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Old 06-17-2019, 07:52 PM   #1
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Confused about VA towing weights, dmv registration gross weight for my 3500 ram

I came to my ponderings after finding out i owe a larger tax amount because Virginia DMV gave us truck plates. So looking at the title, they have empty weight, gross weight, GVWR, GCWR fields. Only the empty weight of 7370 and the gross weight of 12200 have any numbers there.

Looking at the definition of gross weight on va dmv, it says it is the combined weight or trailer and vehicle, BUT the dmv used the GVWR of 12200 on the door sticker for the gross weight. Yet truck can tow 21000 lbs as that is the GCWR for the truck. So it seems the title is in error?
I am VERY sure any rv trailer I haul will put the GCW over 12200lbs. So if the police pulled me over and weighed my rig, it would be way over perhaps 12200 lbs for the GCW.

BUT the state police website says they use gross weight as printed on the door sticker and for me that sticker says 12200.

There is a information conflict going on here.
Virginia State Police - Safety Division
For the purpose of this section, "truck" includes pickup and panel trucks, and "gross vehicle weight ratings" means manufacturer's gross vehicle weight ratings established for that vehicle as indicated by a number, plate, sticker, decal, or other device affixed to the vehicle by its manufacturer
.

then the virginia dmv say this

https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/vsa14i.pdf

I found this fact sheet.
Virginia says the gross weight is the GCWR!
They really screwed up everything in their definitions.
My title shows gross weight as 12,200 and it should then say 21,000 lbs, or whatever the GCWR actual is.

TRUCKS AND TRAILERS ONLY
• Empty Weight (EW) — means the empty weight of the vehicle.
• Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) — is assigned by the manufacturer. It is the total weight of the vehicle passengers, optional
components and cargo that the vehicle is designed to carry.
• Gross Weight (GW) and Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)—indicate the combined maximum load weight (vehicle,
passengers, cargo and towed trailer) that the vehicle is designed to tow.


• Register tractor-trailer units for the maximum gross weight to be carried by the combination tractor and trailer. Fees for the tractor
are figured on the combined weights of both units. The trailer must be registered separately.

• Diesel Fuel Vehicles: If you maintain a storage tank for fueling vehicles contact Fuels Tax Division, P. O. Box 27422, Richmond,

so, what am i supposed to do? will the police fine me for towing overweight as my registration does not allow anything over 12200??
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:15 PM   #2
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It all reads a little grey. In PA we're pretty much registered by gvwr. I don't believe any of my paperwork states a gw or gcwr. I don't know if it's worth a call to the dmv if the police are going to use the door sticker anyway. Is it common for recreational trailers to be pulled over and scaled in VA?
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:34 PM   #3
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It all reads a little grey. In PA we're pretty much registered by gvwr. I don't believe any of my paperwork states a gw or gcwr. I don't know if it's worth a call to the dmv if the police are going to use the door sticker anyway. Is it common for recreational trailers to be pulled over and scaled in VA?
Who knows? If they use my door sticker, then I am towing illegally, as I would think I am not special, the DMV is messing up everyone's weight ratings on their registration!.

Read a poster say and he said he had talked to the state police, if the pickup truck has truck plates, police will weigh entire gcw of truck and trailer, which is the GCWR, and determine your overage compared to what is printed on your vehicle registration-door plate, in my case that is 12200 lbs, way under 21,000 lbs.
Then if the pickup has standard plates, they only weigh the truck without the trailer axles., which is the GVWR

Frankly their is a huge inconsistency here and I do not understand that.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:37 PM   #4
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To add, in PA, we do not have to register for the combination weight for registration until the trailer exceeds 10k.until then the trucks gvwr is the registration weight. The trailer is ignored. Rv trailers are exempt from this combination weight requirement. I wonder if va is maybe similar?
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:45 PM   #5
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That would be helpful, those 2 virgina web sites, I searched for trailer and see no rv exemption showing.

The virginai DMV site clearly states GCWR, not the GVWR, is used yet the DMV at registration uses the GVWR
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:49 PM   #6
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In Virginia YOU can put any number that you want on your registration (tags) ......... BUT your truck needs to be registered the weight of your truck and trailer combined.

My truck is registered for 21,000 lbs but DMV would have let me put car tags on it rated at under 10,000. As some trucks will never carry over 10,000. My responsibility for the correct tags.

The trailer has to be registered for the gross weight of the trailer but you can pick any number that you want.

Your Truck title is the gross truck only not the GCWR as the tuck may never pull a trailer. Your registration will need the GCWR of what you are towing. So if you never pull a trailer there is no need to pay the extra $ for the max GCWR. So many variables go into the GCWR that there is no way for DMV to keep up with them all.

