Avoiding/Beating Manila Traffic Fines Pt. 2

This is actually a response I posted in my “How To Beat The MMDA” article.  It was kindly suggested that this response merits its own article submission.  So, here it is!


If you search for “Philippines mission order traffic” in google, you’ll come up with some references to the “Mission Order”, which is what I mentioned (sorry, it’s not called “order of the day”, but I use that when arguing with them and it works). The following is a well-written article about protecting yourself at traffic stops. Remember…they almost NEVER go out with this mission order. It’s too much work to get one from their supervisor, rather than just go to their spot straight from home.

The first part of this article is all about the traffic fines.  Handy to keep in the car, as you can expect some very bad math out there.  The bottom part is all about how to have a really good laugh, tell them to have a nice day, and drive off (yes, I’ve done exactly that).

Philippines Traffic & Vehicle Law Violations and Corresponding Penalties.

Article by Brent Co of AutoIndustriya.com

Ever been surprised by an apprehending traffic officer with a violation you haven’t heard of? Every motorist, at least once in his lifetime has been apprehended by a traffic officer. Sometimes, you are surprised by the apprehending officer with a “new” or improvised traffic violation, or at times it might be something real that you just haven’t heard of. Knowing the violations might save you money and trouble.
There are also some instances of wrong apprehensions, like the very popular ‘driving without license’ violation. Do not allow the apprehending officer to get away with this, when you really have a license but did not bring it, this would only mean a failure to carry a driver’s license when operating motor vehicle with a fine of 150 pesos compared to 750 pesos for driving without license.
Be calm and polite when confronted by a traffic officer. Shouting or yelling at them can also get you in trouble. There is a violation called “Arrogance or discourtesy towards a traffic officer” which will incur a 150 peso fine. If you are driving a car be sure to bring along with you your spare tire, as failure to do so will also result in a violation with a fine of 150 pesos.
Bring along your early warning device or buy one if you don’t have one yet. This will save you 100 bucks and another 300 pesos if your car needs a little roadside repairs.
Last but not least, please do remember to fasten your safety belts or be ready to pay 300 or even a 1000 pesos fine. Don’t forget that using your mobile phone, be it calling, answering a call, or texting is also a violation of the law unless you have a hands free kit installed. Texting is still not permitted even with the installation of a hands free kit since texting cannot be done hands free.

Listed below are the traffic violations with corresponding penalties and subject of violation.

A. Violations related to licensing

Violations Penalties Subject

  1. Driving without license P 750.00 Driver
  2. Driving with delinquent, invalid. suspended, ineffectual, revoked or improper license P 300.00 Driver
  3.  Failure to show or surrender driver’s license for cause upon due demand by person with authority to confiscate. P 150.00 Driver
  4. Failure to carry driver’s license when Operating motor vehicle. P 150.00 Driver
  5. Failure to sign driver’s license P 150.00 Driver
  6. Driving while under the influence of Liquor or prohibited drug P 2,000.00 Driver
    1. For the 2nd offense, Fine plus 1 year Suspension
    2. Subsequent violation Revocation of driver’s license
  7. Allowing an unlicensed/improperly licensed person to drive MV P 750.00 Owner/Operator
  8. Possession and use of fake driver’s license.
    1. If the driver has been issued an authentic license, the same shall be confiscated and suspended for 6 months in addition to the fine.
    2. If the driver has not been issued an authentic license, he shall not be qualified to secure driver’s license for a period of six (6) months in addition to the fine P 1500.00 Driver
    3. Allowing another person to use his driver’s license – confiscation and suspension for one (1) month P 500.00 Driver
    4. Use and involvement of MV by the driver in the commission of a crime-in case of court conviction, automatic revocation of driver’s license. P 1500.00 Driver
    5. Student Driver operating a MV without being accompanied by a licensed driver. P 200.00 Student Driver

