'Round The Campfire

Q&A: Do I need to register my (RV) trailer?


Bookmark and Share

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter May Outdoor Living Newsletter
 
A trailer sits beside a lake at a campground
A trailer finds its home

I live in NY State, do I need to register my (RV) trailer?

Dear Trailer Owner,

The short answer is yes, trailers must be registered in the State of New York. Simply follow the steps below in order and you should be registered (in New York State) and ready to hit the road in no time.

When buying a used or new trailer there are one of three scenarios that you will be faced with; 1) buying a new trailer from a dealer, 2) buying a used trailer from a dealer, and 3) A private used trailer sale from a non-DMV licensed dealer. In each scenario when you buy or receive your trailer, make sure that the legal owner of the vehicle can give you acceptable proof of ownership.

1. I bought a new trailer from a dealer

  1. Provide the DMV with proof of ownership

    If you purchased a new trailer from a dealer they will most likely have submitted the vehicle registration, title certificate, and proof of ownership (Manufacturer's Statement of Origin and form MV-50, which is the Dealer's Bill of Sale) to the DMV for your registration. The dealer can also issue a temporary registration and, if required, vehicle plates. The dealer will usually charge a fee for this service.
  2. Provide the DMV with proof of New York State Sales Tax, exemption or purchase price

    You must pay the sales tax, prove that it was paid, or prove your exemption at the DMV office when there is a change of ownership, a lease agreement, or a new resident of NYS applies for a NYS registration or title certificate. You must get a sales tax receipt from the DMV even if the transaction is exempt from sales tax.

    If you paid out-of-state sales tax, show the out-of-state dealer bill of sale. The bill of sale must show the purchase price and the amount of out-of-state sales tax paid to the dealer. Use form DTF-804 to claim credit for the state and local sales taxes you paid in the other state. This process can reduce the amount of your NYS sales tax if NYS and the other state have an agreement about sales tax.

    If you were not a resident of NYS when the vehicle was purchased, use form DTF-803 to receive a non-resident exemption from NYS sales tax. Form DTF-803 defines the terms "non-resident" and "resident".
  3. Fill out the MV-82 Title Application
  4. Bring proof of identity to the DMV
  5. Pay sales tax and fees (unless exempted)
  6. After registration, have your trailer inspected by a certified NY State Inspection Center, such as a gas station or tire store, within 10 days
  7. Registration sticker is good for a maximum of one year

    All trailer registration stickers expire on December 31st and are pro rated to the day you register your trailer e.g if you register your trailer on October 1st you will be charged for 3 months. Also, the cost of the registration is based on the loaded weight of the trailer. This is a little different if you happen to be in California or Florida.

Source: NY State DMV - for further information please contact New York State DMV directly.

2. I bought a used trailer from a dealer

  1. Provide the DMV with acceptable proof of ownership

    If you purchased a used trailer from a dealer you'll need to provide the DMV with acceptable proof of ownership. The information required for registering your trailer is different based on the model year and weight of your trailer.

    If your trailer is a model year 1973 or newer and weighs 1,000 lbs or more you will need the following:
    • A NYS title certificate and bill of sale.
    • The title certificate that the previous owner signed to transfer the ownership to the dealer.
    • Form MV-50 that the dealer signs to transfer ownership to you.
    • If the trailer is registered in another state, contact that state to make sure that the proof of ownership you receive is the acceptable proof of ownership for that state.

    If your trailer is a model year 1972 or older and weighs 999 lbs. or less you will need the following:
    • A transferable NYS registration or the acceptable proof of ownership from another state. The word "transferable" must appear on the front of the registration. The person whose name appears on the registration must sign the transfer section of the registration.
    • Bill of sale.
    • Form MV-50 that the dealer signs to transfer ownership to you.
  2. Provide the DMV with proof of New York State Sales Tax, exemption or purchase price

    You must pay the sales tax, prove that it was paid, or prove your exemption at the DMV office when there is a change of ownership, a lease agreement, or a new resident of NYS applies for a NYS registration or title certificate. You must get a sales tax receipt from the DMV even if the transaction is exempt from sales tax.

    If you bought the vehicle from a NYS automobile dealer or an out-of-state dealer that is authorized to collect NYS sales tax, bring the dealer's bill of sale that shows that you paid NYS sales tax. Also bring form MV-50 (NYS dealer only) or form DTF-803 (out-of-state dealer). If NYS sales tax was paid to a NYS dealer, sales tax is not collected when you apply for a vehicle registration, and the DMV does not issue a sales tax receipt.

    If you paid out-of-state sales tax, show the out-of-state dealer bill of sale. The bill of sale must show the purchase price and the amount of out-of-state sales tax paid to the dealer. Use form DTF-804 to claim credit for the state and local sales taxes you paid in the other state. This process can reduce the amount of your NYS sales tax if NYS and the other state have an agreement about sales tax.

