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Know Your Rights When You Get Apprehended by a Traffic Enforcer

There are some cases when it’s really your fault–or you’re just at the wrong place at the wrong time. But whatever the case, it’s a familiar scenario: You’ll suddenly see a traffic officer suddenly spring from behind you like a stalking beast, waiting to pounce on you without hesitation.

MMDA officer manning the streets

Of course, you might get defensive like a trapped prey and fight with the officer–which is a big mistake. Remember that discourtesy is considered a violation as well, and you may need to pay P150 on top of other penalty fees that they’ll charge against you.

Whatever the case, it’s always important to remember that you still have your rights in case a traffic enforcer (or an MMDA officer) tells you to pull over. Don’t just blindly follow what they say; instead, know what your rights are, and use them when needed. Here are the things you should keep in mind when you get apprehended by a traffic enforcer*:

1) You have the right to withhold your license until the traffic enforcer tells you the specific reason/s why he’s confiscating it–and your ticket’s validity.

Still, keep in mind that you do need to give your license for confiscation in case you really violated a law. If you refuse to surrender it, then the traffic officer has the right to take out your plate, instead (pursuant to Section 74 & 75, MC 89-105).

MMDA officer apprehending driver

2) You have the right to say “no” when an MMDA officer asks you to step out of the car.

Traffic Enforcers are not allowed to do this while the apprehension is taking place.

Traffic enforcer apprehending driver

3) You have the right to tell them to stop “ganging up” on you.

MMDA Enforcers are not allowed to group together when they are apprehending you. In fact, they’re not even allowed to stand together in groups of two, except when they’re arresting groups of colorum (out-of-line) or smoke-belching buses.

Traffic enforcers

4) You have the right to ask them for their mission order.

Each Traffic Enforcer has his/her own written mission order that’s issued by the MMDA Central Administration.

Their mission order contains the following:

  • Area of responsibility
  • Time of duty
  • Official function
  • Whether they’re authorized to issue tickets
MMDA officers issuing a ticket to taxi driver

5) You have the right to question why you’re being apprehended by the Traffic Enforcer and/or even refuse to give up your driver’s license especially if–

  • You weren’t involved in any traffic accident
  • You have not accumulated three or more unsettled violations
  • You haven’t violated any of these traffic laws**:

         –Using motor vehicle in commission of crime

         -Undue preference/unjust discrimination

         -Tampering of OR/CR/CPC & other documents (spurious documents)

         -Tampered taximeter seal

         -Tampered sealing wire

         -Skipping or bypassing designated OBR terminals or loading bays (for 2nd offense)

         -Refusal to render service to public (Taxis and Public Utility Vehicles)

         -Refusal to convey passengers to destination/trip-cutting (Taxis and Public Utility Vehicles)


         -Overcharging (with or without conductor) (for the 2nd offense)

         -Out of line operation

         -Operating on contractual basis

         -No driver’s ID

         -Joined/reconnected sealing wire

         -Illegal transfer of plates/tags/stickers

         -Illegal or unauthorized counter-flow

         -Ignoring Organized Bus Route (OBR) interval timers (for 2nd offense)

         -Flagged up meter

         -Fast/defective/non-operational/tampered taxi meter

         -Fake/altered taximeter seal

         -Fake/altered sealing wire

         -Fake driver’s license

         -Driving against traffic

         -Colorum operation (cargo/passenger vehicle)

         -Broken taximeter seal

         -Broken sealing wire

         -Allowing another person to use driver’s license

Traffic enforcer apprehending bus driver

6) You have the right to say “no” when they hint of taking bribes from you.

There are some unscrupulous traffic enforcers who think they can get away with taking bribes from you, especially since they know there are some who are desperate enough to pay their way out of their offenses.

Traffic enforcer in the Philippines

7) When giving you your TVR (Traffic Violation Receipt), you have the right to complain to the officer why they’re not issuing this to you in proper uniform and visible nameplate.

They should only be wearing the official MMDA uniform, with a visible nameplate pinned on them. Here’s what they should look like:

MMDA officers in official uniform
MMDA officers

Or when in action, they should look like this:

MMDA officer on a motorcycle
MMDA officers on the streets

8) You have the right to present any of the following as a valid driver’s license:

  • ID Plastic Card
  • DLR / Temporary Driver’s License
  • TOP (Temporary Operator’s Permit)
  • International Driver’s License
  • Foreign License

9) You have the right to ask for the name of the Traffic Enforcer and submit a letter of complaint in case the traffic enforcer has violated any of the rights mentioned here.

You should address it to the Traffic Adjudication Board (TAB) within 5 days after the apprehension.

Its address: MMDA Bldg. EDSA cor. Orense St. Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City

MMDA officer arrested

10) In case the two of you get in a heated argument, you have the right to call the MMDA Hotline 136, or the Metrobase at 0917-527-7304.

