How much does it cost to register a semi-truck as an intrastate owner-operator? Breakdown by state

May 18, 2022

An owner-operator truck driver stands in front of his tractor which is hauling a Schneider trailer.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Registering a semi-truck is one of the many must-dos for owner-operators, no matter where you live or what kind of truck you operate.

Registering a truck can be a confusing process, though, because how you register your equipment can vary greatly depending on where your business operates.

For those that haul freight across state lines, you will need to apply for apportioned registration through the International Registration Program (IRP). You can find information on how this registration method works in the IRP motor carriers resource page.

If you are an owner-operator that only hauls loads in one state, you are considered an intrastate owner-operator. Being an intrastate owner-operator, you may be eligible to apply for intrastate registration through your state’s department of motor vehicles – similar to how you’d register a personal vehicle.

Continue reading for information on how to register a semi-truck that operates in-state and how much it costs to register a semi-truck as an intrastate owner-operator.

How to register your semi-truck as an intrastate owner-operator

Tractors that operate only within state lines should be registered through the state where the business is established.

There are a few ways intrastate owner-operators can calculate registration fees, but gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCWR), gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and unladen weight are the main ways to do so. The method you use will depend on the state your business is registered in.

Calculating registration fees by gross combined weight rating (GCWR)

The gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is the maximum loaded weight of a semi-tractor and trailer combined, as specified by the tractor manufacturer. The GCWR is listed on the tractor’s VIN plate.

  • Tractor registration fees are based on the GCWR in 46 states.
  • Single-axle tractors typically rate between 50,000 to 70,000 pounds.
  • Tandem-axle tractors can rate up to 80,000 pounds.

Calculating registration fees by gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)

The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum loaded weight of any given vehicle (tractor or trailer), as determined by the equipment manufacturer. The GVWR of a truck is listed on its VIN plate.

  • Trailer registration fees are based on the GVWR of the trailer in some states.
  • A 53-foot dry van trailer can rate up to 68,000 pounds.

Calculating registration fees by unladen weight

Unladen weight is the empty weight of a tractor and/or trailer.

  • Though less common, unladen weight is sometimes used to determine tractor and/or trailer registration fees.
  • An unladen tractor can weigh between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds.
  • An unladen 53-foot dry van trailer weighs about 10,000 pounds.

Cost to register an intrastate semi-truck by state

Each state has its own way of calculating licensing fees for owner-operators. Here we take a closer look at truck and trailer registration fees by state to provide an idea of how much it costs to register a semi-truck.

Select the state you are interested in learning about:

Alabama

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $585 to $815 annually

Trailer registration fee: $20 annually or $60 for permanent registration

Resource: Alabama tractor registration fees chart

Alaska

Tractor registration fees are based on: Unladen weight

Tractor registration fee: $331 annually

Trailer registration fee: $20 annually

Resource: Alaska vehicle registration fees calculator

Arizona

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $630 to $922 annually

Trailer registration fee: $800 for permanent registration

Resource: Arizona commercial vehicle weight fees table

Arkansas

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $553 to $1,350 annually

Trailer registration fee: $20 annually or $65 for permanent registration

Resource: Arkansas commercial truck fee schedule

California

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1,161 to $2,064 annually

Trailer registration fee: $20 for permanent registration

Resource: CaIifornia commercial truck registration fees

Colorado

Tractor registration fees are based on: Unladen weight

Tractor registration fee: $143 to $490 annually

Trailer registration fee: $7.50 annually

Resource: Colorado Revised Statutes Section 42-12-401(1)

Connecticut

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $895 to $1,546 annually

Trailer registration fee: $40 annually

Resource: Connecticut DMV’s commercial fee chart

Delaware

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $850 to $1,390 annually

Trailer registration fee: About $72 annually, depending on the trailer’s GVWR

Resource: Delaware registration fee estimation tool

Florida

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $773 and $1,322 annually

Trailer registration fee: $13.50 annually or $68 for permanent registration

Resource: Florida motor vehicle registration fees

Georgia

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $190 to $400 annually

Trailer registration fee: $12 annually

Resource: Georgia Code Section 40-2-151(10)(a)

Hawaii

Tractor AND trailer registration fees are based on: Unladen weight

Tractor registration price: About $300 annually

Trailer registration fee: About $300 annually

Resource: Hawaii motor vehicle registration fees

Idaho

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $360 to $505 annually

Trailer registration fee: $5 annually or $30 for a five-year registration

Resource: Fee schedule for Idaho-based carriers

Illinois

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1,638 to $2,890 annually

Trailer registration fee: $5 annually or $30 for a five-year registration

Resource: Illinois commercial truck fees by weight range

Indiana

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1,214 to $2,282 annually

Trailer registration fee: $82 annually

Resource: Indiana vehicle registration fees chart

Iowa

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $965 to $1,695 annually

Trailer registration fee: $30 annually

Resource: Iowa registration fees by vehicle type

Kansas

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR 

Tractor registration fee: $1,267 to $2,270 annually

Trailer registration fees: $54 to $64 annually (depending on the trailer’s GVWR) or $184 for five-year trailer registration