B. Violations related to registration.

  1. 11 Operating a MV which is unregistered/improperly registered delinquent or with invalid registration. If driver is also the Owner, MV shall be impounded until Properly registered P 450.00
    1. P 450.00 Driver
    2. Owner
      1. Operating MV with unregistered substitute or replacement engine, engine block or chassis, change color, change body or configuration. In addition, MV shall be properly impounded until such parts are properly registered. P 500.00 Owner
      2. Failure to carry in the MV the Certificate of Registration (CR) and Official Receipt (OR) (original or Photocopies) P 150.00
    3. Owner
      1. 14 Operating/allowing the operation of MV with a suspended/revoked Certificate of Registration, P 450.00
      2. MV impounded or its plates held during period of suspension / Revocation
      3. 15 Tourist Operating a non-Philippine registered MV beyond 90 day period of his sojourn. P 1500.00
        MV shall not be allowed to operate until properly registered.

C. Violations relating to number plates and stickers.

  1. MV number plates not firmly attached and visible. Dirty or uncared for plates.
  2. Inconspicuously displaced plates in front and rear. NO STICKER showing current Registration P 150.00 Driver
  3. License plates different from body Operator number on Public Utility Vehicle P 450.00 Owner
  4. Improper display of MV plates by owner (permanent) plates to accommodate a better display of commemorative/other plates. P 500.00
    1. Owner
      1. Display of expired commemorative/other plates P 200.00
      2. Tampered/Marked plates/stickers P 300.00
      3. Illegal transfer and use of MV plates/tags or stickers from one MV to another except security plates on authorized vehicle
      4. Owner/Operator are conclusively presumed to have caused or permit such illegal transfer and liable to fine.
      5. Driver of MV involved in illegal transfer of plates 1 month suspension of driver’s license. P 7500.00
      6. Owner: If MV is used and involved in commission of a crime, P 10000.00  Penalty plus motor vehicle impounded.

D. Violations relative to equipment, parts, accessories, devices and marking of a motor vehicle

  • Operating MV with metallic tires on any public highway
  • Defective brakes
  • Improper/defective horn or signaling device
  • Unnecessary lights visible in front of vehicle
  • Missing or defective headlights/taillights
  • Missing or red rear lights at both/each side visible at least 100m from vehicle
  • Missing or defective plate light
  • Missing or defective brake lights
  • Missing or defective wiper on the windshield
  • Missing cut/disconnected muffler. P 150.00 each Driver
  • Dirty/unsightly or dilapidated MV. In addition, confiscation of plates until defects are corrected P 150.00 Owner/Operator
  • Failure to paint or improper painting of authorized route or painting of unauthorized route of PUJ P 375.00 Owner/Operator
  • Non-painting of business or trade name. P 150.00
  • Confiscation of plates until defects are corrected. Owner
  •  Use of unauthorized improvised plates
  • Use of improvised plates to make MV appear as for hire. P 150.00/P 1,500.00 Owner
  • Dirty and/or unsanitary defective unit
  • Without/defective hand brakes
  • Without or defective speedometer or tachometer
  • Defective or broken windshield
  • Without or defective windshield wiper
  • Without rear view mirror
  • Without interior light P 150.00 Owner/Operator
  • Without name or business name and address inscribed on both sides of MV used for public services. P 150.00
  • Confiscation of plates until proper markings are made. Owner/Operator
  • Without spare tire P 150.00 Owner/Operator
  • Unauthorized bell sirens or exhausts whistle on emergency. P 150.00  Said gadgets shall be confiscated. Owner/Operator
  • Without red flag or red lights on projecting end of load extending more than a meter beyond the bed or body and in the evening, red lights visible at least 50 meters away P 150.00 Driver
  • Failure to paint appropriate body number on a MV for hire on both sides P 375.00 Owner/Operator
  • Failure to carry EWD
  • Failure to install EWD 4 meters away to the front and rear of the stalled/disabled MV. P 100.00/P 300.00 Driver
  • Without capacity markings P 150.00 Owner/Operator
  • Failure to wear safety belt while operating motor vehicle or while riding on front passenger seat P 1000.00/P 300.00 Owner/Operator
  • Without permanent tail gauge or failure to put “NOT FOR HIRE” sign in a private jeepney/jitney P 300.00 Owner

E. Violations relative to weights and load limits.

  • Load extending beyond projected width without permit 200.00 Driver
  • Operating MV with wheel axle, or axle group loads in excess of the limits in Sec. 9, RA 4136 or any regulation without permit. P 150.00 Driver
  • Operating MV with total weight of cargo carrying device on passenger truck including cargo exceeding 100 kilos. P 150.00 Driver
  • Allowing more passengers and/or more freight or cargo in his vehicle more than the registered carrying capacity. P 150.00 Driver (If PUV, imposed upon Conductor)
  • Baggage or freight carried on top of truck exceeds 20 kilos per sq. meter and not distributed in such a manner as not to endanger the passenger or stability of the truck. P 150.00 Driver/Conductor

F. Violations relative to frauds and falsities

  • Use of invalid/ delinquent/ suspended/ revoked/ fake license, identification card or permit. P 1000.00 to P 3000.000 Driver
  • Fake CR, OR, plates, tags or stickers/spurious documents P 1000.00 to P 3000.000 Owner/Operator
  • Misrepresenting a copy of a document before the Traffic Adjudication Service P 1000.00 Owner/Operator/Driver
  • Violations related to parking and drivers
  • Parking within an intersection
  • Parking on a crosswalk
  • Parking within 5 m. of the intersection of the intersection of curb lines
  • Parking within 4 m. of the driveway entrance to any fire station
  • Parking within 4 m. of a fire hydrant
  • Parking in front of a private highway
  • Parking on the roadway side of any unmoving or parked at the curb or edge of the highway
  • Parking at any place where official signs of prohibition have been erected
  • Allowing a passenger on top or cover of vehicle
  • Allowing a passenger to ride on running board, step board or mudguard of MV while it is in motion
  • Disregarding traffic signs
  • Failure to use helmet while driving/riding a motorcycle P 150.00 each Driver
  • Reckless Driving
    • – 1st Offense P 150.00
    • – 2nd Offense P 750.00 and suspension of Driver’s License
    • – 3rd Offense P 1000.00and revocation of Driver’s License
  • Arrogance or Discourtesy P 150.00 Driver
  • Failure to dim headlights P 150.00 Driver
  • Driving in slippers or sleeveless shirt P 100.00 Driver
  • Driving in a place not for traffic or parking in a place not for parking
  • Failure to give way to police or fire department vehicle or ambulance
  • Hitching or permitting a person on a bicycle or roller skates to hitch to the vehicle. P 100.00 Driver

H. Traffic Violations

  • Illegal turn P 150.00 Driver
  • Driving against traffic/counterflow P 2000.00 Driver
  • Illegal overtaking P 150.00 Driver
  • Overtaking at an unsafe distance P 150.00 Driver
  • Cutting an overtaken vehicle P 150.00 Driver
  • Failure to give way to an overtaking vehicle P 150.00 Driver
  • Increasing speed when being overtaken P 150.00 Driver
  • Overtaking when left side is not visible or clear P 150.00 Driver
  • Overtaking on a crest or grade P 150.00 Driver
  • Overtaking on a curve P 150.00 Driver
  • Overtaking at a railway grade crossing P 150.00 Driver
  • Overtaking at an intersection P 150.00 Driver
  • Overtaking between “Men Working” or “Caution” signs P 150.00 Driver
  • Failure to yield to the right of way P 150.00 Driver
  • Failure to come to a complete stop at a through street P 150.00 Driver
  • Failure to come to a complete stop at a stop intersection P 150.00 Driver
  • Failure to give proper turn/stop signals P 150.00 Driver
  • Illegal right turn P 150.00 Driver
  • Illegal left turn P 150.00 Driver
  • Failure to stop motor vehicle and apply handbrake when unattended P 150.00 Driver
  • Causing an obstruction to traffic P 150.00 Driver


