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DOTr, LTO Release Official Statement on “Modified Vehicles”

Following numerous complaints about the Land Transportation Office (LTO)–and more recently, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)–suddenly apprehending 4×4 vehicles for what the law enforcement officials are calling “illegal modifications” on “modified vehicles,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has stepped in to clarify the issue for the benefit of the aggrieved parties.

So for everyone’s benefit, here’s the joint–and unedited–statement released today by the DOTr and LTO for everyone’s guidance.


“On the alleged arbitrary apprehension of owners of modified vehicles

“The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is NOT arbitrarily and subjectively apprehending owners of modified vehicles.

“However, the LTO must implement the existing law.

“Modification of a motor vehicle was defined by Department Order No. 2010-32 dated 08 September 2010 with subject: Harmonization of Motor Vehicle (MV) Classifications of LTO and LTFRB.

“The DO is aligned with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE), the standard followed by other ASEAN countries.

“Section 5, Number 5.2 of the Order states: “The modifications involving safety and environment shall not be allowed, such as the following: Axle modification; Chassis modification; Extended chassis/body; Additional siding of dump trucks; Extended overhang; Change of rim size; Modification of handle bar and muffler; and Reconfiguration of body dimension and design.”

“Modification, or physical change in the existing motor vehicle design, is allowed provided a Certificate of Road Safety from the manufacturer can be presented by the owner, to prove that the modification will not compromise, in any way, safety. The same is also subject to inspection by the LTO for possible reclassification.

“Please note that tampering with the engine performance, drivetrain, suspension, wheels, and brakes of a vehicle, which are outside the approved parameters or its basic components, may affect its performance, and may compromise safety.

“On the other hand, enhancements to features and performance such as interior and exterior trimmings are allowed, for as long as the existing design of the vehicle is not compromised.

“The Department of Trade and Industry likewise came up with Philippine National Standards (PNS) to cover locally rebuilt vehicles such as jeepneys.

“The assumption that the LTO is focusing its resources on apprehending owners of modified vehicles is not fair. The Law Enforcement Unit of the LTO is out there on the road every day, apprehending ALL types of violators.

“As a matter of fact, only one modified vehicle has been impounded in the most recent operation held in NLEX, and the reason for it is because the vehicle is not currently registered.

“The DOTr-LTO appreciates the ongoing discussion on this matter, most prominently on social media. In the spirit of transparency and good governance, our doors are open for a dialogue where recommendations and suggestions may be presented and discussed, putting on topmost priority the safety and welfare of the public.”


From what we’ve gathered, based on DO 2010-32, while the LTO concedes that modifications to the brake system, steering wheel assembly, air conditioning system, suspension, and interior and exterior trimmings don’t necessarily warrant a change in a vehicle’s classification, it seems the following modifications to a vehicle are considered illegal:

  • Axle modification;
  • Chassis modification;
  • Extended chassis/body;
  • Additional sidings of dump trucks;
  • Extended overhang;
  • Change of rim size;
  • Modification of handle bar and muffler; and
  • Reconfiguration of body dimension and design.

Furthermore, all modified vehicles proven to have violated the guidelines set by the DO “shall be put ‘on alarm’ and may not be registered.”

So, it seems the drama is far from over as the issue extends well beyond the DOTr as it also involves the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Product Standards and the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council.

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  1. December 11, 2018 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    Ask ko lang po kung illegal modification po ung nakafullshifter.binili ko kce ung motor ko na napalitan ung shifter nya.. Salamat sa sagot

  2. armygruntjoe
    February 15, 2019 at 9:46 pm — Reply

    Change of rim size; Modification of handle bar and muffler

    Since I’ve driven hundreds of cars and motorcycles, tanks, and other large vehicles, both modified and unmodified…

    Can anyone show me the science behind the stupid idea that changing rim size harms performance? The amount of rubber you put on the road changes performance; the more, the better.

    Changing handlebars on a motorcycle? I can understand having a preference to not allow extreme ape-hangers, but that’s about it. Handlebars are changed all the time, depending on the size of the rider and his/her riding profile. All people are not the same size, so they will ride differently on the same motorcycle types.

    Muffler? I know there’s a preference for Filipinos to make their cute little micro-bikes louder. It DOES sound and look like a farting rat, but beyond that laughable cuteness, they are onto something more important. LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES!!! Most Filipinos cannot be bothered to use their mirrors and ram themselves 4-6 cars wide into a two-lane road, not moving for anyone else, and “I’m bigger than you, so I go first” always seems to rule for some reason. Motorcyclists have NO protection whatsoever, especially against the most retarded morons who somehow got their licenses from a fucking cereal box, so those loud pipes actually DO make a difference by letting other drivers know you are close.

    Personally, I put two 4″ waterproof speakers on my handlebars with a 600-watt amp under the back seat. If you cannot hear my cruiser coming, you’ll still have AC/DC shoved up your ass as I get ready to pass you.

    Common sense needs to control what laws are passed by a Congressional body approved to do so…not an arbitrary, knee-jerk law created by a certain few individuals who don’t seem to ride anyway. I see some common sense with part of the law, but motorcycle building and customization are a huge part of the motorcycle world and it is a huge business. Of course…stopping the building and customization would be big business and big money for other people, wouldn’t it?

    If building bikes, changing colors, and creating movable art is such a huge, world-ending problem, then perhaps motorcycle companies shouldn’t be selling their products to countries that do not appreciate them properly. After all, the Philippines doesn’t need the tourism or extra tax revenue that this can create, right?

    • BoatRage
      August 16, 2019 at 5:03 pm — Reply

      What are you ranting about? You said a lot about Filipinos but mostly incorrect. Have you even tried living in the Philippines Joe? Or you just wanted to brag about your own achievements and car modifications?

  3. Anonymous
    April 25, 2019 at 8:57 pm — Reply

    HOW ABOUT modification of seat stock to camel back??

  4. Peace Seeking Member of Society
    May 1, 2019 at 10:54 pm — Reply

    Oh my god, why are there no governing bodies implementing the ban of loud and noisy mufflers!?! Jeepneys, Tricycles, Motorbikes all competing which has the loudest muffler!

  5. Ian
    May 9, 2019 at 1:55 pm — Reply

    Is modifying a multicolor (car wrap) allowed in the philippines?

  6. August 29, 2019 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    wow cool designs and engines.. im enjoying watching it. thanks for this post i enjoy seeing it

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