More More

Commercial vehicle and registration information

MVC has different requirements for various vehicles. To find information on regulations for specific vehicles please search the following information.

Code 11 Commercial truck or tractor
Code 13 Taxi
Code 14 Limousine
Code 16 Aggregate Haulers
Code 17 School bus
Code 18 School bus
Code 19 Four-Year Commercial Trailer
Code 21 Commercial Trailer
Code 24 Commercial motorcycle
Code 31 Farm truck
Code 32 Light–Medium Weight Tow Truck
Code 33 Heavy Duty Tow Truck
Code 39 Solid waste
Code 41 Constructor
Code 51 Farm use
Code 52 Agricultural tractor
Code 54 Omnibus and Passenger Vehicle Transportation
Code 56 Contractor equipment in-transit
Code 58 Migrant farm worker
Code 59 In-transit empty
Code 99 Farm labor transport


Commercial truck or tractor (Code 11)
Includes every type of motorized vehicle used for commercial purposes, such as transportation of goods, wares and merchandise (39:3-20).

Plates:
  • Display the word "commercial"
  • Numerals are prefixed by the letter "X" or any other prefix designated by the Chief Administrator
Required lettering:
Clearly visible sign or nameplate (as prescribed by law 39:4-46) that must contain:
  • Name of owner, renter or renting party
  • Municipality of residence
  • The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or the combined gross vehicle weight rating if vehicle is 26,001 pounds or more and the vehicle is registered or principally garaged in New Jersey
  • Lettering height must be at least three inches
Exceptions:
  • You may be exempt from displaying the name of the municipality if the vehicle displays a USDOT registration number. The owner, lessee or lessor of 50 or more vehicles must use those vehicles by franchised public utilities (including gas, power and telephone companies)
  • You can acquire a Federal DOT registration number online or by calling the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at (703) 280-4001

Taxi (Code 13)
Includes all motor vehicles used for transportation of passengers for hire, excluding school buses, omnibuses and limousine vehicles.

Plates:
  • Used for taxis or displays the word "Taxicab"
Special conditions:
  • The applicant must present an original letter of authorization from the local municipality where the vehicle will be operated

Limousine (Code 14)

An automobile with a capacity of no more than 14 passengers (not including the driver) or stretched not more than 4 passenger seats more than originally manufactured, as stated on secondary manufacturer's plate used for charter at a premium fare.

Plates:
  • Used for charter operation only and displays the word "Limousine"
Special conditions:
  • Can be used for lease or hire
  • If used on a route (specific territory with scheduled stops at specific times), it is not a limousine and the registration must be issued in Trenton
  • Vehicles used as limousines should not be registered as taxis
  • If a vehicle is used for a car pool and is paid compensation, the vehicle must be registered as a limousine
  • For all initial, transfer and renewal transactions, the applicant must provide a license to operate issued by the municipality
  • Minimum liability insurance of $1.5 million must be carried
  • A Power of Attorney (POA) whereby the applicant appoints the Chief Administrator of MVC as his attorney-in-fact for service of process must be filed

Aggregate Haulers (Code 16)
Any commercial motor vehicle used in the business of hauling aggregate - ready-mix cement, stone, clean fill, etc.

All requirements are the same as those for Code 11 vehicles. Vehicle may only be used to haul aggregate as defined above.


School bus (Codes 17, 18)
  • Code 17: any vehicle with a seating capacity of 17 or more
  • Code 18: any vehicle with a seating capacity of 16 or less
Plates:
  • Code 17 plates display "school vehicle" and begin or end with "S1"
  • Code 18 plates display "school vehicle" and begin or end with "S2"
Special conditions:
  • Plates expire 11 months from the date of issue on the initial transaction only
  • All renewals expire 12 months from date of registration
  • A vehicle registered as a School Vehicle I or II may only be used to transport enrolled children and adults serving as chaperones to or from:
    • School
    • School related activity
    • Day camp
    • Summer day camp
    • Nursery school
    • Child-care center
    • Pre-school
    • Similar places of education
  • At the time of inspection, vehicles must comply with regulations from:

Four-Year Commercial Trailer (Code 19)
A trailer or non-title trailer used for commercial purposes and request is made for a four-year registration.

Plates:
  • A trailer plate bears the prefix letter "T"
Commercial Lettering:
  • See requirements under Commercial Truck or Tractor (Code 11)
  • Commercial trailer GVW is 0; total weight is displayed on towing vehicle

Commercial Trailer (Code 21)
Every vehicle with or without motor power, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle

Four types:
  • Trailer
  • Non-titled trailer
  • Mobile Home
  • Bogey
Plate:
  • A trailer plate bears the prefix letter "T."