Not really that confusing once you understand the system.


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Old 06-17-2019, 08:51 PM   #7
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I will say that you are probably 'worried' about something that will likely, no, sorry, I mean NEVER happen - you will never get 'pulled over and weighed'.... it 'ain't gonna happen'...the police, sheriff, and state troopers have better things to ever do than worry about if your 'tag' is registered for the same 'weight' you are driving down the road.
If the DMV or state made an error, it's their error....leave it with them, and enjoy the road!
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:58 PM   #8
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In Virginia YOU can put any number that you want on your registration (tags) ......... BUT your truck needs to be registered the weight of your truck and trailer combined.

My truck is registered for 21,000 lbs but DMV would have let me put car tags on it rated at under 10,000. My responsibility for the correct tags.

The trailer has to be registered for the gross weight of the trailer but you can pick any number that you want.

Your title is the gross truck only not the GCWR as the tuck may never pull a trailer. Your registration will need the GCWR of what you are towing.


ok, so my registration says the same as my title regarding empty weight AND gross weight.

You can have different numbers on the title versus the vehicle registration?
I did not select any numbers, the clerk transcribed the same numbers for the PA title when creating the VA title.

So your saying go back to the DMV and change just the vehicle registration gross from 12200 to say 21000? (leave title alone) How much will that cost me? Or can it be done online?
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
I came to my ponderings after finding out i owe a larger tax amount because Virginia DMV gave us truck plates. So looking at the title, they have empty weight, gross weight, GVWR, GCWR fields. Only the empty weight of 7370 and the gross weight of 12200 have any numbers there.

Looking at the definition of gross weight on va dmv, it says it is the combined weight or trailer and vehicle, BUT the dmv used the GVWR of 12200 on the door sticker for the gross weight. Yet truck can tow 21000 lbs as that is the GCWR for the truck. So it seems the title is in error?



I found this fact sheet.
Virginia says the gross weight is the GCWR!
They really screwed up everything in their definitions.
My title shows gross weight as 12,200 and it should then say 21,000 lbs, or whatever the GCWR actual is.

TRUCKS AND TRAILERS ONLY
• Empty Weight (EW) — means the empty weight of the vehicle.
• Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) — is assigned by the manufacturer. It is the total weight of the vehicle passengers, optional
components and cargo that the vehicle is designed to carry.
• Gross Weight (GW) and Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)—indicate the combined maximum load weight (vehicle,
passengers, cargo and towed trailer) that the vehicle is designed to tow.




so, what am i supposed to do? will the police fine me for towing overweight as my registration does not allow anything over 12200??

"You can be ticketed as it is your responsibility to have the correct tags DMV will sell you anything". A VA State Trooper told me this once.

Your title is NOT in error. It does not have the combined weight as the state only requires to to buy what you need. If you pull a small trailer and gross is 13K that is all you need to buy. But if the truck and trailer gross is 22K they you need to buy that amount. Very few DMV clerks are up on the regs. I recommend that you go back to DMV and get tags that cover both your truck and trailer.

Keep in mind some trucks never tow a trailer so they need not have plates to cover towing one.

As the old saying goes ignorance of the law is no excuse.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
ok, so my registration says the same as my title regarding empty weight AND gross weight.

You can have different numbers on the title versus the vehicle registration?
I did not select any numbers, the clerk transcribed the same numbers for the PA title when creating the VA title.

So your saying go back to the DMV and change just the vehicle registration gross from 12200 to say 21000? (leave title alone) How much will that cost me? Or can it be done online?
Your title is correct.

You will need to go into the DMV and explain that you are towing a trailer and hopefully you will get a clerk that knows what they are doing. The registration is what needs changing. The actual plates will not be changed just the registration card that you carry in the glove box. and the info that comes on on the computer for the police.

My plates (21K) last time I renewed were around $75 there will probably be a change fee as well.

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Old 06-17-2019, 09:29 PM   #11
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It can be confusing. I have owned at least two trailers in Virginia since about 1985. I currently own 6 trailers. I registered my truck for the heaviest trailer (the camper).

Now having said all this, the likely case is that you may never be stopped. But if you are the fines could be high.

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Old 06-17-2019, 09:34 PM   #12
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Your title is correct.

You will need to go into the DMV and explain that you are towing a trailer and hopefully you will get a clerk that knows what they are doing. The registration is what needs changing. The actual plates will not be changed just the registration card that you carry in the glove box. and the info that comes on on the computer for the police.

