Home > News > Press Releases > 2009 > NEW JERSEY REACHES AGREEMENT WITH DELAWARE, NEW YORK ON FARM VEHICLE USAGE
NEW JERSEY REACHES AGREEMENT WITH DELAWARE, NEW YORK ON FARM VEHICLE USAGE
Operators of Farm Vehicles Now Allowed to Drive Across State BordersFor Immediate Release: February 18, 2009
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) -- New Jersey Acting Secretary of Agriculture Alfred W. Murray and New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sharon A. Harrington today announced that New Jersey has signed agreements with both Delaware and New York regarding the use of farm vehicles when driven across the neighboring state’s borders.
The agreements allow operators of vehicles with ‘farmer’ license plates to drive those vehicles from New Jersey into Delaware and New York and vice-versa without being cited by police.
Without the agreement, farmers had to purchase significantly more expensive “commercial” registrations to be able to drive their farm vehicles into the neighboring state. Those vehicles that did not have the commercial registration could be detained by police, which could have proved costly if they were carrying perishable materials.
Another alternative for farmers was to hire commercial haulers to deliver their goods. Now, those farmers will be able to deliver their own products, as long as their vehicles are registered with “farmer” license plates in New Jersey, with Special Farm Vehicle Registration “FT” tags in Delaware or as an “agricultural” truck in New York.
In all three states, vehicles with farmer or FT license plates or registered as agricultural trucks are restricted to hauling only the farmer’s own agricultural products and supplies.
In addition, New Jersey and Delaware signed a separate agreement recognizing each other’s commercial driver’s license exemption for farmers. In both states, farmers who have valid drivers licenses do not need commercial drivers licenses when the farm vehicle they are operating is properly registered as a farm vehicle, is used exclusively to transport agricultural products, farm machinery or farm supplies to or from the farm owned by the farmer, is not being rented for use by others, and is used within a radius of 150 miles of the farmer’s farm.
The “Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986” requires a person who operates a vehicle that has a gross weight rating in excess of 26,000, carries 15 or more passengers or transports hazardous materials to have a commercial drivers license (CDL). However, states have the authority to exempt certain drivers, including operators of farm vehicles, from the CDL requirement, which both New Jersey and Delaware have done.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations limit use of the CDL exemptions for the operators of farm vehicles to the driver’s home state unless there is a reciprocity agreement with adjoining states.
These reciprocal agreements were the result of combined efforts by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, Delaware Department of Agriculture, Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and New York Department of Motor Vehicles.
New Jersey signed similar reciprocity agreements on farm vehicle registration and the CDL exemption with Pennsylvania in 2005.
It is recommended that farmers carry copies of the reciprocity agreements in their trucks. The agreements can be found at: www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/farmermotorvehicles.html#8.
For more information on New Jersey farm vehicle regulations, visit: www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/farmermotorvehicles.html.