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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: cliffreaves on April 19, 2019, 09:54:20 PM

Title: Self made trailer title
Post by: cliffreaves on April 19, 2019, 09:54:20 PM
I wasn't sure where to post this, but i just purchased a tandem axle trailer that was homemade years ago.  There is no title or tags that came with it. I'm wanting to modify it slightly into a log trailer with a winch and a loading arch.  Has anyone dealt with getting a title for a homemade trailer? I'm in Tennessee if that makes a difference. I couldn't really find clear guidelines online for what is required.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 19, 2019, 10:14:28 PM
   Check with your state DMV. Different states have different rules and procedures. Good luck.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: chet on April 19, 2019, 10:34:36 PM
Not sure about your state, but I've done it in Michigan several times and it is very easy. As was stated check with your local DMV.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 19, 2019, 10:59:07 PM
Chet,

   It may be easy in your state but not in all. WV requires you to show where the axles come from and source data for them such as titles with axle serial numbers listed from mobile homes where they were used if that is the source, dealers like TSC provide such info with axles they sell, etc. A simple bill of sale is not enough as I understand. Some states make it very easy to register, others don't.

   The steps from the state DMV should be very clear but they may not be that easy to comply with. In some cases it may be easier to register in another state and then transfer to your state. Good luck.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: low_48 on April 19, 2019, 11:45:36 PM
In Illinois you have to have the state police inspect the trailer and attach a tag. 
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: chet on April 20, 2019, 08:05:04 AM
I've never had to get one inspected, but was required to provide a weight slip. None of these trailers were ever over 10,000# units, so that may have been the difference with inspection requirements.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: btulloh on April 20, 2019, 08:13:31 AM
Looking the TN DMV, they have an application for inspection of home built trailers and a process that leads to title and registration.

Self built trailer (https://www.tn.gov/safety/tnhp/cvemain/homemadetrailer.html)

Application (https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/safety/documents/homemadetrailerapplication.pdf)

Requirements (https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/safety/documents/TRAILERREQUIREMENTSTAG.pdf)
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: lxskllr on April 20, 2019, 08:15:45 AM
In some cases it may be easier to register in another state and then transfer to your state. Good luck.
Happy Birthday Chet!
It's fairly common around here to see trailers with Maine tags. I don't deal with trailers, and don't know why, but there's probably some decent reason for it. Might be something to look into.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 20, 2019, 08:16:43 AM
Chet,

   Happy birthday. Part of our state registration also includes HP inspecting the trailer and i think the state provides a serial number that has to be embossed in the tongue near the hitch.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: btulloh on April 20, 2019, 08:27:03 AM
It would probably be better to get the title while it's still a "utility trailer".  Once it becomes a "log trailer" it probably opens up deeper levels of pain and suffering.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: dgdrls on April 20, 2019, 08:57:53 AM
In some cases it may be easier to register in another state and then transfer to your state. Good luck.
Happy Birthday Chet!
It's fairly common around here to see trailers with Maine tags. I don't deal with trailers, and don't know why, but there's probably some decent reason for it. Might be something to look into.
In NY, if the truck/vehicle  pulling the trailer has Commercial Plates, the owner is considered a resident of NY and cannot meet residency in Maine to apply Maine plates to the trailer.  (Excludes Commercial tractors) The Maine Plate angle is/was about saving $$.  NY State Police came to our office for  Commercial Driver refresher and training and they advised they are looking for this all the time.  (FWIW, that was a few years ago).
D
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 20, 2019, 09:27:57 AM
   I am surprised people are running out of state plates on their trailers. What I was saying is it is sometimes easier to get a friend or family member to register the trailer in one state then transfer the registration. It is often easier to transfer a title from one state to another than to register from scratch in selected states. 
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: Southside on April 20, 2019, 10:10:04 AM
In Maine there is a whole business of "Agents" who provide you with a mailing address and they take care of trailer registration for a fee.  Maine has dirt cheap trailer registration along with semi and permanent registration.  Even with the agent fee it's still much cheaper to register a trailer there in most cases, which is why you see so many semi trailers registered there when the truck is completely different.  

Nothing illegal in Maine about it, all they care is they get their money.  Like dgdrls said New York was getting upset about it a few years back, have a friend who said the same thing at the time, because they realized they were loosing money. 
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: sawguy21 on April 20, 2019, 02:09:24 PM
In BC it would be inspected and registered as a homebuilt, not complicated at all. The police will ask questions if the tow vehicle and trailer plates don't match as the trailer may be stolen.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: cliffreaves on April 20, 2019, 06:31:51 PM
Thanks everyone. It looks like I'm going to have to make a few modifications before I try to get it registered, but it's stuff I was planning to do anyway.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: JJ on April 21, 2019, 05:54:57 PM
I registered a home made trailer in Maine with no trouble, just needed to provide serial/vin number; I gave it 000001 for serial since I have never seen another like it.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/18492/IMG_2818.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1555883644)
 

       jj
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: Crusarius on April 22, 2019, 03:52:55 PM
Another reason for the maine plates is to avoid the NYS yearly registration fee. They are also supposed to get a yearly inspection which most ppl do not worry about and from what I understand they are not enforcing yet.

When I bought my little 5x8 utility trailer I lived in AZ. I ended up with permanent plates. I will keep those plates :)
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 22, 2019, 07:19:11 PM
   Good luck with that. I'd bet somewhere there is a byline that says they are permanent and valid as long as you are an AZ resident. I hope you are a smooth talker when a NY Smokey pulls you over wanting to hear why you are running NY plates on the vehicle and AZ plates on the trailer. BTW - I have permanent WV plates on my utility and boat trailer but I bet if I move to another state I have to change them. Good luck and let us know how it turns out. :o
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: Southside on April 22, 2019, 09:10:40 PM
Unless he is commercial, or failed the attitude test, they probably won't care on a small trailer like that.  It's more of a tax thing and when NY was getting uppity about it most of the guys were in duallys that were getting targeted.  
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: Crusarius on April 23, 2019, 07:15:22 AM
Southside is correct. all the guys running 1 tons and hauling cars were the primary target. They may mess with me some day but they haven't yet. its been over 10 years.
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: chet on April 23, 2019, 08:39:17 AM
Since registration and plates are not required in Wisconsin for homemade trailers less than 3,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight, I wonder how that would fly for me to be towing a Wisconsin trailer in Michigan. :P
Title: Re: Self made trailer title
Post by: Tom the Sawyer on April 23, 2019, 01:23:05 PM
Most states have reciprocity agreements with adjoining states.  They would look at the plates on the power unit (the vehicle towing the unlicensed trailer) and, if Wisconsin, they would probably let it go.  But if you are making the case that the trailer is based in Wisconsin, and the tags on your vehicle are from Michigan, you would probably need your Wisconsin trailer title in hand to avoid a citation.  If they are not required to be licensed in Wisconsin, there probably is no title...  ding.  

Kansas has a similar situation in that trailers (homemade, commercial, boats, etc.) under 2000 lbs. GVW, registration is optional.  Some stores even sell plates that state "Kansas Trailer, under 2000".  I would often travel to our farm in southern Missouri, Kansas tagged vehicle towing an unlicensed small trailer - never a problem (but I carried a copy of the statute in the glove box).  Although "optional", registering small trailers isn't very costly and they are a commonly stolen item so having a VIN on file, and an identifiable tag, may increase your chances of recovery.