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Old 02-04-2009, 10:55 PM   #1
john56h
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Default Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

I've heard recently of a few New Yorkers being hassled about their trailers being registered in Maine as out-of-state-residents. I have never had any trouble in the ten or so years that I've had my open trailer registered in Maine, but using it mostly on New York highways.

Supposedly, NY police are now saying the Maine plates are "the same as having no plate". Perhaps this applies to commercial use? Does anyone have any light to shed on the subject? I'd like to find out before trailering season begins.

Thanks.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:57 PM   #2
john56h
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

I think I may have found what the NY Police are "catching" people with Maine plates in violation of.

LINK:
http://www.maine.gov/search?q=cache:udcNiv...nd&oe=UTF-8

The link is to a Maine DMV page that gives specific requirements for safety inspection of certain trailers. I have printed the brochure version to carry in my truck in case I get pulled over and questioned. Looks to me like the trailers are exempt from inspection if their gross weight is 7000 lbs or less AND the trailer/truck combination is NOT used for commerce. That covers me okay, because my trailer has dual 3500 lb axles and I am not a business (just hobbyist racer).

Here is how Maine DMV determines whether or not a "commerce" use:

"For purposes of the Commercial Motor Vehicle regulations, you are in commerce if there is an expectation or possibility of earning money (above reasonable expenses), or receiving other valuable considerations. Competing for prize money at a fair would be considered commerce only if the underlying activity generates income (such as selling animals), or related expenses are taken as an income tax deduction, or if corporate sponsorship is involved. Simply winning a nominal cash prize is not commerce."


Looks like you guys with larger race trailers, or that are businesses, might indeed be in violation...so be careful!
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:32 AM   #3
jetmek
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

i assume your reason for doing this is its cheaper to reg out of state? the fuzz are looking to collect $ any way they can. i got the treatment 2x this past year pulling my trailer ( ny reg btw). once they were waiting at a t-way toll both anther pulled over just to ask where i was going/coming from etc. seems they can pull you over now with no justification.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:28 AM   #4
flynbrian48
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

A buddy of mine has his 5th wheel registered in Maine, as a way of avoiding paying tax on the purchase price and cheap reg. Seemed a little "iffy" to me, but, he drags it all over the country.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:35 AM   #5
Pontiac Slim
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

Strange.. have friends here in Maine that reg. motorhomes in Vt.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:09 PM   #6
gaspumpchas
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

Just reg'ed my 22 ft flatbed trl inn maine; easy enough and 1/3 the price of nys thieves, plus all NY dmv fees going up 25% thanks to the jerks in albany that ran NY into the ground. If I get stopped, I'll do what I do best and play dumb... they would rather hassle u about that than chase a criminal..stay tuned.....

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Old 02-05-2009, 03:35 PM   #7
purdysd
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

I live in NY and have 3 cars registered in Maine (all < 1960). Never a problem so far. I have heard that they have been giving some comercial businesses with trailers a warning. It's no different than registering a company in the state of Delaware for tax purposes; they all do it. NY has gotten out of hand with their taxation. We are the second largest taxed state in the US. I'm planning on moving south just as soon as I can retire!
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
john56h
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaspumpchas View Post
Just reg'ed my 22 ft flatbed trl inn maine; easy enough and 1/3 the price of nys thieves, plus all NY dmv fees going up 25% thanks to the jerks in albany that ran NY into the ground. If I get stopped, I'll do what I do best and play dumb... they would rather hassle u about that than chase a criminal..stay tuned.....

gaspumpchas

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits- A. Einstein

I printed the Maine State Motor Vehicle literature to carry with me when towing. At least if I get stopped by an uninformed cop, I can show him the rules and that I comply.


Here's the link...click on the "open" button
LINK:
http://www.maine.gov/dps/msp/vehicle...hure103007.doc.

