Buying a second-hand or used vehicle can be a great way to get on the road without the hefty price tag of a brand-new vehicle. But, how do you know a pre-owned vehicle is everything it was chalked up to be in the online ad?
The first thing you need to check when buying a used vehicle is its history. You wanna make sure that it’s clean and has not been tagged by LTO as a hot car or carnapped.
By verifying the car’s plate number, you can also check if it has other records—like violations—in the LTO that you should be worried about.
Running a license plate lookup and plate number search in the Philippines can be done in 2 ways:
- SMS or text
- Online plate number verification
How to run a plate number lookup and search via SMS/text
The idea behind checking the plate number via SMS/text is that a vehicle’s license plate number is linked to its Motor Vehicle (MV) number.
Total Time: 10 minutes
Key in LTO<space>VEHICLE<space>Plate#
Using your mobile phone, just type-in LTO<space>VEHICLE<space>Plate#.
Example: LTO VEHICLE ABC123
Send it to 2600
Simply send it to 2600. Expect a system reply within 5 to 10 minutes.
The reply should have the following information:
- The plate number of the car
- Make and model
- Year model
- Date of registration
- Whether or not it has been tagged by LTO
This will work if you are a Globe, Smart, and Sun Cellular network user and would cost you Php 2.50 per text message.
Important things to note
- The SMS verification of a private car vehicle is particularly useful in the case of police or military checkpoints. Just show them the message reply.
- This only works for private vehicles. LTO hasn’t verified if the SMS verification of plate number works on taxis, trucks, motorcycles, and tricycles.
- Only works during office hours on weekdays.
Check plate number using online plate number verification
If you prefer to check a vehicle’s history online, then you can use LTO’s online plate number verification:
Just enter the 15-digit Motor Vehicle (MV) number written on the top-left side of your certificate of registration.