All motorized vehicles registered to New York state residents MUST be registered in New York, and cannot legally be registered in another state for the purpose of circumventing New York state regulations. Here are a couple of examples where violations occur:
1). A resident in New York state registers his/her utility vehicle (UTV) in Vermont but is operating it in New York.
2). A New York resident registers his/her boat trailer in New Hampshire, but uses the boat and trailer in New York.
In both of these examples, New?York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, section 2282, has been violated. In the first example, those small 4X4 utility vehicles, such as the Kubota RTV, Cub Cadet and the Polaris Ranger, also known as cargo all-terrain vehicles (CATV) are made for family farmers, ranchers and growers. They combine the versatility of a small tractor, the maneuverability of an ATV and the utility of a jeep. As such, it is becoming popular with the general public.
However, utility vehicles do not qualify as an all-terrain vehicle. An ATV is any self-propelled vehicle with two or more wheels that is manufactured for sale to be used primarily off-highway or in off-road competitions. ATVs must not exceed 70 inches in width and must weigh less than 1,000 pounds in dry weight. U,000 pounds, exceed 70 inches in width, and thus cannot be registered by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Therefore, they cannot be used off the owner's property. They also cannot be driven on or along a public street or roadway.
Furthermore, it is illegal to modify a utility vehicle to meet the 1,000 pound limit by removing factory-installed parts to qualify it as an ATV. They also do not qualify for a "Slow Moving Vehicle" sign.
The problem arises where another state may have different regulations about registering these utility vehicles and a New York state owner registers the UTV in that state.
In the second example, a boat/trailer owner may choose to register the trailer in another state that may not require re-registering annually, or perhaps it is less expensive to register in another state.
Section 2282 (12) of New York state Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibits out of state registration by a resident of New York. Out of state registration is permitted only for non-residents of New York.
If a UTV suits your wishes, enjoy it, but don't expect to modify it or to use it as an ATV when it is not built for that purpose. And, if you are a resident of New York, don't try to register any motorized vehicle in another state. If convicted, the fine is up to $150 plus surcharges of $88-$93 for a first offense.
For more articles on traffic law and safety, go to the traffic safety board's web site at: www.franklincony.org and click on "Traffic Safety Board" under departments then look for Did You Know articles under "services."