. But, as you said, many (most?) enforcers don’t know the law, don’t keep up with changes and just take the lazy way out and issue tickets. After a successful appeal, is there any automatic ramifications for the enforcer? If not, is there a system for making a formal complaint against the enforcer for illegally applying rules? If a few enforcers in each jurisdiction find themselves in hot water (even a verbal reprimand), word will get around and they will all figure it out.

    1. avatar of allanr

      I think if the enforcer gets reprimanded would depend on the area. Not sure about making a formal complaint but I would guess there is such a system.
      I have not looked into it but I suspect you could also put a case against them in court, which would probably be good as it would send out a message nationwide if it got publicity.

  2. avatar of randy uthe

    I would have hoped this would be more clear by now, but unfortunately it isn’t. I wanted to get my wife one of these in Lapu Lapu recently. Besides not even having the TVS King yet, they said they don’t know if they are allowed on the National Highways. I would blame this confusion, and lower demand, for them in general as I know it immediately turned my wife off to one; who was sketchy about it to begin with. She wants something she won’t get hassled on, besides taking it across the bridge and into Cebu. She wants something more than what she can putt putt around the barangay on. She defaulted back to the motorcycle/scooter route where she can go where she wants and easily go around other vehicles. Already we run into the issue of not being able to fit all the groceries or more than one to two people on motorcycles.

    These are obvious socio-cultural barriers to the tuk tuk type of vehicles ever getting any chance of higher demand and usage. In the end, she would rather deal with the space limitations of the motorcycle than the benefits of the tuk tuk. It’s a shame becasue they are a great alternative transportation for those that can’t afford cars….

    1. avatar of allan r

      Sadly, they do seem to look down on Three-Wheelers in the Philippines, and the understanding of the law from enforcers right to the top is very poor. I spent 3 years researching the law on them and had meetings with the former chief of LTO and he agreed that there is no law that prohibits them on national highways.
      When I have spoken to enforcers about this I discovered they had no idea how to read and interpret the law, they would jump to a few words and claim that made them correct, completely ignoring the definition of terms.

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