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  #1  
Old 01-04-2010, 12:43 PM
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MA Non-Commercial Registrations - Call for Action

As I have been advocating in the Super Duty Forum, there are a significant number of you that share my dissappointment with the new DMV policy on forcing commercial registrations on pickups over 10,000 pounds and all DRWs.

Well, the good news is that we may have an opportunity to get some relief on this issue. I have found an ally, a MA State Senator, who is going to draft a letter to the Registrar requesting a fair review of the policy on commercial registrations. The other legislators will be invited to co-sign. Please contact your representatives and ask them to co-sign the letter as well. It's just an easy email to your specific State Rep and State Senator. There is a very high probability that if enough of us raise this issue we can get some traction. Please do this as soon as you can. As you have all expressed due frustration, this is how that voice can be made into action.

I really believe there is enough wiggle room in the CMR rules as written that we could get them to move somewhat on this subject. It's worth a try if enough of us spend a little bit of time on it.


Thanks
Steve
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:43 PM
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Everyone,

We have great news. MA State Senator Richard T. Moore, (Worcester & Norfolk District) has graciously agreed to circulate the following letter to the other members of the Massachusetts Senate and House for co-signers. It is very urgent that you contact your own local Senator and Representative and urge them to contact Sen Moore's office to co-sign this letter. You must do this by Feb 2nd to make it work! Please do not contact Senator Moore directly unless you live in his district. He is doing everything he can already to help us. If you are in his district, do let him know you appreciate his support as I do. This is by far our best chance to influence the rules change we believe is fair and equitable to <NOBR id=itxt_nobr_25_0 style="FONT-WEIGHT: normal; FONT-SIZE: 100%; COLOR: darkgreen">pickupClick the image to open in full size.</NOBR> owners in MA. We have been pressuring the registry without any response so far. I believe this letter, when it is co-signed by other MA lawmakers will pursuade them to address our concerns.


February 3, 2010

Registrar Rachel Kaprelian
Registry of Motor Vehicles
State Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Boston, MA

Dear Registrar Kaprelian:

We are writing to request that the Registry of Motor Vehicles revisit and revise the current policy with regard to the registration of dual rear wheel pickup trucks because of the hardship imposed on those who operate such vehicles for personal or recreational use.

Specifically, 540 CMR 2.05-3(b) states "Any vehicle which has five or more wheels on the ground" must be registered as commercial. The regulation excludes campers, motor homes, and a variety of other vehicles, but not dual rear wheel pickups. This regulation imposes an additional financial burden for owner of trucks with trailer campers. It makes the registration, inspection and toll fees hundreds significantly higher with any apparent reason other than to prevent abuse from some businesses seeking to avoid commercial registration fees. This seems patently unfair to the many owners of thousands of dual rear wheel pickup trucks who do not utilize the vehicles for commercial purposes.

We request that the Registry amend the CMR to provide that any one ton class pickup, regardless of having four or six wheels, be registered for recreational use provided that it is legally being utilized for non-commercial purposes. The current Registry policy allows a 44,000 pound, six-wheel motor home with camper plates to be registered at the non-commercial fee and without DOT inspection. However, the policy does not treat an F-350 six-wheel pickup truck towing a 6,000 pound camper trailer in the same manner. This interpretation appears to be unfair and lack common sense.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and attention to this request.

Sincerely,

Richard T. Moore
State Senator, Worcester & Norfolk District

cc: Governor Deval Patrick

I hope everyone can take the time to do this and we can have a large list of names at the bottom of this letter.

Thank you for your support,
Steve
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2010, 06:43 PM
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Nice job Steve!!!
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:11 PM
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Please post here if you have made contact with your state legislator. I'd like to supply Sen. Moore with a list of legislators contacted if posisble so we know the signatures get added.

Steve
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:56 PM
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We Struck Some Pay Dirt

Today I was contacted by Sen Moore's office and advised that the letter we were supporting was signed by a large number of MA lawmakers and is being delivered to the registry. Also, local newspapers in MA have picked up the story and one has contacted me.

Here is the link to the press release just issued on this matter

http://senatormoore.com/news/archive/2010/02/020910-1.htm

I have an interview on Saturday with a local journalist and I think this means we will see some attention.

Thanks for everyone's help. Apparently the response was significant.

Steve
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:43 PM
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That is some great news Steve..

Thanks for all your hard work..

Hopefully the Newspaper story will fuel more action..
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:18 PM
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Awesome news

Thanks for taking the lead on that one Steve,

I had contacted my state rep (Karyn Polito) as soon as I saw the story in our newspaper. The strange part about it is that I have a 2004 DRW that is registered passenger. I was told when I purchased it in February that I would need to have commercial registration / insurance however when my insurance agent called me back I was informed it was a passenger insurance, commercial tag.. Thought to myself "Great, That will save me a few bucks" Then when I picked up the truck from the RI dealer, I saw the passenger tags. I immediately had it inspected and Voila, I still have my passenger tags. So the precedence has been set.

Have you heard of any others in the process?


Thanks
Glenn
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:30 PM
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Hi Glenn, and thanks for your support and sharing your situation.

I think several people have shared similar experiences to yours. They seem to range from:
1) Forced to adopt commercial plates from the start
2) Had private plates but forced to switch over recently -- In one case by police via a very expensive citation
3) Have private plates and so far no issue
4) Managed to get registered private in the past year.