You can ask them to send inspectors to go to the place where the argument is taking place for proper investigation.

MMDA officers and a driver

11) You also have the right to e-mail your complaints against erring Traffic Enforcers to the MMDA thru

You are required to include full details of the incident (include photos or videos whenever possible) so they can attend promptly on that matter.

Here’s a Final Note for You

Don’t forget  that MMDA officers are also human. Keep this in mind the next time you feel like lashing out all of your frustration or anger against them.

MMDA officer, traffic enforcer


*You can visit the MMDA’s site to know more about your rights.

**The above-mentioned administrative violations also require a minimum of 2 hours seminar (for the drivers) at the Traffic Academy.

However, any driver who has committed three (3) or more unpaid violations, whether administrative or moving, shall also be subject to attending seminars, whose length shall be based on the results of the diagnostic exam (exam that will determine the contents of the seminar progress), which will be administered by the Agency.

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  1. Anonymous
    December 21, 2017 at 11:38 am — Reply

    I think nowadays the MMDA has been able to minimize “kotong” and wrong apprehensions. Our bigger problem nowadays are the city traffic enforcers and each city has a different set of traffic rules and procedures on retrieving our licenses. Hope you could feature an article regarding how to deal with these city traffic enforcers as well.

    • Yoda
      March 5, 2018 at 6:04 pm — Reply

      I agree

      • March 5, 2018 at 6:48 pm — Reply

        Hi Guys,
        I’ll be writing an article about this soon. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

        • Jean Peter T. Paredes
          June 16, 2019 at 12:45 pm — Reply

          6) You have the right to say “no” when they hint of taking bribes from you.

          Should be You Should NEVER allow yourself to bribe a government employee. basically, YOU have NO right to say “YES” when they hint of taking bribes from you. it is against the law.

        • Jay
          June 20, 2019 at 5:01 am — Reply

          Is there any penalties for unsettled traffic violation aside from you’re not allowed to renew your license or car registration?

  2. Marco
    April 4, 2018 at 12:25 pm — Reply

    This is really helpful. I really appreciate the current administration of the Philippines. Kudos Duterte, & MMDA.

  3. John Cruz
    May 22, 2018 at 2:15 am — Reply

    Can an MMDA officer take a video of you ? I was really angry when an mmda apprehended me and one of his colleague took a video of me I feel violated for them doing that 🙁

    • May 22, 2018 at 10:02 am — Reply

      Hi John,
      Yeah, that can be a bummer. 🙁

      I’m not really sure about this, but in my opinion, they can. According to the Anti-Wiretapping Law, it can only be a violation if it’s a private communication. If yours happened in a public place, and you are within the earshot of a third person or someone who is a stranger to the conversation, it’s not private.

      Still, it would be best to directly inquire with LTO to clarify this.

  4. Gudo
    June 18, 2018 at 9:02 pm — Reply

    Legit po ba pag ang manila traffic enforcer ay tiniketan nya ako pero ang kinuha lang yung papel na temporary drivers license at Hindi mismo yung drivers licence card ko,besides meron pa nakasulat dun sa temporary paper drivers licence na released na ang license card ko.

    • June 18, 2018 at 9:11 pm — Reply

      Hi Gudo,
      I’m not sure with this. Better kung i-clarify mo with MMDA.

  5. Jash
    June 21, 2018 at 11:56 am — Reply

    Do you have pedestrian violation and how much is the fine ?

  6. jocas
    July 14, 2018 at 4:48 am — Reply

    hi po pg nahuli ka b dahil s violation n nkita nila sau pero may iba p cla ncheck n violation mo pwde b nila idagdag un s violation mo un lng n nkita nila n violation kaya ka naaprehend kz d nmn nila mlalaman iba mo violation if hindi ka nila inapprehend dahil s una mong violation db,

    example po: ung violation mo is beating the red light kaya ka nila inapprehend tas makikita nila n nka tsinelas or hindi nka seatbelt or paso rehistro or paso lisensya pwde po b nila idagdag s violation un?,

    • July 17, 2018 at 10:44 am — Reply

      Hi Jocas,
      I think ang makakasagot talaga niyan taga-MMDA. Personally, tingin ko pwede idagdag–kasi violation eh. Pero it would be best to clarify this with an MMDA traffic enforcer para sure ka talaga. 🙂

      • Jesus asuncion mabulac
        April 11, 2019 at 6:27 am — Reply

        Hi cheryl , one time na apprehend ako ng coding then after showing the car registration xerox copy ( since its not a compulsory to bring on the car the original O,.R. & C.R. for safe keeping as far as i know if i’m correct) because the enforcer demanded it , he see that the car is not mine but with updated registration. After seing the car registration & he notice that my name is not the owner ,he demanded the Original C.R & O.R. ,now i ask , is there any Violation of Driving a Vehicle having updated Car registration & Owner registration Xerox copy?

