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In Oregon, small trailers (certainly anything a motorcycle is capable of towing) are not registered or licensed, be they manufactured, homemade, or whatever. Nor do they require any kind of inspection.

Does anyone here have experience or first hand knowledge of the legal problems, if any, this could cause on a cross-country trip?

I know that many states require ALL trailers to be licensed, but most will honor the Oregon-type law if the towing vehicle is plated from that home state. Twelfth-hand rumor: an Oregon rider pulling a trailer in California got pulled over and the cop forced him to disconnect the trailer from the bike to ride any farther. Unverified, but this could be a nightmare. If true, I don't know if the cop was within his authority doing this. Less of a nightmare, but potentially expensive, would be being cited for no trailer license.

Other trailer towing issues are fairly easy to research, but this one is elusive.
 

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In Va. tag required on trailer towed by Va. plated / owned vehicle. Inspection too if weigh 3,000 lbs and up.


I only ever had a trailer separated and towed to storage when the vehicle was pulling two, like a PU pulling camper pulling cargo or bike trailer.
 

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Oklahoma does not tag residential trailers period.


I towed mine thru OK, TX, AR, MS, AL, FL, SC, NC, TN, KY, OH, WVA, SD, KS, and more,


no one even gave me a 2nd glance......
I doubt that any state DPS would bother you, if your tag is out of state.
 

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Unverified, but this could be a nightmare. If true, I don't know if the cop was within his authority doing this. Less of a nightmare, but potentially expensive, would be being cited for no trailer license. .
I doubt seriously there is any truth to that...


you are not registered in the state of California, and they have no authorization to make you unhitch it, providing you did not break any driving laws.


I rode my '94SE to CA several times, and was passed by many CA bike DPS officers, none of them even looked at me.
 

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When I was licensed and lived in Oregon, I purchased a trailer and had it licensed in Oregon. The person at the department of licensing was kind of surprised that I wanted to get it tagged. She didn't see the need to license such a small utility trailer. I explained that I would be towing it through several states and didn't want to chance getting an over zealous law enforcement officer delaying my trip. She understood my logic and went ahead and licensed the trailer. The license fees are so small in Oregon, it made good sense to me to just have it done. No hassles from nooby LEO's that were "just doing their job".


Makes it easier to sell it to someone out of state too. It really helps to have a title.
 

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There was nothing in the CA. Vehicle Code to prohibit a pull-behind motorcycle trailer when I was a LEO in CA. 26 years behind a badge, and about 12 of those years with two wheels under me for a municipality. Its been 15+ years since I was active, but I doubt things have changed much.



Unless that trailer had two flat tires at 55 mph, AND the rider failed the "attitude test", , I doubt the story of unhitching the trailer.
 

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towed in a lot of states and never stopped or asked about the bike towing a trailer, even road blocks nothing or crossing the border nothing, ny you must register the trailer and thats about it
 

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an Oregon rider pulling a trailer in California got pulled over and the cop forced him to disconnect the trailer from the bike to ride any farther. .
Could be true. There are a lot of LEOs that think their job is to hassle the public or are sure they know the law better than anyone else or other issues that cause them to want to give you a hard time. No offense meant to any LEOs who actually know & do their job.
 

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About 5 yrs ago I was pulling my trailer to Michigan, overnighted in a motel in Council Bluffs Iowa and discovered the next morning that someone had literally ripped the license plate from the trailer (!?!?!) - there were still bits of the green license plate under the screws. (Are Out-of-state trailer tags THAT valuable in IA?)

Went the remainder of the trip to Michigan and back to Denver without incident, knowing that the bits of plate were still under the screws and the current registration document still in my wallet....
 

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ill be heading through there next year maybe i will scan my plate and have a copy on paper for back up
 

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Generally speaking - if you're legal in your home state then you're legal in all 50 states, as far as the Vehicle Code is concerned. There are, of course, DOT regulations that can get you, such as double towing, but I don't think too many motorcycles will be guilty of that!
 

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Trailer

Generally speaking - if you're legal in your home state then you're legal in all 50 states, as far as the Vehicle Code is concerned. There are, of course, DOT regulations that can get you, such as double towing, but I don't think too many motorcycles will be guilty of that!

+1


Mike
 

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If your vehicle is not registered in Calif I doubt they will give you any trouble. When you go to Wing Ding or any other big rally you see trailers with out license plates from all over the country, and I'm sure they went through states that requires trailers to be licensed. You could say the same thing about vehicles from states that only require 1 license plate. Calif requires 2, one in front and 1 in back, if your vehicle is registered in a state that only requires 1 your legal.
 

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Same as so many others. I/we towed to utah several times, Wyoming, all over. No issues whatsoever. I think of it this way:

A state with smog regulations is not going to pull an out of state rig over for not meeting that states rules. My Oregon plated car won't get a ticket for not meeting CA smog laws in other words. Same concept.
 

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what about towing through canada? any special law or insurance you need?
 

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If you have the trailer registered /tagged, then no need to photo your tag too … LE can run a quick check if he questions your paper registration. Who's gonna steal a tag off your trailer anyway? Chances are greater they'll steal your bike or trike's tag … and far more likely they'll steal your vehicle left at home or it's tag.


Also, a side note, if you ever report a tag or vehicle stolen or lost, and somehow later have it back … just know that until removed from state files & NCIC by originating agency, it's still shown as stolen or lost if an officer checks it as he sees it on the road or parked at WAWA, etc. If it does happen, get in touch with original agency and make sure the entry gets removed.
 
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