Certificate of Title for Farm Vehicles
All trucks and truck tractors, including farm vehicles, are required to have a certificate of title (PVC §1101).

Registered Farm Vehicles
Farmers may obtain farm vehicle registration plates for trucks and truck tractors that are used exclusively for their farm operations (PVC §1924(a)). Vehicles with farm vehicle registration plates are limited in highway use to the following:

  1. Roads that adjoin a farm owned or operated by the farmer who is the registrant of the farm vehicle;
  2. Roads between farms owned or operated by the registrant of the farm vehicle;
  3. Roads between the registrant’s farm and a place of business, if being operated for the purpose of buying or selling agricultural commodities or supplies;
  4. Roads between the registrant’s farm and a place of business, if being operated for purposes of inspecting, repairing or servicing the vehicle;
  5. In situations where the registrant’s agricultural products are sold at an auction site, the farm registered vehicle that transported the products to the auction site is allowed to be used to transport the products from the auction site to the purchaser’s place of delivery (PVC § 1344(a)(4)); and
  6. When used for the purpose of participating in a driver’s license examination. (PVC §1344)

For specific information about how farm vehicle registration plates may be used, read PennDOT’s Use of Farm Plates memo. A vehicle that does not qualify for farm vehicle registration or registration exemption must comply with PennDOT’s general registration requirements.

Distance Limitations
There are no distance limitations for registered farm vehicles within Pennsylvania. States outside Pennsylvania, however, may not recognize Pennsylvania’s farm vehicle registration as complying with the state’s registration requirements. Farmers who intend to use a Pennsylvania farm-plated vehicle outside Pennsylvania need to check with each state to confirm whether or not the state recognizes Pennsylvania’s farm vehicle registration as meeting the state’s registration requirements.

Requirements for Fuel Tax Decals and Fuel Tax Returns
Pennsylvania farm-plated vehicles that are operated in Pennsylvania are exempt from all fuel tax requirements normally imposed on commercial motor carriers, including requirements for obtaining fuel tax decals and filing periodic fuel tax returns. States outside Pennsylvania, however, may not exempt Pennsylvania farm-plated vehicles from compliance with the state’s fuel tax requirements. Farmers who intend to use a Pennsylvania farm-plated vehicle outside Pennsylvania need to check with each state to confirm whether or not the state exempts Pennsylvania’s farm-plated vehicles from fuel tax requirements.

 

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.

 

Registration Fees
The annual fee for a farm truck registration is $76.50, or one-third the regular truck/truck tractor fee, whichever is greater.

Seasonal Registration
Seasonal farm vehicle registrations may be obtained for trucks and truck tractors with a gross weight rating of 9,000 pounds or less. For more information, see PennDOT’s Seasonal Registration Requirements Fact Sheet.

Application
Complete and submit the MV-77 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:

  • Sole proprietorships – If the vehicle is owned by a sole proprietor, the farmer would need to submit a copy of the latest Schedule F filed by the farmer.
  • Partnerships – If the vehicle is owned by a partnership, the partnership may submit one of the following:
        1. A copy of the latest 1065 or 1065-B federal income tax return filed by the partnership, which indicates by the Principal Business Activity Code stated on the return that the partnership is engaged in a farming enterprise; or
        2. A copy of the latest Schedule F that was filed with the partnership’s 1065 or 1065-B federal income tax return.
  • Corporations – If the vehicle is owned by a corporation other than a Subchapter S corporation, the corporation may submit a copy of the latest 1120 or 1120-A federal income tax return filed by the corporation, which indicates by the Principal Business Activity Code (Schedule K of the 1120 return or Part II of the 1120-A return) that the corporation is engaged in a farming enterprise. Subchapter S Corporations – If the vehicle is owned by a
  • Subchapter S corporation, the corporation may submit a copy of the latest 1120-S federal income tax return filed by the corporation, which indicates by the Principal Business Activity Code stated on Schedule B of the return that the corporation is engaged in a farming enterprise.

 

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 Operations Without a Schedule F webpage for farm operations that file farm tax schedules other than Schedule F.


Additional Resources


PennDOT:

 

PFB:

 

Additional topics are available on PFB’s transportation webpage.

March 2013

 

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NOTE: This document only provides general information regarding state and federal transportation laws related to Pennsylvania farm vehicle registrations. 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 these laws 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 state and federal transportation laws.