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Ask a Trooper: Farm trailer registration

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Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Question: What is the law with small farm trailers being exempt from registration? A neighbor-friend of mine got ticketed for no Minnesota registration for hauling a lot less weight than that on his farm trailer being pulled with a pickup truck, but he thought he was exempt.


He was helping me haul some large, old household items to the dump with it, so I kind of feel partially responsible.

Answer: Many types of trailers are exempt from registration, but I am sure that what you are referring to is found in M.S.S. 168.012, Subdivision 2a: “Farm trailers with a gross weight of less than 10,000 pounds, drawn by a passenger automobile or farm truck and used exclusively for transporting agricultural products from farm to farm and to and from the usual marketplace of the owner, shall not be taxed as motor vehicles using the public streets and highways and shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.”

The reason your neighbor was cited for not having registration is because of the part of the law that says: “...and used exclusively for transporting agricultural products from farm to farm and to and from the usual marketplace of the owner....” Because he was hauling something other than that, he was no longer exempt and had to comply with normal trailer requirements, including registration. The officer probably mentioned this to your friend, who also could have possibly received other violation charges related to the trailer as well.

Thanks for asking, I hope this information clears it up for you. If anyone is getting cited by an officer for something and you don’t understand something about the violation, just ask the officer to clarify the situation for you. A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes.

If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, Minnesota State Patrol, 7694 Industrial Park Road, Suite 2 Baxter, MN 6425 or email questions to with Ask a Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.