LTO Vehicle Modification Guide: Transforming your vehicle's body

LTO Vehicle Modification Guide

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) allows several types of vehicle modifications including colour, engine, chassis, and body changes. While we have already discussed the vehicle colour change application process and fee in detail, it is time now to move on to other modifications. This time we’ll be talking about car body modifications, though fewer owners go for these modifications, it is not a completely alien concept.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Can the LTO reclassify a modified vehicle?

    Yes, the LTO can reclassify the vehicle depending on the inspection and the scale of modification.
  • What does the term car modification mean?

    As per the LTO, a “physical change in the existing motor vehicle design” is referred to as car modification. However, it will be allowed given that the owner secures a Certificate of Road Safety from the car manufacturer.
  • Which LTO office shall I apply to for a body change?

    You can head to any LTO office nationwide to apply for a change in body. However, it is advisable to first call and check if this particular service is provided.
  • How many modifications can be done in a motor vehicle?

    Several, it’s just that all the changes shall be declared to the LTO via the filing procedure.
  • Understanding vehicle modification via body change

    It is a fact that very few vehicle owners in their entire ownership period will ever consider changing the vehicle’s body. However, it is not that unusual and therefore needs a bit of understanding.

    Now, whenever any change is made to the vehicle’s body that brings a shift to the original factory look and gives the unit a unique customized look is categorized under vehicle body change. These changes can be made via body kits and are mostly done to the parts that ensure the highest level of safety (for everyone outside and inside the vehicle). Some of the parts we are referring to include those attached to the vehicle’s -

    • Metal steel
    • Radiator grille
    • Shock-absorbing components
    • Windows
    • Roof
    • Trunk lid
    • Hood
    • Fenders
    • Doors

    Also Read: Want to buy a car? Here's a complete list of all associated costs

    Need for vehicle body modification

    • To improve the vehicle’s performance
    • For fun
    • To give the vehicle a distinct/unique identity

    No matter the reason, an owner should remember that there are certain parameters and standards about a vehicle's body change that shall be respected. Why? Well, that’s only to make sure that everyone on the road is safe and there is no harm to the environment.

    Advantages of vehicle body modification

    Benefits a vehicle owner enjoys through vehicle body modification, do not include any financial angle as was the case with colour change. The main advantage is mainly that the owner can transform the car as per his/her personal preference. Also depending on the changes, the vehicle becomes better at performance or safety.

    LTO standards for vehicle body change

    You might be surprised to learn that LTO’s standards for vehicle body change have been adopted from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) standard for motor vehicles. And not just the Philippines but several other ASEAN countries use UN-ECE standards for car modification as guidelines.

    But why does the LTO need to be informed about the changes made to the vehicle's body? Well, that’s because such vehicles need to be re-registered with the authority that will check whether or not the modifications made are safe and sound.

    Let us now discuss what LTO says about the eligibility, documentation, application process, and fees for change in the vehicle body.

    Eligibility

    Anyone can modify his/her car’s body given that the unit in question is registered with the LTO. However, to do so, they’ll first need to submit a few documents and pay a certain fee to the authorities.

    Requirement

    The re-registration process of a modified vehicle requires the submission of several documents at the LTO so that the authorities have the relevant information. So, do remember to carry along the following documents -

    • Certificate of Registration(CR)/ Certificate of Registration-Encumbered (CRE) with conformity from the financing company interposing no objection to body modification - Original & one photocopy
    • Philippine National Police - Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) Motor Vehicle
    • Clearance Certificate - Original
    • Special Bank Receipt
    • Macro-etching report
    • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (duly accomplished)
    • Appropriate insurance Certificate of Cover (COC)/ Endorsement of insurance - LTO Copy or electronically transmitted
    • Joint Affidavit of Change Body mentioning the source of body - Original
    • LTFRB electronic confirmation - for hire
    • Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
    • Original OR and CR of the latest payment
    • Original copy of sales invoice of body
    • Endorsement from the Insurance Company
    • Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR) duly accomplished
    • Clearance from Philippine National Police-Traffic Management Group (PNP-TMG)
    • Confirmation of Dealer’s Report from Regional Office/Registration Section

    Motor vehicle body change application process

    To change the body of a motor vehicle i.e., altering its classification from one class to another, the owner is required to first apply the LTO. Although the procedure remains mostly the same for different vehicle modifications, there is no harm in having a revision. So, here is a step-by-step procedure to go with the process.

    Step 1: Head to the nearest LTO office
    Step 2: Get yourself a queue number and wait for your turn
    Step 3: Proceed to the transaction counter when your queue number is announced
    Step 4: Submit the required documents for evaluation and computation of the fees
    Step 5: Get the motor vehicle inspected with MVIR (duly accomplished)
    Step 6: Proceed to the cashier window and wait for your turn
    Step 7: Pay the fee and get your Official Receipt
    Step 8: Proceed to the Releasing Counter
    Step 9: Present the OR at the releasing counter and collect your new Certificate of Registration, plates, stickers, and other documents
    Step 10: Before leaving, sign the CR logbook

    LTO colour change application fees

    Apart from submitting the necessary documents at the LTO, the applicant also needs to pay the necessary fees to be able to change the body of the vehicle. So, in addition to the usual car registration fees, the applicant needs to pay PHP 100 for motor vehicle body modifications.

    Things to know before changing your vehicle’s body

    • Any change made to the vehicle’s body affects its roadworthiness, therefore, it is advised to opt for a professional modification centre. This will help ensure that the vehicle clears the inspection at the LTO
    • No matter the degree of change in the body, it will be thoroughly checked by the authorities
    • Filing for a change in vehicle body can be done at any LTO office, extension or district office

    Bottom line

    Changing a vehicle’s body is a great way for an owner to express their personality via the machine. However, to ensure the roadworthiness of the modified version, the LTO needs to be informed first and inspect every new nut and bolt thoroughly. So, guys do not shy away from making changes and informing the same to the concerned authority.

    Also Read: LTO vehicle modification guide: Transforming your vehicle's colour

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