Commercial motorcycle (Code 24)

Code 24 includes the following vehicles that are used on the highways for commercial purposes (i.e. transportation of goods, wares and merchandise):
  • Motorcycles
  • Motorbikes
  • Bicycles with motor attached
  • Motor-operated vehicles (of a bicycle or tricycle type)
Plates:
  • Code 24 plates display the word "Commercial" and numerals are prefixed by the letter "X"

Farm truck (Code 31)

A vehicle engaged in the transportation of farm products or farm supplies.

Plates:
  • Plates used for Code 31 display the word "Farmer" and begin with the prefix "XY" or "XZ"
Vehicles require a clearly visible sign or name plate that contains:
  • Name of owner, renter or renting party
  • Municipality of residence
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), if applicable, or the combined GVWR if it is 26,001 pounds or more and the vehicle is registered or principally garaged in New Jersey
  • Lettering at least three inches high
Special conditions:
  • A farmer is any person engaged in the commercial raising, growing and producing of farm products on a farm not less than five acres in area
  • Farm products include crops, livestock and fur products
  • Farm supplies include farm-related supply or repair items
  • Applicant must present an Agricultural Certificate obtained from a county agricultural agent that will be returned to the applicant once the transaction is completed
  • Plates expire 11 months from the date of issue on initial transactions
  • All renewals are valid for 12 months
  • A farm truck may not engage in hauling for hire
  • A farm truck may be operated under contract with a municipality to remove snow

Light–Medium Weight Tow Truck (Code 32)
A vehicle engaged in towing weighing less than 32,000 lbs

Special conditions:
  • Certificate of Insurance for a minimum liability of $750,000
  • Documentation of manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (either a manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO) or owner/lessee certification on form BA 49T

Heavy Duty Tow Truck (Code 33)
A vehicle engaged in towing weighing more than 32,000 lbs

Special conditions:
  • Certificate of Insurance for a minimum of $1,000,000.
  • Documentation of manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (either a manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO) or owner/lessee certification on form BA 49T)

Solid waste (Code 39)
All vehicles engaged in solid waste disposal (trash collection) with the registration weight ceilings of:
  • 42,000 pounds for a two-axle vehicle
  • 60,000 pounds for:
    • Tandem three-axle vehicle
    • Four-axle vehicle
    • Four-axle tractor-trailer combination
Plates:
  • Regular commercial plates that begin with "X"" and add a bullet in front of this line
Special conditions:
  • Applicant must hold a "Certificate of Convenience and Necessity" issued by the Board of Public Utility Commissioners
  • Any vehicle registered as Code 39 Solid Waste may also be dually registered as Code 41 Constructor, but the owner of the vehicle must present a photocopy of the title and pay the full fee for the Code 41 registration
  • The applicant will have two different sets of plates and two registrations for the vehicle. Both sets of plates must be displayed on the vehicle and both registrations must be carried in the vehicle at all times
  • Vehicles registered as a Solid Waste Disposal Vehicle shall be limited to the allowable gross weight as shown on the registration certificate

Constructor (Code 41)

All vehicles with a gross weight between 41,000 and 70,000 pounds with satisfactory proof that the applicant is actually engaged in construction work or in the business of supplying and/or transporting material such as dirt, concrete, wood, bricks, pipes, etc., or is using such registered vehicle for construction work

Plates:
  • Plates are regular commercial plates and begin with the prefix "X"
Restrictions:
  • Vehicles cannot operate on a highway at a speed greater than 45 miles per hour when carrying a load under 50 percent of the registered gross weight
  • Vehicle cannot exceed 30 miles (air mile radius) when carrying a load over 50 percent of the registered gross weight
Special conditions (dual registration):
  • Any vehicle registered as a Code 41 Constructor may also be dually registered as a Code 39 Solid Waste. The owner of the vehicle must present a photocopy of the title and pay the full fee for Code 39 Solid Waste
  • The owner will have two different sets of plates and two registrations for the vehicle. Both sets of plates must be displayed on the vehicle and both registrations must be carried in the vehicle at all times

Farm use (farm machinery or implements) (Code 51)
Farm-use vehicles not for hire and used exclusively as farm machinery or farm implements to travel from one part of the farm to another across or along a public road for short distances.

Vehicles that do not exceed a speed of 20 mph are exempt from registration.

