Commercial Law

REPUBLIC ACT No. 4136, Land Transportation and Traffic Code

Below is an outline of REPUBLIC ACT No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. The write-up provides information on basic registration and operation of motor vehicles and the licensing of owners, dealers, conductors, drivers, and similar matters.

Scope of Act. - The provisions of this Act shall control, as far as they apply, the registration and operation of motor vehicles and the licensing of owners, dealers, conductors, drivers, and similar matters.

REGISTRATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES

All motor vehicles and other vehicles must be registered.

(a) No motor vehicle shall be used or operated on or upon any public highway of the Philippines unless the same is properly registered for the current year in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(b) Any registration of motor vehicles not renewed on or before the date fixed for different classifications, as provided hereunder shall become delinquent and invalid:

1. For hire motor vehicles – on or before the last working day of February.

2. Privately-owned motor vehicles – from March one to the last working day of May.

3. All other motor vehicles – from June one to the last working day of June; except when the plates of such motor vehicles are returned to the Commission in Quezon City or to the Office of the Motor Vehicles Registrar in the provincial or city agency of the Commission on or before the last working day of December of the year of issue.

(c) Dealer’s reports – The Commissioner of Land Transportation shall require dealers to furnish him with such information and reports concerning the sale, importation, manufacture, number of stocks, transfer or other transactions affecting motor vehicles as may be necessary for the effective enforcement of the provisions of this Act.

(d) Change of motor number prohibited. – No repair or change in the motor vehicle involving the exchange, elimination, effacing, or replacing of the original or registered serial or motor number as stamped or imprinted, shall be allowed, and any motor vehicle with a trace of having its motor number altered or tampered with shall be refused registration or re-registration, unless such is satisfactorily explained and approved by the Commissioner.

(e) Encumbrances of motor vehicles. – Mortgages, attachments, and other encumbrances of motor vehicles, in order to be valid, must be recorded in the Land Transportation Commission and must be properly recorded on the face of all outstanding copies of the certificates of registration of the vehicle concerned.

Cancellation or foreclosure of such mortgages, attachments, and other encumbrances shall likewise be recorded, and in the absence of such cancellation, no certificate of registration shall be issued without the corresponding notation of mortgage, attachment and/or other encumbrances.

Records of encumbrances of motor vehicles shall be kept by the Land Transportation Commission in chronological sequence and shall contain, among other things, the time, date and number of the entry in a “Book of Motor Vehicles” referring to the creation, cancellation or foreclosure of the aforesaid mortgages, attachments or to other encumbrances.

The Land Transportation Commission shall collect a fee of five pesos for every annotation of a mortgage, attachment and/or other encumbrances, or cancellation thereof.

Registration Classification. - Every motor vehicle shall be registered under one of the following described classifications:

(a) private passenger automobiles; (b) private trucks; and (c) private motorcycles, scooters, or motor wheel attachments. Motor vehicles registered under these classifications shall not be used for hire under any circumstances and shall not be used to solicit, accept, or be used to transport passengers or freight for pay.

Laborers necessary to handle freight on board private trucks may ride on such trucks: Provided, That seats shall not be installed in the rear compartment thereof and that only such number of laborers, not exceeding ten, as may be needed to handle the kind of freight carried, shall ride on the truck: Provided, further, That the combined weight of cargo and passengers does not exceed the registered net capacity of the truck.

For the purpose of this section, a vehicle habitually used to carry freight not belonging to the registered owner thereof, or passengers not related by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree to such owner, shall be conclusively presumed to be “for hire.”

No person shall be allowed to register as private truck any truck not actually and reasonably necessary to carry out his duly licensed business or legitimate occupation or industry regularly paying taxes.

(d) Public utility automobiles; e) public utility trucks; (f) taxis and auto-calesas; (g) garage automobiles; (h) garage trucks; (i) hire trucks: and (j) trucks owned by contractors and customs brokers and customs agents. Application for registration under these classifications shall be accompanied by a certificate of public convenience or a special permit issued by the Public Service Commission, and motor vehicles registered under these classifications shall be subject to the Public Service Law, rules and regulations, as well as the provisions of this Act.

(k) Undertakes

(l) Dealers – Registrations under this classification are intended to cover generally and successively all the motor vehicles imported or handled by dealers for sale. Motor vehicles registered under the dealer’s classification shall, under no circumstances, be employed to carry passengers or freight in the dealer’s business, or for hire. Such vehicles shall be operated under this classification only for the purpose of transporting the vehicle itself from the pier or factory to the warehouse or sales room or for delivery to a prospective purchaser or for test or demonstration.

