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Trailer license plate location - legal question

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Rhinoliner, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Rhinoliner

    Rhinoliner

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    I recently modified a used/cheap boat trailer and made it into a steel flatbed utility trailer to haul my ATV around. I mounted the license plate onto the back of the right rear fender in existing holes where it was obvious a license plate had been mounted before. There was even a hole drilled on that side for the wire to come through for the light.

    My dad, a retired Texas law enforcement officer, says that I mounted it on the wrong side of the trailer. He is the type that is quick to point out anything that I have done wrong, which is probably a good thing.

    The light kit that I bought for the trailer has a clear lens at the bottom of the left taillight (for a license plate light), and the right side does not.

    I googled for a while and could not find any law/regulation that says the license plate must be on the left side of the trailer. Someone on this site must have some expertise in this area.

    Could it be that different States have different regulations regarding this topic, and this trailer could have come from some other State?

    Or, did I screw up yet again?
     
  2. Cuerno Largo

    Cuerno Largo SILVER Star

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    My opinion carries no weight at all, but I have owned multiple trailers and currently have 5. NO experience with any trailer except a Texas trailers.

    I have never seen a plate on the right. Always on the left. I have even mounted one on the left fender sideways on one of my farm trailers and had no problems with LEOs.

    Probably has something to do with the officer being able to see the plate easily while behind you as he is on the left side of his vehicle and would have to pull his vehicle to the shoulder in order to see your plate on the right.

    :cheers:

    Edit: my boat trailer plate is on the left
     
  3. Hugh Heifer

    Hugh Heifer Stapler....where's my stapler. ... SILVER Star

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    Ask Diesel Dog here on the board. He is an LEO in Texas and will give you the answer. It is state to state. Some require none, some require light etc.
     
  4. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    My boat trailer plate is on the left also.
     
  5. dieseldog

    dieseldog She idles just fine . . . GOLD Star

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    It's supposed to be mounted on the left-hand side for the practical reason that the law requires that the trailer plate must be lighted and clearly legible at a distance of 50 feet from the rear. If you've got it mounted on the right-rear fender of the trailer, there's a very good chance that from 50 feet back, an officer seated in a left-hand drive patrol unit will NOT be able to read all the characters of the trailer plate. Refer generally to Texas Transportation Code Section 547.322(f). :cheers:
     
  6. Rhinoliner

    Rhinoliner

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    Thanks for the info guys!

    So, it sounds like I might be OK with where it is mounted because a LEO could easily read the plate from his drivers seat even if his front bumper was touching the back of the trailer and the trailer was fully loaded.

    I guess I'll take my chances. :cheers:
     
  7. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily... SILVER Star

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    ...so...it's a Texas thang...yes?
     
  8. Darwood

    Darwood

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    Maybe... It varies state by state. Go check out the California Vehicle Code to see if the have something similar.

    Have fun! :cheers:

    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vc.htm
     
  9. Darwood

    Darwood

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    Here's the actual code to generally refer to.

     
  10. dieseldog

    dieseldog She idles just fine . . . GOLD Star

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    I don't know what other states require, Doug; however, there's a good reason why all trailer manufacturers and trailer light manufacturers have their equipment set up to the license on the left-hand side.
     

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