Farm trucking in Oregon can be a regulated activity. Some farmers use their trucks for more than just their own farm use, including some who haul for-hire. Also, regardless of how the truck is used, safety regulations may apply. Applicability of Unified Carrier Registration
The U.S. DOT has adopted into federal law the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement (UCRA). This program requires all interstate
motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies to pay an annual fee. This applies to farmers operating in interstate commerce with vehicles over 10,000 lbs. Check out a guide to what is interstate commerce.
“Interstate commerce” means trade, traffic, or transportation in the U.S. — (1) Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State, including a place outside the U.S., (2) Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside the U.S., or (3) Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the U.S. Read more about UCRA. Applicability of Safety Regulations
When do federal motor carrier safety regulations apply to interstate farm truck operators? The answer varies depending on whether the truck is less than 10,000 lbs., less than 26,001 lbs, or more than 26,000 lbs., whether it is a straight truck or articulated truck, and whether the operator is a private or for-hire carrier hauling hazardous materials. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has created a one-page, legal-paper-size guide to the applicability of safety regulations
that is available here.
This Web page provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about farm trucking and regulation. For more information, check out a brochure entitled Guide to Farm Trucking in Oregon (Form 9942)
, or call the Farm Certification Unit of the ODOT Motor Carrier Transportation Division at 503-378-5203. 1. Do farm trucks receive special status in Oregon?
Yes. Trucks that are titled in Oregon and used for a certified farm operation qualify for farm registration status. Farm trucks used for farming operations benefit from a low truck registration fee. They do not pay the Oregon road-use tax (called weight-mile tax) and, in the case of intrastate transportation, they usually do not have to follow state and federal truck safety regulations (see Question #12).
Note: Farm plated trucks registered at less than or equal to 26,000 lbs., are not exempt from use fuel (diesel) tax. Also, F-plated vehicles over 26,000 lbs. that are exempt from weight-mile taxes are required to be licensed as use fuel users. For more information, read a notice about use fuel tax requirements
, visit the ODOT Fuels Tax Group Web site
, or call the Oregon Department of Transportation´s Fuels Tax Group at 503-378-8150.
Once a truck is registered as a farm truck, it cannot be registered, not even on a temporary basis, for use as another type of vehicle. When a farmer wants to use a farm truck for some purpose unrelated to his or her farm, such as hauling for-hire, the farmer must obtain a Class 1A Permit
from the Motor Carrier Transportation Division (MCTD) of Oregon´s Department of Transportation (see Question #7). Oregon operations not subject to the Weight-Mile tax are subject to Oregon Use Fuel tax (see Question #8). 2. How does a farmer get farm registration for a truck?
Farmers complete a Farm Certification Application
form and pay vehicle registration fees at a DMV office. The farmer will receive a 45-day temporary from DMV and the application is forwarded for review and approval by the MCTD Farm Certification Unit. When approved, MCTD notifies DMV and instructs them to issue farm license plates and stickers. MCTD also sends a letter of approval to the farmer. Read Oregon law regarding farm vehicle registration -- ORS 805.300
. 3. What’s considered a "farming operation" for which farmers can register their trucks?
A "farming operation" is a farm, orchard, or ranch that produces agricultural commodities, products, and/or livestock. A truck can be registered as a farm truck if it will be used by an owner, lessee, or renter of a farm, orchard, or ranch that is producing agricultural products or raising livestock in sufficient quantities to reasonably require the use of the truck. Several other questions about what does and does not qualify as a farm operation are answered later in this document. 4. How is a farmer allowed to use a farm truck?
Farm-registered trucks can be used in the following ways:
• Hauling the farmer’s own agricultural commodities, products, or livestock that were originally grown or raised by the farmer on his or her own farm, ranch, or orchard. This includes products or byproducts of commodities or livestock that were packed, processed, or manufactured by the farm, or for the farm, if the farmer retains ownership of the products. This does not include products that have been transformed into a finished state.
• Hauling things that are incidental to the regular operation of the farmer´s farm.
• Hauling supplies, equipment, or materials that will be consumed or used on the farmer’s farm.
• Hauling products, supplies, equipment, or materials for another qualifying farmer on a bonafide, documented exchange of labor basis if what’s hauled will be used or consumed on that farmer’s farm.
• Personal use by the farmer, any member of his or her immediate family, or any person employed by the farmer. "Personal use" includes such things as taking the boat to the lake, hauling the camper, and going to the movies or the grocery store.
• Farm trucks may be rented or borrowed by a farmer to haul his or her own agricultural commodities, products, or livestock that were originally grown or raised on his or her farm, but only if that farmer could qualify for farm registration for trucks of the type and size rented or borrowed.
• The trucks may be used to transport straw, whether or not the straw was grown on the farmer’s own farm, if the farmer hauling it is the one who bales the straw. "Straw" is defined as the stalk of grass or grain left after threshing.
• Hauling forest products to his or her farm, or hauling forest materials originating on a farm or as an incident to the regular operation of the farm. But the truck cannot be used to haul piling or poles over 30" around at the large end, or logs over 8´ 6" long. A farm-plated truck with a loaded weight of 16,000 lbs. or less may, however, transport logs over 8´ 6" if they’re not over 16´ 6" long. 5. What’s an agricultural commodity?
"Agricultural commodities" include livestock, poultry, and agricultural, horticultural, viticultural. aquacultural, and vegetable products. Agricultural commodities don’t include trees or forest products, except certain Christmas trees and hardwood timber. Christmas trees are considered an agricultural commodity if they’re grown on land prepared by intensive cultivation and tilling where all unwanted plant growth is controlled for the exclusive purpose of growing the trees.
Certain types of hardwood timber are considered an agricultural commodity. Hybrid cottonwood is the most common type if it meets the following description:
• Growing on land prepared by intensive cultivation methods and cleared of competing vegetation for at least three years after tree planting.
• Of a species marketable as fiber for manufacturing paper products.
• Harvested on a rotation cycle within 10 years after planting.
• Subject to intensive agricultural practices, such as fertilization, insect and disease control, cultivation, and irrigation. 6. What’s an agricultural product?
"Agricultural products" include products and byproducts of agricultural commodities or livestock that were originally grown or raised on the farm. Agricultural products include products or byproducts of commodities or livestock that were packed, processed or manufactured by the farm, or for the farm, if the farmer retains ownership of the products that have been changed into a finished state.
Products have not
been changed into a finished state if they:
• Will be used in agricultural production.
• Will be used in the production of another product.
• Are not changed in visible character.
• Are of a type or kind ordinarily requiring further processing prior to sale to the ultimate consumer. 7. Once a truck gets farm registration status, can that be taken away?
ODOT´s Motor Carrier Transportation Division can withdraw farm registration status if it finds a farmer falsified a farm application or violated farm laws, rules, and regulations, but the truck owner is notified first in writing about any proposed cancellation of farm registration status. 8. Can a farmer use a farm truck to haul for-hire?
Any farmer with a farm-registered truck who intends to haul for-hire must obtain a Class 1A Permit
from MCTD that authorizes partial use of the vehicle to provide for-hire transportation services. For operations within Oregon only, the farmer will obtain a paper credential called an Oregon Weight Receipt and Tax Identifier. The farmer can then conduct both farm and for-hire operations. The haul-for-hire operation is subject to motor carrier regulations, including requirements related to weight-mile tax, bond, insurance, safety, and record keeping. A farmer who hauls for-hire must keep records showing the miles the vehicle was used to haul for-hire and the miles the vehicle was used in exempt farm operations. Read Oregon law regarding motor carrier regulation applicability to farm vehicles -- ORS 825.024
A Class 1A Permit
allows a person to haul for-hire from point to point within Oregon. It does not, however, authorize hauling household goods or passengers and it does not authorize hauling for-hire interstate. 9. Can a farm plate be transferred to another truck?
