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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Section:V Motor Vehicle License Plate Classifications & RequirementsEffective: 05/01/1986
Number:19.00Revised: 08/08/2003

TRAILER - CLASSES OF LICENSE PLATES

POLICY:

To view Louisiana Statutes: http://www.legis.state.la.us/

AUTHORITY
R.S. 47:501 - Requires registration
R.S. 47:462(B)(1) - Defines registration period on Identification plates
R.S. 32:1- Defines certain types of trailers
R.S. 47:451- Defines certain types of trailers
R.S. 47:479(6) - Exempts certain trailers from registration
R.S.47:462(B)(2)(c)
R.S.47:463.5

DEFINITION OF TRAILER
Louisiana law requires every owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer, or other vehicle intended to be operated upon the public highways in this state to register the vehicle before driving. The category of trailer determines the class of the license plate issued.

The following is a list of definitions of trailer categories:
  • "Light-trailer" means every vehicle of the trailer or semi-trailer type having a loaded gross weight of not more than five hundred pounds.
  • "Semi-trailer" means every single vehicle without motive power designed for carrying property and passengers and so designed in conjunction and used with a motor vehicle that some part of its own weight and that of its own load rests or is carried by another vehicle and having one or more load-carrying axles.
  • "Trailer" means every single vehicle without motive power designed for carrying property or passengers wholly on its own structure, drawn by a motor vehicle which carries no part of the weight and load of the trailer on its own wheels and having two or more load carrying axles.
  • "Boat trailer" means a noncommercial vehicle, of the trailer or semi-trailer type, used solely and exclusively for transporting pleasure water craft and having a loaded gross weight of not more than one thousand five hundred pounds.
  • "Farm trailer" and "farm semi-trailer" mean every vehicle of the trailer or semi-trailer type as are owned by persons engaged in the business of actually farming and used exclusively in carrying farm produce raised on their farms from such farms to market and returning therefrom carrying goods and merchandise back to their farms.
  • "Mobile home" means (a) a trailer or semitrailer which is designed, constructed and equipped as a dwelling place, living abode, or sleeping place, either permanently or temporarily, and is equipped for use as a conveyance on highways; or, (b) a trailer or semitrailer whose chassis and exterior shell is designed and constructed for use as a mobile home, as defined in (a), but which is used instead permanently or temporarily for the advertising, sales, display, or promotion of merchandise or services, or for any other commercial purpose except the transportation of property for hire or the transportation of property for distribution by a private carrier.
  • "Travel trailer" and "camper trailer" mean a trailer or semitrailer which is designed, constructed and equipped as a dwelling place, living abode, or sleeping place, either permanently or temporarily, and is equipped for use as a conveyance on highways.

Note: A tow-dolly is not considered a trailer and may not be eligible for registration.

EXCEPTION
Trailers and semi-trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than twelve thousand (12,000) pounds, when owned and used by a retail business in this State and designed and used EXCLUSIVELY for the purpose of pick-up or delivery of new, used, or repaired farm equipment, shall be exempt from the payment of registration and license tax.

This statute does not exempt these vehicles from titling and/or sales tax. A "TITLE ONLY" transaction will be processed with appropriate fees and sales taxes collected.

REQUIREMENTS
  • All trailers must be titled in the registered owner’s name before a license plate can be issued. See Policy 2 Section IV for titling requirements.
  • Once the category of a trailer has been established, the proper class of license plate must be determined. The expiration of the license plate is based upon the class of license plate.
  • The expiration is set on all class of trailer plates, except for identification trailer plates.

The following defines the plate classes and expiration:
CLASS
EXPIRATION
PRICE PER YEAR
TOTAL
PRICE
Light Semi - 500 lbs. and less
4 years
staggered
$3.00
$12.00
Boat Trailer - 1500 lbs. and less
4 years
staggered
$6.25
$25.00
Farm Trailer - 6000 lbs. and less
4 years
staggered
$3.00
$12.00
House Trailer - mobile homes
1 year - June 30th
$10.00
$10.00
Identification - All others
1 year - June 30th
$10.00
$10.00
4 year - June 30th
$10.00
$40.00
Permanent
$70.00
Apportioned License PlateAs of January, 2002, Louisiana will no longer
issue apportioned trailer plates
  • To determine the gross vehicle weight of a semi-trailer, the weight of the trailer and the maximum load it can carry must be verified. If a semi-trailer has a gross vehicle weight more than 500 lbs., an identification trailer plate must be issued.
  • To determine the gross vehicle weight of a boat trailer, the weight of the trailer, boat and motor must be verified. If a boat trailer has a gross vehicle weight more than 1500 lbs., an identification trailer plate must be issued.
  • To determine the gross vehicle weight of a farm trailer, the weight of the trailer and the maximum load it can carry must be verified. If a farm trailer has a gross vehicle weight more than 6000 lbs., an identification trailer plate must be issued.
  • In order to issue a Farm Semi-Trailer plate, a statement of farm-use must be submitted. It state the owner is a bona fide farmer and the vehicle will be used primarily, but not exclusively, in hauling produce to market and hauling merchandise to their farm, as well as the location of the farm. The statement must also show a complete description of the vehicle including make, year model, and VIN and must be signed by the owner. A Farm Semi-Trailer plate cannot be transferred to a new owner, unless the new owner completes a statement of Farm Use.

Issuance of a house trailer plate is not necessary on all transactions.
  • If the mobile home is moved by a licensed dealer, the sale of a license plate is not necessary.
  • If the mobile home is being transferred between two individuals and the address listed on the application is the same address that is currently on the record, the sale of a new license plate is not necessary.
  • If the house trailer plate is current and the mobile home is being transferred to a new owner, the license plate can be transferred.

The purchaser of an identification plate has the option of purchasing the license plate for one year, four years or a permanent expiration.

An identification trailer plate with a one year or a four-year expiration can be transferred to a new owner.

If an applicant purchases a 4-year trailer plate and the vehicle is ultimately moved from this State, he or she is entitled to a refund. The refund will be calculated in $10.00 increments for each full year remaining on the registration period. Partial year refunds will not be issued.

The permanent trailer license plate CANNOT BE TRANSFERRED FOR ANY REASON. When the owner of a said trailer no longer holds an interest, the license plate is to be returned to the Office of Motor Vehicles. The plate will be cancelled according to policy with no refund due.

Apportioned trailer license plates will no longer be issued in Louisiana, after January 1, 2002.

RELATED POLICIES
Section IV 1.01 Trailers Exempt From Registration
2 .00 Basic Requirements for Obtaining a Certificate of Title
59.00 Refunds
Section V 10.00 Farm Plates
22.00 Public Plates


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