If I put lettering on my Massachusetts private passenger auto, do I need commercial plates?
Here’s the long answer:
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation defines commercial vehicles (requiring commercial plates) as:
“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 as 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 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 is only used on a part-time basis).
So, according to the MA Department of Transportation, if the vehicle has business lettering, markings +/or advertisements, then the vehicle should have commercial plates.