(m) Government automobiles; (n) government trucks; and (o) government motorcycles. Motor vehicles owned by the Government of the Philippines or any of its political subdivisions shall be registered under these classifications. Motor vehicles owned by government corporations, by government employees or by foreign governments shall not be registered under this classification.

(p) Tourists bringing their own motor vehicles to the Philippines may, without registering such motor vehicles, use the same during but not after ninety days of their sojourn: Provided, That the motor vehicle displays the number plates for the current year of some other country or state, and said number plates as well as the name and address (permanent and temporary) of the owner thereof are registered in the Land Transportation Commission prior to the operation of the motor vehicle.

If such tourist remain in the Philippines longer than ninety days, the motor vehicle shall not be operated unless registered in accordance with this Act and the corresponding registration fees paid.

(q) Special. The Commissioner of Land Transportation may, in his discretion, allow the registration under this classification of motor vehicles which do not conform to the foregoing described regular classification.

Permissible weights and dimensions of vehicles in highways traffic.

(a) The maximum gross weight and measurement of motor vehicles, unladen or with load, permissible on public highways shall be as specified hereunder, subject to such regulations as the Commissioner with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, may promulgate, from time to time, as the conditions of the public highways may warrant and the needs of the service may require.

Permissible maximum weights:

 

1. Per most heavily loaded wheel three thousand six hundred kilograms;
2. Per most heavily loaded axle eight thousand kilograms;
3. Per most heavily loaded axle group (the two axles of the group being at least one meter and less than two meters apart) fourteen thousand five hundred kilograms.

An axle weight shall be the total weight transmitted to the road by all the wheels the centers of which can be included between the parallel transverse vertical planes one meter apart extending across the full width of the vehicles.

No provincial, city or municipal authority shall enact or enforce any ordinance or resolution regulating or prescribing the maximum gross weight of any motor vehicle.

(b) No motor vehicle operating as a single unit shall exceed the following dimensions:

Overall width two and five-tenths meters

Overall height four meters

Overall length:

Freight vehicles with two axles ten meters

Passenger vehicles with two axles eleven meters

Vehicles with three or more axles fourteen meters

(c) No motor vehicle and/or trailer combination shall exceed eighteen meters in overall projected length, including any load carried on such vehicle and trailer.

(d) No articulated vehicles shall be allowed to draw or pull a trailer and no vehicle already drawing a trailer shall draw another.

Issuance of certificates of registration. - A properly numbered certificate of registration shall be issued for each separate motor vehicle after due inspection and payment of corresponding registration fees.

Use and authority of certificate of registration.

(a) The said certificate shall be preserved and carried in the car by the owner as evidence of the registration of the motor vehicle described therein, and shall be presented with subsequent applications for re-registration, transfer of ownership, or recording of encumbrances: Provided, That in lieu of the certificate of registration a true copy or photostat thereof may be carried in the motor vehicle.

(b) The certificate of registration issued under the provisions of this Act for any motor vehicle shall, while the same is valid and effective and has not been suspended or revoked, be the authority for the operation of such motor vehicle.

(c) No motor vehicle shall be operated on the public highways in a manner which would place it under a classification requiring the payment of a larger registration fee than that stated in the certificate of registration.

Suspension of registration certificate. - If on inspection, as provided in paragraph (6) of Section four hereof, any motor vehicle is found to be unsightly, unsafe, overloaded, improperly marked or equipped, or otherwise unfit to be operated, or capable of causing excessive damage to the highways, or not conforming to minimum standards and specifications, the Commissioner may refuse to register the said motor vehicle, or if already registered, may require the number plates thereof to be surrendered to him, and upon seventy-two hours notice to the owner of the motor vehicle, suspend such registration until the defects of the vehicle are corrected and/or the minimum standards and specifications fully complied with.

Whenever it shall appear from the records of the Commission that during any twelve-month period more than three warnings for violations of this Act have been given to the owner of a motor vehicle, or that the said owner has been convicted by a competent court more than once for violation of such laws, the Commissioner may, in his discretion, suspend the certificate of registration for a period not exceeding ninety days and, thereupon, shall require the immediate surrender of the number plates.

Whenever a motor vehicle is found to be underweight the owner thereof shall pay the difference in the registration fees corresponding to the shortage in weight plus a fifty per cent surcharge, and until such payment is made, the certificate of registration of the motor vehicle concerned shall be suspended by the Commissioner.

After two such suspension, re-registration of the vehicle concerned for one year may be denied.

