When Do You Need to Title and Register Your Trailer?

By: Kathy Teel July 7, 2012

In most jurisdictions, state law stipulates that you have thirty days from the purchase to title and register your trailer. Use this as a guideline and not a rule, because state laws always vary.

Be aware that not every state titles and registers trailers; however, not titling and registering a trailer in a state that does require it will result in a penalty, which grows more severe the longer the trailer goes untitled.

What's a Trailer?

A trailer is any unit carrying property or passengers, attached to and towed by a motorized vehicle.

Typical examples of trailers include:

  • Farm wagons
  • Boat trailers
  • Flat beds
  • Semi-trailers
  • Livestock trailers
  • Campers

Check your state's trailer definitions; if you're still unsure, contact your DMV.

Trailer Title and Registration Requirements

To title and register a trailer, the owner will normally have to submit:

  • The properly signed title. Sometimes you can use other proofs of ownership, such as a bill of sale or a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO).
  • A signed application for title and license.
  • Receipts of paid personal property taxes.
  • Proof of trailer insurance, depending on the state.
  • All applicable title and registration fees.

Do you own and travel with a trailer? What did you have to do to title and register it?


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