Which Trailers Need License Plates?

My father bought a two-wheel trailer in South Carolina to haul items like furniture and gardening supplies. While the trailer had lights, it wasn’t registered and my father didn’t have a title – he simply purchased the trailer from a friend. When he moved to Colorado, however, he was told that he had a short amount of time to get a license plate. The type of trailer you own will determine whether or not you need license plates (and lights). If you are considering a purchase or are moving to a different state, you will need to consult with your local DMV on how to proceed in regards to licensure, paperwork, and inspections.

North Carolina, for example, has made some trailers exempt, such as those farmers use to haul produce and livestock, those made to tow vehicles, and trailers that have been brought across state lines from a state that doesn’t require a license plate. If you’ve got a flat bed, a boat trailer, or a camper, you’ll have around 30 days to register the trailer and receive a license plate to attach to it or else you’ll be cited, or even worse, fined.

If you’re unsure about what your trailer needs to be road legal, the best thing to do is to ask at your nearest DMV, as the answers will vary from state to state.