Last edited by john56h; 02-05-2009 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:14 PM   #9
gaspumpchas
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

Thanks for the Link, John...printed and will carry...Charlie


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Old 02-05-2009, 07:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

born free, tax to death
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:29 AM   #11
345 DeSoto
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

NYS requires a yearly inspection of trailers that get towed behind cars and trucks, too. Owners don't seem to realize it and my bet is that they'll start nailing residents for THAT, too. Having been "on the job" in Upstate NY for 20 years (retired now), I know that the Vehicle and Traffic laws are NOT to make the roads safer, but to add to the coffers of State and Local governments...ANY way they can. In my town, it's big money nailing people for not showing a front plate, or the plate being "dirty/illegible". I registered my 32 in Florida, just so I wouldn't have to run a plate on the front of the car, plaster all the damn NYS stickers all over my windshield, and put cycle fenders on my wheels. THAT'LL piss 'em off...but there isn't a damn thing they can do about it!

Last edited by 345 DeSoto; 02-06-2009 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:00 PM   #12
john56h
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

"NYS requires a yearly inspection of trailers that get towed behind cars and trucks, too. Owners don't seem to realize it and my bet is that they'll start nailing residents for THAT, too."


...but, is that NY requirement valid for a trailer legally registered in Maine where their law says that no inspection is required if 7000 lbs or less and not used for commerce?
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:20 PM   #13
Slag Kustom
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

if you guys are going to play the out of state game make sure you have everything out of state.

it looks really bad towing out of state trailer in your name with a instate truck also in your name.

i think it is a $5000 fine for it

they can also check your easy pass to see where the bill goes to and if you have been in the state you claim to live.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:41 AM   #14
345 DeSoto
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

NYS goes by the V&T laws of the State the vehicle is registered in...for the most part. As an example, FL doesn't require a helmet for a Motorcycle rider, but if you're a FL rider riding a bike in NYS you must wear one.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:28 PM   #15
john56h
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slag Kustom View Post
if you guys are going to play the out of state game make sure you have everything out of state.

it looks really bad towing out of state trailer in your name with a instate truck also in your name.

i think it is a $5000 fine for it

they can also check your easy pass to see where the bill goes to and if you have been in the state you claim to live.

We're not "pretending" to be Maine residents. The State of Maine has trailer registration laws that allow out-of-state residents to register their trailers legally in Maine. I believe the intention of the relaxed laws were for vacationers/campers who seasonally reside in Maine and would like to leave their trailer there in the off-season. No need to tow it home to get an inspection on it.

So, we are not tricking anyone, just trying to take advantage of an economical and convenient way of keeping a trailer used for recreational/hobby purposes on the road. I have done so for about ten years without any trouble, but recently had heard of others being hassled in NY due to trailering with Maine plates. I think I found the problem...the trailers over 7000 lb weight capacity, or used commercially, must be inspected which would negate any benefit to registering in Maine. In my case, I'm not commercial and trailer is 7000 lbs max, so I'm legal (I hope).
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:50 PM   #16
bulletholeracing
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

So does anyone have a reference to the Maine law that allows for out-of-state people to register <7000lb GVWR trailers. It might be handy to have that in case NY decides to pull you over.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulletholeracing View Post
So does anyone have a reference to the Maine law that allows for out-of-state people to register <7000lb GVWR trailers. It might be handy to have that in case NY decides to pull you over.
Just went around on this with the registry in Maine. They will register your vehicle or trailer but you are subject to the laws of your state regarding such things. Just because it is legal in Maine, it may not be legal in your state. Mass is one of those places where one had best not get into any problems on the road with a Maine trailer plate, a Mass license and a Mass reg on your vehicle. Or with a Mass licence and a Maine plate on the vehicle you are driving that is registered to you. I know it is being done but it could lead to problems.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

How much money does one save by playing this game, anyway? What are we talking about here, 100's of dollars per year? Or thousands?
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

Advantages
1) No state INSP
2)only have to deal with it every 7 years
3)Less costly per year
4)?
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:58 PM   #20
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Default Re: Maine trailer registration still legal in NY ???

My buddy just registeres everything as Farm, but he has a place that can pass for a farm. I think a car trailer is only $70 or so a year and the later in the year you register it the cheaper it is. When I got a plate for my 510-lb single axle it cost me all of 10 bucks. The postage back and forth to get a Maine tag would cost that much.
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