Number plates, preparation, preparation and issuance of . -

(a) The Commissioner shall cause number plates to be prepared and issued to owners of motor vehicles and trailers registered under this Act, charging a fee of four pesos for each pair including the numerals indicating the year of registry: Provided, however, That in case no number plates are available, the Commissioner or his deputies may issue, without charge, a written permit temporarily authorizing the operation of any motor vehicles with other means of identification: Provided, further, That all motor vehicles exempted from payment of registration fees, motor vehicles for hire, and privately-owned motor vehicles shall bear plates so designed and painted with different colors to distinguish one class from another: Provided, furthermore, That the plates of motor vehicles exempted from payment of registration fees shall be permanently assigned to such motor vehicles during their entire lifetime while exempted from payment of the fees: And, provided, finally, That the owner thereof shall return such plates to the Land Transportation Commission within a period of seven working days after such owner has lost his exemption privilege or has transferred the vehicle to a non-exempt owner.

(b) In case the design of the number plate is such that the numerals indicating the year of registry are on a detachable tag, the Commissioner or his deputies may, in their discretion, issue the said tag only for subsequent re-registration charging a fee of one peso for each tag issued.

Use of number plates. - At all times, every motor vehicle shall display in conspicuous places, one in front and one in the rear thereof, the said number plates.

The number plates shall be kept clean and cared for, and shall be firmly affixed to the motor vehicle in such a manner as will make it entirely visible and always legible.

Except in the case of dealer’s number plates which may be used successively on various motor vehicles in stock, no person shall transfer number plates from motor vehicle to another.

No dealer’s number plate shall be used on any motor vehicle after said vehicle has been sold and delivered to a purchaser, and no dealer shall allow such dealer’s number plates to be used on any motor vehicle after its sale and delivery to a purchaser.

OPERATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE

Duty to procure license. - Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Act, no person shall operate any motor vehicle without first procuring a license to drive a motor vehicle for the current year, nor while such license is delinquent, invalid, suspended or revoked.

The license shall be carried by the driver at all times when operating a motor vehicle, and shall be shown and/or surrendered for cause and upon demand to any person with authority under this Act to confiscate the same.

Driver’s license, fees, examination. - Every person who desires personally to operate any motor vehicle shall file an application to the Commissioner or his deputies for a license to drive motor vehicles: Provided, however, That no person shall be issued a professional driver’s license who is suffering from highly contagious diseases, such as, advanced tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, and the like.

Each such application except in the case of enlisted men operating government-owned vehicles, shall be accompanied by a fee of five pesos, and shall contain such information respecting the applicant and his ability to operate motor vehicles, as may be required by the Commission.

The Commissioner or his deputies shall also ascertain that the applicant’s sight and hearing are normal, and may in their discretion, require a certificate to that effect, signed by a reputable physician.

An examination or demonstration to show any applicant’s ability to operate motor vehicles may also be required in the discretion of the Commissioner or his deputies.

Issuance of driver’s license. - If, after such examination, the Commissioner or his deputy believes that the applicant possesses the necessary qualifications and is proficient in the operation of motor vehicles, a license shall be issued to such applicant upon payment of five pesos, but prior to the issuance of said license, the applicant shall furnish three copies of his recent photograph to be securely attached to the license, and two copies to be filed and kept as provided by this Act. All driver’s licenses shall bear the signature and right-hand thumb print of the licensee.

Use of driver’s license and badge. - Every license issued under the provisions of this Act to any driver shall entitle the holder thereof, while the same is valid and effective and not suspended or revoked, to operate the motor vehicles described in such license: Provided, however, That every licensed professional driver, before operating a public service motor vehicle registered under classifications (d) to (j) inclusive of Section seven hereof, shall secure from the Commissioner, upon payment of the sum of one peso, a driver’s badge which he shall, at all times while so operating a motor vehicle, display in plain sight on the band of his cap or on his coat or shirt. Such driver’s badge shall be of metal with a plainly readable number assigned to the licensee stamped thereon.

It shall be unlawful for any duly licensed driver to transfer, lend or otherwise allow any person to use his license for the purpose of enabling such person to operate a motor vehicle.

No owner of a motor vehicle shall engage, employ, or hire any person to operate such motor vehicle, unless the person sought to be employed is a duly licensed professional driver.

Suspension, revocation of driver’s license.

(a) The Commissioner may suspend for a period not exceeding three months or, after hearing, revoke any driver’s license issued under the provisions of this Act, and may order any such license to be delivered to him whenever he has reason to believe that the holder thereof is an improper person to operate motor vehicles, or in operating or using a motor vehicle in, or as an accessory to, the commission of any crime or act which endangers the public. Any deputy of the Commissioner may, for the same cause, suspend for a period not exceeding three months any driver’s license issued under the provisions of this Act: Provided, That such suspension may be appealed to the Commissioner who may, after reviewing the case, confirm, reverse or modify the action taken by such deputy.

