LTO to issue new series of license plates in mid-2013

Starting June or July, transportation authorities may issue a new series of license plates with an added digit and safety features to motorists, motorcyclists and public utility vehicle drivers.

The Land Transportation Office said it has started the process of sending invitations to bid to prospective manufacturers, according to a report on "State of the Nation."

Covered by the new series of license plates are some 7.7 million registered vehicles in the country. Of these, 53 percent are motorcycles.

License plates for motor vehicles will now have three control letters and four digits such as LTO-1234, while motorcycle plates will have two control letters and five digits such as AA-12345.

Plates for public utility vehicles will have three control letters and four digits plus their routes.

Also, the new plates will have safety features such as a laser-engraved logo at the back of the plate, and a bar code to check if the plates match vehicles they are assigned to.

But LTO head Virginia Torres said one major security feature is a plate lock that renders the license plate unusable if one tries to forcibly remove it.

"Wala na rin makakanakaw ng plaka kasi meron itong plate lock. 'Pag ninakaw ito, hindi ito pakikinabangan kasi sira na ang plaka," she said. —KG, GMA News

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