Everything you need to know about car title transfer in the Philippines

Everything you need to know about car title transfer in the Philippines

With the emergence of more organised selling platforms, the used car market in the Philippines is growing at a faster pace. While used cars are not as fascinating as brand-new cars, they have their own set of advantages such as lower pricing, lower registration fees, lower insurance costs, as well lower depreciation rates. Buying a used car can be a smart investment for many reasons, but one crucial aspect that buyers must not overlook during the purchase process is vehicle ownership transfer.

Here’s your go-to guide on car title transfer Philippines, where we break down all the essential information you need to know about this process. But, before diving into it, let’s know some basics.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) transfer of ownership refers to the legal process of transferring the title or ownership of a vehicle from one person to another. This typically occurs when a vehicle is sold or transferred to a new owner. The LTO in the Philippines oversees this process and ensures that all necessary documents and requirements are met to facilitate a smooth transfer.

The responsibility of title transfer for second-hand cars can be handled by the seller or buyer in the Philippines. However, in most cases, the new owner undertakes the car ownership transfer process and coordinates with the previous owner for necessary documents. Notably, it's essential to complete this process promptly to avoid any legal or financial liabilities associated with the vehicle.

Now, let’s jump into the process of transferring vehicle ownership.

LTO Transfer of Ownership Process in the Philippines

LTO Transfer of Ownership Process in the Philippines

Step 1: Obtain clearance from the PNP-HPG

Before initiating the transfer of vehicle ownership in the Philippines, getting a Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate from the Philippine National Police - Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) is essential. This certificate verifies that the vehicle is not reported as stolen or wanted. 

You can apply for MV clearance at any PNP-HPG satellite station, some of which are conveniently located within LTO offices. Alternatively, you can visit the PNP-HPG main headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. The documents required to obtain this certificate include -

  • Completed PNP Motor Vehicle Clearance application form
  • Notarized Deed of Sale or Writ of Execution from the court
  • LTO Certificate of Registration (CR) and Official Receipt (OR)
  • Tax identification number (TIN) of the original and new owner
  • Physical Inspection Report or Macro-Etching Examination from HPG and Crime Lab
  • Two valid IDs of the original and new owner

Everything you need to know about car title transfer in the Philippines

Note: Some additional documents may be required depending on the vehicle's situation. These include - Cancellation/release/assumption of Chattel Mortgage from the Registry of Deeds (in case of mortgaged vehicles), Secretary's Certificate (in case of vehicles acquired from a company/corporation) and Special Power of Attorney (in case the vehicle is sold through a representative).

The process of obtaining a Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate is as follows:

  • Submit all required documents at the nearest PNP-HPG office and pay the clearance fees at any LANDBANK branch. The total fee is Php 500 - Php 300 for the transfer of ownership and Php 200 for the physical inspection.
  • Complete the necessary forms and action slips provided by the PNP-HPG. 
  • After all these formalities, your vehicle will undergo a physical inspection and macro-etching examination. 
  • Once these steps are completed, you'll receive a claim stub indicating when you can collect your clearance certificate. 
  • You can visit the PNP-HPG office to claim your certificate within seven working days.

Step - II: Prepare supporting documents according to LTO transfer requirements

After obtaining clearance from the PNP-HPG, it’s time to prepare the supporting documents required to initiate the transfer of ownership. The list of documents include - 

  • Notarized Deed of Sale 
  • Original LTO Certificate of Registration (CR) or Certificate of Registration Encumbered (CRE), and Official Receipt (OR)
  • Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate along with macro-etching report and special bank receipt
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) received by the Motor Vehicle Inspection Center at the LTO District Office or Extension Office at the PNP Motor Vehicle Inspection Area
  • Insurance Certificate of Cover (COC) mentioning that the vehicle is covered under a valid CTPL policy
  • Certificate of Emission Compliance (CEC) issued by any Private Emission Testing Center 
  • Photocopy of valid Government IDs

Everything you need to know about car title transfer in the Philippines

Step III: Head to the LTO branch and go to the transaction counter

Once you have all the required documents, file a vehicle transfer request at the LTO branch where the vehicle was originally registered. If the CR is held at the LTO main office in Quezon City, you can transfer registration to any LTO branch. You need to bring the vehicle to the LTO office and submit all required documents at one of the transaction counters for evaluation and fee computation. 

Step IV: Actual inspection of the vehicle

Following document submission, your vehicle will undergo a thorough inspection by the LTO. This examination includes emissions testing conducted at an LTO-certified Private Emission Testing Center (PETC). The authorised inspector will assess your vehicle and ensure its roadworthiness and compliance with emissions standards. 

Step V: Pay LTO transfer of ownership fee

Upon successful completion of the inspection, you can proceed to pay the LTO transfer of ownership fee. This typically ranges from Php 530 to Php 680. Once the fee is settled, you will get an official receipt as confirmation of payment.

Step VI: Get the new Certificate of Registration (CR) 

Now, you can proceed to the Releasing Counter and present your official receipt (OR) to collect the new Certificate of Registration (CR), plates, and stickers. These documents signify that the vehicle has been successfully transferred under the new owner's name. Ensure that you verify all details on the CR and plates before leaving the LTO office.

FAQs related to car title transfer in the Philippines

What are the consequences of driving a vehicle without proper ownership transfer?

Driving without proper ownership transfer may result in fines, penalties, or even impoundment of the vehicle.

Is it necessary to have a notarized Deed of Sale for vehicle transfer ownership?

Yes, a notarized Deed of Sale is necessary. It should include details such as the parties involved, vehicle description, sale price, and acknowledgement of payment.

What is the cost of notarization for a car's deed of sale?

Notarization for a car's deed of sale typically costs Php 450.

How can I get a Release of Chattel Mortgage if my car is encumbered?

You can get a Release of Chattel Mortgage from your nearest Registry of Deeds after paying a bank processing fee of Php 500 and a chattel mortgage processing fee of approx Php 980.

What should I do if I lose my original CR?

First, get a notarized affidavit stating the loss or damage of the original CR and then apply for a duplicate one at the originating LTO office.

Do's and Don'ts of Car Title Transfer in the Philippines

Do's and Don'ts of Car Title Transfer in the Philippines

Summing up

Transferring the title of a car in the Philippines can be a straightforward process if you understand the legal requirements and procedures involved. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can complete it smoothly and enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your ownership is legally documented and recognized.

Also read: Why Should You Buy a Certified Pre-owned Car?

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