(b) Whenever during any twelve-month period a driver shall have been convicted at least three times for the violations of any provisions of this Act or of any regulation issued by the Commissioner or any municipal or city ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic not in conflict with any of the provisions of this Act, the Commissioner may, in his discretion, revoke or suspend the license of such driver for a period not exceeding two years.

(c) The license suspended or revoked under the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall not be reinstated unless the driver has furnished a bond in accordance with Section twenty-nine of this Act and only after the Commissioner has satisfied himself that such driver may again safely be permitted to operate a motor vehicle.

(d) A decision of the Commissioner revoking or refusing the reinstatement of a license under the provisions of this Section may be appealed to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications.

Passenger and Freight

Exceeding registered capacity. - No person operating any vehicle shall allow more passenger or more freight or cargo in his vehicle than its registered carrying capacity. In the case of public utility trucks or buses, the conductor shall be exclusively liable for violations of this section or of Section thirty-two, letter (c) hereof: Provided, That the conductor, before being employed by any public service operator, shall get a permit or license from the Commission and pay five pesos annually for said license or permit issued in his favor, and the same is renewable on or before the last working day of the month of his birth, attaching a readily recognizable photograph and after presentation of a medical certificate of fitness of applicant.

Passenger trucks may be allowed to construct any cargo carrying device at the rear or at the side of the truck, subject to the approval of the Commissioner: Provided, however, That the total weight of the device, including the cargo, shall not exceed one hundred kilos.

(b) Carrying of passengers and freight on top of vehicles. – No person operating a motor vehicle shall allow any passenger to ride on the cover or top of such vehicles: Provided, however, That subject to such conditions as may be contained in permits that may be issued by the Commissioner, baggage or freight may be carried on the top of a truck provided the weight thereof does not exceed twenty kilos per square meter and is distributed in such a manner as not to endanger the passengers or stability of the truck.

(c) Riding on running boards. – No driver shall permit any person to ride on the running board, step board, or mudguard of his motor vehicle for any purpose except to make repair or adjustment in the motor or to collect fares.

Passenger or freight capacity marked on vehicle. - All passengers automobiles for hire shall have the registered passenger capacity plainly and conspicuously marked on both sides thereof, in letters and numerals not less than five centimeters in height.

All motor trucks, whether for passenger or freight, private, or for hire, shall have the registered passenger gross and net weight capacities plainly and conspicuously marked on both sides thereof, in letters and numerals not less than five centimeters in height.

TRAFFIC RULES

Speed Limit and Keeping to the Right

Restriction as to speed. -

(a) Any person driving a motor vehicle on a highway shall drive the same at a careful and prudent speed, not greater nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard for the traffic, the width of the highway, and of any other condition then and there existing; and no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway at such a speed as to endanger the life, limb and property of any person, nor at a speed greater than will permit him to bring the vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.

(b) Subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph, the rate of speed of any motor vehicle shall not exceed the following:

 

MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE SPEEDS

Passengers
Cars and Motorcycle

Motor trucks and buses

1. On open country roads, with no “blinds corners” not closely bordered by habitations. 80 km. per hour 50 km. per hour
2. On “through streets” or boulevards, clear of traffic, with no ” blind corners,” when so designated. 40 km. per hour 30 km. per hour
3. On city and municipal streets, with light traffic, when not designated “through streets”. 30 km. per hour 30 km. per hour
4. Through crowded streets, approaching intersections at “blind corners,” passing school zones, passing other vehicles which are stationery, or for similar dangerous circumstances. 20 km. per hour 20 km. per hour

 

(c) The rates of speed hereinabove prescribed shall not apply to the following:

(1) A physician or his driver when the former responds to emergency calls;

(2) The driver of a hospital ambulance on the way to and from the place of accident or other emergency;

(3) Any driver bringing a wounded or sick person for emergency treatment to a hospital, clinic, or any other similar place;

(4) The driver of a motor vehicle belonging to the Armed Forces while in use for official purposes in times of riot, insurrection or invasion;

(5) The driver of a vehicle, when he or his passengers are in pursuit of a criminal;

(6) A law-enforcement officer who is trying to overtake a violator of traffic laws; and

(7) The driver officially operating a motor vehicle of any fire department, provided that exemption shall not be construed to allow unless or unnecessary fast driving of drivers aforementioned.

Speed limits uniform throughout the Philippines. - No provincial, city or municipal authority shall enact or enforce any ordinance or resolution specifying maximum allowable speeds other than those provided in this Act.

