On March 12, 2023, the Presidential Limousine Museum inside the Quezon Memorial Circle along the Elliptical Road in Quezon City once again became a historical venue when various vintage, classic and exotic car owners and enthusiasts gathered to witness the signing ceremonies of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11698, otherwise known as the Vintage Vehicle Regulation Act.
Senators and Congressmen who authored the bill and several government officials along with hundreds of owners and enthusiasts of vintage vehicles, as well as members of the media witnessed Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Jose Arturo Tugade signing the 26-page IRR, which signals the start of the new and different legal process to register qualified vintage vehicles.
The Vintage Car Law, as it is commonly known, was enacted in April 2022. It covers vehicles that are 40 years or over from the date of manufacture and aims to protect and promote the country’s heritage by establishing regulatory policies that encourage the preservation, maintenance, occasional use and registration of these vintage vehicles.
Under the IRR, vintage vehicles are not required to meet environmental, safety, road use and other standards that were not in force at the time of their manufacture, either as conditions for their registration or use on public roads. However, the vintage vehicle must be deemed safe and roadworthy to be driven on public roads.
Section 3 of the IRR states that, “As a general rule, a vintage vehicle applying for registration or renewal of its registration under Rule VI hereof shall be subject to inspection to determine whether it is unsightly, unsafe, improperly equipped, otherwise unfit to be operated in public highways based on the standards that were in force at the time of its manufacture, and to ensure its conformity on period specification and permitted modifications.”
The IRR now allows the importation, registration and use of right-hand drive vintage vehicles manufactured on or before Dec. 31, 1970. However, Section 1 of Republic Act 8506 still applies to right-hand drive vehicles that were made from January 1, 1971 onwards.
The new law prohibits the use of a registered vintage vehicle for commercial purposes, such as being used as a public utility vehicle (PUV), or for the commercial transport of persons or goods, including as a vehicle accredited with and operating through transport network corporations such as Grab and other ride-sharing operations. The law allows vintage vehicles to be used in motion pictures, advertisements, pictorials, weddings and motorcades.
Restoration shops and companies that are accredited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as “service and repair enterprises” should be eligible to avail themselves of fiscal and tax incentives. The LTO is mandated to establish and maintain a national database that lists and describes vintage vehicles in the country. The LTO is also mandated to support the local restoration industry by including in its database authorized and licensed shops engaged in the repair of vintage vehicles or in the manufacture of spare and replacement parts for vintage vehicles, private sector association and interest groups.
Meanwhile, the vintage, classic and exotic vehicles parked on the grounds around the Presidential Limousine Museum inadvertently created an impromptu car show in Quezon City.