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Author: Subject: Trailer plates question?
chavycha
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[*] posted on 3-5-2018 at 09:26 AM
Trailer plates question?


We were informed on Saturday morning by some local policia that our Oregon-based boat trailer was illegal to drive on Mexican roads because it lacked proper plates. Oddly, this is the first time this has come up in over 10,000 miles of Baja driving without plates on a trailer.

The problem is that the State of Oregon does not register trailers under (if I remember correctly) 1,800 pounds and thus does not issue plates for light trailers. Oregon also does not issue titles for light trailers.

This seemed to create a bit of confusion for the policia, who suggested that we get some sort of temporary paperwork from Oregon DMV. When we pointed out that this would be difficult to do from 2,000 miles away, they then said that perhaps we should take the front plate from our rig and swap it to the rear of the trailer. They said that only the rear plate is required for the carro, so that would work just fine.

I know we are in Mexico where laws on such things are enforced sporadically and selectively (as highlighted by the dozen-plus unplated cars in the comandancia's employee parking lot, ha!), but I have no doubt that it is written somewhere that a trailer must display a license plate. Though the policia were professional and quite patient with our crappy Spanish, I'd prefer to not have to deal with this again on future trips.

Anyhow, in short, the question is:

What do other Oregonians (or those from other states/provinces which don't require trailer reg and plating) do to avoid paying "tourist tax" to various municipalities?

[Edited on 3-5-2018 by chavycha]
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thebajarunner
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[*] posted on 3-5-2018 at 09:33 AM


A few years ago I bought a new trailer just to take on our annual Baja trek, and the plates did not arrive before departure date.
I just went with no plates and no issues
I was not comfortable with this solution, but the alternative was to lift plates off a wreck out behind one of our businesses and that did not seem like a good solution.
I figured that everything would be fine until we wrecked, then it would get ugly.
No wrecks, no ugly, but I was not comfortable until I got home and of course the plates had arrived the day we left.
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chavycha
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[*] posted on 3-5-2018 at 09:38 AM


Right. That's similar to my thoughts on pulling the plates from the car... in the case of an incident or non-plate related stop, having the wrong plates on the trailer could cause a secondary set of issues...
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bajatrailrider
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[*] posted on 3-5-2018 at 09:39 AM


I have a Tow Dolly from CA no plate needed. So I do just that front plate of truck on Tow Dolly. Funny that over half the Mexicans in my town as young as 8 years old driving trucks no plates/no INS.
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[*] posted on 3-6-2018 at 07:10 AM


I have used a couple boats on a trailer in Baja for years without plates. (either stolen or lost on the ramps) just never got replacement plates. Never been questioned by anyone in Baja. Had a Border Agent entering the US question me, but after showing her the trailer registration just let go through.
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rts551
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[*] posted on 3-6-2018 at 07:54 AM


Last month I saw a car dolly being sent back north in San Luis because of no plate (and I assume no registration). How do you get across the border going south where presumably you have to have registration matching the vin of the trailer (much like motorcycles and ATVs).
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bkbend
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[*] posted on 3-6-2018 at 10:23 AM


I've never had a trailer checked for a VIN or plate at the border but have been stopped by local policia for no plate on a utility trailer. He appeared to be fishing for mordita but I was able to produce a bill of sale with the VIN so we chatted a while longer and he sent me on my way. I also reside in Oregon and DMV will issue title and license for an undersized trailer. I figured the cost is worth not going through the hassle of getting pulled over again.
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chavycha
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[*] posted on 3-6-2018 at 11:48 AM


Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Last month I saw a car dolly being sent back north in San Luis because of no plate (and I assume no registration). How do you get across the border going south where presumably you have to have registration matching the vin of the trailer (much like motorcycles and ATVs).


Our boat registration has been checked and matched with the HIN every time we have crossed with boats in the past several years, but the trailer has not been so much as even glanced at.

In similar oddities, the boat is more than 5m in length and we've tried (unsuccessfully) to get the border agents at Mexicali to issue a TIP for it - they just say it's a lanchita, so there is no need, the HIN matches your registration, go on through.

We have the factory statement of origin for the trailer which we showed to the police. That seemed to suffice to prove ownership to them. Their issue was with the lack of plates.

Looks like it might be possible to get a title and plates issued from Oregon now, according to bkbend? Bkbend, do you know what the cost is?

[Edited on 3-6-2018 by chavycha]
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nbentley1
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[*] posted on 3-6-2018 at 11:49 AM


Quote: Originally posted by bkbend  
I've never had a trailer checked for a VIN or plate at the border but have been stopped by local policia for no plate on a utility trailer. He appeared to be fishing for mordita but I was able to produce a bill of sale with the VIN so we chatted a while longer and he sent me on my way. I also reside in Oregon and DMV will issue title and license for an undersized trailer. I figured the cost is worth not going through the hassle of getting pulled over again.


Interesting, I have a small trailer that is registered in CA and have been asked for the registration every time I've crossed (San Ysidro). One time I had left the registration in my other vehicle and they turned us round, which is a royal PITA, but my bad I should have checked.
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chavycha
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[*] posted on 3-6-2018 at 12:02 PM


FWIW, we have been hit up for mordida before. This did not have that feeling at all.

The police followed all the proper procedures and were polite and in no way demanding or shady. We were stopped in the middle of town on the highway in plain view, long explanation and back-and-forth, written ticket, follow us to the comandancia, you can return during the week with this number for a written receipt, and so on.

It was more like the "your license plate light is out" ticket that you might get in a small town in the US when passing through with out-of-state plates.
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Bob and Susan
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[*] posted on 3-6-2018 at 12:44 PM


since you CAN get trailer plates in Oregon...
maybe Oregon residents should get plates before they leave the state or country to avoid conflict

oboattrtailer.jpg - 164kB




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chavycha
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[*] posted on 3-6-2018 at 01:04 PM


This is new then, and is what bkbend alluded to. When I purchased this trailer a few years ago, it was not even an option to get plates or a title. They simply weren't available from the DMV.

At $116 for registration every two years plus an additional $24 plate fee (on what is probably a $500 trailer), I may choose to leave it unregistered and pay the occasional Mexican "fee".

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chavycha
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[*] posted on 3-6-2018 at 01:45 PM


Thanks for the info, but no need to be a pendejo with commentary.
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