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Trailers, House Semi-trailers and Private Utilities


 

Privately-used trailers, house type semi-trailers and private utilities are included in the category “other non-commercial motor vehicles” (Code 22) for registration purposes.  Trailers (manufactured or homemade) and semi-trailers weighing less than 2,500 lbs. must be registered but are exempt from titling; if a trailer weighs more than 2,500 lbs. (unladen) it must be titled.

For registration purposes, trailer (manufactured or homemade) means every vehicle with or without motive power, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle. 

  • Trailer registrations are due for renewal in March. All registrations are issued with a March 31 expiration date regardless of the month of purchase.

Read through the following choices to determine what steps you need to take before visiting a motor vehicle agency to register (and title, if applicable) your specific type of trailer.

To Register a Trailer that was Pre-Owned (under 2,500 lbs. - no title)

You will need the following:

  • A Vehicle Registration Application (Form BA-49 found only at motor vehicle agencies).
  • A Power of Attorney (POA) if applicable. 
    • A POA is needed only if someone other than the purchaser is signing the documents on behalf of the purchaser.
  • Purchaser’s actual driver's license or identification document.
    • A copy is acceptable if a POA is being used.
  • Proof of New Jersey insurance. 
  • Payment fee for registration (Code 22). License plates are included.
  • Payment for the sales tax fee. If you need assistance with calculating the tax, please call the New Jersey Division of Taxation at 609-984-6206.
  • If the vehicle is leased/financed, then you will also need the lien holder’s information and financing statement Financing Statement/Procedure to Add a lien (Form OS/SS-85c).
  • If the purchaser is a company or business an Entity Identification Number (EIN – formerly corpcode) add link to new EIN page and a Federal Tax ID number are needed.
  • A pencil tracing or a printed-out photograph of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • A notarized statement from the seller that must include all of the following information about the vehicle: year manufactured; make; VIN; and price of purchase.
  • The last registration card that the seller has for the vehicle showing that the vehicle was registered and owned by the seller.
  • Completed Application for Certificate of Ownership (Form OS/SS-7). 

If there is no VIN available, the transaction may be processed so long as all the documentation listed above is provided, along with the applicable fees.  If you do not have all of the abovementioned documentation, you must complete a twelve-step procedure called “Improper Evidence of Ownership Procedure”.  More information and the form packet are available here.  You may also contact the MVC’s Special Title Unit at 609-292-6500 for assistance.

To Register and Title a Trailer that was Pre-Owned (over 2,500 lbs) and all Travel Trailers

You will need all of the items listed in the above section (12 total), plus the following:

 

  • The title properly assigned (includes seller/buyer name and address and signatures, the date of sale, purchase price, and buyer’s driver’s license number).
  • Payment fee for titling:
    • $60 for a standard vehicle.
    • $85 for a financed vehicle with one lien.
    • $110 for a financed vehicle with two liens.
    • The MVC accepts American Express® card, Visa® card, MasterCard® card, check, money order or cash.

To register a homemade trailer

You will need the following:

 

  • Proof of identification;
  • Original receipts/titles for all parts used;
  • A notarized statement containing:
    • construction details;
    • parts and material used; and
    • the date and location where parts were purchased (If parts were taken from another trailer/vehicle, you must list the VIN from each vehicle).
  • A certified weight slip:
    • If the trailer weighs more than 2,500 lbs. (unladen), it must also be titled.
  • Color photographs showing all angles of trailer.
  • A Vehicle Registration Application (Form BA-49 found only at motor vehicle agencies).
  • Completed Application for Certificate of Title for Home-Made Trailer (Form OS/SS-32).
  • Completed Application for Certificate of Ownership (Form OS/SS-7)
  • Payment fee for registration (Code 22)
  • Payment fee for titling (if applicable)
    • $60 for a standard vehicle.
    • $85 for a financed vehicle with one lien.
    • $110 for a finance vehicle with two liens.
    • The MVC accepts American Express® card, Visa® card, MasterCard® card, check, money order or cash.

The N.J.S.A. 39:3-.8 limits vehicles of this type to the following dimensions: 

 

    • Width: 96 inches
    • Height: 13 feet, 6 inches
    • Length (single vehicle): 35 feet
    • Length (semi-trailer and towing vehicle): 48 feet
    • Length (trailer and towing vehicle): 58 feet

When figuring any dimension, safety equipment items (such as mirrors or lights) are not included if they do not exceed the overall limitations.

If the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) (including load) is more than 3,000 lbs. or 40% of the towing vehicle's gross weight, the trailer must be equipped with brakes. 

To Register and/or Title a New Trailer

If you purchase a new vehicle in this category, you must follow registration and or titling procedures applicable to new vehicles.  As noted above, trailers (manufactured or homemade) and semi-trailers weighing less than 2,500 lbs. must be registered but are exempt from titling; if a trailer weighs more than 2,500 lbs. (unladen) it must be titled.

You can click here for more detailed information on new vehicle registration; and if needed, click here for more detailed information on titling a new vehicle.

To transfer ownership

If you need to transfer ownership of a trailer, house semi-trailer or private utility, you may do so only at a motor vehicle agency – this type of transaction cannot be handled through the mail. To ensure the proper transfer of documents and to avoid penalties, please follow these guidelines.