Commercial Insurance Blog

Do I Need Commercial Plates for My Massachusetts Vehicle?

business vehicle plates under commercial insuranceThe Massachusetts Department of Transportation/Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) states that if your vehicle is defined as a "commercial vehicle" then that vehicle must be registered with commercial plates (aka truck plates).  The RMV defines commercial vehicles as the following:

“ANY MOTOR VEHICLE WHICH IS NOT A PRIVATE PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE, ANTIQUE MOTOR CAR, MOTORCYCLE, TRAILER, SEMI-TRAILER, AUTO HOME, HOUSE TRAILER, TAXICAB, AMBULANCE, HEARSE, LIVERY VEHICLE, BUS, SCHOOL BUS OR PUPIL TRANSPORT VEHICLE.”

This includes:

  • Any vehicle which has a vehicle weight of more than 6,000 pounds unless it is a sport utility vehicle, passenger van, pickup truck or cargo van meeting the definition of a private passenger vehicle
  • Any vehicle which has five or more wheels (i.e.; a dually)
  •        Any pickup truck or cargo van, owned by a partnership, trust or corporation, unless the vehicle meets the definition of a private passenger vehicle
  •        Any pickup truck or cargo van if on the bed, roof or sides of the vehicle tools, equipment, supplies and materials are transported to or from a job site (personal projects without compensation are not considered a job site)
  •        A vehicle which has business lettering, markings and/or advertisements on it
  •        A vehicle used for hire to plow
  •        A vehicle used for hire to transport or store goods or merchandise (unless the vehicle is owned by an individual, the maximum carrying capacity is 1,000 pounds or less, and it is only used on a part-time basis)
  •        A vehicle used to transport or store goods or merchandise intended for sale in the operator’s business (unless the vehicle is owned by an individual, the maximum carrying capacity is 1,000 pounds or less, and it is only used on a part-time basis)

As you can see from above, you must know what the definition of a Private Passenger vehicle is in order to determine if the vehicle is defined as a Commercial vehicle. The definition of a Private Passenger vehicle is

A) Any vehicle which has a weight rating of 6,000 pounds or less or is a sport utility vehicle or passenger van, or which is a pickup truck or cargo van of the ½ ton, ¾ ton or 1 ton class (per the manufacturer), or a vehicle used solely for official business by a college or university police department

      B) A pickup truck or cargo van that is registered or leased to an individual and is used exclusively for personal, recreational or commuting purpose

      C) Any vehicle not described elsewhere by the Mass DOT/RMV rules, 540 CMR

 

Feel free to contact the insurance professionals at Gordon Atlantic Insurance with any questions by clicking the link below, or calling us at (781) 659-2262.

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