Farm plates can be transferred to a truck of similar size and hauling capacity if it will also be used for farm operations and if it replaces a truck that’s been destroyed or permanently withdrawn from service in Oregon. "Permanently withdrawn" from service means the truck will not be used in Oregon for the rest of the registration period. Wrecked trucks are considered permanently withdrawn when the title is surrendered for cancellation by DMV. Trucks that leave Oregon because they were sold to someone in another state are also considered permanently withdrawn when the farmer files a statement with DMV. A truck is not considered permanently withdrawn when it is simply sold to someone else in Oregon, including when it is sold to a dealer. 10. Who is allowed to drive a farm truck and does the driver need a CDL?
Any person who is either part of the farming operation, or an employee of the farmer, and holds a valid driver’s license can operate farm-registered trucks. Drivers of farm trucks that have a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating of a single vehicle) or GCWR (gross combination weight rating, if the vehicle is in combination) of more than 26,000 lbs. are not required to have a Commercial Driver License (CDL) if the vehicle remains within 150 miles of the farm. If the vehicle remains within this distance of the farm, the driver must have a ‘farm endorsement’ on a Class C driver license (Y endorsement for Class A vehicles or Z endorsement for Class B vehicles).
Below is a summary of when the driver of a farm vehicle will need a Commercial Driver License and when a farm endorsement on a Class C license is sufficient. Commercial Driver License Is Needed:
• Any farm-registered vehicle operating over 26,000 lbs. GVWR or GCWR that is operating beyond
150-miles of the boundary of the farm.
• Any farm-registered vehicle over 26,000 lbs. conducting operations that require an Oregon Weight Receipt and Tax Identifier (such as for-hire operations).
• Any farm-registered vehicle towing triple trailers.
• A driver of a farm-registered vehicle over 26,000 lbs. GVWR or GCWR operating with an apportioned plate may need a CDL (depending on the state in which the farmer apportions the vehicle). Farm Endorsement on a Class C Driver License is Sufficient:
Any farm-registered vehicle operating over 26,000 lbs. GVWR that is operating within
150-miles of the boundary of the farm, which may include distance into Washington, Idaho, California, or Nevada. 11. Does the driver of a farm truck have to keep a logbook of hours?
A driver of a farm-registered truck is not required to carry and maintain a logbook showing hours driving and hours on-duty if the truck is driven within Oregon in the furtherance of intrastate commerce, unless (1) the truck weighs over 80,000 pounds, (2) the truck is pulling triple trailers, (3) the truck is hauling hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards, or (4) the truck has four axles or more and is hauling for hire. (See exception.)
A driver of a farm-registered truck is required to carry and maintain a logbook showing hours driving and hours on-duty if the truck is driven in the furtherance of interstate commerce. (See exception.) EXCEPTION:
No logbook is required if operating within 100 air miles of the farm and hauling agricultural commodities or farm supplies for agricultural purposes. 12. Is there any limit on where a farm truck can go or how many miles it can travel?
A farm-registered truck can be driven anywhere in Oregon, although they're subject to any road or bridge size or weight restriction, and there is no mileage limit on travel in a farm vehicle. When a farm truck travels in other states, it is the farmer’s responsibility to obtain required permits from the other state before making the trip. 13. When do truck safety regulations apply to farm trucks and when are the trucks exempt?
Motor carrier safety regulations apply
to the following trucks:
• Farm trucks with a GVW over 80,000 lbs. (actual weight). Farmers with these trucks must obtain a Special Transportation Permit to operate what is called "extended weight" operations.
• Farm trucks with a GVW over 10,000 lbs. engaged in interstate commerce.
• Farm trucks towing triple trailers (regardless of weight). Farmers with these trucks must obtain a safety rating to qualify for a Special Transportation Permit to conduct triple trailer operations.
Safety regulations do not apply
to the following intrastate
• Farm trucks with a GVW of 80,000 lbs. or less (actual weight) when used to haul farm products or supplies to or from a farmer´s own farm.
