Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 17 of 38

Chapter 16: Special Equipment

16.010 Identification Plates (VC §§5011, 5015-5016, and 36115)

Special construction equipment, special mobile equipment, cemetery equipment, and logging vehicles must display an SE identification (ID) plate. SE plates have a fixed expiration of 12/31 every five years and must be renewed between January 1 and February 4 following the expiration date. Fees are not prorated on original or renewal applications. Refer to Appendix 1F for fees.

Government-owned vehicles subject to SE plate requirements are exempt from the SE plate fee. These applications are only processed by SPU in DMV headquarters.prorated on original or renewal applications. Refer to Appendix 1F for fees.

  • SE plates are optional for implements of husbandry (VC §36000).
  • SE plates are required for:
    • Special mobile equipment (VC §575).
    • Special construction equipment (VC §565).
    • Cemetery equipment (VC §4012).
    • Farm vehicles (VC §36101).
    • Logging vehicles (VC §379).

Water Tank Trucks Owned by an Equipment Rental Company—A water tank truck owned by an equipment rental company may be issued SE plates if usage is limited on the rental contract to highway construction or railroad right-of-way construction or maintenance. A REG 256 must be submitted with the plate application, as listed in SE Plate Applications in this section.

SE Plate Applications—The applicant must submit:

  • A completed Application for Special Equipment Identification Plate (REG 88) form, which fully describes the use of the vehicle and/or equipment.
  • A photo of the entire vehicle/equipment. The photo should not exceed the size of the REG 88. One photo is acceptable for multiple applications for identical vehicles/equipment presented at the same time. Cross-reference each application without a photo to the application with the photo. Write “Refer to ID# for photo” on the face of those applications.
  • An SE fee for each vehicle.
  • A REG 256 for water tank trucks owned by an equipment rental company which certifies “The vehicle is limited by contract for use on highway construction or railroad rights-of-way construction or maintenance.”

DMV will not process the application if any of the following apply, the:

  • Use is not adequately explained.
    • Use or design conflicts with the specifications in the California Vehicle Code.
    • Photo or required fee is not submitted.
  • For a utility-terrain vehicle (UTV), change the body type model (BTM) to “FARM”.
  • Collect the fee due. A late penalty is not assessed for SE plates.
    • Process an exempt agency application as a no-fee transaction. An Application for Title or Registration (REG 343) form is not required.
    • If a “title only” or “transfer only” application is made at the same time, collect the title/transfer only fee in addition to the SE fee.
  • Send the application to SPU in DMV headquarters.

Do not issue SE plates to concrete pumps/pumper booms, oil well drilling rigs, and other similar equipment. These vehicles meet the definition of, and must be registered as a “crane.”