My plates (21K) last time I renewed were around $75 there will probably be a change fee as well.

its a bummer because we just did this dmv recently. And I am wondering if the registration price is based on weight too.

I dont have the trailer yet, plan is a couple years away to haul an RV. The DMV ought to know the weight on the registration should match the potential GCWR of the truck-trailer combo and automatically put the right numbers on the registration card, so IMO, its their mistake but no one will care.

They clearly state on their site, gross weight is weight of both truck and any trailer it can haul, and no one is hauling a trailer 100% of the time, yet you have to pay as if you are.

My guess, the clerk will say title gross must match registration gross, because they dont seem too smart to me. Their info sites are not well explained and seem contradictory to me.

I looked up the over weight fine and its 20 cents a pound unless your 25 to 50% over, then fines double to 40 cents a pound, and if your over that it triples.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:48 PM   #13
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its a bummer because we just did this dmv recently. And I am wondering if the registration price is based on weight too.

I dont have the trailer yet, plan is a couple years away to haul an RV. The DMV ought to know the weight on the registration should match the potential GCWR of the truck-trailer combo and automatically put the right numbers on the registration card, so IMO, its their mistake but no one will care.

They clearly state on their site, gross weight is weight of both truck and any trailer it can haul, and no one is hauling a trailer 100% of the time, yet you have to pay as if you are.

My guess, the clerk will say title gross must match registration gross, because they dont seem to smart to me.

I looked up the over weight fine and its 20 cents a pound unless your 25 to 50% over, then fines double to 40 cents a pound, and if your over that it triples.
I will respectfully disagree with you in the many factors go in a brand x trucks gross towing capacity. So DMV knowing what every truck can tow is nearly impossible, as it is not necessarily on the title from the manufacturer like the gross weight is.

But if you do not own a trailer I would not change the registration until you buy one.

Yes registration is cost is based on weight. Virginia is doing you a favor by only making you pay for the weight class that you are actually using even if the truck can tow more.

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Old 06-17-2019, 09:56 PM   #14
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I am still not too sure about the value for gross on the title, because DMV in their PDF is saying they use the GCWR for gross, not the GVWR.
I also bet most people have screwed up Virginian registration especially if they can simply put any numbers they wish in there. But if the police catch them, I dont imagine the police letting them go free. Usually under the law, ignorance is no excuse.

I also expect they dont especially pull you over to check weights, but they would not have to be too smart to know about what things weigh, and if they think your overweight they will think you are cheating the state.

For example, my truck does weigh 8080lbs with 2 riders in the front seat, (c confirmed at dump scales today), and most RV trailers of mid 20 foot range are over 5000 lbs. 8000 plus 5000 is 13,000, so really anyone with common sense will know 12,200 is way to low on a registration, if they look, and I am sure when they ask you for it, they look. They are looking at everything.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:04 PM   #15
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I am still not too sure about the value for gross on the title, because DMV in their PDF is saying they use the GCWR for gross, not the GVWR.
I also bet most people have screwed up Virginian registration especially if they can simply put any numbers they wish in there. But if the police catch them, I dont imagine the police letting them go free. Usually under the law, ignorance is no excuse.

I also expect they dont especially pull you over to check weights, but they would not have to be too smart to know about what things weigh, and if they think your overweight they will think you are cheating the state.

For example, my truck does weigh 8080lbs with 2 riders in the front seat, (c confirmed at dump scales today), and most RV trailers of mid 20 foot range are over 5000 lbs. 8000 plus 5000 is 13,000, so really anyone with common sense will know 12,200 is way to low on a registration, if they look, and I am sure when they ask you for it, they look. They are looking at everything.
If you think this is confusing wait until you learn about how Virginia's Personal Property taxes work........... and each community is different......


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Old 06-17-2019, 10:05 PM   #16
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I will respectfully disagree with you in the many factors go in a brand x trucks gross towing capacity. So DMV knowing what every truck can tow is nearly impossible, as it is not necessarily on the title from the manufacturer like the gross weight is.

But if you do not own a trailer I would not change the registration until you buy one.

Yes registration is cost is based on weight. Virginia is doing you a favor by only making you pay for the weight class that you are actually using even if the truck can tow more.

If its like starting over, it could cost me a few hundred dollars to re register it.
And the GCWR is a known number published by the truck makers, so they have no excuse for not knowing it. The truck manufacturer has done and published all the tests and info. For example here
http://www.rambodybuilder.com/2005sb...lup.pdf#page=7

Legally you can not tow over what the manufacturer says the GCWR is, even if you improved it.

