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Registering big trucks in Arizona, commercial tags?

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 3:42 pm
by 62Scout
Just went to register my '59 B-162 at one of the 3rd party places, who said that since the truck is a 1-ton, it needed commercial plates regardless of whether it's being used commercially or privately. I've heard this before, and it's why many guys here opt for 3/4 ton pickups over 1 tons, as the registration on the 3/4 tons are considerably cheaper due to not having to pay GVW fees. I ended up having her declare the weight at the minimum, 8K, which was an additional $10 or so.

The GVW on the B-162 is actually 18K, well over the typical 1-ton territory, and will be used strictly for personal use. I'm sure I'm overweight right now with a completely empty truck :lol: The issue here is the GVW declared weight fee at 18K is $144/year. Nah, it's not a ton of money, but still a decent chunk I'd rather not spend if I don't have to. If it was $20 or so, I wouldn't even bother questioning it and go on my merry way.

I'm looking over the AZDOT page on this -, and it would at least appear that this truck wouldn't fall under commercial vehicle status as it's not a 1-ton pickup, it doesn't have a GVW of 18,001 or more lbs, and it's not being used commercially.

I know this is an odd area, as there aren't a whole lot of people buying MDTs and bigger for personal use, so I'm wondering if this is actually what I should be doing, registration wise...maybe it's a situation of just getting the right person who knows what they're doing, and me saying just the right thing? I'm not trying to weasel out of the fees by doing something shady (like claiming it's actually only a 1/2 ton or something...if that was the case, I'd just screw my Scout's VIN tag to the door and move on...what are the changes a cop would know any different? :lol:), just want to make sure I'm not needlessly spending an extra $150/year if I don't have to.

Re: Registering big trucks in Arizona, commercial tags?

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 9:33 pm
by cornbinder89
Every state is different. Commercial or not SHOULD be based on how it's used not what it is. ATHS (American truck historical society) has done a lot of the work for a lot of states for non-commercial use. I know Arizona is one of the states that can be picky. Best to consult with someone from your state, either a lawyer or someone from the ATHS in your state, that knows the book, back to front. Most clerk's at the MVD don't, and you will get conflicting and mis-leading info from them. One thing is for certain, if you get it wrong, sooner or later you'll be paying a fine, if they get it wrong the same thing applies (you get the fine)! Go by the letter of the law, not its intent.
Commercial use generally means anything that involves money. Use it to take your scout to a show or rally that gives cash or prizes of any value (ribbons don't count) and you are in a commercial truck! Come in 3rd and get a nice ribbon, and you aren't!
legal advice of this type on boards like this, costs more than its worth! Get the info from someone in your state that know your states laws!

Re: Registering big trucks in Arizona, commercial tags?

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 10:09 pm
by cornbinder89
Having no legal experience, but reading thru the statues from the link you posted, I think you need to pony up the $144. Getting cought 1000 lbs over is $100 fine, and it goes to $200 for 2000 lbs. All it take is being cought once and you would have paid more than the reditration fees.
What really becomes a quandary is if you need a DOT number. Stay within your state, no, cross a state line than yes, most likely.
It might be worth a few bucks to an lawyer to be sure you are in compliance.
I deal with DOT cops more than I would like, and they are NOT favorable to "hobby trucks" and feel everything with dual wheels is their bailiwick.

Re: Registering big trucks in Arizona, commercial tags?

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 11:20 pm
by lbesq
Second that, and AZ State Cops seem to think they know the DOT rules, They DO NOT!
They do have the authority to give tickets and "put you out of service". Get Good advice from Professional in your state, pay the appropriate fines(oops) Fees.

Re: Registering big trucks in Arizona, commercial tags?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:27 am
by atypical
I know this is an old post or question but I am wondering what the outcome was.
I live in Az. and I recently bought my second International and it is a 1 ton travelette.
I also went to a third party title and registration place and they gave me a commercial plate.
I had that sinking feeling in my gut as soon as I saw the commercial plate.
My immediate thoughts were this makes no sense because this is not a commercial truck it is for private use only.
I have not registered my new travelette yet because it needs a rear brake drum and I cannot find one which is a story all by itself.
I think this was a badly written law but I think they are looking at it as wear and tear on the roads.
I almost bought an old semi once thinking I could occasionally put it to use (another hobby of mine is rock collecting).
I do not want a CDL and was not sure if I would need a commercial license or not and I never found out if you could use a semi without a CDL. Long story short I did not purchase the semi truck because of the cdl and the fact of not being able to park it at my house. I think I could if I had a garage for it.
I think that we have to many rules and regulations and common sense tells me that my one ton travelette should not need commercial plates. My common sense stumbles over the word "commercial" in regards to plates or license if the vehicle is for private use only.

Re: Registering big trucks in Arizona, commercial tags?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:01 am
by lbesq
Here appears to be the applicable area in AZ registration: ... gistration

Re: Registering big trucks in Arizona, commercial tags?

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:08 pm
by overdriveSteve
Hi, I know, an old post, but I have a similar registration problem.

I just had my new binder project truck towed home a few weeks ago. Friday I went to register it with full paperwork from Montana, and officially put it in my name. I also wanted to make it non-op.
I was told by the local California DMV that I could not do either until I drove it to them for inspection and took it to a weigh station.
The vehicle is a long-term project and may not be drive-able for a couple years. And yet I know from past experiences if I wait until it's road-worthy they will hit me up for back registration and late fees from the day it was first brought into this state.

How do people in Calif put a newly purchased, large, non-driveable, antique vehicle in their name and make it non-op at the same time?

The nearest company with a tow truck big enough to haul this thing is about two hours away. And they charge $250 an hour for their semi-truck tow truck, including travel time to and from their shop. So towing it a few blocks to the DMV for inspection after towing it to a weigh station is really not an option. Apparently, according to the local DMV, it makes no difference if I'm attempting to register it as a commercial vehicle or as an antique truck.

All I want to do is officially transfer the ownership into my name and put it up as non-op until I get it road-worthy. Any suggestions, anyone?


Re: Registering big trucks in Arizona, commercial tags?

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:08 pm
by cornbinder89
Best I can recommend is to 1st contact the nearest ATHS chapter in your state and see if they can provide any guidance, next would be to contact a lawyer. Yeah, it cost money but most DMV's think how they interpret the law is the last word even if they are wrong, and sometimes it take a lawyer to get them off their tails and work with you.