Resource: Kansas heavy truck registration fees schedule

Kentucky

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $669 to $1,410 annually

Trailer registration fee: $19.50 annually or $98 for permanent registration

Resource: Kentucky intrastate carrier resources

Louisiana

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $315 to $504 annually

Trailer registration fees: $10 annually or $70 for permanent registration

Resource: LA Revised Statutes Title 47 Section 462

Maine

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $340 to $507 annually

Trailer registration fee: $20 annually

Resource: Maine truck registration fee chart

Maryland

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1,050 to $1,800 annually

Trailer registration fee: $76.50 annually

Resource: Maryland fees for registration plates

Massachusetts

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1,000 to $1,600 annually

Trailer registration fee: $500 for a five-year registration

Resource: Massachusetts schedule of fees

Michigan

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1,362 to $1,992 annually

Trailer registration fee: $200 to $300 for permanent registration (depending on the trailer’s unladen weight)

Resource: Michigan’s GVW fees chart

Minnesota

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR and model year

Tractor registration fee: $536 to $1,810 annually

Trailer registration fee: Registered with tractor

Resource: Minnesota Y Class annual tax table

Mississippi

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $612 to $1,512 annually

Trailer registration fees: $10 annually

Resource: Mississippi Code Section 27-19-11

Missouri

Tractor registration fees are based on: GVWR and where you operate

Tractor registration fee: $688 to $1,720 annually

Trailer registration fees: $7.50 annually or $52.50 for permanent registration.

Resource: 

Montana

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR and truck model year

Tractor registration fee: $555 to $1,125 annually for tractors less than 5 years old

Trailer registration fee: $148 permanent registration

Resource: Montana commercial truck registration fees

Nebraska

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration price range: $535 to $825 annually

Trailer registration fee: $1 annually

Resource: Nebraska commercial vehicle registration fees

Nevada

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR and truck model year

Tractor registration fee: $1,400 to $3,860 annually

Trailer registration fee: $115 for permanent registration

Resource: Nevada local vehicle registration resources

New Hampshire

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $480 to $800 annually

Trailer registration fee: $24 annually

Resource: New Hampshire Statutes Section 261:141

New Jersey

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $758 to $1,268 annually

Trailer registration fee: $32 annually or $85.50 for a four-year registration

Resource: New Jersey commercial truck fees table

New Mexico

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: About $172 annually

Trailer registration fee: $13 annually

Resource: New Mexico Statutes Section 66-6-4

New York

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: About $595 annually

Trailer registration fee: None

Resource: New York commercial vehicle registration fee schedule

North Carolina

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1129 to $1,804 annually

Trailer registration fee: $27 annually

Resource: North Carolina motor vehicle license fees table

North Dakota

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR and model year

Tractor registration fee: $406 to $1,059 annually

Trailer registration fee: $20 annually or $125 permanent registration

Resource: North Dakota Code Section 39-04-19

Ohio

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $690 to $1,370 annually

Trailer registration fee: $36 annually or $293.25 for permanent registration

Resource: Ohio commercial vehicle registration fees

Oklahoma

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $450 to $961 annually

Trailer registration fee: $4 annually or $51 for permanent registration

Resource: Oklahoma commercial vehicle registration fees

Oregon

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $625 to $998 annually

Trailer registration fee: $10 for permanent registration

Resource: Oregon heavy motor vehicle fee schedule

Pennsylvania

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1,186 to $2,417 annually

Trailer registration fee: $38 annually or $184 for permanent registration

Resource: Pennsylvania truck and tractor registration fees table

Rhode Island

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $660 to $1,159 annually

Trailer registration fee: About $50 annually (based on the trailer’s GVWR)

Resource: Rhode Island truck registration fee by weight chart

South Carolina

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $495 to $907 annually

Trailer registration fee: $20 annually or $87 for permanent registration

Resource: South Carolina schedule of license fees

South Dakota

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $765 to $1,457 annually

Trailer registration fee: $20 annually or $120 for permanent registration

Resource: South Dakota commercial registration fees

Tennessee

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $922 to $1,333 annually

Trailer registration fee: $75 for permanent registration

Resource: Tennessee Code Section 55-4-113

Texas

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $535 to $840 annually

Trailer registration fee: $11 annually

Resource: Texas DMV registration fees guide

Utah

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $412 to $697 annually

Trailer registration fee: $31 annually

Resource: Utah Code Section 41-1a-1206

Vermont

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1,380 to $2,337 annually

Trailer registration fee: $197 annually

Resource: Vermont DMV truck registration fees chart

Virginia

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $611 to $1,348 annually

Trailer registration fee: $40 annually or $100 for permanent registration

Resource: Virginia DMV commercial vehicle registration fee chart

Washington

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $735 to $1,830 annually

Trailer registration fee: $36 for permanent registration

Resource: Revised Code of Washington 46.17.355

West Virginia

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $419 to $1,131 annually

Trailer registration fee: $51 for permanent registration

Resource: West Virginia Legislature Section 17A-10-1

Wisconsin

Tractor registration fees are based on: GCWR

Tractor registration fee: $1,081 to $2,578 annually

Trailer registration fee: $50 for permanent registration

Resource: Wisconsin’s vehicle registration fee chart

Wyoming

Semi-truck registration fees are based on: GCWR for state fee, value and model year for county fee

Tractor registration fee: $523 to $908 annually, plus county fee

Trailer registration fee: $172, plus county fee

Resources: