ALBANY — The cost of hauling farm products would decrease under new legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. The bill (A9766) would allow semitrailers to register as agricultural trailers with the Department of Motor Vehicles, a change that would help increase efficiency and also cut costs for farmers. Senator Jen Metzger is expected to introduce the bill in the State Senate.
“Farmers are no longer just driving down the road to sell their goods. They’re traveling greater distances than ever before to access new markets but have limitations on how they can get there. By modernizing the law, this new trailer registration will help farm businesses be more profitable.”
Currently, farmers are choosing between three different registrations to transport their goods. The agricultural trailer registration can only be used for trucks and small trailers, not semitrailers; farm license plate registration can be used by vehicles of any size, but drivers are limited to traveling just 25 miles with those plates. In order to use a semitrailer and travel more than 25 miles, which many are doing to bring their goods to market, farmers must obtain a commercial registration. Assemblywoman Lupardo’s legislation would allow semitrailers to obtain the agricultural trailer registration that they currently cannot.
The change in registration could mean a difference in hundreds of dollars’ worth of fees for farmers. For example, the commercial registration for a nine-ton semitrailer currently costs $259. Under this new legislation, such a trailer could register as an agricultural trailer which carries a fee of $2.50 per 500 lbs., a total of just $90 for the same nine-ton vehicle.
–The Office of NY Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo
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