Chapter 14: Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI)
Chapter 14 Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI)
The following trailers are registered under the PTI program.
Auxiliary Dolly (CVC §225)—A vehicle, not designed for carrying persons or property on its own structure, which is constructed and used in conjunction with a semi-trailer to support a portion of the weight of the semi-trailer and any load. It is not permanently attached to the semi-trailer, although part of the weight of the dolly may rest on another vehicle.
B-Train Assembly—A rigid frame extension attached to the rear frame of a semitrailer which allows a fifth-wheel connection point for a second semi-trailer.
Camp Trailer (CVC §242)—A vehicle, other than a motor vehicle, designed to be towed on the highway, capable of human habitation for camping or recreational purposes, that does not exceed 16 feet in overall length from the foremost point of the trailer hitch to the rear extremity of the trailer body and 96 inches in width. Where a trailer telescopes for travel, the size shall apply to the trailer as fully extended.
A tent trailer is a camp trailer. A camp trailer is not a trailer coach.
Fifth-Wheel Travel Trailer (CVC §324)—A vehicle designed for recreational purposes to carry persons or property on its own structure and so constructed as to be drawn by a motor vehicle by means of a kingpin connecting device.
Fifth-wheel travel trailers that exceed the maximum length and/or width requirements for a camp trailer (CVC §242) are trailer coaches (CCH) (CVC §635) and cannot be registered under the PTI program.
House Dollies—Dollies for moving houses, other than those with drawbars for direct towing, are not subject to registration. House dollies equipped with drawbars are subject to registration as trailers.
Jeep Trailer or Converter Gear—A vehicle with one axle, two or four wheels, and a fifth-wheel. It connects onto the fifth-wheel of a truck-tractor and supports and distributes the front end weight of a semi-trailer between the truck-tractor and the jeep. A jeep trailer is registered in the same manner as any other semi-trailer.
Logging Dollies (CVC §378)—A vehicle designed for carrying logs, having one or more axles (multiple axles cannot be more than 54 inches apart), and used in connection with a motor truck solely for the purpose of transporting logs and securely connected with the towing vehicle both by a reach and by the load.
Modular Mobile Equipment Trailers—Trailers and semi-trailers modified by the addition of permanently-attached equipment requiring manual operation by a person, including mobile medical service trailers and television remote studios. Modular mobile equipment trailers are assigned a body type model of “MMETLR.”
Motorized Semi-Trailer—The same as a semi-trailer. The cost of the motor is included in the vehicle value/cost.
Miscellaneous Trailers—Unusual types of trailers, such as collapsible trailers which easily fit in a car trunk when not in use, and boats with wheels on the bow and hitches on the stern to enable them to be used as one-wheel trailers, are subject to registration if they fit the definition of a trailer or semi-trailer when in use.
Manufacturers and sellers of these vehicles (even if sold in kit form) must apply for special plates and certificates as required by CVC §11701.
Semi-Trailer (CVC §550)—A vehicle designed for carrying persons or property used in conjunction with a motor vehicle, and constructed so that some part of its weight and of its load rests upon, or is carried by, another vehicle.
Tow Dolly (CVC §617)—A vehicle towed by a motor vehicle and designed and used exclusively to transport another motor vehicle upon which the front or rear wheels of the towed motor vehicle are mounted, while the other wheels of the towed motor vehicle remain in contact with the ground.
A tow dolly is not required to be registered, but may be registered under the PTI program. Tow dolly operators who plan to operate their tow dollies in other states are encouraged to apply for PTI, as other states may require indicia on these specialized trailers.
A tow dolly does not include a portable or collapsible dolly used as specified in CVC §4014.
Trailer (CVC§630)—A vehicle designed for carrying persons or property on its own structure and for being drawn by a motor vehicle, and constructed so that no part of its weight rests on any other vehicle.
Travel Trailer—A portable unit mounted on wheels, of a size and weight that does not require special highway movement permits when drawn by a motor vehicle and for human habitation for recreational or emergency occupancy (California Civil Code §799.24).
Travel trailers that exceed the maximum length and/or width requirements for a camp trailer are trailer coaches (CCH) (CVC §635) and cannot be registered under the PTI program.
Utility Trailer (CVC§667)—A trailer or semitrailer used solely for the transportation of the user’s personal property, not in commerce, or designed and used for transportation of livestock, and does not exceed a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds.
The addition of living quarters to a trailer does not permanently alter that vehicle for human habitation. The living quarters are secondary or incidental to the primary function of the vehicle, which is transporting property.
VIN Assigned (CVC §4166)—Some trailers and semi-trailers do not have factory vehicle identification numbers (VIN). Refer to VIN Plate Assignments section in Chapter 1 for procedures.