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This weekend my dad was using his 2500 Promaster to pull a 14' enclosed trailer and got pulled over by the Idaho State Police and was asked if he was a commercial rig and how heavy he was. He said that he was not commercial and that he was hauling a side by side in the trailer. He was escorted to the truck scale to weigh. The trailer was 4500 lbs. Dad was given a warning that he did not have the correct license plates on for the vehicle and that he should have "truck" plates and registered for a specific weight capacity (like the GVW of van, 8500 plus towing capacity, 5000 equals 13,500lbs). I'm going down to the DMV tomorrow and see what's up, but has anyone else run into this?


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This does sound familiar. After years of not having a sticker, our delivery driver was pulled over-we run a 12' Chevy 3500 stake-and was told we did not have a proper sticker. On looking into it, we were indeed out of compliance with CA Vehicle Code, and had to buy a "15" sticker, which I think was for total weight class of 12,000-15,000 lbs. Sticker must be renewed each year, here in CA. Good luck!
 

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That sounds typical for Idaho. I've got a friend who got pulled over in Idaho in his GMC 2500 pulling a 24 foot trailer with 6 motorcycles. He and two friends went riding out west on vacation, and had two bikes each. He got cited $450 for not providing his commercial drivers log, and another $650 for not having a CDL license. He had to lose two days of vacation and hire a lawyer to clear it up. The attitude of the Idaho trooper and the judge were that if the vehicle was in Idaho, it has to meet Idaho rules, not the rules of the state he is legally registered in, or Federal rules, which does not require a CDL or a drivers log for that vehicle. In the end the judge offered to toss it out, as long as he paid his court costs of $460. Sounds like a shakedown to me.

I got pulled over in California in a car with windows tinted to the legal limit in Tennessee, but too dark for California. The trooper told me that vehicles always have to meet the code of that state regardless of where they are registered. $374 in court costs and I was free to go. I look at it as a tourist tax.
 

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I've got a friend who got pulled over in Idaho in his GMC 2500 pulling a 24 foot trailer with 6 motorcycles. He got cited $450 for not providing his commercial drivers log, and another $650 for not having a CDL license.
That vehicle and trailer doesn't sound heavy enough to require a Commercial Drivers License. (26,000# CGVWR) Perhaps the second fee was for not having a DOT registration number(?) -- (which would require the driver to keep a log).
 

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That vehicle and trailer doesn't sound heavy enough to require a Commercial Drivers License. (26,000# CGVWR) Perhaps the second fee was for not having a DOT registration number(?) -- (which would require the driver to keep a log).
Our state, where this truck is registered, does not require a DOT registration number for a personal vehicle pulling a personal trailer.
 

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Our state, where this truck is registered, does not require a DOT registration number for a personal vehicle pulling a personal trailer.
I don't know if any states require a DOT number for personal use. It sounds like the Idaho trooper saw 6 motorcycles and assumed it was commercial transport. OR, as you said, it was a shakedown.
 

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Sounds like he's been missing sleep from renegade dirt bikers trail riding near his home.
Wisconsin does not require a license plate or even registration for many trailers, driving out of state, hilarity ensues.
 

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problem is not the sticker or truck plates . its the total weight. dmv is technically responsible for plating you correctly. dot only cares if you are running a business and running over 10000 bs. you DO NOT need a cdl under 26000 lbs but you should be running a commercial plates/tag/sticker whatever you have in your state since you have the "capacity" to be over 10000lbs. a ram promaster 1500 is rated 7k on registration in NYS, then you add the towing capacity 5100lb -- 7k + 5100 = 12100lbs. you are over the 10k limit and should be commercial. dot is whole another story for dot numbers. they are a headache.

If you have regular plates aka passenger plates then hopefully you dont have plans towing.

I currently have commercial plates.
 

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according to https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/drivers

"Drivers are required to obtain and hold a CDL if they operate in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce and drive a vehicle that meets one or more of the classifications of a CMV described below. "

"Class A: Any combination of vehicles which has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) whichever is greater"

Notice the " and". Are you involved in commerce? do you make money with your PM and trailer? If your answer is NO then you do not need the commercial tags and CDL per federal law. States like Idaho and North Carolina know people have no clue what the law is and use this as a shakedown. They may have some obscure law that is impossible to find, I tried and failed, that somehow supersedes federal law until you spend the money on a lawyer and then they graciously drop the charges for court costs.. which is more than just paying the fine.

