Home > News > Press Releases > 2009 > NJ DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE GAINS RECOGNITION FOR FARMER VEHICLE USAGE IN ALL SURROUNDING STATES
NJ DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE GAINS RECOGNITION FOR FARMER VEHICLE USAGE IN ALL SURROUNDING STATES
Operators of Farm Vehicles Allowed to Drive Across State BordersFor Immediate Release: October 28, 2009
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) -- New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced that New Jersey farmers may now drive their farm vehicles into Maryland without having “commercial” registrations.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture received a letter from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration this week underscoring Maryland’s recognition of New Jersey farm plates as restricted, exempting them from the need for significantly more expensive commercial registrations. Through joint participation in the International Registration Plan (IRP), New Jersey recognizes Maryland restricted plates as well.
New Jersey also has agreements with Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware allowing operators of vehicles with ‘farmer’ license plates to drive those vehicles from New Jersey into those states and vice versa without being cited by police. Without these agreements, farmers either had to pay for the commercial registrations, face detainment by police -- putting their perishable materials at risk, or hire commercial haulers to deliver their goods.
The agreements state the farm vehicle must be used exclusively to transport the farmers’ own agricultural products, farm machinery or farm supplies to or from the farm owned by the farmer, may not be rented for use by others, and must be used only within a radius of 150 miles of the farmer’s farm.
The “Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986” requires a person who operates a vehicle that has a gross weight rating in excess of 26,000, carries 15 or more passengers or transports hazardous materials to have a commercial drivers license (CDL). However, states have the authority to exempt certain drivers, including operators of farm vehicles, from the CDL requirement.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations limit use of the CDL exemptions for the operators of farm vehicles to the driver’s home state unless there is a reciprocity agreement with adjoining states. New Jersey has a reciprocity agreement for farmers’ CDL exemption with Pennsylvania and Delaware. Farmers must have a valid CDL when traveling in all other states.
It is recommended that farmers carry copies of the Maryland letter and reciprocity agreements with Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware in their trucks. The agreements can be found at: www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/farmermotorvehicles.html#8.
For more information on New Jersey farm vehicle regulations, visit: www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/farmermotorvehicles.html.