Chapter 13, Section A:
Types of Trailers

Revised December 23, 2011



Trailers are subject to three different types of registration and plates - regular trailer plates, recreational vehicle (RV) plates, and freight trailer plates.


Regular trailer registration and plates

Most trailers (those not registered as RVs or freight trailers), including most utility trailers, are registered as trailers and receive regular trailer plates. These include:

Utility Trailers

A "utility trailer" is defined in statute (66-1-4.18B) as "any trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer, but does not include freight trailers, manufactured homes, trailers of less than one-ton carrying capacity used to transport animals or fertilizer trailers of less than 3,500 pounds empty weight."

This definition is broad and includes a variety of types and designs of trailers. In simple terms a utility trailer is designed for general use and is towed by a motor vehicle. The following trailers fall within the general definition of utility trailers.

  1. Homemade Trailers
    These are trailers assembled or constructed largely by means of essential parts, new or used. These types of trailers are issued a trailer plate and will be subject to registration. The only time that a freight license plate will be issued to a homemade trailer is when the combined weight of both the towing unit and the trailer exceeds 26,000 pounds.
     
  2. Other Types of Utility Trailers
    Small Box Trailers
    Semi Trailers – if DGVW of power unit is less than 26,000 lbs.
    Boat Trailers
    Pole Trailers – if DGVW of power unit is less than 26,000 lbs.
    Flat Bed Trailers
    Stock Trailers
    Horse Trailers
    Pole Trailers
    Van Trailers

Kit Trailers

Kit trailers are bought unassembled from dealers who are not required to be licensed by the Dealer Bureau. Upon complete assembly of the trailer, the applicant may apply for a New Mexico Title.

Liquid Fertilizer Trailers

A liquid fertilizer trailer is a tank type trailer with an empty weight of 3,500 pounds or less, that is used for the delivery or distribution of liquid fertilizer to farmers. In the “Remarks” section indicate that it is a liquid fertilizer trailer. This type of trailer is issued a regular utility trailer plate.

Recreational Travel Trailers

Recreational travel trailers are registered as recreational vehicles (RVs) and are issued a recreational trailer license plate.

These trailers have a camping body placed on a frame with wheels. Recreational travel trailers are towed by a motor vehicle and are not more than eight feet wide or longer than 40 feet. Collapsible trailers and camping trailers fall under the category of recreational travel trailer. The weight conversion chart below can be used when only the length of a travel trailer is known. It will assist in computing the registration fees for recreational travel trailers.

RECREATIONAL TRAVEL TRAILER WEIGHT CONVERSION CHART

Length

Empty Weight

 

Length

Empty Weight

 

Length

Empty Weight

13’

1520

 

23’

3540

 

33’

5800

14’

1920

 

24’

3600

 

34’

6000

15’

2100

 

25’

3760

 

35’

6800

16’

2200

 

26’

3800

 

36’

7900

17’

2300

 

27’

4100

 

37’

8000

18’

2400

 

28’

4500

 

38’

8100

19’

3120

 

29’

4800

 

39’

8300

20’

3150

 

30’

5000

 

40’

8500

21’

3380

 

31’

5120

 

 

 

22’

3510

 

32’

5300

 

 

 


Freight Trailers

A "freight trailer" is defined (66-1-4.6G) as:

  • "any trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer drawn by a truck tractor or road tractor, and any trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer drawn by a truck that has a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds, but
  • "freight trailer" does not include manufactured homes, trailers of less than one-ton carrying capacity used to transport animals or fertilizer trailers of less than 3,500 pounds empty weight."

A permanent freight trailer plate is issued on the initial registration of a freight trailer. The body type for a freight trailer is “FR”.


Trailers Exempt from Registration

Trailers exempt from registration include utility trailers that are owned by individuals engaged in the business of farming and ranching. These trailers do not have to be registered as long as they are pulled by a vehicle which has a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds and are:

  • used only to transport products to market which are produced by farmers and ranchers; or
  • used solely for transporting supplies back to the farms or ranches which are to be used thereon; or
  • used by individuals to transport animals to and from fairs, rodeos or other events, except racetracks, where the animals will participate or take place in the performance.

In no case may the owner of such an unregistered trailer perform such uses for hire.

If the trailer is to be registered it will receive a regular trailer plate and it will be subject to registration. Owners of farm trailers who wish to apply for title, and do not have the origin document to support issuance of title, must provide the division with proof of ownership (registration certificate, dealer’s invoice, security agreement, etc.) and a completed Affidavit Certifying Ownership.

Other trailers that are exempt from registration include:

  • a “tow dolly”  and
  • (by current MVD practice) a motorcycle trailer