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    Thread: Difference between "TRUCK" and regular license plates?

    1. Member
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      08-16-2007 03:32 PM #1
      Perhaps a lot of TCLers won't be familiar with this, but in Pennsylvania there are two registration options for truck owners. The normal thing is to register your pickup just like you would do with a passenger car, getting a normal license plate and no big deal. The other option is to register your truck as a "TRUCK"; if you do so, your license plate will say "TRUCK" at the bottom and your license plate number will start with "Y". Of course, big commercial trucks all have the "TRUCK" plates, but I've seen a lot of regular ol' pickup trucks with the T-tags too.

      So I'm wondering what the difference is, and why someone would choose to register their pickup under a T-tag instead of the conventional tag?

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    2. Member Tornado2dr's Avatar
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      08-16-2007 03:35 PM #2
      In VA, i believe it has to do with the GVWR of the vehicle(certain weight gets a "TU", though for some reason several of my work trucks (f350s) get the car tags.

      this infor comes to you from a half-brain-dead dmv lady who let me know this tidbit...i cannot promise i am correct.


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      08-16-2007 03:40 PM #3
      Its a possibility that commercially registered trucks get those plates, while personally owned vehicles get the regular plates.
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      08-16-2007 03:42 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by Isgro »
      Its a possibility that commercially registered trucks get those plates, while personally owned vehicles get the regular plates.

      I thought so, but the guy who sells glasses at my eye doctor's office has a T-tag on his Silverado, which seems a bit overkill considering his "business payload" is probably 30lbs max.

      I've also seen it on everything down to S10's and other mini-trucks, so I don't think it has to do with payload/towing/GVWR limits.

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    5. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      08-16-2007 03:44 PM #5
      Doesn't mean it's not commercially registered.
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      08-16-2007 03:44 PM #6
      usually it has to do with weight of the vehicle, but this veries by state.
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    7. 08-16-2007 03:49 PM #7
      I believe over in Wisconsin, if you use your truck for commercial purposes, you get a "Truck" tag.

      In other words, if you use your truck as a tax write-off, you need to have that tag.


    8. 08-16-2007 03:51 PM #8
      I had a college roommate in Pennsylvania who had "Truck" tags on his 1990 Chevy S-10.

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      08-16-2007 03:52 PM #9
      In Texas all trucks and suvs get truck plates, no matter how lame it may be.

    10. Member Isgro's Avatar
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      08-16-2007 04:09 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by Wellington P Funk »

      I thought so, but the guy who sells glasses at my eye doctor's office has a T-tag on his Silverado, which seems a bit overkill considering his "business payload" is probably 30lbs max.

      I've also seen it on everything down to S10's and other mini-trucks, so I don't think it has to do with payload/towing/GVWR limits.

      The truck could still be registered to his office and not him personally.

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      08-16-2007 04:11 PM #11
      Could it be that vehicles with "truck" or "commercial" plates can use yellow curb zones but vehicles with "car" plates cannot?

    12. Moderator Gary C's Avatar
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      08-16-2007 04:13 PM #12
      I've got truck tags on my Silverado - reason being it's a 'second division' vehicle coming in at a certain weight break. A second division vehicle means a vehicle designed for carrying more than 10 persons, used for / as living quarters, and or used for pulling or carrying property, freight or cargo.

      That said we also have farm truck plates (self explanatory, no? only exception being they are a not for hire truck), Mileage Tax exempt (charities / NFP's that put super low mileage on their trucks per year, think: shelters, salvation army, etc), Recreational Trailer (self explanatory), Flat Weight Trailers by weight break, Trailers by weight break (how my trailers are licensed), and Trucks.

      That out of the way by having regular truck plates on my truck I am forbidden from driving on a lot of roads (parkways and things of that sort) as well as from parking in a *lot* of areas downtown. It's a pain in the rear, but you do what you have to do.


      Modified by Gary C at 3:15 PM 8-16-2007

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    13. 08-16-2007 04:17 PM #13
      Here in Ohio I've seen more than one PT Cruiser with TRUCK plates. I doubt PTs can really be considered "trucks" by any stretch of the imagination.

    14. Moderator Gary C's Avatar
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      08-16-2007 04:18 PM #14
      that's actually chryslers doing. Look on the title of a PT cruiser, they are listed as trucks. I wound up having to get a truck plate for my PT for that reason.

      edit: I seem to remember hearing that they are classified as trucks due to the CAFE standards and it bumping up Chrysler's average at the time? I might be *way* off, but I do remember being thrown off when I got the title for my PT and it was listed as "truck".


      Modified by Gary C at 3:20 PM 8-16-2007

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    15. Member deadguy's Avatar
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      08-16-2007 04:28 PM #15
      Could be for emmisions avoidance. I know in Indiana, if you register yout truck as an 11,000 pound truck, it is exempt.

    16. 08-16-2007 04:30 PM #16
      WA state has all trucks with plates like: A12345B
      even my rabbit pickup has "truck" plates, also seen brats and bajas with them, but SUVs get regular car tags like: 123-ABC I think it's anything with an open bed get "truck" plates here.