Clearly the registry, dealers, and insurance companies are not equally appying the rules, which as our research indicates does mandate commercial plates on any DRW or any pickup over 10K GVW which includes a lot of SRW 350s. How, if and when you get into any trouble is anyone's guess.

In my case, I have commercial plates and private insurance, though I do have a separate policy for the truck and pay slightly higher rates, then those get offset by the multi-car discount - blah blah blah. Some people have been reporting to me that their insurance companies are dropping their coverage because the non-commercial/commercial thing is too complicated. They get calls that say basically, "we've decided that if you have commcercial plates, you need a commercial policy, period" and they end up switching insurance companies. I don't know how bad this will get or whether it's a small number of cases.

The latest news I had in April was that

"The Registrar is meeting with her staff next Thursday to discuss a number of changes they will be proposing to the CMR including 540 CMR 2.05-3 (b). One of the issues that needs to be studied and reported back to Administration and Finance is the loss of revenue this change will have.

Once that is determined and discussed with Administration and Finance, the RMV will be moving forward with the change. The Registry will then hold public hearings on the changes as required by law and hopefully have it implemented by October."

This is from an email from Senator Moore. I will pibg him today and see if there is any more news. My fear is that they hope we will forget about this over the summer, so please keep the pressure on your reps and senators!

Steve
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  #9  
Old 06-15-2010, 03:11 PM
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Steve...you are absolutely correct...MA DOT/RMV regulations require that any vehicle with more than 4 wheels on the ground...or with a GVWR of 10,001 LBS or more...MUST be registered as a commercial vehicle.

Glenn is a ticket/tow waiting to happen.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGKEN View Post
Steve...you are absolutely correct...MA DOT/RMV regulations require that any vehicle with more than 4 wheels on the ground...or with a GVWR of 10,001 LBS or more...MUST be registered as a commercial vehicle.

Glenn is a ticket/tow waiting to happen.

I may be, and that frankly is my biggest concern. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that I have the lower rates at the moment, but if this is not changed in the near future I fear that by driving it say out of state, or in the left lane of the highway, etc I may run into an issue that I don't want to deal with.


Although I would have to be curious about that 6 wheel law? Does it not apply to motorhomes?


G
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:01 PM
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I think you might want to check with your insurance company regarding insurance coverage. Since your truck MAY not be properly registered...will the insurance company consider it to be unregistered if you have an accident or other insurable loss??? Don't just check with your agent...check with other agents/insurance companies and the DOT/RMV. The money you may be saving may be peanuts compared to what you may lose.

I believe that motorhomes have their own category of registration...I think it's "Auto Home".
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:18 PM
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I will check around, as I have been nervous about it anyway..

Since you give the registry the VIN to register the vehicle, would they not be able to determine the trucks registration requirements? That's what I was going on when I saw the plates. The insurance company had agreed to a personal insurance with commercial plates.


I'll definitely look into it. I do purposely carry all required DOT hardware in the truck. Just as a due diligence.


Does anyone happen to know the DOT regulations on the three center lights under the tailgate? Since the vehicle is more than 80" wide it has the three center marker lights. I would like to replace these with the long LED strip that encompasses Brakes, running, reverse and directionals, but I am unsure if this would be a legal replacement for the lights that are there.


Thanks
Glenn
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by satwood View Post

Once that is determined and discussed with Administration and Finance, the RMV will be moving forward with the change. The Registry will then hold public hearings on the changes as required by law and hopefully have it implemented by October."

So if I can hold out until October, maybe I will be OK?


\Glenn
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennemay View Post
I will check around, as I have been nervous about it anyway..

Since you give the registry the VIN to register the vehicle, would they not be able to determine the trucks registration requirements? That's what I was going on when I saw the plates. The insurance company had agreed to a personal insurance with commercial plates.


I'll definitely look into it. I do purposely carry all required DOT hardware in the truck. Just as a due diligence.


Does anyone happen to know the DOT regulations on the three center lights under the tailgate? Since the vehicle is more than 80" wide it has the three center marker lights. I would like to replace these with the long LED strip that encompasses Brakes, running, reverse and directionals, but I am unsure if this would be a legal replacement for the lights that are there.


Thanks
Glenn

Who really knows what the DOT/RMV thinks??? It is ultimately up to YOU to adhere to the laws of the Commonwealth...no matter what your insurance agent/company says or does. I've been dealing with them for 40 +/- years...23 of those years professionally. Call their number 4 times...ask exactly the same question. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that you get at least three different answers. You know the risks you're taking...I assume if you get nailed you won't whine about it!!!

As for the LED lights...I don't really know...but I've seen lots of them.
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  #15  
Old 06-18-2010, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by glennemay View Post
Although I would have to be curious about that 6 wheel law? Does it not apply to motorhomes?


G
Yes, there is a special category for motorhomes regardless of GVW. That was a data-point in my original letter to the RMV, basically why treat a huge motorhome differently than a 6 wheel pickup truck, if the intended use is the same. If you use a Super-Duty pickup to pull a camper trailer, why can't the tow vehicle be treated the same for registration purposes? That is one of the questions they should be addressing during the hearings.
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:02 AM
 
 
 
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