Passenger vehicle registration is generally issued for a motor vehicle when:
- Its design and main use is to transport persons;
- Its registration* weight is 10,000 pounds or less;
- It is not required by Oregon law to be registered as another type of vehicle, or prohibited from being registered; and
- It meets federal standards for highway use.
Heavier passenger vehicles:
- Pickups or SUVs that are 10,000 pounds or less registration* weight usually also qualify for passenger registration, however, those that are over 10,000 pounds must register as a heavy motor vehicle (T plates), and if a passenger-plated vehicle's registration* weight temporarily exceeds 10,000 pounds, it may qualify for operation with a Registration Weight Trip Permit.
- It is illegal for a passenger-plated vehicle to pull a heavy trailer, or to operate at a registration* weight over 10,000 pounds, unless it is operating under the appropriate trip permit.
* DMV registration weight is the total empty weight of all vehicles in a combination, plus the total weight of the load carried on that combination of vehicles, not including the weight of these trailing vehicles:
- Fixed Loads
- Light Trailers (loaded weight of 8,000 pounds or less)
- Manufactured Structures
- Special Use Trailers
- Towed Motor Vehicles
- Travel Trailers
Examples of vehicles that cannot have a passenger vehicle registration include:
- Low-Speed Vehicles, as they are not manufactured to meet passenger vehicle standards so there is a separate registration category for low-speed vehicles.
- Medium-Speed Electric Vehicles, as they are not currently manufactured to meet passenger vehicle standards. There is a separate registration category for medium-speed electric vehicles.
- Trucks that are pulling Heavy Trailers, unless the truck is operating under the appropriate permit.
- All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).
- Motorcycles, even if they have three wheels and an enclosed cab that looks like a "car."