A Guide to Contesting Alleged Traffic Violations in the Philippines
Traffic violations are a common occurrence on the roads of the Philippines. Whether it’s speeding, reckless driving, or a simple case of disregarding a traffic sign, these violations can lead to hefty fines, demerit points, and even suspension of your driver’s license. While it’s important to follow traffic rules and regulations to avoid getting penalized, there may be times when you believe the violation charged against you was unwarranted or unjust. This is where knowing how to contest traffic violations comes in handy. In the Philippines, online and physical options are available for contesting traffic violations, and this guide will walk you through the steps you need to take for each option.
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Where Can You Contest an Alleged Traffic Violation?
Contest An Alleged Traffic Violation in the Philippines Online (Available for MMDA issued ticket only):
Contesting traffic violations can be a daunting and stressful experience, especially if you need help figuring out where to start. In the Philippines, however, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has made the process more convenient and accessible through its online filing platform for traffic citation contests. So, if you have been apprehended for traffic-related violations, here’s a guide to help you contest your alleged traffic violation in the Philippines online.
- Fill Out an Online Complaint Form
After receiving a traffic citation ticket, fill out an online complaint form through Google Forms here. In addition, attach any necessary documents, such as the Unified Ordinance Violation Receipt (UOVR), driver’s license, or vehicle’s Official Receipt/Certificate of Registration (OR/CR).
- Wait for Pre-Processing
Within three working days of receiving your complaint, the MMDA-Traffic Adjudication Division (TAD) will contact you to begin pre-processing it. During this preliminary phase, TAD will assess its merit and your attachments’ relevance and validity.
- Schedule and Attend the Hearing
Should you decide to pursue your claim, TAD will arrange for an in-person hearing where all parties involved – you, the enforcer, and the hearing officer – can gather. Hearings will take place face-to-face so documents submitted by both sides can be validated in person.
- Wait for Resolution
Resolution can be issued either physically or via email, depending on the request of the complainant. In case of an unfavorable resolution, physical appeals to the TAD head may be filed to review unfavorable decisions; for MMDA Chairman decisions, this can also be done physically.
Filing Time Protests may be submitted Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM, and those filed after 5 PM will be heard. Those filed beyond this deadline will be accepted on the next working day.
Note that uploading inappropriate documents or attachments may disqualify you from using the electronic platform further. To pursue your case further, visit TAD at their headquarters in Makati.
At present, online contest filing is limited to physical traffic apprehensions; any issues regarding MMDA’s No-Contact Apprehension Policy (NCAP) will be included once a decision from the Supreme Court has been rendered.
By taking advantage of this online platform, you can reduce health risks by avoiding in-person transactions and reducing instances of filing contests with incomplete documents. With these steps in place, contesting traffic violations in the Philippines becomes simple.
Contest An Alleged Traffic Violation in the Philippines In-Person:
Aside from the online platform, there are also physical options available for contesting traffic violations in the Philippines. However, it’s essential to prepare yourself before going through this process to ensure a smoother transaction. In this section, we will discuss where to go and how to contest traffic violations physically, the different offices that can handle traffic violations, what to expect when contesting a violation in person, and provide tips for preparing for a physical contestation.
- Draft Your Written Contest
The first step to successfully contesting any traffic violations issued against you is drafting a written contest of them in written format, such as an affidavit. In it, describe what occurred, explain why an officer is wrong, and request that all allegations against you be dropped with no fine or penalty assessed against your Driver’s License (DL). Attach copies of documents such as your CR&OR for the vehicle you were driving at the time, your Driver’s License official receipt, Temporary Operator’s Permit(TOP), and any evidence such as witness statements or documentary evidence such as witness statements for added credibility to your contestation efforts.
Important Note: Remind yourself that you only have five days from the date of arrest to file your written contest of violations in the ticket, failing which they will be considered admitted. You must pay any prescribed fine within 15 days from apprehension. If it involves moving violations, attending a seminar may also be necessary; otherwise, your DL could be suspended for 30 days.
- File Your Written Contest
After preparing and filing your written content, deliver it along with all its attachments to the clerk of the nearest Land Transportation Office (LTO) or MMDA office for filing. They will collect both, assign you a case number, and stamp your transmittal form as received. Eventually, Stenographers will schedule your case for a formal hearing – you do not require legal representation, but one may be present if desired.
- Attend the Hearing
Stake out your place during the hearing and present evidence to the Hearing Officer. They will evaluate both parties’ evidence presented at this meeting, evaluate, and make a recommendation – to win your contested case. Therefore, you must present sufficient evidence defined as that which a reasonable mind might accept as sufficient to justify a conclusion.”
- Wait for the Resolution
After being heard in court, you’ll receive the resolution issued physically or via email, depending on the request of the complainant. In case of an unfavorable resolution, physical appeals to the TAD head may be filed to assess unfavorable decisions.
What to Expect After Contesting a Traffic Violation in the Philippines
After contesting a traffic violation, the next step should be waiting for its resolution or decision. Depending on how backlogged cases and complex issues may be resolved, this process could take some time before giving rise to either absolution, reduced acceptable payments, or total acceptable payment obligations.
If the resolution is favorable and absolves the complainant from paying fines or penalties, no further payment obligations exist. However, they must pay an amount that has been reduced due to legal actions against them. In that case, payment must be completed as quickly as possible to avoid additional fines or legal actions against them.
Suppose a resolution requires that the complainant pay the entire fine. In that case, they must abide by it within the specified period or face additional penalties or legal actions, such as suspending their driver’s license or vehicle registration. Failure to do so could incur additional fines or legal actions such as suspending driver’s licenses and registration plates.
According to the MMDA, individuals who violate traffic rules and are caught by enforcers from LTO and/or PNP-HPG can resolve their violations by going to the nearest LTO office in the area where they were apprehended.
Be mindful that contesting a traffic violation does not automatically guarantee success; to have their case heard and considered by an adjudicating officer. However, planning and adhering to proper procedures can significantly increase the chances of a favorable result.
Get Your Driver’s License Back
If your driver’s license was confiscated during the traffic violation apprehension, you can retrieve it once your case has been resolved. Here are the steps to get your driver’s license back:
- Prepare the Necessary Documents
Before going to the Records Officer’s window, make sure to have photocopies of the following:
– Motor vehicle’s Certificate of Registration|
– Official Receipt issued upon the registration of the motor vehicle
– Official Receipt issued upon the issuance of your Driver’s License
– Resolution/Decision of your case
– Official Receipt of your payment of the fine and penalties, if any
- Submit the Documents
Submit the documents mentioned above to the Records Officer. The officer will review the documents and check if everything is in order.
- Retrieve your Driver’s License
Once the officer deems everything is in order, your driver’s license will be returned to you.
Following these steps, you can retrieve your driver’s license after contesting a traffic violation in the Philippines.
Recommended Read: How to Track Your National ID in the Philippines 2023
Contesting traffic violations is an important step for drivers who believe they have been wrongly accused of violating traffic laws. In the Philippines, there are now online and physical options available for drivers to contest their citations. Through the MMDA’s online platform or by physically filing a contest, drivers can challenge their alleged violations and potentially have them absolved or reduced. It is important to prepare all necessary documents and follow the proper procedures to ensure a smooth contestation process. Getting your driver’s license back after a successful contestation is also possible with the right documents. Overall, it is crucial for drivers to know their rights and options when it comes to contesting traffic violations to avoid unnecessary fines and penalties.