Philippines Vehicle Registration Ruckus

Any notion knocking around inside my fat head that I’m living in paradise is usually shattered by a visit to any local government office. “Philippines Vehicle Registration Ruckus” is a prime example.  While I had hopes that an insurance agent in Guimaras, the island province we call home, could assist us, our “fixer” was woefully unable to assist us.

Insurance Rep Recommended by a Brit. My first “red flag?”

The insurance representative in question was recommended by a fellow expat on our island, a Brit. Said Brit had used the services of the insurance proxy when his own vehicle registration came up for renewal.

Now this subject of the Queen is a very knowledgeable and affable chap, even for a Brit. His agent had taken care of his registration renewal, along with the required “smoke” test. The female go-between also handled the prerequisite visit to our local LTO, Land Transportation Office.

The “Smoke” Test

Now the aforementioned “smoke” test, I might point only, did not involve any form of shabu or weed. Back in the States, we used to refer to it as an “emissions” test.

While I had to submit my aging white Honda Civic to an emissions test the year I lived in “Sin City,” the test was not required for any vehicle when I lived in Central Illinois.

Frankly, I don’t enjoy visiting any local government office in any country. Remember, I am a crusty old expat. Having a certified representative handle the registration renewal process for our Ford Ranger, was beneficial to my mental health. 

Initial Registration Period for the Ranger was Expiring

It has almost three years since we had purchased our Ford Ranger truck. The insurance was due this coming January 15th. So I figured that the vehicle registration was also due since LTO had previously given us three stickers for the truck dated 2015, 2016, and 2017.

We also were one of the fortunate few to have our permanent license plates issued to us only months after we purchased our new truck. There are millions of Filipinos that having been waiting for their new plates for over a year.

We never displayed any of those stickers on our truck. I merely kept them in our glove compartment. The local police never stopped us. We did have to go through a checkpoint during the 2016 Presidential Elections, but the officer from the PNP, Philippine National Police, did even check our paperwork.

“Go on through, sir,” said the law enforcement civil servant.

And I did.

The Call for Help

Though my fat fingers may glide across my computer keyboard, sending a text message on my wife’s Samsung Galaxy J3, is an entirely different matter.

But I’ve adapted somewhat to living in the texting capital of the world, the Philippines, and sent a message to the Brit’s insurance agent in the afternoon.

I wasn’t too surprised that there was not any reply that evening as sometimes people don’t have a signal or don’t have a load for their phone.

But when I didn’t receive a message the next morning, I became a bit concerned as the deadline for our registration renewal was coming up. Would I be forced to visit the local emissions testing center and LTO myself?

Frankly, I didn’t want to bother with it because if I can get somebody else to do my chores for me, I always go with that option.

But it seemed the crusty old expat would actually be required to do some footwork on his own. While our Ford Ranger’s registration is in my wife’s name, I’m always the one that takes care of paperwork matters (or pay someone to take care of them for me.)

To be continued