You may need:
- A Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)/Combined Gross Vehicle Weight (CGW) (REG 4008) form.
- A Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) Application and Certification (REG 4017) form.
- An Application for Title or Registration (REG 343) form.
- A Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form.
- A Statement of Facts (REG 256).
- Titling documents.
The Commercial Vehicle Registration Act (CVRA) changed the way the DMV registers commercial motor vehicles and some trailers.
- Commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) or combined gross vehicle weight (CGW) of 10,001 lbs. or more.
- Most trailers.
Vehicles NOT Affected
- Light-weight trucks and vans, if the declared GVW or CGW is 10,000 lbs. or less.
- Pickups with an unladen weight of 8,000 lbs. (even if the operating weight is over 10,000 lbs.)
- Taxis/rental limousines/charter-party carriers operating limousines if the declared GVW is 10,000 lbs. or less.
- Park trailers/trailer coaches.
Weight fees for the above vehicles (except trailers) are based on the unladen weight.
Weight/CVRA Fees (CVC §§9400 & 9400.1)
Weight/CVRA fees for commercial motor vehicles fund Caltrans. CVRA fees are assessed on commercial vehicles operating singly (GVW) or in combination (CGW) with a declared GVW/CGW of 10,001 lbs. or more. In addition to registration and VLF, they are subject to the following fees:
- CVRA based on the GVW/CGW.
- CVRA motor vehicle.
- CHP CVRA.
- Cargo theft interdiction program (CTIP).
- CVRA decal.
Weight fees for commercial vehicles (trucks/pickups) operating at a GVW of 10,000 lbs. or less are based on the unladen weight and number of axles. When a camper (or shell) is temporarily attached to a motor vehicle designed to transport property (or the camper/area under it does not contain facilities designed for human habitation), the camper is a load and fees are based on the unladen weight of the vehicle without the camper.
For registration fee information, see the Registration Related Fees (FFVR 34) Fast Facts brochure.
GVW and CGW Definitions
Declared GVW is the weight that equals the total unladen weight of the vehicle plus the heaviest load that will be transported on the vehicle.
Declared CGW is the total unladen weight of the combination of vehicles (motor vehicle and trailer) plus the heaviest load that will be transported by that combination.
If you tow a trailer or other vehicle such as a truck loaded with produce pulling a trailer loaded with bricks, you must declare the total CGW of the combination of vehicles.
Commercial motor vehicle owners/lessees must declare the GVW/CGW when the vehicle:
- Is first registered in California (original).
- Is purchased (new or used).
- Operating weight changes.
If the declared GVW/CGW increased after it was reported to DMV, an additional CVRA fee is due on the higher weight range for the remainder of the registration year, or partial year registration (PYR) period. Appropriate CVRA fees must be paid prior to vehicle operation at the higher weight.
If the declared GVW/CGW decreased after it was reported to DMV, the lower weight is added to the vehicle record and a new registration card issued. No refunds will be issued.
The operating weight for vehicles registered as PYR does not have to be declared each renewal, unless the operating weight changes.
Reporting the GVW or CGW
The GVW/CGW listed on your vehicle is the maximum weight the manufacturer declares the vehicle can safely operate. You must determine whether the vehicle will be operated at the maximum and complete a Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)/Combined Gross Vehicle Weight (CGW) (REG 4008) form. Violations for under-reporting vehicle weight can result in a fine up to $2,000 (CVC §42030.1).
Operating at a GVW/CGW of 10,000 lbs. or Less
If your vehicle will be operated at 10,000 lbs. or less GVW/CGW, you must submit a completed REG 4008. If you do not complete the REG 4008, you will be assessed the maximum CVRA fee.
CVRA Weight Decals/Year Stickers
CVRA-registered vehicles are issued CVRA weight decals/year stickers that must be displayed on both the right/left sides of the vehicle. CVRA year stickers correspond in color with the license plate registration sticker.
CVRA weight decals indicate the highest GVW/CGW at which the vehicle may be operated. For example, if your vehicle’s operating weight is 42,000 lbs. GVW, the weight decals/ and registration card will show “45” (for 45,000 lbs.). When you receive new decals/registration card, make sure they have the correct weight range. However, “54” decals Decals are valid for a vehicle operating up to 54,999 lbs. GVW/CGW.
CVRA weight decals are issued once with the CVRA year stickers. On subsequent renewals, only the CVRA year stickers are issued, unless the operating weight changes or replacement CVRA weight decals are requested.
Weight Fees (CVC §9400)
|10,000 or more||$358|
Motor vehicles with no more than two axles
|Unladen Weight||Weight Code||Fee|
Motor vehicles with three or more axles
|Unladen Weight||Weight Code||Fee|
CVRA Fees (CVC §9400.1)
Implements of Husbandry
If a truck subject to CVRA is owned and operated by a farmer or employee, used only for conducting agricultural business, and pulls an implement of husbandry or a vehicle with special equipment (SE) plates, the weight of the implement of husbandry or the SE-plated vehicle and its load are not declared. The weight of the truck and its load, other than an implement of husbandry or SE-plated vehicle, must be declared.
Tow trucks used to assist the public or to tow/carry impounded vehicles are subject to CVRA fees. The declared operating weight is the GVW assigned by the vehicle manufacturer.
All trailers are registered under the permanent trailer identification (PTI) program, except park trailers and trailer coaches which are excluded from PTI and registered annually. Fifth-wheel trailers and camp trailers are registered as a trailer coach (not PTI) or camp trailer (PTI) based on the length, width, and size (CVC §§ 242 & 635).
Tow/auxiliary dollies are not required to be registered in California (CVC §5014.1). However, you may opt to register as PTI. If you do not register as PTI, remove and surrender any existing license plate.
While registration as PTI is optional for tow/auxiliary dollies in California, you may want to register it as PTI if you will tow it out of state, because other states’ registration requirements vary.
A PTI service fee is charged for the original registration and every five years for renewal. A PTI card is issued with original registration.
About 60 days prior to the registration expiration date, you will receive a PTI service fee notice. Upon payment, you will receive a notice of acknowledgment for the payment; however, no new sticker will be issued.
PTI License Plates
Upon original PTI registration, owners choose to retain their existing California trailer license plate and be issued a PTI sticker, or be issued a PTI license plate (no sticker).
Personalized and special interest license plates may be retained or requested for PTI trailers. Renewal fees will include any special plate fees due.
How Do I Register as PTI?
You must submit:
- Titling document(s) (out-of-state title, Application for Registration of New Vehicle (REG 397) form, manufacturer’s statement of origin, etc.). If a REG 397 is not submitted, you will also need:
- A Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) Application and Certification (REG 4017) form, if there is no legal owner and you want a paper Certificate of Title (complete Side A and include a PTI title fee). If you do not apply for a Certificate of Title, DMV only issues a PTI card and maintains an electronic ownership record.
- A PTI filing fee.