Plates:
  • Plates must display the words "FARM USE"
  • First letter of the alpha­numeric combination will be "F"
  • Registration will be staggered throughout the current registration year
  • MVC issues only one plate for Code 51 registrations to affix to the back of the vehicle (Code 31 Farmer Vehicle registrations are issued two plates)
Restrictions:
  • Code 51 vehicles may not draw more than one vehicle used exclusively on the farm
  • Vehicle may not be operated on the highway between sunset and sunrise and must remain within a 15-mile radius of the home farm
  • Code 51 equipment may draw machinery while in transit from one farm to another without additional registration for machinery
  • Applicant must present farm certificate obtained from the county agricultural agent on initial, transfer and renewal transactions (Certificates are returned to applicant)

Agricultural tractor (Code 52)
An agricultural tractor registration is used to allow farm tractors and traction equipment for farm operation to travel on the public highways. Also permitted under this code are vehicles with permanently mounted well-drilling or impregnating machines. These vehicles must have rubber wheels.

Vehicles that do not exceed 20 mph are exempt from registration.

Plates:
  • Plates must display the word "Tractor" and the first letter on the plate will be "T"
  • Applicant must present an Agricultural Certificate obtained from county agricultural agent that will be returned to the applicant after the transaction is completed
Special conditions:
  • Code 52 equipment may draw machinery while in transit from one farm to another without an additional registration for the machinery.

Omnibus and Passenger Vehicle Transportation (Code 54)
Includes all motor vehicles used for the transportation of passengers for hire, except school buses, limousines and taxis.

Omnibuses (Omnibus 1) are traditional route buses, charter buses and special operation buses at define in NJS 48:4-1.  They must be inspected biannually by the MVC Bus Inspection Unit.

Plates for Omnibus 1:
  • Plates must display the word "Omnibus" and begin with the letter "O"
Special conditions:
  • For all initial and transfer transactions, applicant must provide MVC with a copy of MVC certificate MC-9 (formerly MC-21) and MC-12
  • Non-profit organizations should refer to the Government Unit for plates
  • Renewal transactions require the MC-12 only

Omnibus 2 are non traditional buses operated by a company or individual that provides passenger transportation to a target audience or market that is not in competition with a publicly regulated transit route or does not collect fares from the general public. Examples of Omnibus 2 are assisted living transport, adult daycare transport, medical transport, retirement village transport, hotel complimentary bus, recreational (outfitters) transport, farm transport, day labor transport and rental car transport.  These vehicles must be inspected annually for safety and emissions at either an Inspection Station or Private Inspection Facility.

Plates for Omnibus 2:
  • The Omnibus 2 Vehicles will be issued license plates beginning with the letter “O” and number 2 along with the remaining four (4) alpha or numeric characters
Special conditions:
  • For all initial and transfer transactions, applicant must provide the MVC with a copy of owner’s Omnibus 2 Certification of Public Convenience Necessity.  Information can be found on the www.njmvc.gov/pvtandyou in related links (Omnibus 2 information).
  • Non-profit organizations should refer to the Government Unit for plates

PVT Vehicles include Ambulance, Hotel Buses, Jitneys, Mobility Assistance Vehicles and Paratransit Vehicles.  These vehicles provide transportation to targeted audience or market.  PVT Definitions can be found on the www.njmvc.gov/pvtandyou in related links (PVT Definitions).  These vehicles must be inspected annually for safety and emissions at either an Inspection Station or Private Inspection Facility

Plates for Passenger Vehicle Transportation:
  • PVT Vehicles will be issued a license plate with the first (1st) character as the letter “O” and second (2nd) character will be the first letter of the vehicle type and four (4) remaining characters will either be alpha or numeric.
Special conditions:
  • For all initial and transfer transactions, applicant must provide MVC the proper required documents that can be found online at www.njmvc.gov/pvtandyou.
Non-profit organizations should refer to the Government Unit for plates

Contractor equipment in-transit (Code 56)
Any person, partnership or corporation may obtain general registration and plates with the word "temporary" or "in-transit" with regards to:

  • Road building machinery
  • Traction engines
  • Rollers or other machinery of the kind owned or controlled by it
The director must be satisfied with the financial responsibility of such person, partnership or corporation to meet any claim for damages arising from an accident. Satisfactory evidence of such responsibility must be filed with the director prior to approval.