In Section § 390.5: Definitions FAQ, What Idaho refers to for the definition of a commercial vehicle " Question 5: A driver used by a motor carrier operates a CMV to and from his/her residence out of State. Is this considered interstate commerce?

Guidance: If the driver is operating a CMV at the direction of the motor carrier, it is considered interstate commerce and is subject to the FMCSRs. If the motor carrier is allowing the driver to use the vehicle for private personal transportation, such transportation is not subject to the FMCSRs."

Using the vehicle for personal transport is not a CMV.

Does every Suburban in Idaho towing a trailer have Commercial tags? I bet not. It is a shakedown.

By the way, I do have a CDL A.
 

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I finally saw where Idaho does register vehicles by weight. But the first thing is, you have to be a resident of Idaho. Hope you find someone knowledgeable at your DMV.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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Just to be clear it's up to the owner/driver to ask questions and be in compliance.

Indiana fee chart,
Passenger plate $21.35, I chose because I don't tow.
Truck plate <11001 $$30.35
Truck plate <16000 $144.00< I believe this can be prorated.

The state could just charge by GCWR regardless of how you use the van and avoid this issue, and that would suck for me.
 

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according to https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/drivers

Does every Suburban in Idaho towing a trailer have Commercial tags? I bet not. It is a shakedown.
Exactly. There is a road going through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which is right in my back yard, that prohibits Commercial vehicles. That makes sense as a tractor trailer could really screw up traffic on this road and it is a national park, so keep it looking good, minimize traffic from heavy vehciles, etc. I know of a few cases where someone in his company car, one example was a guy in a Chevy Bolt, with no signage, logos, etc. at all but with a commercial tag since company cars have commercial tags here in TN when they are in the company name, getting stopped and ticketed for being on that road with a commercial tag. In a freakin' Chevy Bolt? But if you buy a 32,000 motorhome on a bus chassis then you are allowed in the park.

I used to have a Ram pickup. 1500, short bed, regular cab. It was in my companies name, and I got a warning about taking it into the park since it was a "commercial" vehicle. When I finally get a van I am going to have to make sure I get a passenger vehicle tag, and not a commercial vehicle tag.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is what my visit to the Idaho DMV yielded, if a person plans on towing a trailer (horse trailer, boat, enclosed trailer, etc.) and the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer is more than 8,000 lbs, than a "T" plate and registration is needed which allows combined weight of up to 16,000 lbs. The exemption is if the trailer is a camp trailer (RV) or a slide in camper for a pick up. If a person decides to put any company logo, its considered "commercial" and again needs special plates and they also have tow ratings, with the lowest of 16,000 lbs. The plates were not much more money than the regular registration (it cost me $12.50 to make the change), but it was a bummer that I was not made aware of this when I registered the first time. I asked if they inform people of this at the time of registration, and they said that they do for vehicles of a 3/4 ton rating and bigger, but because mine was a van, I think it slipped their minds. I think that my van is one of the biggest my DMV had seen (I live in a small rural county).

So what I learned is this: if a resident of Idaho gets a Promaster and plans to tow, they should get the "T" plates, and if they throw a logo on the van, they need commercial plates with the tow rating. If they do not plan on towing, or tow a camp trailer, the regular registration should be fine.

I'm sure that there are more details that could be found, and I did not ask about those who visit from out of state and what regulations that they fall under, but it would be worth a look.
 

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my 2500 here in PA has truck plates and cost me I think $187 a year for registration. My van with me my wife and 2 kids loaded for vacation tipped the scales at 7900 lbs . the weight adds but quickly.


My old truck was a 2005 ram 2500 diesel that I got used and didn't pay attention when I bought it cause the registration fees were all mixed in with total price. But after towing a 5th wheel that weighed 12,000 lbs for a year I noticed the truck was registered at 5000 GVW for whatever reason and I had to go through a heck of a deal to get it back up to 9000 GVW. DMV screw up all the time.
 
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