I just reached my limit last weekend, and decided to take action against the abusive MMDA enforcers. I basically called up the MMDA head office and inquired from the Personnel Officer, Antonio Pagulayan, to clarify their policies. Here is what I got:

If any of these abuses seem familiar to you, Mr. Pagulayan has asked that you call either the MMDA hotline (136) or call the METRO BASE at 0920 9389861 or 0920 9389875 and ask for an Inspectorate. They will send inspectors to the place where these MMDA officers are extorting, even while you are arguing out of your apprehension. DO NOT JUST SURRENDER YOUR RIGHT AND PAY OFF THE MMDA TRAFFIC OFFICER, CHALLENGE (if you have sound basis of course) THE TRAFFIC CITATION:

1. MMDA officers are not allowed to group together in order to apprehend. They are not even allowed to stand together in groups of 2 or more. The only time they are allowed to work together is for special operations (probably when they apprehend groups of buses for smoke belching).

2. Swerving IS NOT a traffic violation. Moving one lane to the left or right is not swerving, no matter where on the road you do it. And it is even less of a violation when you do it with a signal. Swerving is defined as shifting 2 or more lanes very quickly. So you can argue your way out of this, and call the Metro Base for help.

3. Sadly, using the yellow lane is a traffic violation and will get you a ticket. However, buses are really not allowed to go out of the yellow lane, so if you see selective apprehension of private cars only, you may complain.

4. MMDA has confirmed that your license MAY NOT BE CONFISCATED at a traffic apprehension. The only time they can do so is if you are part of an accident, or it is your third violation and you have not settled your fines yet. They are only allowed to give you a ticket, which you can contest. He recommends actually receiving the ticket in some instances, so that you can report the officer who did it.

5. Also, you are free to ask any of these officers for their “mission order”, which is written by their supervisor. If they apprehend you for a violation that is not in their mission order for the day, you can report them and they will receive disciplinary action.

Must Know: MMDA rules on Car Number-Coding

1. No window hours: Makati, Malabon and Las Pinas. Number Coding is in effect from 7am to 7pm!

2. No number coding: Taguig, Marikina and Paranaque. So, feel free to roam around these cities anytime.

3. Pasig City has window hours of 9am to 4pm (note the 1 hour additional to the normal 10-3pm window).

4. San Juan has window hours now according to MMDA website.

5. Pasay City is implementing Number Coding except on the following roads: Ninoy Aquino Avenue, MIA Road, Domestic Road, Portions of Airport Road , Sales Road , Tramo.

6. EDSA, C5, Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Avenue, Roxas Blvd (Pasay) have window hours regardless of the city (meaning one can drive via EDSA in Makati any day).

7. For the rest of Metro Manila (Caloocan, Mandaluyong, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas, parts of Pasay, Pateros, Quezon City, Taguig, and Valenzuela) number coding is in effect (window hours of 10am-3pm is also observed).

Published in Traffic In Philippines, Traffic Laws, Useful Information


  1. Profile gravatar of mother teresa
    mother teresa

    Wow Kaine, thank you so very, very much. Im flying into manila from the states in about 10 days and first thing im doing is buying a car then having it shipped off to cebu. Im going to print your LTO rules and make a little book for my glove box.
    Do you know how you can spotlight dumb animals(ie: frogs and deer), blind them and make them freeze in their tracks? I was thinking about mounting an INTENSE remote controlled spotlight on my new car for the LTO officers and freezing them in their tracks as I drive by laughing. With your expertise do you think this will work? Thanks again for the info.

    1. Profile gravatar of Penance
      Penance Post author

      Well, as fun as that would be, there’s a few things you should keep in mind.

