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The Basics of Pennsylvania’s Farm Vehicle Exemption from Registration


Certificate of Title for Farm Vehicles
All trucks and truck tractors, including farm vehicles, are required to have a certificate of title.

Exemptions from Registration Must Be Obtained for Each Farm Vehicle
Farmers must obtain a biennial certificate of exemption for each farm truck or truck tractor that the farmer intends to be exempt from vehicle registration. To obtain a certificate of exemption, an application for farm vehicle exemption must be submitted to PennDOT. Exemptions issued for farm vehicles are effective for two years. Information on how to apply for a farm vehicle certificate of exemption is provided below.

Limitations in Vehicles Eligible to Receive Farm Vehicle Exemptions
Farm vehicle certificate of exemptions may only be obtained for trucks and truck tractors. Other vehicles are not eligible.

Types of Farm Vehicle Exemptions Available to Trucks and Truck Tractors
There are four types of biennial certificates of exemption (also known as “stickers”) available for farm trucks. Restrictions in distance from the farm and use of the vehicle are imposed on each type of exemption. No other uses are authorized.


Type A Farm Vehicle Exemption – Available for vehicles with a weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. Vehicles with this exemption type are not subject to requirements for periodic inspection. Type A vehicles may only be operated between sunrise and sunset, and are limited in use to the following:
1.    On roads that adjoin a farm owned or operated by the owner of vehicle;
2.    Between farms owned or operated by the vehicle owner not more than
       50 miles apart;
3.    Between one farm of the vehicle owner and a place of business not more than
       50 miles away for the purpose of buying ag supplies or selling ag products; and
4.    Between one farm of the vehicle owner and a place of business not more than
       50 miles away for the purpose of servicing or repairing the farm vehicle or trailer
       or semitrailer towed by the farm vehicle.

The fee to apply for a Type A exemption is $24.


Type B Farm Vehicle Exemption – Available for vehicles with a weight rating of 10,001 to 17,000 pounds. Vehicles with this exemption type are not subject to requirements for periodic inspection. Type B vehicles may only be operated between sunrise and sunset, and are limited in use to the following:
1.    On roads that adjoin a farm owned or operated by the owner of vehicle;
2.    Between farms owned or operated by the vehicle owner not more than
       25 miles apart;
3.    Between one farm of the vehicle owner and a place of business not more than
       25 miles away for the purpose of buying ag supplies or selling ag products; and
4.    Between one farm of the vehicle owner and a place of business not more than
       50 miles away for the purpose of servicing or repairing the farm vehicle or trailer or
       semitrailer towed by the farm vehicle.

The fee to apply for a Type B exemption is $24.


Type C Farm Vehicle Exemption – Available for vehicles with a weight rating of greater than 17,000 pounds. Vehicles with this exemption type are not subject to requirements for periodic inspection. Type C vehicles may only be operated between sunrise and sunset, and are limited in use to the following:
1.    On roads that adjoin a farm owned or operated by the owner of vehicle;
2.    Between farms owned or operated by the vehicle owner not more than
       10 miles apart;
3.    Between one farm of the vehicle owner and a place of business not more than
       10 miles away for the purpose of buying ag supplies or selling ag products; and
4.    Between one farm of the vehicle owner and a place of business not more than
       25 miles away for the purpose of servicing or repairing the farm vehicle or trailer
       or semitrailer towed by the farm vehicle.

The fee to apply for a Type C exemption is $50.


Type D Farm Vehicle Exemption – Available for vehicles with a weight rating of greater than 17,000 pounds. Vehicles with this exemption type are subject to annual inspection requirements. Type D vehicles may be operated during both daytime and nighttime, but are limited in use to the following:
1.    On roads that adjoin a farm owned or operated by the owner of vehicle;
2.    Between farms owned or operated by the vehicle owner not more than
       50 miles apart;
3.    Between one farm of the vehicle owner and a place of business not more than
       50 miles away for the purpose of buying ag supplies or selling ag products; and
4.    Between one farm of the vehicle owner and a place of business not more than
       50 miles away for the purpose of servicing or repairing the farm vehicle or trailer
       or semitrailer towed by the farm vehicle.

The fee to apply for a Type D exemption is $100.


Insurance Requirements
The Pennsylvania Vehicle Code requires each truck and truck tractor operated under a farm vehicle exemption to have liability insurance coverage that at least meets minimum levels of coverage normally required for registered vehicles. However, farmers may meet this requirement through coverage of these vehicles under a farm’s general liability policy.

Application
Complete and submit the MV-77A form, along with proof of insurance, to apply for a biennial certificate of exemption. When you initially apply for exemption for that vehicle, you will also need to demonstrate you are commercially-engaged in farming, by attaching portions of your most current income tax return filing, per the below guidelines:

The farmer may remove income or cost data on the copy of the return submitted to PennDOT.

“New” farmers who have not been in farming long enough to have filed a farm-related tax schedule will need to submit a signed and notarized affidavit that the farmer is engaged in farming as a business enterprise.

Additional information is available on PFB’s webpage for farm operations that file farm tax schedules other than Schedule F.

Note: PennDOT will not remind owners to reapply for a certificate of exemption.

Out-of-State Operation
Farm Bureau recommends farm vehicles with biennial exemption from registration not be operated outside Pennsylvania because of a lack of clear authorization by any neighboring state.

Safety Requirements
Regardless of whether an exempt farm vehicle is subject to periodic inspection, a truck or truck tractor with a biennial certificate of exemption must meet the following minimum safety and equipment requirements while being operated on public roads:

  • Rear reflectors
  • Functional stop lamps (brake lights)
  • Adequate braking system
  • Tires in safe operating condition
  • Safe operating steering system
  • Rear wheel shields to bar substances from being thrown from the rear wheels at tangents exceeding 22.5 degrees from the road surface.
  • Rear view mirror
  • Horn
  • Functional exhaust and muffler system

Driver Requirements
Drivers of Pennsylvania farm vehicles are not totally exempt from commercial driver standards that may apply under state or federal law or regulation. While changes to state and federal statutes have limited the application of “motor carrier safety” requirements to drivers of farm trucks and truck tractors, drivers may still be required to comply with driver requirements in certain circumstances. For more information, review PFB’s Understanding Regulatory Requirements for Drivers of Pennsylvania Registered and Registration-Exempt Farm Vehicles.

Additional Resources

 

PennDOT:

 

PFB:

 

Additional topics are available on PFB’s Operations Without a Schedule F webpage.

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NOTE: This document only provides general information regarding provisions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code related to farm vehicle exemptions from registration. The document is NOT intended, nor should it be interpreted by the reader, to offer any legal advice or express any legal opinion of how the Vehicle Code will be interpreted or applied to particular circumstances the reader may face. It is recommended that you seek legal counsel in order for you to fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities under the Vehicle Code.