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 has no record of apprehension and has not been tagged by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as a hot car or carnapped.
By running an LTO plate number check, you can see the car’s records—like violations—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
LTO plate number check via text
This only works for private vehicles and only works during office hours on weekdays. LTO hasn’t confirmed if the SMS verification of a plate number works on taxis, trucks, motorcycles, and tricycles.
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.
The SMS or text verification of a private car vehicle is particularly useful in the case of police or military checkpoints. Just show them the message reply.
Online plate number tracker
If you prefer to check a vehicle’s history online, then you can use LTO’s online plate number verification and tracker:
Just enter the 15-digit Motor Vehicle (MV) number written on the top-left side of your certificate of registration. But for some reason, the site is always not online.