Syncros007

Out of State Trailer Registration for PA Residents

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There are many people in Pennsylvania that register their car trailers out of state, Maine being the perfect and common example. I do like the perks of registering in Maine, about the same price for registering between Maine and PA, but no inspection for anything under 3,000 lbs. empty NOT gross. When you use your car trailer half a dozen times a year, annual inspection seems ridiculous.

 

Has anyone seen this law, and if so what is your understanding of it? For (i) It seems like a 50% law to me, if you have 2 trailers, 1 must be registered in PA and the other could be registered out of state. My biggest question, how is an officer or DOT officer going to prove this if cited for it? Drive to your house or within 24 hours, make you show them you have additional trailers registered in the commonwealth?

 

Section 1302.16 is the only place in the PA Laws that cover out of state trailer registration, that I have found.

 

Pennsylvania Code

CHAPTER 13 - REGISTRATION OF VEHICLES

Section 1302.  Vehicles exempt from registration.

(16)  Any trailer registered in another state towed by a motor vehicle registered in this Commonwealth provided:

(i)  the owner has as many trailers registered in this Commonwealth as combinations so registered; or

(ii)  the towing vehicle is being operated under a permanent lease to a person meeting the requirements of subparagraph (i).

 

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When you use your car trailer half a dozen times a year, annual inspection seems ridiculous. "

 

Ever seen a trailer have a wheel come off going down the road ?

 

Ever been HIT by a wheel coming off a trailer going down the road ?

 

Most folks do not check their trailers before they hook up & tow away.

 

It should not have to be a state requirement to exercise responsibility for the safety of others on the road.

 

 

Jim

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I don't know how the PA inspections are done but when I was still in NY the inspection was walk around the trailer check to see if lights work and you had tread on the tires and collect the money. Nothing that you shouldn't do every time you pull your trailer. Nothing that would keep a wheel from falling off or other dangerous driving situation.

 

TN has no inspection, but if you're stopped it better have working lights, safe tires, chains and anything else that the officer thinks needs to be checked. No charge unless it fails. Oh and if you are not using your trailer for commercial purposes the license plate is optional, recommended if you drive out of state but you can fight any stops and win but it may delay your trip. My small Crosley size car trailer costs $12.95/year. My other two, in state only, free.

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In Maryland titles have a soundex number on them which is your license number easy enough to query the database of vehicles titled to you. I suspect PA has a similar system. I noted the law quoted does not specify GVW so most of us have smaller utility trailers that are under the Maine GVW.

Robert

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I have a "friend" in PA who has been trailering cars for 35 years and has never had a trailer inspected. He does however carefully maintain his equipment.

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Thanks for the replies. I was just curious because it is an odd law and not a well known one. ArticiferTom, PA is 3,000 lbs. gross weight, Maine is 3,000 lbs. empty. So, my 10,000 lbs. gross trailer that weighs 2,000+ lbs. empty does not require inspection with Maine registration. However the way this law reads, if you only have one trailer, it has to be registered in PA. 

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That is the total of weight , cargo and trailer  . It is also the registered weight ,you can have two axle 7000 lb rated trailer register it less 3000lbs but use it for lighter rating .  many do to avoid the inspection . It may be harder to do after first regist. is done when bought used , been a long time .  Pa Code  Ch 45 , Art. 175.4 (5) EXEMPTIONS . PUBLISHED online.

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On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2016 at 7:42 AM, Syncros007 said:

(i)  the owner has as many trailers registered in this Commonwealth as combinations so registered; or

 

I think this exception is for trucking companies with many trucks and trailers. I am not an expert but believe you would have a tough case in a 1 to 1 comparison.

 

As for the PA inspection, I have skirted the inspections off and on for years and know many people that do. I always do my own inspections which I know will not prevent me from a citation if I am stopped but at least I am not putting myself or others at risk. 

 

The reason we can get away with no inspection is because of  statistics in that the trailer is typically very infrequently on the road and trailer inspection stickers are very difficult to see in passing vs the ones for our cars and trucks mounted on windshield. Its not because the law is not enforced. If an inspection is out of date by say 1-6 months and everything "appears" safe, most troopers will probably not fine you as long as proof of inspection is provided 10 days. If its out of date by years you will be SOL.

 

Making sure your rig looks legal with lights working, breakaway battery functioning, safety chains, and trailer is cosmetically assuring, along with abiding by all traffic laws that significantly reduces ones chance of being stopped. If you are in an accident and its your fault and you have no trailer inspection, Edgar Snyder will come calling!

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