Plates:
  • Plates used for Code 56 must display the words "CONTRACTOR EQUIPMENT IN-TRANSIT"
  • Plates will be issued in bundles of five sets (10 plates) with hyphenated numbers thru five
Restrictions/Limitations:
  • In-transit plates are to be used on vehicles/equipment such as:
      • Road-building machinery
      • Backhoes
      • Front end loaders
      • Well Drilling equipment (including any necessary attachements)
      • Cranes
      • Arrow boards
      • Chippers/Shredders
      • Cement Mixers
      • Compressors
      • Other self-propelled and towed pieces of equipment used in moving to and from the locations of any type of construction.
  • No load may be carried on or in any vehicle or piece of equipment registered under Code 56 while moving to or from any construction site or while moving upon any public roadway.
  • Any vehicle towing a piece of equipment displaying a Code 56 plate must be properly registered.
  • Any vehicle with a Code 56 plate may not be used in combination with another vehicle or piece of equipment displaying a Code 56 plate.  
  • Code 56 plates may not be used for snow plows.
  • Code 56 plates shall be displayed on both the front and rear of each vehicle or piece of equipment being transported as specified under 39:3-33, except for trailers or towed equipment where only one plate can be displayed.
  • Any vehicle exceeding the size and/or weight limitations as prescribed in 39:3-84 shall be required to obtain a special permit.
  • Please visit the NJDOT website for further information when a permit is required and for instructions on how to apply for permits.  For direct access to NJDOT’s Superload on-line permitting website go to:  https://nj.gotpermits.com/njpass/login.asp
Insurance requirements:
  • A photocopy of the Certificate of Insurance must contain the following information:
    • Name and address of the insured
    • Policy number and expiration date
    • Proper coverage
    • List all equipment registered
  • The Certificate of Insurance will be retained by the Agency
Initial registrations:
  • Complete the application for vehicle registration (BA-49) and include the following:
    • Owner information
    • Authorized signature, indicating the title of office
    • Leave vehicle description blank
  • Provide Certificate of Insurance or photocopy
  • Pay initial registration fee
  • All Code 56 registrations have an expiration date of March
  • Title issuance and sales tax are not applicable to the issuance of Code 56 registrations
Renewal registrations:
  • Complete application for registration (BA-49)
  • Submit Certificate of Insurance or photocopy, which must be in force at time of application
  • Pay renewal registration fee
Replacement plates:
  • Complete application for registration (BA-49)
  • Submit Certificate of Insurance or photocopy
  • Pay replacement plate fee
Duplicate registrations:
  • Complete application for vehicle registration (BA-49)
  • Submit Certificate of Insurance or photocopy
  • Up to five registrations may be issued as duplicates
  • Pay replacement plate fee

Migrant farm worker (Code 58)
Vehicle is used for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation or profit and used for businesses operated within this state to transport property.

A special permit must be obtained during the period of "seasonal employment in the agricultural pursuits" as defined by the division.

To apply for a special permit:
  • Present a migrant farm worker certification available from the County Agricultural Agent or New Jersey Employee Service Office
  • Complete application with your boss' agricultural number inserted on the application
  • If application is obtained at a New Jersey Employment Service, the office manager must vouch for the applicant
    • Cross out "EMPLOYED BY ME" and insert "NEW JERSEY"
    • Cross out "NAME OF FARMER AND CERTIFICATE NUMBER" and insert office manager's name, title and branch office name
Special conditions:
  • Permit expires November 30th
  • Permit may not be used as a driver license

In-Transit empty (Code 59)
This includes:
  • Empty trucks
  • Trailers
  • Semi-trailers
  • Mobile and manufactured homes transported from one terminal to another or from the place of sale to the registrant's terminal or place of business or homes that are empty and being transported for the purpose of having additional equipment added or lettering affixed per statute 39:3-20
Registration:
  • To apply, complete a registration application form (BA-49)
  • Provide the company corpcode or your current driver license number
  • Mail documents and fee to:

    Motor Vehicle Commission
    Government Unit
    225 East State Street
    P.O. Box 016 (2nd Floor)
    Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0016

Farm labor transport (Code 99)
Applies to vehicles in the commercial category that are used for the transportation of migrant farm workers to and from New Jersey farms.

Plates:
  • Code 99 plates must display the word "Commercial"
  • Numerals will be prefixed by the letter "X" or any designation by the director
Required lettering:
  • All vehicles must have the wording "farm labor transport" on both sides with letters in the rear at least 6 inches high.
Special conditions:
  • Driver must be at least 21 years old and hold a commercial license (Class B or C) with a passenger endorsement or equivalent from his or her home state
  • Vans or buses without windows may not be used as farm labor transport
  • Vehicle must be insured with liability insurance for bodily injury or death
  • Proof of insurance must be carried in the vehicle at all times
  • Vehicle must be inspected annually during the month of registration renewal and prior to use for transport purposes
  • Inspection must be performed at a state-operated inspection station
  • Name and address of the owner must also be placed on vehicle and the vehicle’s GVWR if over 26,000 pounds
  • Passengers cannot be charged a transportation fee
  • Must have a notarized affidavit attesting that the vehicle will only be used for transporting immigrant farm workers to and from New Jersey farms