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Do Livestock Trailers Have Titles? 4 Things You Need To Know

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Livestock trailers are very important when it comes to farming and farming-related commercial activities. Unfortunately, there is a lot of admin that comes with owning a livestock (or any other) trailer, such as having all the required documentation for it and complying with the legal requirements.

When it comes to legal compliance, one of the important topics that pop up is whether or not you should have your livestock trailer titled.

Whether or not a livestock trailer should be titled depends on which state in the United States you live in. Most states require that you register your livestock trailer, and in order to do so, you are required to produce the title of your trailer. As with any other road vehicle, most livestock trailers have titles.

A pick up truck hauling a red horse trailer on the open road

The registration of your trailer and whether or not it has titles are two separate but closely related matters. When asking whether or not your trailer should have a title, you should first determine whether or not your trailer must be registered.

There are a couple of things you should know when registering your trailer, and there are exceptions that apply when it comes to titles and registration.

In the article below, we will explore all the things that one must know when titling and registering your livestock trailer.

Do Livestock Trailers Have Titles?

Regarding the titling and registration of your livestock trailer, there are a couple of things you should know. Since these two aspects are so intertwined, they will be discussed together.

Let us start by getting the most important fact out of the way: most states in the United States do require you to register any trailer at least within 30 days after it was purchased.

The laws that pertain to the title and registration of your trailer vary from state to state, but most states impose strict fines if there is an infringement of title and registration laws.

Additionally, the longer you wait to get the titles and registration of your trailer, the larger the fines become.

Now that we have mentioned the generic rules that apply, let us take a look at some specific things you should know about the titles and registration of your livestock trailer.

Filling application form

1. Title And Registration Requirements

Before you register your trailer, you will (most likely) have to submit a signed title that verifies that you own the trailer. If you do not have the title to the trailer, you will have to come up with an alternative, such as the statement of origin of the trailer.

It is possible to make your own livestock trailer, especially if you are a welder. In this case your statement of origin will say just that.

Your trailer will likely be inspected to ensure that it conforms to all requirements for road worthy vehicles and a unique vehicle identification number will likely be assigned.

2. Local Registration Laws

It is important to brush up on the vehicle laws that are applicable to the area in which you live.

Most states do not require that you register a trailer if it is used for personal or commercial purposes, but the requirements vary in each state.

It is recommended that you consult the DMV’s website for the state in which you live.

3. Gather All The Necessary Documents

Before you go to the DMV, it is best to ensure that you have all the required documents and papers that you will need before you get the title and registration of your trailer in order.

Some of the documents that you will want to have with you are:

  • Have at least two photos that you can use to identify yourself and make sure that the photos are presented in different formats. You can, for example, use your passport as the first form of photo identification, and you can use your driver’s license as the second form of photo identification.
  • If you do not possess two forms of photo identification, make sure that you have other forms of identification close by. This can be your birth certificate, the card that contains your social security number, etc.
  • Another important document to have when you try and get your trailer registered is the trailer’s bill of sale. This document verifies that you are the owner of the trailer and should contain all the necessary information about the trailer. This can be information regarding its make, model, ID number, and weight of the trailer.
  • You will also require the certificate of title if you wish to register your trailer. The certificate of title serves as proof that you are the lawful owner of the trailer under consideration.

4. Registering Your Livestock Trailer

Livestock trailers are the same as horse trailers in that they must also be registered.

This holds regardless of how you use it – whether you use it for farming or transporting wild animals, the trailer must be registered for purposes of tracking and identification.

Horses in trailer on field against sky

What We Can Conclude Based On The Requirements

Now that we have all that information, we can make a determination on whether or not your livestock trailer has a title or whether it requires one.

An important note to make is the distinction between registering your trailer and owning the titles to it.

The title to your trailer simply provides proof that you are the owner of the trailer, whereas registering the trailer means that you have paid all the necessary fees to be allowed to operate your trailer on public roads.

Now, to narrow this down to the question at hand, we can definitely say that if you have a livestock trailer, you are required to register it in most states of the United States.

Based on this piece of information, we can already say that there are, in fact, laws that require you to get your registration in order.

In order to comply with the laws of registering your trailer, you are required to have the title of the trailer as well.

If you are still not certain whether you require a title for your trailer or not, the answer is that you do.

A trailer might be something that does not have the capability of moving on its own, and you probably do not think it qualifies as a motor vehicle, but that does not rob it from the requirement of having a title.

Exceptions To Titling And Registration

Titling your trailer and registering it goes hand in hand in most states, but there are certain scenarios where the titling and registration of your trailer are two separate things.

Depending on where you live and depending on your trailer, you might have different rules that apply to you.

If you, for example, have a very small trailer that is not used on the road, there is a small chance that the trailer does not have to be titled. The chances are not great, however, since the DMV has a very broad definition of what a trailer is.

In Texas, the registration of a trailer is always required, but you do not necessarily need a title for the trailer. If a trailer weighs more than 4000 lbs in gross weight, it has to be titled.

On the other hand, if the trailer is less than 4000 lbs in gross weight, you can title the trailer, but it is optional. If the trailer was titled previously, it must be titled again whenever applicable.

If you wish to determine if you should title your trailer, it would be best if you research the rules that are applicable to the state you live in. These rules can vary and, thus, there is no one right way to answer this.

Let us use Texas as an example. In Texas, there are rules that pertain to registering the trailer and other rules pertaining to the title of the trailer.


In conclusion, your trailer will most likely always have or require a title. Most states in the United States require you to register your trailer in order to use it.

However, in order to be able to register your trailer, you must produce the title of your trailer or have your trailer titled.

Thus, if your trailer is not registered or titled, the law will probably compel you to have it titled by virtue of forcing you to register your trailer.