TCGA has recently become aware of an issue related to the registration of tandem trailers being used to haul round modules. Some of our round module haulers have been pulled over by Troopers and told that their rear trailer cannot be registered as a Token Trailer.
Texas law specifies that a semitrailer can be registered as a Token Trailer, while a full-trailer must be registered using the trailer plate. The difference between a full trailer and a semitrailer is whether part of the weight of the trailer rests on the pulling unit. As an example, if you look at a UPS truck, they are often pulling two semi-trailers, but one of those trailers is supported by a dolly. The dolly is removable, so it is not a part of the trailer. Both of these trailers are semi-trailers. If the trailer is equipped with permanently attached front wheels and a tongue, then this trailer is a full-trailer. Click here to see the section of the Texas DMV Motor Vehicle Registration Manual that deals with this issue.
Any semi-trailer can be registered using the token trailer plates, but the full trailer must be separately registered. The registration fee for a full-trailer is $340.00 if the gross weight of the trailer is from 26,000 – 40,000 lbs. If the gross trailer weight will be between 40,001 and 54,999 lbs, then the fee is $535.00. It is important that the trailer be registered for the proper weight. The registered weight of the trailer will not affect the overall weight limit of the entire unit, but it must be high enough to cover the trailer itself.
Please contact the TCGA office if you have questions related to this issue, or if you have any questions related to the DPS and the commercial vehicle enforcement rules.