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This is the third item I've posted tonight. I'll be quiet for a few weeks to make up.
I bought my 2007 Tundra longbed and promptly put a shell (some folks back east would call it a cap) on it. With a couple of extra features it was $1,200 out the door including tax and installation. This is only as tall as the top of the cab. The A.R.E. shell was the only one I could find for a 2007 Tundra longbed. It took three weeks to deliver from back east. I am always pleased and amazed at how well they are able to match the color of the truck. It's perfect. And it has an extra cost front window that folds inward for cleaning.
So how does this save on DMV fees. In California if you put a shell (or camper) on a pickup you can take it to the DMV and they will change the pink slip designation from COMMERCIAL to "PM" which I assume means it's only used for passengers. They will collect your commercial plates and issue instead passenger car plates. And there is no DMV charge for this!
The net result is that I no longer have to pay weight fees which on this 2007 Tundra which comes to $144 a year. Over a few years the savings will almost pay for the shell.
It doesn't make sense as the truck can still be used for commercial purposes. But I'm not going to argue. I think it has something to do with it being defined as a "housecar" or something. Maybe they are thinking of campers on pickup trucks instead of little shells. Whatever. It has worked for me twice.
I did this with my 1999 Ford F-150 and now the Tundra.
Side-story: When I took it to the DMV to apply for the change I was told they had to inspect the vehicle. So I pulled it around to the inspection lane where I was told they didn't have to inspect it. I parked it (uninspected) and went back in where the paperwork was processed and the new pink slip was issued.
Hope this is useful to someone (at least in California).
 

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Mahalo for the info. I've always had camper shells for my trucks but never knew the difference about the "commercial" tag that DMV has given our trucks. I will be changing over my plates so I'll be sure to buy my shell before I go down there.

Poidog in NOR CAL
 

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What's the diff between regular and commercial plates? Because I took the custom plates off my car and put them on my truck. Granted the registration cost a buttload more on the truck but they are physically the same plates - is it just related to the numbering?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Commercial vs. passenger plates

In California all pickups are classified as commercial and weight fees ($144 in my case) are part of the annual license fee. Normally you get a commercial plate with numbers and one letter such as > 5F23478. Passenger cars are not charged weight fees and the plates are typically > 3ABD456.

By putting a shell on the truck they take back the commercial plates and give you a passenger plate and no longer charge the annual weight fees.

In my case I have personalized plates ("10") and they merely issued a new pink slip to show it's now a passenger vehicle.

P.S. My plates look like "10" but in California personalized plates have to have at least one letter; so my plates are actually the number one and the letter "O". My other two vehicles have similar combinations using the letter "o" to make them look like low numbers. I saw on the news earlier this week where in Delaware you can sell you low numbered plates. This particular news report showed an auction for the plate is the single digit "6". It sold for over $200,000. I still don't believe it. The man that had owned that plate for forty years died and his family was sellling the plate. I know they do that in England but not for that much. My oh my!
 

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Wow, valuable info!

This is the third item I've posted tonight. I'll be quiet for a few weeks to make up.
I bought my 2007 Tundra longbed and promptly put a shell (some folks back east would call it a cap) on it. With a couple of extra features it was $1,200 out the door including tax and installation. This is only as tall as the top of the cab. The A.R.E. shell was the only one I could find for a 2007 Tundra longbed. It took three weeks to deliver from back east. I am always pleased and amazed at how well they are able to match the color of the truck. It's perfect. And it has an extra cost front window that folds inward for cleaning.
So how does this save on DMV fees. In California if you put a shell (or camper) on a pickup you can take it to the DMV and they will change the pink slip designation from COMMERCIAL to "PM" which I assume means it's only used for passengers. They will collect your commercial plates and issue instead passenger car plates. And there is no DMV charge for this!
The net result is that I no longer have to pay weight fees which on this 2007 Tundra which comes to $144 a year. Over a few years the savings will almost pay for the shell.
It doesn't make sense as the truck can still be used for commercial purposes. But I'm not going to argue. I think it has something to do with it being defined as a "housecar" or something. Maybe they are thinking of campers on pickup trucks instead of little shells. Whatever. It has worked for me twice.
I did this with my 1999 Ford F-150 and now the Tundra.
Side-story: When I took it to the DMV to apply for the change I was told they had to inspect the vehicle. So I pulled it around to the inspection lane where I was told they didn't have to inspect it. I parked it (uninspected) and went back in where the paperwork was processed and the new pink slip was issued.
Hope this is useful to someone (at least in California).
I just wrote for information on this! I purchased a 2008 Tundra about 3 weeks ago and just recieved a bill from the dealer stating that at time of purchase, they fees are estimated. The additional fees they are billing me for, are: $154.00 (weight fees)!!!!!!!!!
I was inquiring as if anyone knew about this, and I see your post! They forgot to charge me the weight fees!
I'm thinking of going down there (being as they don't require you to show the shell?).
Would they consider the tonneau covers the same way I wonder?
great post!:eek:
 

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One benefit of CA "Commercial" registration vs "Passenger" that may pay for itself is the ability to park in yellow curb loading zones without getting a parking ticket. Also, be aware that you could be cited for hauling "cargo" in the bed of your truck if its is registered as a passenger vehicle. A trip to Home Depot and you are in violation.