        • April 12, 2019 at 8:50 am — Reply

          Hi Jesus,
          There’s no violation involved here. A photocopy of the car’s registration is allowed for as long as it’s updated.

          This is according to Article 3, Section 15 of Republic Act No. 4136

  7. harry kane
    July 16, 2018 at 5:03 pm — Reply


  8. eduardo aviles
    October 27, 2018 at 2:01 pm — Reply

    Hi po..magkano po tubos sa no plate.nakalagay po failure to attach LTO issued temp.plate number.hind ko po alam magkano companya po kasi ung gamit ko.pinagamit po kahit no plate.salamat po

  9. Emily
    November 18, 2018 at 5:43 am — Reply

    My brother was iaaued tvr by a local traffic enforcer. Got his lic and said 5days to claim and pay penalty in manila xitu hall. Only two cars were allowed to pass on a go light after waiting for more than 3mins. How much do we pay. Salamat

  10. stan
    November 20, 2018 at 12:47 pm — Reply

    hi mmda, mag nag renew po ako license kahapon. pero sabi may pending aprehension pa daw ako sa mmda. pano po yun? hindi ko po tanda nahuli ako mmda. kasi hindi naman po ako nag ddrive sa manila. wala po din ako ticket. paano ko po malalaman case ko at magkno babayaran. at saan pwede bayaran na hindi na po ako pupunta sa office nyo sa manila. taga laguna pa po kasi ako. sana mag reply po kayo agad. salamat.. mabuhay…

  11. January 12, 2019 at 4:32 pm — Reply

    Hola, encontre tu sitio web a traves de Google mientras buscaba un tema relacionado, aparecio su sitio web, se ve muy bien. Lo he marcado en mis marcadores de google.

  12. C. Sanchez
    March 1, 2019 at 6:31 pm — Reply

    what are our rights for us who live in the visayas or mindanao?

    • March 7, 2019 at 4:50 pm — Reply

      Hi Ms. Sanchez,
      As far as I’m concerned, this law applies to the entire country–including Visayas and Mindanao.
      Not sure about this, though. I could be wrong, so this needs further validating.

  13. Arvin Doria
    April 12, 2019 at 5:30 am — Reply

    Hi Mam,

    I got apprehended by an MMDA Enforcer sometime in September 2018. They asked for my driver’s license and I explained myself to the officer. After few minutes, I was cleared by the enforcer and no ticket was issued to me.

    Just this April, I was about to renew my license and the LTO stopped me because they said I have a traffic violation with the MMDA. Then after verification, I found out that the same violation from September 2018 was put on me, and there’s a ticket with them showing that I refused to sign.

    Mam, what can I do with this situation. I cannot proceed with my renewal and for me I don’t need to settle the alleged violation now because I already cleared myself with the enforcer way back September 2018.

    Hoping for your advise. Thank you.

    • April 12, 2019 at 9:02 am — Reply

      Hi Arvin,
      Honestly, having no ticket issued is a weak defense, since you don’t have any proof to show the MMDA that you really were cleared by the enforcer way back in September.

      If your name is reflected in LTO’s “verification system”, then it means you’re not officially cleared from your violation. I think the best and easiest way to get out of this rut is to settle or pay the fine so you can renew your license as soon as possible. Otherwise, the process will drag on and on, and will delay your license renewal.

      Good luck renewing your license. 🙂

  14. Denchong D.
    October 15, 2019 at 10:32 pm — Reply

    hi, magkano po ba ang babayaran ko para sa no u-turn. nahuli po kasi ako sa pasig kahit wala naman nakalagay na no u-turn sa part na un…

    sana po masagot nyo ang tanong ko..

    maraming salamat po…

  15. pacifico tecson
    January 16, 2020 at 5:10 am — Reply

    sa amin pung baryo may paniket ang barangay traffic enforcers na ang nakalagay na letterhead ay office of the barangay captain at puru walang helmet ang hinuhuli….at napakataas ng fine 1000 …allowed po ba itu ng batas…may sapat na training po ba na required ang traffic ebforcer o sapat na pinag aralan tungkol sa traffic laws

  16. virnie v. opalda
    January 21, 2020 at 8:00 pm — Reply

    hi mam great day,

    I read the article written above and it gave me an idea for right process of issuing (TAV) to the traffic violators, I encountered earlier a traffic violation, because i’m not particular to the location, that’s why, I suddenly entered in the particular street, I saw group of enforcer ahead. Then suddenly one of the enforcer gave me TAV, for my violation of one way traffic, but I said that I had a receipt for my violation a day before and already paid in municipal treasurer’s office, the police told me before, that my ticket violation receipt shall be valid for 5 days after thedate of penalty.

    my problem is the TAV issued for me has an alliteration and already cover of 5 days validity in my previous receipt.

    question: shall I pay for my violation even the TAV issued has alliteration and cover by my previous receipt?

    hoping for your favorable response

    thank you po,,
    god bless

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