• Farm trucks with three axles or less when used to provide for-hire transportation services for other farmers. 14. Are farm trucks subject to over-dimension permit requirements?
Yes, farm trucks of a certain size, weight, or height must obtain an over-dimension permit and safe routing instructions. Farmers with questions about truck size and weight limits, and highway routing for over-dimension loads, should contact the MCTD Over-Dimension Permit Unit at 503-373-0000 (use phone Option #1). 15. Do farmers have to pay Oregon’s weight-mile (road-use) tax or post a bond to insure payment of taxes and fees?
Farmers do not have to pay road-use (weight-mile) taxes and they don’t have to file a surety bond if they use trucks for the farm-related purposes permitted by Oregon law (see Question #4).
Farmers have to pay road-use taxes when they use their farm-plated trucks to provide a for-hire transportation service * (hauling things for others for compensation). At what point do operations become subject to weight-mile tax if a farmer hauls for-hire one week and for his farm the next? When did the for-hire hauling actually end and when did the farm-related hauling begin? For-hire
miles begin at the point of loading a for-hire commodity and continue until a farm-related commodity is loaded. This includes all empty miles from the time the for-hire load is delivered
until a farm-related commodity is again loaded. If an auditor is unable to distinguish between farm-related and for-hire mileage, all miles, including the farm operation’s mileage, may be considered subject to weight-mile tax.
Farmers who conduct for-hire operations in addition to their own farm operations are required to use the Oregon Department of Transportation form entitled Daily Record of Farm Vehicle Operation
(Form 735-9448) to record their farm and for-hire operations -- see OAR 740-055-0130
. It’s also recommended that farmers keep routine business accounting records like bills of lading and load tickets to support the Daily Record.
* One exception to this rule:
Farm trucks with three axles or less that are used to haul for-hire for other farmers are exempt from Oregon’s weight-mile tax. 16. Are farm trucks subject to U.S. DOT vehicle marking requirements?
Farm trucks are subject to U.S. DOT requirements, such as the requirement that trucks have identification markings on the doors, whenever the truck is subject to safety regulations (see Question #13). 17. Can a farmer lease a truck for farm use?
Yes. The vehicle must be currently registered and the farmer must carry both a copy of the Lease/Rental Agreement listing the specific vehicle (Plate, Year, Make, and VIN) and a copy of a letter from MCTD stating that valid Farm Certification is on file. The Lease/Rental Agreement must contain a starting and ending date and the terms of the rental basis (daily, weekly, monthly, or annually). 18. How does a farmer register a farm truck to operate in other states?
Oregon farmers operating trucks interstate may need to meet requirements related to both registration; International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA). The Motor Carrier Transportation Division (MCTD) can help. Anyone with questions about registering a farm truck for interstate operations should call 503-378-6643 for IRP and 503-373-1634 for IFTA. The farmer must first be approved (certified) by the MCTD Farm Certification Unit (see Question #1).
Farmers take the following steps to meet registration and fuel tax requirements:
• Complete the Farm Certification Application
form and return it to the MCTD Farm Certification Unit (address below) for review and approval. Get a notice from MCTD that the application is approved or denied. This process can be quickly accomplished via fax.
• If approved, take the Farm Certification letter to DMV and pay farm plate fees. Notify DMV that the truck will be used in other states and that the registration will be apportioned through MCTD. Do not pay vehicle registration fees to DMV.
• Complete the International Registration Plan and Fuel Tax Agreement Applications --
• Return the forms to an MCTD Registration Office. Prorate registration is handled over-the-counter by appointment only at Salem Headquarters or the Portland Bridge / Jantzen Beach Office.
Salem Headquarters - Motor Carrier Transportation Division
3930 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem OR 97302-1166
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday
Phone Service Center Open 24 hours / 7 days - 503-378-6699
Portland Bridge Office, I-5, Oregon/Washington border
12348 N Center Avenue, Portland OR 97217-7871
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday
• Mark the IRP application with the words "Farm Registration" and include the farm plate number assigned to the truck.
