A trailer can be defined as a vehicle without motor power designed for carrying property or passengers entirely on its own structure and that is drawn by a motor vehicle, including tow dollies and converter gear (§ 46.2-100).
Trailers can be registered annually, bi-annually or permanently. The trailer registration fee is based on the gross weight of the trailer and the registration period selected. Insurance coverage for trailers depends on the insurance coverage of the vehicle pulling the trailer.
Permanent License Plates for Trailers
- Permanent license plates are available for all private, for-hire and rental trailers, regardless of their weight, for a one-time fee.
- A registration card will be issued for a trailer with permanent plates.
- The license plate will not have a month and year decal unless it is on a rental trailer, nor will it have a month or year expiration. Plates are embossed with the word "Permanent".
- For trailers that have a gross weight of 4,000 pounds or less, you may choose a full size or small (motorcycle size) permanent license plate.
- Permanent trailer plates for rental trailers will display an orange decal with a white "R" to designate the trailer as a rental.
- There is no additional registration fee for as long as you own the trailer. If ownership changes new plates will have to be purchased.
- To order permanent plates, complete an "Application for Registration" (VSA-14) and check "permanent" for registration type.
- Personalized messages are available for an additional one-time fee.
- Permanent plates are neither transferable nor refundable.
- If your permanent plate is lost, mutilated or illegible it can be replaced for a fee. (§ 46.2-692)