How To Register a Trailer Without Title in NY (Best Tips!)

How To Register a Trailer Without Title in NY

Do you know how to register a trailer without title in New York? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

In New York, you can’t take your trailer on the roads unless it has a title. This means that you are going to need to get a title for your trailer.

There are two routes that you can go down here. The route that you need to follow will be dependent on how you obtained your trailer. In both cases, you will need to be going through the DMV.

Which trailers need a title?

Not all trailers will receive a title. You will only be able to receive a trailer if it weighs over 999lbs and it was built after 1973.

If your trailer doesn’t meet these requirements, then you will be issued with a transferable registration. This functions in much the same way as a title. 

Read also: Where to Find VIN Number on Camper and Trailer? | Detailed Guide

If you purchased a trailer from somebody 

If you have purchased a trailer from somebody and the vehicle doesn’t have a title, then you will need to head to the DMV with as much documentation as possible.

You need to be able to prove that you legally purchased that trailer. This means that you need receipts. You need the ID of the person that you purchased the trailer from. You will also need to bring along your ID.

The more evidence that you have that purchased that trailer legally, the better.

It is important to remember that if you own a trailer in New York, it will need to undergo an annual safety inspection.

The DMV will not carry out these inspections, though. You will need to track down a company in the local area that does. Thankfully, these shouldn’t be too hard to find.

You will need to pay a fee when you register the trailer. This is a minimum of around $14 per year. You will have to pay roughly $5.00 for every 500lbs the trailer weighs.

Read also: How to Get a Title for a Trailer Without Title (Explained)

If you have a custom-built trailer

Registering a custom trailer is a bit more difficult.

Again, you are going to need to keep all receipts. This means receipts for everything that you purchased to build the custom trailer.

Try to ensure that these receipts are itemized. Some people have also suggested that you take photographs while you are building the trailer.

You probably won’t ever be asked for them. However, the more proof that you have of ownership of that custom-built trailer, the better.

You will need to request an application form from the DMV. You can call them and they will send you one in the mail. Of course, you can also head to the local DMV and they will be able to hand the forms over too.

The process of registering the custom-built trailer (after you have built it) is as follows.

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Get a Duplicate Title In NY (Real FACTS)

Get your custom-built trailer weighed

You will need to start by taking the custom-built trailer to an official weighing station. The DMV should be able to provide you with the details of a weigh station in your local area.

This is probably going to be the most difficult part of the process. This is because you will not be able to drive the custom-built trailer there.

You will need to stick it on another trailer. If the wheels of your custom-built trailer touch public roads, then you will have broken the law. Obviously, this part isn’t going to be too difficult if you have a  small trailer.

However, if you have an RV, then you may run into some issues. There will be companies that can help you move the trailer to a weigh station, but it can be expensive.

You will need to get hold of the weight certification from the official weigher.

Take photos of your custom-built trailer

You will now need to take 4 photos of your trailer. You need one from each side of the trailer. Make sure that these photographs are as clear as possible.

Fill in the application form

Now you have the photos, you need to fill in the application form for your custom-built trailer. You will need the following:

  • Photos
  • Proof of ownership of any components used in the building of the trailer.
  • If you have used components previously registered to somebody else (i.e. they have a VIN), then you need proof that you own them.
  • Weight certification

The application form will tell you where you need to send these documents. At the moment, the following locations should receive copies:

  • Vehicle Safety Technical Services
  • Division of Field Investigation

Vehicle Inspection

The Vehicle Safety Technical Services will then schedule a custom-built trailer examination. This is not the safety examination.

They are just giving it a quick glance and double-checking that you actually own every component that you have built your trailer with. 

If you get through the vehicle inspection, then you will finally be given your VIN. However, this does not mean that your vehicle is safe to drive on the roads.

It would still be illegal. You have a couple more stages to get through first.

Safety Inspection

Once you have that VIN, you are going to need to schedule a safety inspection. The DMV will not carry this out. You will need to pay for a safety inspection from a DMV-approved garage.

Again, you will not be able to drive the custom-built trailer to the garage. You will need to get somebody to carry it for you.

That being said, safety inspections are a bit easier to carry out than trailer weighing. You will likely be able to have the safety inspection carried out at home.

You will just need to find a garage that supports this.

Once your custom-built trailer passes the safety inspection, you will be handed the safety certificate.

Final registration

The final step is to head to the DMV with all of the documents that you have gathered along the way. This includes application forms.

It means details of your VIN. It means safety and weighing certificates. You will also need to bring along your ID.

Once the DMV have confirmed that your vehicle has been registered, you will be able to start taking it on the road.

In most cases, if you have the documents to hand, your vehicle registration should be complete the day that you take everything to the DMV.

Remember, the safety certification is only going to last a year. So, you will need to ensure that your custom-built trailer is taken in for inspection at regular intervals.

You will also need to ensure that you renew the registration each year. If you do not do so, then you will not be able to legally drive your trailer on the road.


In true DMV fashion, the process of getting a trailer registered when you don’t have a title is difficult. It can take several weeks and cost a rather substantial amount of cash.

However, it is a process that you are going to need to go through. If you don’t, then you won’t be able to take that custom-built trailer out there on the road.

We are sure that this is the last thing that you want to have happened, especially since you will have spent a lot of time building that trailer from scratch!

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Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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