How to Register Trailers: A Simple and Complete Guide

Trailer Registration: What You Should Know

Except for park trailers and trailer coaches, which are exempt from PTI and must be registered annually, all trailers must be registered under the permanent trailer identification (PTI) scheme. Because of their length, width, and size, fifth-wheel trailers and camp trailers are classified as trailer coaches (not PTI) or camp trailers (PTI).

California doesn’t require tow/auxiliary dollies to be registered. You can, however, register as a PTI if you choose. Remove and surrender any existing license plate if you don’t register as a PTI.

While PTI registration for tow/auxiliary dollies is optional in California, you may want to do so if you plan to tow it out of state, as registration regulations in other jurisdictions differ.

Complete and submit the following forms to register a permanent trailer:

How to Register Trailers

Fees for trailers

For the first registration and every five years for renewal, a PTI service fee is payable. Original registration is required to obtain a PTI card.

Renewal of PTI

You will receive a PTI service charge notice about 60 days before your registration expires. You will receive a payment acknowledgment notice once the payment has been received. A new sticker, however, will not be provided.

License Plates from PTI

Owners can choose to keep their old California trailer license plate and receive a PTI sticker, or they can receive a PTI license plate (no sticker).

PTI trailers can keep or seek personalized and special interest license plates. Any outstanding special plate fees will be included in the renewal fees.