If you want to find information about a vehicle in the Philippines, then the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has you covered. You only need to obtain the vehicle plate number, send it over a text message to the agency’s SMS-based service, and get the information you need.

How to verify a vehicle plate number with LTO using SMS

Doing a plate check through LTO is easy. You only need to send a message in the following format:

  • LTO <space> VEHICLE <space> Plate Number

Example: LTO VEHICLE ABC123 and send it to 2600

The service is available across major cellular networks, including Smart and Globe, and costs Php2.50 per text message. The service usually responds within seconds, although you may have to wait for a couple of minutes in some cases.

What information do you get from LTO’s SMS-based service?

The information provided by the service includes the make and model of the vehicle, the year when it was first registered, and the most recent vehicle registration date. The body color may also be described if the vehicle has a uniform color, but the text message may simply state “not indicated” for vehicles with custom, multi-color appearance.

The service will also look up the LTO database for any apprehension or alarm records that the vehicle may have and include it in the response text. Otherwise, if the vehicle has a clean record, the text will simply just say “No LTO Apprehension” and “No LTO Alarm.”


Also, as explicitly stated in the text message, you may not be supplied with all information attached to the registered vehicle. As such, you won’t get from this service any personally identifiable information that can be used to identify the vehicle owner.

Contrary to some claims over the internet, you can use the service to get information not just for typical cars but also motorcycles and public transport vehicles, such as multicabs.

While it may seem random and irrelevant to a regular Joe, this LTO service can come in handy in certain situations. A concerned person, for instance, may spot a suspicious car parked in front of their or someone else’s home. Or perhaps you are looking into buying a secondhand vehicle but would not want to be tricked into paying for a carnapped vehicle. You can at least breathe a sigh of relief by verifying thru the SMS message that the vehicle is not stolen or has no records of driver apprehension.

Is there an online equivalent for the service?

As of this writing, the LTO doesn’t have an official online service for looking up vehicle information via plate numbers that can be used by the general public. Beware of deceptive websites with claims of having sensitive information that anyone can access. If you are a vehicle owner, you can register at portal.lto.gov.ph to avail of the different services that the LTO offers.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *