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Old 01-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
lugnutz
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utility trailers in NC- tagging and titles

I'm hoping someone knows the correct answer to this. From what I've read on their website, the NCDOT doesn't distinguish a utility trailer from any other trailer, but I know people who have pulled small utility trailers, small construction trailers (like with a small cement mixer, etc.) pig cooker, etc without a license plate... and some even without trailer lights.

I'm in the market for a 5x8 utility trailer, but a lot of them I'm finding for sale don't have titles and presumably never had a title.... but I'm a bit squeamish about what a hassle it might be trying to go legit, if need be. The internet is full of stories of people trying to get a trailer titled that never had a title, or lost the title. If trailers under a certain size really don't need to be titled/tagged then I'm sweating over nothing.

Any LE know the real deal? Do *all* trailers no matter how small need to be titled and tagged or what? Maybe this is something that doesn't really get enforced?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:22 AM   #2
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I have never actually titled or tagged any trailer I have owned. Car trailers and 5x8 dirt bike trailers. Pulled all over nc and up to Ohio, etc. never been pulled

In nc trailers don't need lights if you can see the lights of the truck also I believe
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #3
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have to go to NCSHP and get the chassis stamped with a VIN after they inspect it to be road worthy. Then take the paperwork to DMV and they will issue title. I was told the process will cost $100-$150 so take that into account buying used. May be cheaper to buy new with title!
And any trailer has to be tagged. If lights of pulling vehicle is visable and trailer is under 16' no lights are required.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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if you're looking at buying a trailer, i just bought a 5x8 from agri supply in garner last year. it was one of the cheapest i could find with a wooden floor, but also had just about the highest GVWR capacity @ 3000lbs i think. it was only $800(now its $900), came with a new title, prewired for a flat 4 wire plug, jack handle, "A"-frame tongue, lifetime warranty on the floor, 15" tires, tailgate, ect. i'd strongly recommend atleast going by agri supply and looking at it/them in person if you're thinking about buying a trailer.

here's the link to the one i bought:
http://www.agrisupply.com/-utility-t...80/ss/trailer/
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:45 AM   #5
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If you do get tags for it then get the permanent tag for it. One time fee of 75 when getting the plate over 28 a year for the sticker. Have one on every trailer I own. The only ones you cant get a permanent tag for are camper trailers I think.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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never had tags on any of my trailers and i have pulled them everywhere
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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http://www.kaufmantrailers.com/heavy...BASIC-p89.html

http://www.kaufmantrailers.com/heavy...ASIC-p495.html



And someone on here is a manager out there, so he/she might be able to get that price even lower.

I have a car trailer from them, and I very pleased with the construction of it. Not to mention it pulls like a champ!
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input and suggestions guys. Those kaufman and agri-supply trailers look like great deals for the money. I needed one today, but my cheap ass didn't want to spend too much money, so I bought a used one off a kid on craigslist for $450. He started with a Harbor Freight special, then welded all the metal, added a tongue jack, 1" treated decking and side boards, removable 4' loading ramp, etc. He put a lot of time into it and the quality of his work was great. The thing looks and pulls like new, so I'm happy with it. I just need to weld on a few tie down loops and a spare tire carrier of some sort and it'll be good to go.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:18 PM   #9
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if you have a trailer and live in NC, you are required to have tags on it (car tow dollys are excluded). no matter the size, or what it is used for. all NEW trailers should come with a title. if they dont, i would be concerned.

now for buying used...

if you buy one from someone who says "i dont have a title", you are still required to register it. if it has markings on it (tag with vin info, etc) you can file for a title, BUT (heres where it gets dicey) you will have to put a bond against the value of the trailer, then, if within 3 years (around that time, cant remember the exact) no one comes and claims the trailer with a title, you get a title for the trailer. the other way to do it would be to claim it as "homemade" and try to get a serial # issued to you by the DOT/HP.


law enforcement (especially HP) are cracking down hard on trailers with no tags. ( i work for a company that sells trailers and i have people coming in all the time asking for duplicate titles because they never registered it when they bought it, and they were stopped for having no tags. and they bought it 3-5 years ago)

as for lights, all trailers that block the view of the vehicles tail lights are required (and all trailers really should), have lights on them. two lights in the rear, and one light on each side for markers (at least). if you are pulling a trailer at night, although it still isnt required if you can see the vehicles tail lights, you should have lights on the trailer, from a safety standpoint.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #10
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The permanent tag is actually called a multi-year and it is 75 bucks.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananaman View Post
The permanent tag is actually called a multi-year and it is 75 bucks.
I don't understand why folks wouldn't run a permanent tag. Lady said it was going to be 21 dollars for me to renew a regular tag. Seems like a no brainer if you have no intentions of selling the trailer quick.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:11 PM   #12
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I know this post is somewhat old.....but since I just went through this process thought I would reply.

I bought a new homemade 5x10 trailer from a builder in Mount Airy. No title and no VIN. I drove to local NC License Plate Agency and requested a VIN for a homemade utility trailer. The cost of this is $5. The agent will present you with a new VIN for your trailer.

You then have to stamp the new VIN onto the frame close to the towing attachment and on the axle. Now the trailer has to be inspected by a NC Highway Patrol Trooper of DMV Anti Theft Officer. My local DMV provides this service from 8-10am. They basically make sure your VIN is attached in the correct place and do a simple safety inspection. Takes 5 minutes. The officer will sign the form you received from the agent at License Plate Agency.

Now take the signed form back to the license plate agency. The agent will now issue you a title, registration card and new registration plate. Something that's not advertised is permanent plates for your trailer. If you plan on keeping the trailer this is the way to go. No worries about renewal etc.

I know there is a little leg work involved with this process.....but it was the best way to go for me based on the price of the trailer.

Hope this helps.....feel free to ask any question.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:55 PM   #13
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Go ahead and get a tag, I didnt for a year on my ATV trailer and finally got pulled and got a ticket! Had to get it tagged then go to court and show them the paperwork.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:36 AM   #14
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I went many years without a trailer plate before paying the $75 for a permanent one on my utility trailer. Never heard of anyone who has been pulled, but I got tired of looking over my shoulder every time I passed a cop or turning off when I saw one approaching in my rear view. Not worth the hassle IMO...The piece of mind is worth it if you tow much at all. I don't pay for one on my boat or jet ski trailers, but they rarely touch a public road.

SC supposedly doesn't require plates on trailers. I know several people who are continuously "borrowing a trailer from their parents in SC." No idea if that would be worth anything if they do get pulled over.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niSSan View Post
if you're looking at buying a trailer, i just bought a 5x8 from agri supply in garner last year. it was one of the cheapest i could find with a wooden floor, but also had just about the highest GVWR capacity @ 3000lbs i think. it was only $800(now its $900), came with a new title, prewired for a flat 4 wire plug, jack handle, "A"-frame tongue, lifetime warranty on the floor, 15" tires, tailgate, ect. i'd strongly recommend atleast going by agri supply and looking at it/them in person if you're thinking about buying a trailer.

here's the link to the one i bought:
http://www.agrisupply.com/-utility-t...80/ss/trailer/
I have the exact same one, but I bought it three yrs ago and paid 680 for it. I love it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:23 PM   #16
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Funny story... so I was hauling a sofa for my Mom and got to Asheville pretty late (it was around midnight). No tag on my homemade utility trailer, and sure as hell 200 yards from her driveway get pulled over by a local PD. Luckily some dumbass came flying by doing about 65 (in a 45) with no tags on their car, so he quickly handed back my license and said it was my lucky night. Haven't had any trouble before or since.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tblev View Post
I know this post is somewhat old.....but since I just went through this process thought I would reply.

I bought a new homemade 5x10 trailer from a builder in Mount Airy. No title and no VIN. I drove to local NC License Plate Agency and requested a VIN for a homemade utility trailer. The cost of this is $5. The agent will present you with a new VIN for your trailer.

You then have to stamp the new VIN onto the frame close to the towing attachment and on the axle. Now the trailer has to be inspected by a NC Highway Patrol Trooper of DMV Anti Theft Officer. My local DMV provides this service from 8-10am. They basically make sure your VIN is attached in the correct place and do a simple safety inspection. Takes 5 minutes. The officer will sign the form you received from the agent at License Plate Agency.

Now take the signed form back to the license plate agency. The agent will now issue you a title, registration card and new registration plate. Something that's not advertised is permanent plates for your trailer. If you plan on keeping the trailer this is the way to go. No worries about renewal etc.

I know there is a little leg work involved with this process.....but it was the best way to go for me based on the price of the trailer.

Hope this helps.....feel free to ask any question.
I am trying to get a homemade trailer street legal. I have my vin number and now I am on a wild goose chase trying to find out what size stamp I need for the vin number for the tongue and axel. What size did you stamp? I am also jumping thru hoops trying to find out exactly where to take my trailer to have it inspected. I keep getting redirected and told to call numbers in very limited time windows when I am usually at work.
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