Driving on right side of highway. - Unless a different course of action is required in the interest of the safety and the security of life, person or property, or because of unreasonable difficulty of operation in compliance herewith, every person operating a motor vehicle or an animal-drawn vehicle on a highway shall pass to the right when meeting persons or vehicles coming toward him, and to the left when overtaking persons or vehicles going the same direction, and when turning to the left in going from one highway to another, every vehicle shall be conducted to the right of the center of the intersection of the highway.

Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle, and Turning at Intersections

Overtaking a vehicle. - The driver of any motor vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a safe distance to the left thereof, and shall not again drive to the right side of the highway until safety clear of such overtaken vehicle except that on a highway, within a business or residential district, having two or more lanes for the movement of traffic in one direction, the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle on the right. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a driver overtaking and passing, upon the right, another vehicle which is making or about to make a left turn.

Driver to give way to overtaking vehicle. - The driver of a vehicle about to be overtaken and passed by another vehicle approaching from the rear shall give way to the overtaking vehicle on suitable and audible signal being given by the driver of the overtaking vehicle, and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

Restrictions on overtaking and passing.

(a) The driver of a vehicle shall not drive to the left side of the center line of a highway in overtaking or passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, unless such left side is clearly visible, and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking or passing to be made in safety.

(b) The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake or pass another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, when approaching the crest of a grade, not upon a curve in the highway, where the driver’s view along the highway is obstructed within a distance of five hundred feet ahead, except on a highway having two or more lanes for movement of traffic in one direction where the driver of a vehicle may overtake or pass another vehicle: Provided, That on a highway within a business or residential district, having two or more lanes for movement of traffic in one direction, the driver of a vehicle may overtake or pass another vehicle on the right.

(c) The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake or pass any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction, at any railway grade crossing, not at any intersection of highways unless such intersection or crossing is controlled by traffic signal, or unless permitted to do so by a watchman or a peace officer, except on a highway having two or more lanes for movement of traffic in one direction where the driver of a vehicle may overtake or pass another vehicle on the right. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a driver overtaking or passing upon the right another vehicle which is making or about to make a left turn.

(d) The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake or pass, or attempt to pass, any other vehicle, proceeding in the same direction, between any points indicated by the placing of official temporary warning or caution signs indicating that men are working on the highway.

(e) The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake or pass, or attempt to overtake or pass, any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction in any “no-passing or overtaking zone.”

Right of Way and Signals

Right of way.

(a) When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right, except as otherwise hereinafter provided. The driver of any vehicle traveling at an unlawful speed shall forfeit any right of way which he might otherwise have hereunder.

(b) The driver of a vehicle approaching but not having entered an intersection, shall yield the right of way to a vehicle within such intersection or turning therein to the left across the line of travel of such first-mentioned vehicle, provided the driver of the vehicle turning left has given a plainly visible signal of intention to turn as required in this Act.

(c) The driver of any vehicle upon a highway within a business or residential district shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing such highway within a crosswalk, except at intersections where the movement of traffic is being regulated by a peace officer or by traffic signal. Every pedestrian crossing a highway within a business or residential district, at any point other than a crosswalk shall yield the right of way to vehicles upon the highway.

(d) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway shall bring to a full stop such vehicle before traversing any “through highway” or railroad crossing: Provided, That when it is apparent that no hazard exists, the vehicle may be slowed down to five miles per hour instead of bringing it to a full stop.

Exception to the right of way rule.

(a) The driver of a vehicle entering a highway from a private road or drive shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching on such highway.

(b) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway shall yield the right of way to police or fire department vehicles and ambulances when such vehicles are operated on official business and the drivers thereof sound audible signal of their approach.

(c) The driver of a vehicle entering a “through highway” or a “stop intersection” shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching to either direction on such “through highway”: Provided, That nothing in this subsection shall be construed as relieving the driver of any vehicle being operated on a “through highway” from the duty of driving with due regard for the safety of vehicles entering such “through highway” nor as protecting the said driver from the consequence of an arbitrary exercise off such right of way.

Signals on starting, stopping or turning. -

(a) The driver of any vehicle upon a highway, before starting, stopping or turning from a direct line, shall first see that such movement can be made in safety, and if any pedestrian may be affected by such movement, shall give a clearly audible signal by sounding the horn, and whenever the operation of any other vehicle approaching or following may be affected by such movement, shall give a signal plainly visible to the driver of such other vehicles of the intention to make such movement.

(b) The signal herein required shall be given by means of extending the hand and arm beyond the left side of the vehicle, or by an approved mechanical or electrical signal device.

 

 

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