They did me no favor at the DMV, in fact they gave me truck plates, which means no tax break on PP tax. For 100% of the time, my GVW is under 10000 lbs, but I have to pay as if its 12,200. Then when they did not properly record the gross weight, to fix it costs me more, maybe double, and if i was dumb and get a police citation they cost me perhaps thousands in fines.

What your calling the DMV doing people a favor, is allowing people to illegally register their trucks, like getting car plates, which a lot do. Even a ram 1500, when towing and RV can easily exceed the 10000 lb cut off, their GCWR could easily be 6000 lbs over the truck weight. But they are excused?
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:17 PM   #17
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If its like starting over, it could cost me a few hundred dollars to re register it.
And the GCWR is a known number published by the truck makers, so they have no excuse for not knowing it. The truck manufacturer has done and published all the tests and info. For example here
http://www.rambodybuilder.com/2005sb...lup.pdf#page=7

Legally you can not tow over what the manufacturer says, even if you improved it.

They did me no favor at the DMV, in fact they gave me truck plates, which means no tax break on PP tax. Then when they did not properly record the gross weight, to fix it costs me more, maybe double, and if i was dumb and get a police citation they cost me perhaps thousands in fines.

What your calling the DMV doing people a favor, is allowing people to illegally register their trucks, like getting car plates, which a lot do. Even a ram 1500, when towinf will exceed the 10000 lb cut off, their GCWR could easily be 6000 lbs over the truck weight. But they are excused?


Yes and no I have been looking for 8 years and can not find a published gross towing weight for my truck. I have found about 4 different possibilities.


And most people never tow a trailer with their truck.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:19 PM   #18
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https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/vsa14i.pdf

I found this fact sheet.
Virginia says the gross weight is the GCWR!
Not the GVWR, but that is what the DMV puts on the titles.

For virginia dmv, gross weight is not GVWR, it is the GCWR, i keep coming back to how then most likely logically every truck title is screwed up.
A title is a legal document, the title field says GROSS weight. Their is a different field for GVWR. Virginia needs to clean up its stuff.

TRUCKS AND TRAILERS ONLY
• Empty Weight (EW) — means the empty weight of the vehicle.
• Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) — is assigned by the manufacturer. It is the total weight of the vehicle passengers, optional
components and cargo that the vehicle is designed to carry.
Gross Weight (GW) and Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)—indicate the combined maximum load weight (vehicle,
passengers, cargo and towed trailer) that the vehicle is designed to tow.

• Register tractor-trailer units for the maximum gross weight to be carried by the combination tractor and trailer. Fees for the tractor
are figured on the combined weights of both units. The trailer must be registered separately.
• Diesel Fuel Vehicles: If you maintain a storage tank for fueling vehicles contact Fuels Tax Division, P. O. Box 27422, Richmond,
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:26 PM   #19
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I need to maybe call some people about this, but I wonder if anyone will know anything. I have looked at other forums and it seems the DMV answers depend on who you talk too. See its no skin off their backs for bad answers, nope i have to bear the price for listening to bad answers or trusting the clerks to know anything.

I was in total ignorant innocence about all this until I got my PP tax bill for the truck.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:23 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/vsa14i.pdf

I found this fact sheet.
Virginia says the gross weight is the GCWR!
Not the GVWR, but that is what the DMV puts on the titles.

For virginia dmv, gross weight is not GVWR, it is the GCWR, i keep coming back to how then most likely logically every truck title is screwed up.
A title is a legal document, the title field says GROSS weight. Their is a different field for GVWR. Virginia needs to clean up its stuff.

TRUCKS AND TRAILERS ONLY
• Empty Weight (EW) — means the empty weight of the vehicle.
• Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) — is assigned by the manufacturer. It is the total weight of the vehicle passengers, optional
components and cargo that the vehicle is designed to carry.
Gross Weight (GW) and Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)—indicate the combined maximum load weight (vehicle,
passengers, cargo and towed trailer) that the vehicle is designed to tow.

• Register tractor-trailer units for the maximum gross weight to be carried by the combination tractor and trailer. Fees for the tractor
are figured on the combined weights of both units. The trailer must be registered separately.
• Diesel Fuel Vehicles: If you maintain a storage tank for fueling vehicles contact Fuels Tax Division, P. O. Box 27422, Richmond,

You are CONFUSING titles and registrations they are two different things. Your title is correct, your registration if towing a trailer is not correct, your registration if NOT towing a trailer IS correct.

GCWR is what YOUR truck can gross be combined truck and trailer.
GVWR is what the truck alone is rated at. Without the trailer.
MOST pickup trucks NEVER tow a trailer.

No titles are screwed up. You are confusing GVWR and GCWR.
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