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How Much Does it Cost to Register a Commercial Motor Vehicle? Part 1.
Mariah Barr
7 mins read

If you need to register a truck, see if your state registration fees are included below. If not, check back for part two of this Foley blog article series!

It’s easy to assume you’ve registered a passenger vehicle before and know the fees your state charges for it. But how much does it cost to register a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) or tractor-trailer?

How to tell if your vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle

First, you’ll need to determine if the vehicle you’re looking to register is a CMV. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines a CMV as a vehicle that meets any of the following criteria:

  • Weighs over 10,000 pounds, whether it is loaded or not
  • Transports hazardous materials (Hazmat) which require a placard
  • Transports 16+ people, including the driver
  • Transports 9+ people, including the driver, for compensation

If your goal with registering a CMV is to become an owner-operator, we’ve laid out what you need to know in this related Foley article: How to Become an Owner-Operator Truck Driver in 2024

You will need to apply for apportioned registration if you plan to haul freight across state lines, otherwise known as an interstate carrier.

However, if you haul freight in only one state, you’re an intrastate carrier. You should apply for an intrastate registration through your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Now that you’ve had the chance to decipher if your vehicle is truly a commercial motor vehicle and what type of registration you need, let’s see how much it costs to register a truck in 25 US states. Watch for part two of this article, where we’ll detail the other 25 state CMV registration fees!

Commercial Motor Vehicle Registration Fees by State

Every state bases its registration fees on one or a combination of a few factors, including the following:

  • Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) – The maximum loaded weight of a semi-tractor and trailer combined
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – The maximum loaded weight of any given vehicle (tractor or trailer), provided by the equipment manufacturer.
  • Unladen weight – The weight of an empty tractor and/or trailer.
  • Model year
  • Where you operate

Here are the fee ranges you can expect to see each time you register a truck in the following 25 states.

US State (A-M) Registration Fee Factor Annual Fee
Alabama GCWR $585 to $815
Alaska Unladen weight $331
Arizona GCWR $630 to $922
Arkansas GCWR $553 to $1,350
California GCWR $1,161 to $2,064
Colorado Unladen weight $143 to $490
Connecticut GCWR $895 to $1,546
Delaware GCWR $850 to $1,390
Florida GCWR $773 to $1,322
Georgia GCWR $190 to $400
Hawaii Unladen weight About $300
Idaho GCWR $360 to $505
Illinois GCWR $1,638 to $2,890
Indiana GCWR $1,214 to $2,282
Iowa GCWR $965 to $1,695
Kansas GCWR $1,267 to $2,270
Kentucky GCWR $669 to $1,410
Louisiana GCWR $315 to $504
Maine GCWR $340 to $507
Maryland GCWR $1,050 to $1,800
Massachusetts GCWR $1,362 to $1,992
Michigan GCWR $1,362 to $1,992
Minnesota GCWR, model year $536 to $1,810
Mississippi GCWR $612 to $1,512
Missouri GVWR, where you operate $688 to $1,720

What other permits and registrations do you need to operate legally?

Legally registering your CMV is one of the first steps toward becoming a successful and compliant motor carrier. You should also find out if you need any or all of the following:

  • USDOT number – If you plan to drive passengers, transport hazardous materials, or deliver interstate freight, you’ll need a DOT number. Click here to find out if you need a USDOT number.
  • MC number: This “authority to operate” number is required for transporting regulated goods. Click here to find out if you need an MC number.
  • Unified Carrier Registration (UCR): If you’re a motor carrier and you travel across state or international lines, you need to file a UCR every year. Brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies must also file a UCR annually. Click here to file your UCR.
  • Blanket Legal Entity (BOC-3) – An official list of companies or individuals you’ve given permission to receive legal documents on your behalf. The BOC-3 is the form the FMCSA requires you to file to provide proof that you have a process agent in each state you operate. Click here to file your BOC-3.

Click Here for Fast & Free DOT # Filing

You can also watch our informative on-demand webinar on DOT permits and registrations to ensure you're filing the right forms at the right times.

Foley Simplifies DOT Compliance for Trucking Companies

Whether you’re a new entrant who’s just starting as an owner-operator or you need to register a commercial motor vehicle as your multi-location company continues to grow, Foley is here to help simplify and automate the vital DOT compliance component.

From the above permits and registrations to ongoing DOT compliance management, Foley handles everything you need to follow federal regulations and reduce your risk of failing compliance audits.

Let one of our dedicated compliance experts walk you through our automated software solution so you can see how easy it is to stay ahead of the DOT. Schedule your free demo now or fill out the form below.

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