How To Register A Trailer Without Title In California

Wondering how to register a trailer without title in California?

This may entail some complications, especially if there is no title involved. Fortunately, there are a few steps and tips you need to know, so you can prevent any hassles along the way.

Discover just how you can register your trailer in California when there is no title. Let’s get started.

How To Register A Trailer Without Title In California

Many people find it intimidating to register a trailer because of the complications that come with this process.

But thankfully, the steps we have gathered and put together should make this task pain-free and relatively easy-peasy for you.

First of all, let’s talk about the title. Basically, this is a legal document certifying you are the vehicle’s true owner. This is why every vehicle operated publicly on the road requires this piece of document.

On the other hand, a registration is the act of filing documents with your particular state of residence as proof of paying your fees and taxes needed to operate and own your vehicle in the state where you live.

Once you have registered your vehicle, you will receive a license plate issued by your state, as well as a registration sticker. This way, your vehicle will be road-worthy and will prevent you from encountering any legal hassles such as getting pulled over by a traffic enforcement officer for not having any proof of vehicle registration.

So, how exactly do you register a trailer without a title in California? There are ways to do this. But first, you need to know whether you actually need to obtain a title for your trailer or not.

But the short answer to this question is yes – you do need to get a title. Even if it does not exactly move anywhere using its own power, you still need to apply for one. However, there are exceptions for this.

For instance, it depends on your area of residence. It is also based on how big or small your trailer is, or whether you use it on the road. In the case of smaller trailers, or those that are just parked permanently in your garage, then there is a high likelihood that a title is not required.

This is why you need to be certain about the DMV’s classification on what needs a title and one that does not.

Yet, it is worth noting that the DMV typically states that trailers need title and registration proof in one’s home state. The Department defines trailers as vehicles such as campers, livestock trailers, semi-trailers, farm wagons, and boat trailers. Flat beds are also considered as trailers, and so, if your trailer belongs in any of these categories, then you do need to register it.

Registering A Trailer Without Title In California

You need to register your trailer based on what your state requires. But for the most part, there is a so-called 30-day rule. What this means is that 30 days after you have purchased your trailer, you need to have it titled and registered appropriately.

This should give you ample time to get your documents sorted out, as well as prepare the fees necessary. If you fail to register a trailer, there may be penalties involved.

Registering a trailer without a title is more complex than one that is titled. This is why if you do not have a title, then you may classify your trailer as a home built one. With that in mind, you only need a VIN sticker and plates.

There is also such a thing as a permanent trailer identification, which means these are trailers that need to be registered annually such as a coach boat trailer, park trailer, park trailer boat, trailer coach, and travel trailer.

If you have a homemade trailer, the DMV would require that you bring the trailer in. Moreover, you can drive this on the street to get to the DMV office.

But then, it would be worth noting that you should have someone with you. That other person will have to stay with your trailer at the inspection area while you stand in line for the registration process. On the other hand, going to the DMV alone will make things harder since you will need to have the inspection outside done then go inside to queue for the window clerk.

With this method, you can expect the entire process to be over in a couple of hours. You can even do it walk-in – no need for an appointment.

But then, to qualify for this process, your trailer should be under 1400 lbs. Then, the inspector will hand you a VIN number sticker, which needs to be riveted down. Also, be sure to state that your trailer is a homebuilt utility trailer – not a coach or a house trailer, which means these are not eligible for PTI.

Afterwards, be sure to secure forms 343, 5036, and 4017. You may also need a 124 form.

Show proof of your expenditures in building the trailer. Bring your receipts indicating materials and price spent on your trailer such as the main materials – frame, axle, and plywood. It would be good to bring with you receipt copies in the rare – yet possible – circumstance where they get lost.

In some cases, the DMV may also request for copies, so it is best to come prepared.

Last but not least, you will have to pay for your registration and license plate. Make sure that you keep a copy of the license plate and registration documents on your trailer.

Read More: How To Move A Fifth Wheel Trailer Without A Hitch – Best Solutions For You!

Final Words

Registering a trailer without title in California requires different steps and procedures as when you have it titled.

But by learning more about these simple steps as we have presented in this post, you can now go ahead and be prepared for what to go through during the registration process. This can save you unnecessary trouble and hassle while making sure you get it done right.

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