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Old 08-06-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
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GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

I have a GMC Thomas Built 3500 short bus that GVW is 10000. I've read that in MA any vehicle over 10,000lbs needs to have commercial plates. I have also heard that any vehicle with more than 4 wheels needs commercial plates. Can I get away with noncommercial plates?
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

I would call the local DMV and just ask about getting weighted tags for your "truck" and be done with it...see what they say
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

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Originally Posted by bansil
I would call the local DMV and just ask about getting weighted tags for your "truck" and be done with it...see what they say
Ditto, what he said.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

Why not just register it as a 3500 gmc van? That is what the title says right? I was looking at a Ford cutaway E350 Startran shuttle here in TX and the guy had it registered and insured as an E350 because that is what the title says and that was way cheaper than RV or private bus. Run the VIN in your state and see what the state thinks it is, then you can see about changing it to what you want it to be. Also I find it really hard to believe that all RV's over 10K lbs are registered as commercial vehicles....even in the law crazy state of Mass.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

that's a good start also!
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:30 AM   #6
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

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Originally Posted by Malkieri
Why not just register it as a 3500 gmc van? That is what the title says right? I was looking at a Ford cutaway E350 Startran shuttle here in TX and the guy had it registered and insured as an E350 because that is what the title says and that was way cheaper than RV or private bus. Run the VIN in your state and see what the state thinks it is, then you can see about changing it to what you want it to be. Also I find it really hard to believe that all RV's over 10K lbs are registered as commercial vehicles....even in the law crazy state of Mass.

That's exactly what I've done already. I'm just concerned because of friends who own large trucks who told me that I need a commercial plate or I will get pulled over and they will take the bus. The debate now is does the law require everything above 10,000lbs or is it everything 10,000lbs and above because the bus GVW is 10,000 exactly according to the sticker. I'm on hold with the RMV hopefully I will get an answer today.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

I don't know, but if your not using it for commerce why do you need the tags to be commercial?

maybe they meant weighted tags ; here in TN regular tags are like 5000 lb rated (don't hold me to that exact number) they don't ticket people that have them on 3/4 and 1 ton trucks though
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:43 PM   #8
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

Just found out that my GVW is fine the restriction starts at anything above 10,000, unfortunately because its a dually I am required to get commercial plates.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #9
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

Commercial tags are WAY expensive ... that sucks to hear. Does it have RV plates on it ??

You need to move to a less restrictive state ... Like good ol' Minnesota.

License things however you want, no emissions inspections, and out in the country, you can drive things like this and get away with it ... My old high school ride.

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Old 08-07-2013, 07:14 PM   #10
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

Please double check that,that means every dual pickup would need those tags.

Once you registure as commecial....you will play hell to go backwards.

Look around and see what all the pickups have and then bring that up!!

Commercial here in TNwould add a lot plus possible DOT numbers etc

Please be careful here
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:39 PM   #11
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

Well-here in Ct, if you are over 10k, you need commercial plates. (no biggie-i think it was like $135 a year for my cube van @ 10.7k.) But I didn't have to do emissions. My buddies cubie was 9900 gross-and he could get "combination" plates for his-but had to deal with emissions. On my bus I got "camp trailer" plates-$85 a year-no emissions-no weigh stations-can use the left lane where commercial vehicles are restricted.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:19 PM   #12
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Re: GVW is 10,000lbs can I register as noncommercial

Well, there is "commercial" as in "not a passenger car," and then there is the other "commercial" as in requires a CDL and compliance with interstate trucking rules.

When someone says "commercial," think truck plate. I actually saved money on insurance in high school by registering my VW bug as a "commercial" pickup truck. The previous owner had cut the back of the body off, and covered the engine and bus transmission with a plywood box that looked like a pickup with a tonneau cover. Ah, those were the days!

In NY, almost all pickups were required to have "commercial" plates until recently. The exception had been that only personal-use pickups with permanent seats or sleeping facilities in the bed could be registered as passenger vehicles. Very important downstate, as only passenger vehicles are allowed on the parkways, which usually move more smoothly than the "expressways" (Interstate highways). Ticketing pickup trucks with passenger vehicle plates for "improper registration" used to be "low-hanging fruit" for police officers.

Now, the law was changed so any pickup used personally and not in support of a business or trade, and not marked with a business name, has the option of being either a "commercial" or "passenger" vehicle here.

The CDL-type commercial follows Federal designations:

Under 18,000, not "CDL" commercial unless it is a "bus" with over 14 passenger seats
Class C - straight truck/bus 18,001-26,000 lbs, with trailer 10,000 lbs or less
Class B - straight truck/bus 26,001+ lbs, with trailer 10,000 lbs or less
Class A - tractor-trailer or truck-trailer combinations

So having a 10,001 lb. vehicle with "truck" plates does not make you a CDL commercial operator subject to interstate trucking rules. You are 'non-commercial' if not operating in support of a business.

The best thing to do is to check out the local quirks. Go to the RMV website, grab the brochures from their lobby, or if you see a trooper at a truck check point, stop (in a car) and politely ask for his/her understanding. Don't ask the cop on the corner who does not deal with CDL vehicles all day.

Edit: I had skimmed over your middle post that you already had your RMV answer on the type of plate to use. But you are still "non-commercial" commercial if you don't have too many seats.
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