      The LTO just recently passed new regulations prohibiting any additional “mods” on a vehicle. No colored lights, no extra lights, not even license plate frames. There’s currently a bit of protesting going on from car enthusiasts.

      Of course, this doesn’t seem to apply to Jeepneys, who drive at night with no headlights, but colored lights all over the place You can see these new regulations as just another way for cops to take bribes, since that’s the only time laws are enforced around here.

      Another IMPORTANT POINT is your plans to purchase and ship a car. I’ll be doing a writeup about that very soon, but you should know that registration here is very different. Cars aren’t registered to new owners and given a new plate. A car gets a plate for life. But, more importantly, a car’s registration is “bound” to it’s original registration LTO office. So, if you buy a car in Manila and ship it to Cebu, you’ll either have to return the car to Manila every year for re-registration, or pay a nice fee to have the registration transferred to a new LTO office nearby.

      If you have questions about car registration and other related issues, just PM me or comment here. Glad to help!

      1. Profile gravatar of Mike

        In relation to shipping a car here. I was contacted about two years ago from a guy named Paul who shipped his Jeep Cherokee to the Philippines. Paul was a paramedic in the states as well as trained in natural disaster. I his Jeep he had his clothes and items to teach rescue methods and help with natural disasters here in the Philippines. Paul knew how much the import tax was on said Jeep before he shipped it, Paul is married to a pinay. So Paul goes down to get his jeep and takes the taxes in cash so to pay them. Well when he gets there the customs officials inform him he has to pay a higher tax, even though Paul showed them paperwork stating the tax,

        This did not get Paul any where nor his Jeep. So Paul went and got more money so to get his Jeep with his personal items inside it. Each time Paul showed up with the increased fee they raised it again until Paul could not afford to get his Jeep. Customs also refused to let him get anything out of the Jeep. Paul was then informed that his Jeep was going to auction because he did not pay the excise tax on it. So Paul being a logical man goes to the auction to buy his own Jeep. Once customs found out he was there, they withdrew the Jeep from the auction. This happened more than once. I know Paul at the time lived in Southern Mindanao but have not heard from him since nor know if he ever got his Jeep.

  2. Profile gravatar of mother teresa
    mother teresa

    Kaine, THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP! up on the modifications. The car I had plan to buy had modified tint, exhaust, suspension, lights, color, and rims and was extremely safe with all high end modifications but yet still slower than any Ferrari or Lambo which are legal under this dumbpino law. Since you gave me a heads up I’ve read around the web and it looks like the LTO has really no clue how to fine tune the law. Im just grabbing at straws but I would say at least 50% of the P.I. vehicles are unsafe from modifications and the LTO needs to do something about it. From the way I understand the law if you do ANY modification like put an UP TO CODE trailer hitch on your vehicle it can be impounded. How IDIOTIC is this???? Here in my Florida driveway, the 4 vehicles there all have numerous legal and safe modifications. As i look at my neighbors cars most of them have modifications like TINTING. WTF? Under this idiotic law you can have tint as long as it was the standard shade from the manufacturer. I dont know of one American truck that comes standard with a ball for its bumper, under this Idiopino law every truck with a (modified) bumper that has a ball would be illegal! Why can’t they just follow the rest of the world’s lead and have PRECISE requirements pertaining to modifications. All the IdioLTO needs to do is download some other countries laws, fine tune them(maybe thats not a good idea) and implement them. Do you really think they will push this Idiopino law through?
    I need to take you out on the town for a night of baluting and a drink… or maybe the other way around. Thanks a million!

  3. Profile gravatar of mother teresa
    mother teresa

    Another big problem with the Idioticppines is that the minor people of power are there not because they have wisdom, education, professionalism, and leadershipism but simply because they know Someone and as long as that Someone keeps their own power then the minor people of power stay in power no matter how dumbpino they are. Pare….