    17. Senior Member AZGolf's Avatar
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      08-16-2007 04:46 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by Gary C »
      edit: I seem to remember hearing that they are classified as trucks due to the CAFE standards and it bumping up Chrysler's average at the time? I might be *way* off, but I do remember being thrown off when I got the title for my PT and it was listed as "truck".

      You would be correct. They made sure the PT had the sufficient interior volume, removable rear seats, and flat loading floor that permitted it to be considered a Truck/SUV by the EPA for CAFE purposes.


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      08-16-2007 04:49 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by Gary C »

      edit: I seem to remember hearing that they are classified as trucks due to the CAFE standards and it bumping up Chrysler's average at the time? I might be *way* off, but I do remember being thrown off when I got the title for my PT and it was listed as "truck".


      Yep, it's all to do with CAFE/emissions and it's all decided by Chrysler. When the Magnum came out Chrysler designated it as a "truck" because its cargo area (trunk) is a certain height off the ground, thereby meeting USDOT requirements for "truck" designation.

      I don't know, at first glance I think that's flimsy reasoning . . . then again, that's the kind of loopholery that made Smokey Yunick famous!

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    19. 08-16-2007 06:14 PM #19
      In Ontario cars have blue text on their plates and trucks have black text... I always thought that the black ones were only supposed to be for commercial vehicles, but lately I see them on EVERY pickup and full size van on the road...

      SUVs seem to have a choice... some are blue, some are black...


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      08-16-2007 06:54 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by bhb399mm »
      usually it has to do with weight of the vehicle, but this veries by state.

      Bingo.
      5k lbs and over, I think and you need a "truck" registration... $81 instead of $36.


      Modified by DurtyBunny at 6:57 PM 8-16-2007


    21. 08-16-2007 07:48 PM #21
      Quote, originally posted by Wellington P Funk »
      So I'm wondering what the difference is, and why someone would choose to register their pickup under a T-tag instead of the conventional tag?

      Good question....

      According to Pennsylvania a "Truck" is defined as follows:

      "A motor vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of property.
      The term includes motor vehicles designed with seats that may be readily removed and re-installed if those vehicles are primarily used for the transportation of property."

      Notice how the definition uses the word "designed".
      Can't say as I have ever seen a pickup truck without a Pennsylvania "truck" tag. When I purchased my little VW Pickup years ago I was told I had to get a truck tag because it had a bed that was designed for hauling stuff. Due to it's lite weight it was classified in the under 5K pound truck weight class.

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    22. Member jetta4129's Avatar
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      08-16-2007 08:02 PM #22
      there are various amounts registration could be depending on weight of vehicle. There isnt just a "truck amount" my ford ranger came from the dealer with truck tags and it costs $58.50 for registration. 1 ton trucks have registration that is over $100 i think


      Modified by jetta4129 at 8:03 PM 8-16-2007

    23. 08-16-2007 11:37 PM #23
      Quote, originally posted by GrasshopperVW »
      Here in Ohio I've seen more than one PT Cruiser with TRUCK plates. I doubt PTs can really be considered "trucks" by any stretch of the imagination.

      when i used to live in ohio there was a company that has a fleet of toyota prii (LOL). they all had truck plates. you would always see them parked in no parking zones/loading areas etc etc. never once saw one that got a ticket.

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      08-17-2007 12:14 AM #24
      I occasionally see cargo vans and minivans with truck plates here in PA as well, guess if they can "transport property" they fall under the definition as well, though I personally don't usually consider vans to be trucks...to each his own I guess
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    25. 08-17-2007 12:16 AM #25
      In ohio it is dependent upon how the vehicle is registered. If registered to a company (aka tax writeoff) it is a TRUCK if not, it isnt labeled as such.

      hence why my dads Tahoe does not say "Truck" on it.

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    26. Member MRVW00's Avatar
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      08-17-2007 01:12 AM #26
      Quote, originally posted by Nourdmrolnmt »
      In ohio it is dependent upon how the vehicle is registered. If registered to a company (aka tax writeoff) it is a TRUCK if not, it isnt labeled as such.

      hence why my dads Tahoe does not say "Truck" on it.

      My dads "truck" is a 911 Slantnose.....the perks of owning a Porsche shop.

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    27. 08-17-2007 01:13 AM #27
      Quote, originally posted by MRVW01 »

      My dads "truck" is a 911 Slantnose.....the perks of owning a Porsche shop.

      lol. sweet truck!

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    28. Member arozanski's Avatar
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      08-17-2007 09:38 AM #28
      I had a '81 GMC Caballero - I had to get a truck tag, unless I put a cap on it, then I could get a car tag.

      My '94 Suburban had a car tag, as does my wife's Cherokee.

      My '00 F-150 has the truck tag, and I have to have a second windshield sticker because of the weight rating, its over 6500 lbs.

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      08-17-2007 09:50 AM #29
      What I've always wondered is why (in Ontario, at least) do trucks have black letters and the reg-tag on the front plate, where cars have blue letters and the tag on the back plate?!?

    30. 08-17-2007 09:56 AM #30
      as a beater/2nd vehicle I have a '96 XJ, bought it for $3000... no truck tag, $36 to register.

      used to have an '85 F150, bought it for $800... you know I had to spend the dam $81 for the 'truck' tag.

      PA laws are awesome


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