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Old 01-10-2020, 11:57 PM   #1
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State DMV and DOT #

I am quite confused and I am certain our resident experts have an answer to my question.

I just upgraded my hauler to a newer RAM 3500 dually with a GVW of 14K lbs.
The DMV needs a DOT# before they will register it that way. Or they only give me plates for a 10K lbs vehicle.

Does the fact that I am towing an RV with a loaded weight of about 18K lbs factor into any of this?

Does the 14K capacity have an impact on my state plates for the hauler?

No, I am not engaged in any intra- or inter-state commerce. I am simply a RV enjoying this lifestyle in a larger than "normal" size.

When I was talking to the compliance officer about the DOT #, he had gone through all of the statutory details for a commercial vehicle. When I stopped him and started to describe my problem, he quickly interrupted me and shared, "Ahhh, you are one of those RAM 3500 or F-350 owners that can't get their state DMV plates without a DOT #! Well, you have your DOT # now that you have applied, go back, give them this number and satisfy that step."
Then he went on and shared there might be other ramifications.

Bottom line, heavy hauler colleagues/peers: What are you doing? Are you underclassing your DMV plates? or getting that DOT #.

Then what other steps are you taking?

Hope my question makes sense so that I might hear back from you.
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:02 AM   #2
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Each state has a different take on registering vehicles. You need to hear from residents of your home state, MN. Info from those living in another state won't necessarily apply. Go to your DMV's website and research your question. Oftentimes, the clerks at the DMV offices automatically think weight when registering vehicles, and do not have much experience registering RV's, which could be classified differently for licensing purposes in your state. do your research.

From your post, I see a gross rig weight of 32,000 lbs; 14,000 for the truck, and 18,000 for the RV. Correct?

Keep us posted.
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:21 AM   #3
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What does your local RV dealer suggest? They must deal with this question often. It would not seem logical since every DRW pickup in MN would then require a DOT#. Why else own a DRW if it's not being used to haul a heavier than 10k load?
If you have a DOT# assigned, it needs to be posted on the vehicle side and you will need to stop at all open weigh stations and show your log book if requested to do so.

(My opinion, just run the reg plates and plea ignorant if asked/stopped.)
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:29 AM   #4
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WhT you describe could be one of the reasons you could buy an F350 SRW with a 10k GVWR.
I believe it is time many states revisit registration laws, most are based on weights from 40+ years ago.
Watch out you might revisit your own registration as you might be considered commercial now and be looking at very high insurance rates.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:08 AM   #5
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Something seems wrong here. Here is the information from the FMCSA website:

You are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that:

Is used to transport the types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit in intrastate commerce (see 49 CFR 385.403).

OR

-Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or
-Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
-Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation;

AND is involved in Interstate commerce:

Trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States—

-Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);
-Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or
-Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.


I tried once to get a DOT number for my company's step van, and since I didn't meet the list of requirements to get one, they wouldn't issue one. You should encounter the same thing if you try and get a DOT number for a vehicle not used in interstate commerce.

Also, if you have a DOT number (because of other vehicles used in interstate commerce) stick that DOT number on the side of the truck, expect to encounter issues in the future. Th assumption will be that you are a commercial vehicle and you might be expected to pull into weigh stations and follow rules for commercial vehicles. You will likely be treated like anyone hauling RVs for hire.

There are MANY people who own and use heavy trucks for personal use only, including vintage truck collectors. They are registered all the time as a private truck - still pay the same registration fee as any vehicle in that weight class, but no DOT number since you only need one for interstate commerce. Usually in the place a DOT number would be found owners put something that read similar to "Private Vehicle" or "Not in Commercial Service". On the side of my coach, which is basically a bus made into a motor home, we have plaques which read "Private Coach".

My guess is that you'll need to do more research, and maybe go to another office and speak to someone higher up the chain.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:23 AM   #6
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Many state base their registration fees on gvw. In NH it is based on current value of the vehicle, so registration fee goes down every year. So no dot# needed for personal use. I am about to get completely hosed when I take delivery of my 2020 F-350 srw King Ranch.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:25 AM   #7
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Looks like there is a check box on the MN application for registration for your truck:

NON-COMMERCIAL Y CLASS - Non-commercial Y class (plate) is for one-ton pick-up trucks registered at 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000 used exclusively for personal use.

It's the last one in the list, and would probably apply to your truck. Maybe the initial clerk checked the wrong box?
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:48 AM   #8
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Seems like the right answer.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfryman View Post


Seems like the right answer.
That's exactly what I saw. Seems like too many DMV clerks don't know their forms as well as we'd like. I ran into the same thing in Wisconsin in the past, trying to teach a clerk about his own forms.
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:00 AM   #10
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We use a full size Kenworth tractor to tow our 5th wheel and we were able to register it as a RV in our home state, no DOT# needed and even the license plate is mounted on the rear ( De issues only one plate ) instead of the front like most large trucks. We do have Private Truck not for Hire on the side
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:04 AM   #11
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Dot numbers are only for commercial vehicles. Talk to a supervisor as the DMV clerks are not well trained in the difference between commercial and private vehicles.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:11 PM   #12
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Whatever it takes ???
Get it re registered Non commercial, private Vehicle .

I assume you told the DMV what you intended to pull?

TMI

Its your Sunday go to Church vehicle for all they need to know.
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:25 PM   #13
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Thanks all for the responses.

I remain confused. Thanks for the sample of the DMV form. Yes, that seems to make it pretty clear. And it was both a clerk and his supervisor that was dealing with me on the third trip to the counter. Wish I had had that form with me to show them.

They insisted that if the GVW is 14K then it had to be assigned a USDOT #, else it could only be classed to haul less than 10K. And my RV is weighted in at > 16K unloaded. Seems to be a conflict.

Agreed that the USDOT is intended for commercial only.

Now that I have had a DOT # assigned; wondering what to do next - pretending ignorance is so easy for me.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:43 AM   #14
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I see you have a very nice trailer to tow Al.

The first thing you need to do now is go visit with your insurance company and tell them the story.
Get his take and a quote on Insurance with and without the DOT # 's

You do NOT WANT TO BE COMERCIAL
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