    If you were not a resident of NYS when the vehicle was purchased, use form DTF-803 to receive a non-resident exemption from NYS sales tax. Form DTF-803 defines the terms "non-resident" and "resident".
  3. Bring proof of identity to the DMV
  4. After registration, have your trailer inspected by a certified NY State Inspection Center, such as a gas station or tire store, within 10 days
  5. Registration sticker is good for a maximum of one year

    All trailer registration stickers expire on December 31st and are pro rated to the day you register your trailer e.g if you register your trailer on October 1st you will be charged for 3 months. Also, the cost of the registration is based on the loaded weight of the trailer. This is a little different if you happen to be in California or Florida.

Source: NY State DMV - for further information please contact New York State DMV directly.

3. I bought a used trailer from a from another person in a private sale

  1. Provide the DMV with proof of ownership

    If you buy a trailer from another person who is not a DMV-licensed dealer or receive it as a gift, make sure that you receive acceptable proof of ownership.

    So what do we mean by "Acceptable Proofs of Ownership" in New York State? Here goes:

    Trailers - model year 1973 or newer with an unladen weight of 1,000 lbs. or more

    The acceptable proof of ownership is a NYS title certificate or the acceptable proof of ownership from another state, and a bill of sale. The person whose name appears on the proof of ownership must sign the transfer section of the proof of ownership.

    If the trailer is registered in another state, contact that state to make sure that the proof of ownership you receive is the acceptable proof of ownership for that state.

    Trailers - model year 1972 or older, or any trailer with an unladen weight of 999 lbs. or less

    The acceptable proof of ownership is a transferable NYS registration or the acceptable proof of ownership from another state, and a bill of sale. The word "transferable" must appear on the front of the registration. The person whose name appears on the registration must sign the transfer section of the registration.

    If the trailer is registered in another state, contact that state to make sure that the proof of ownership you receive is the acceptable proof of ownership for that state.

    You obtain the title of certificate and transfer ownership from the previous owner. As part of the paperwork, you will need a Bill of Sale. The DMV does not provide a form for a bill of sale, therefore it is up to the seller and the buyer to create their own bill of sale - a quick Google search should provide you with ample templates. An acceptable bill of sale includes all of this information:
    • year and make of the vehicle
    • vehicle identification number (VIN)
    • date of the sale
    • purchase price of the vehicle. If the trailer is transferred as a gift,indicate this on the bill of sale and indicate that the purchase price is $0. You must also indicate the vehicle is a gift on form DTF-802 (Statement of Transaction {Sales Tax Form})
    • names and signatures of the buyer and the seller

    The buyer and seller can make photocopies of the bill of sale to keep in their records. The new owner must give the original bill of sale to the DMV with the other acceptable proofs of ownership required. A bill of sale is not an acceptable proof of ownership without other proofs.
  2. Provide the DMV with proof of New York State Sales Tax, exemption or purchase price

    You must pay the sales tax, prove that it was paid, or prove your exemption at the DMV office when there is a change of ownership, a lease agreement, or a new resident of NYS applies for a NYS registration or title certificate. You must get a sales tax receipt from the DMV even if the transaction is exempt from sales tax.

    If you bought your vehicle from another person in a private sale, both the buyer and the seller must complete form DTF-802. Bring the form to a DMV office. The DMV calculates and collects the sales tax, and issues a sales tax receipt.
  3. Fill out the MV-82 Title Application
  4. Bring proof of identity to the DMV
  5. Pay sales tax and fees
  6. After registration, have your trailer inspected by a certified NY State Inspection Center, such as a gas station or tire store, within 10 days
  7. Registration sticker is good for one year

All trailer registration stickers expire on December 31st and are pro rated to the day you register your trailer e.g if you register your trailer on October 1st you will be charged for 3 months. Also, the cost of the registration is based on the loaded weight of the trailer. This is a little different if you happen to be in California or Florida.

Source: NY State DMV - for further information please contact New York State DMV directly.

 

More information to help you out

Our 'Round the Campfire question comes from a trailer owner in New York State. As such we have contacted the NY DMV to investigate. We also recognize that each state has slightly different registration requirements for trailers. Here is a brief roundup for trailer owners in California and Florida. For other states, please contact your DMV directly.

California - In California trailers that do not exceed 16 feet in overall length and 8 feet in width may register as a Permanent Trailer Identification. The fee for this Identification is $10 every five years.

If a trailer exceeds 16 feet in overall length or 8 feet in overall width (measured from foremost point of trailer hitch to the rear extremity of the trailer body, and where a trailer telescopes out), it must be registered as a "trailer coach." Trailer coaches require annual registration fees, just like an automobile.

Source: California DMV - for further information please contact California DMV directly.

Florida - If the trailer is non-powered and is less than 6 feet in length, it is not required to be registered or titled. However, if the non-powered trailer is 16 feet or more in length it is required to be registered and titled.

Source: Florida DMV - for further information please contact Florida DMV directly.

For additional information be sure to visit your state's DMV website.

Copyright ©2010 Camping Road Trip, LLC

Bookmark and Share

Find campgrounds and RV parks - Smart Search Now
Read campground and RV park reviews to help you find the perfect place to stay

 

Read more from our May Outdoor Living Newsletter


© 2007-2014 Camping Road Trip, LLC. All Rights Reserved.