Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

Driver Education illustration

Section 14 of 38

Chapter 13: Commercial Vehicles

13.110 Pickup With a Camper Attached

A “camper” is a structure designed to be mounted upon a motor vehicle and to provide facilities for human habitation or camping purposes (VC §243). A canopy or similar structure mounted upon a motor vehicle for purposes of human habitation or camping purposes is considered a camper. Other equipment facilitating human habitation, such as a stove or bed, does not have to be permanently affixed to the vehicle. Do not complete a Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form for human habitation facilities.

A one-axle camper is not considered a motor vehicle (VC §243). When mounted upon a motor vehicle, the camper must have its total weight supported by the motor vehicle, independent of any axle attached permanently or temporarily to the structure. a one-axle structure that is too large to be mounted upon and fully supported by the motor vehicle independent of the axle attached to the structure is a trailer coach or camp trailer, depending on its overall length, and it must be registered separately.

Passenger Vehicle Registration—A pickup truck with a permanently attached camper or camper shell (the owner’s intention is not to remove it) meets the definition of a housecar (VC §362) and may be registered as a passenger vehicle. Assign a body type model (BTM) “PM” (pickup with camper mounted) to the vehicle.

Adding a camper shell to a pickup truck does not necessarily constitute a change from commercial to auto registration. The addition must meet the definitions for human habitation or camping purposes. Otherwise, the vehicle may be subject to citation from law enforcement for not meeting the definition of an auto. Human habitation is defined as living space which includes, but is not limited to: closets, cabinets, kitchen units or fixtures, and bath or toilet rooms.

In addition to basic original or transfer requirements, the following must be submitted:

The procedures below must be followed:

  • Advise the customer that removing the camper will require commercial registration and weight fees to be due.

Commercial Vehicle Registration—A pickup with a camper temporarily attached (the owner’s intention is to remove it occasionally) must be registered as a commercial vehicle and the camper (including the axle) is a load. Do not include the camper in the value of the vehicle for vehicle license fee (VLF) determination; the value is based on the pickup only.

A bus is a commercial vehicle when it is used to transport persons for hire, compensation, or profit or when bus transportation is supplied by a profit-making entity and a customer pays for the bus service as part of the overall consideration for the primary service.

Privately-Owned School Bus (PSB)—Refer to Chapter 16.