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Written by ASC Title & Tags August 28, 2018
Vehicle registration fees are used by the Commonwealth to help pay for road maintenance. The fees are broken down into types of vehicles such as Passenger Cars, Truck, Motorcycles, Motorhomes, Trailers. While all passenger cars are the same registration fee no matter the size and weight, truck registrations vary in costs and the fess depend upon weight, or potential weight. This makes sense since more weight on the roadways can create more wear on the roads. Here's the issue. If you aren't applying that weight to the road, why would you pay for it? You can if you want but if you are giving money away. If you insist on giving money away, just mail us any money you want to get rid of in small unmarked bills!
Most people don't realize this, but weight ratings (and therefore registrations) for trucks can be variable. The maximum weight of your truck is listed on the manufacturer's weight sticker in the driver side door jamb of the vehicle. That is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which is the weight of the truck plus how much it can carry. This does not mean that the truck is required to be registered that high. It simply means that legally the truck cannot weigh more than the maximum number listed. If it is loaded heavier than it is allowed, the driver can be fined.
Let's review examples with a partial view of the vehicle registration fee chart. Fees may not be accurate since they are ever changing but the article won't. As of 8/4/2018, the fees shown are correct:
A truck that weights 4750 pounds (called unladen weight) has a sticker that states the gross vehicle weight rating is 7400 pounds. If you will be doing a lot of carrying with this truck, carrying heavy tools or cargo, you should register the truck for the 7400 pounds. This falls into the Class 3 category of 7001-9000 pounds. The cost per year would be $164.00.
If your normal use is to do a medium amount of carrying but don't see yourself exceeding 2250 pounds of cargo (combined with the weight of the truck would total 7000 pounds), then you can save money on your annual registration fee by registering the vehicle at 7000 pounds. This drops you into the Class 2 category of 5001-7000 pounds. The cost per year would be $86.00.
This is the cheapest option. It is your weekend fishing truck that you take to the lake and fish off the dock. The only thing you will ever put in the bed is your cooler, the fish you caught, a suitcase and your favorite fishing pole. Total weight of the cargo being about 198 pounds, you will not exceed 5000 pounds of truck and cargo weight. In this case, you can register your truck at the 5000 pounds and less category, saving yourself even more money. The cost per year would be $62.
Lastly, if you have just purchased a truck and are doing the title transfer and registration; and want to “register it down”, make sure that the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) listed on the title stays at the maximum GVWR and not lowered to what you want to register it to. This is a common mistake made by tag offices. Those are two completely different items and will restrict you from raising the registration later on unless the title is first corrected. If you have any questions, be sure to give us a call.