This was the issue decades ago when the Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero were commonly registered as passenger instead of commercial.

Later the Subaru "Brat" had welded-in jumpseats to make it factory built as a passenger vehicle, not a "truck".

Many years ago we had two, nearly identical Dodge vans in the family, a 1966 and 1969. One was the model with a backseat and windows all around. It was registered as a "Station Wagon" the other had no backseat and no windows in back, registered "Commercial". Wieght fees are based on empty, "Unladen" wieght, so it was only $20 a year extra on something that was under 3000lb. Tundras have bloated so much that the empty weights are often times over 5000lb! That is why the fees are so expensive.
 

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One benefit of CA "Commercial" registration vs "Passenger" that may pay for itself is the ability to park in yellow curb loading zones without getting a parking ticket. Also, be aware that you could be cited for hauling "cargo" in the bed of your truck if its is registered as a passenger vehicle. A trip to Home Depot and you are in violation.

This was the issue decades ago when the Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero were commonly registered as passenger instead of commercial.

Later the Subaru "Brat" had welded-in jumpseats to make it factory built as a passenger vehicle, not a "truck".

Many years ago we had two, nearly identical Dodge vans in the family, a 1966 and 1969. One was the model with a backseat and windows all around. It was registered as a "Station Wagon" the other had no backseat and no windows in back, registered "Commercial". Wieght fees are based on empty, "Unladen" wieght, so it was only $20 a year extra on something that was under 3000lb. Tundras have bloated so much that the empty weights are often times over 5000lb! That is why the fees are so expensive.
Well if the seats were installed to get around this, why do the seats in the dbl cab and crew cab not answer this issue and qualify as a passenger vehicle?:confused:
 

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Just Don't Get Caught Hauling Motorcycles In The Bed If You Remove The Shell, You Can Tow But Not Haul Heavy Loads In The Bed Of The Truck.......... $ 500 Fine !!!!
 

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F&@k Y'all, I'm from Texas
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Move Outta California Lol
You said it right. I pay a total of about $65 to the state to register my truck and it's a "passenger vehicle" that I can haul whatever I want in.
 

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You said it right. I pay a total of about $65 to the state to register my truck and it's a "passenger vehicle" that I can haul whatever I want in.

Does that include tax? In Maine mine is $700 with the dumb ass taxes. :mad:
 

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In Iowa truck registration has been a flat $60 for as long as I can remember. Now the democrats that got elected 2 years ago are repealing that and my registration is going over $400. Guess it dosnt surprise me since my property taxes, income taxes and everything else are jumping. Hope the welfare state puts the money to good use.
 

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In California all pickups are classified as commercial and weight fees ($144 in my case) are part of the annual license fee. Normally you get a commercial plate with numbers and one letter such as > 5F23478. Passenger cars are not charged weight fees and the plates are typically > 3ABD456.

By putting a shell on the truck they take back the commercial plates and give you a passenger plate and no longer charge the annual weight fees.

In my case I have personalized plates ("10") and they merely issued a new pink slip to show it's now a passenger vehicle.

P.S. My plates look like "10" but in California personalized plates have to have at least one letter; so my plates are actually the number one and the letter "O". My other two vehicles have similar combinations using the letter "o" to make them look like low numbers. I saw on the news earlier this week where in Delaware you can sell you low numbered plates. This particular news report showed an auction for the plate is the single digit "6". It sold for over $200,000. I still don't believe it. The man that had owned that plate for forty years died and his family was sellling the plate. I know they do that in England but not for that much. My oh my!
Funny Cause the truck actually weighs more with the camper shell than just the truck itself, but hey if it saves you guys money that the government can't spend great.

Here in Idaho it don't matter what you drive the registration fees are pretty much the same. It cost me about $68 to register my truck for a year. It costs me $78 to register my jeep for 2 years.
 

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F&@k Y'all, I'm from Texas
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Does that include tax? In Maine mine is $700 with the dumb ass taxes. :mad:
That price was the total price. I pay around $65 and they give me a state registration sticker that is good for a year.
 

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Move Outta California Lol
No doubt!! Here in Oregon I paid a total of $113.00 for DMV fees at the time of purchase. I drove off the lot with license plates bolted on and registration valid through 2012. Truly a bargain at twice the price but ssshhhhhh.....don't tell Ted Kulongoski!!
 

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That price was the total price. I pay around $65 and they give me a state registration sticker that is good for a year.
IL. was the same way when I lived there 8yrs ago , I now pay $ 410.00 a year. I'll pay $460.00 next year because I ordered a personal , or what some call a Vanity plate .
 

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IL. was the same way when I lived there 8yrs ago , I now pay $ 410.00 a year. I'll pay $460.00 next year because I ordered a personal , or what some call a Vanity plate .
thats crazy! Vanity plates in FL are only like $75.

But then again, my property taxes are $15000.00:eek:
 

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The vanity plate is $50.00 and my plate fee per year is $400.00.

I'd Rather pay my license fee than your taxes ! LOL
I heard that. The $75 includes plate, sticker and registration for a year.
 
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