• MCTD will process the application and a billing will be sent to you. Pay the billing, including registration fees and IFTA license fees due.
• Receive an Oregon Apportioned Plate to be displayed alongside the Oregon farm plate and an orange Apportioned Farm sticker to place on the Oregon farm plate. Also receive an IFTA license that allows a farmer to operate in any number of states.
• Submit an IFTA Tax Return
to MCTD showing the fuel taxes paid in other states. Oregon will review the tax return for accuracy and send the taxes to the various states. Farmers who don’t join IFTA must purchase temporary fuel permits in each state. Oregon itself is not a fuel tax state (it is a weight-mile state), but it has joined IFTA as a service to its customers. 19. Can a farmer from another state bring farm commodities or products to Oregon?
A farmer from another state who claims a farm exemption must obtain a temporary pass from the Oregon Department of Transportation and pay highway-use (weight-mile) tax at the time of entry into Oregon. The farmer may be reimbursed for certain fees and taxes paid when Oregon can verify he has a legitimate farm operation in the other state. Oregon uses an Out-of-State Farm Verification Form
to determine if a farmer has a legitimate farm operation in another state. Out-of-state farmers complete one part of the form and have a tax assessor or authorized official complete and notarize another portion of the form. The form is then sent to: ODOT Motor Carrier Transportation Division, Farm Certification Unit, 550 Capitol St NE, Salem, Oregon 97301-2530. An Out-of-State Farm Verification Form is valid for two years from date of approval, unless revoked by MCTD. Upon receipt of a valid Verification Form, the Oregon Department of Transportation will reimburse certain fees and taxes paid by qualified farmers provided the verification is submitted within 90 days of the date the temporary pass was obtained. 20. Can a farmer haul straw that they did not grow?
Yes, if the transporting farmer is the one who bales the straw -- see ORS 805
.390(11). Additionally, MCTD requires that the transporting and baling farmer own the straw which is being transported (proof of ownership must include a written lease or contract between the baling farmer and the actual landowner) -- see ORS 805
.390(1). 21. Can a farmer register a vehicle that is not specifically designed for farm use with Farm plates?
Yes. Oregon Administrative Rule 735-048
-0030 allows for a special use vehicle to be used in conjunction with a farming operation, even though it is not specifically used for the transportation of agricultural commodities, agricultural products, or livestock (e.g., a tank truck used only for water). When considering if a special use vehicle is needed for a given farming operation, the Department shall consider the described use of the vehicle in direct relation to the farmer's own farming operation. Complete the Oregon Farm Special Use Vehicle Application
form and return it to the MCTD Farm Certification Unit for review and approval.
Other miscellaneous questions and answers: Can a farmer haul containers holding straw for overseas shipment under their farm exemption?
In the majority of cases, NO. In some rare situations the straw owner also owns a straw compressing company, in which case if the ownership of the straw remains with the farmer, the container hauls may qualify under the farm plate exemption. Please contact the MCTD farm desk at 503-378-5203 for more details.
Is raising bees considered a farming operation?
Yes, a bee farm (called an apiary) can qualify for farm registration of trucks. There are no land requirements for apiary operations. Is raising fresh water fish or oysters considered a farming operation?
Yes, but a commercial fisherman is not eligible for farm registration of trucks. Is aquaculture or kelp-raising considered a farming operation?
Yes, and the farmer is not required to own any land. Is raising ostriches and/or emus considered a farming operation?
Yes. Is raising dogs, cats, or exotic birds considered a farming operation?
No. Can a farmer use his farm truck for a non-profit organization?
Yes, a farm-registered truck may be used for any purpose related to a charitable non-profit organization provided no form of compensation is received. Compensation includes money, fuel, or any form of barter. Does a truck titled in Oregon with current farm registration have to carry a farm letter in the truck cab stating current farm status?