Homemade Utility Trailer Title & Licenseby Marie Murdock
State laws vary regarding registration of utility trailers. These trailers will often be placed into different classifications or categories depending on their weight or size. Some states do not allow the smaller homemade utility trailers to be registered and titled at all while others allow optional registration and titling if you prefer that your trailer display a license plate. For those that do require titling and licensing, comply with the laws of the state as established by its motor vehicle department or division.
Present your vehicle for inspection by a state trooper at a location he designates or at the state department of motor vehicles. In Connecticut, a trailer will be classified as homemade only if it has been composed from the parts of two or more used trailers or three or more completely fabricated or separately purchased parts that consist of axle, body, fenders, frame or suspension pins or springs. Your trailer must meet safety criteria including, but not limited to, no sharp or loose objects on the body, appropriate brakes, proper lighting, wiring, reflectors and tires. Check with your state of registration to determine what is required to meet its safety specifications. If the trailer passes inspection, the trooper or other state official will assign a VIN number to be posted on the trailer in a location determined by the state.
Complete an application for registration and certificate of title in your state. Have receipts for all trailer parts used in the construction available for inspection and present a valid identification at the time of registration. All fees must be paid at this time. In Louisiana, utility registrations are good for four years; other states may require annual renewal.
Choose a license plate for your trailer. In some states, license plates for utility trailers will be designated with the letters “TRL” to designate a trailer while in others only particular types of license plates may be chosen for a utility trailer. In Oregon, the tree plate is frequently used for trailers with the “disabled veterans” plate also being an option. Fees for your plate may differ from state to state and depending on your choice of plate.
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