7: Farm Vehicles
Dept of Motor Vehicles and Dept of Transportation Requirements
Trucks and trailers used for farm purposes can usually be registered with the DMV under the “Agricultural” class (Note that this is different than the “Farm” class). Details about requirements, fees, insurance, and inspection are here: https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/about-agricultural-and-farm-vehicles
A Covered Farm Vehicle is defined as a vehicle or combination of vehicles registered in this state which must:
- Be operated by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch, or an employee or family member of an owner or operator of a farm or ranch
- Be used to transport agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery or supplies to or from a farm or ranch
- Not be used for for-hire motor carrier operations, exclusive of operation by a tenant pursuant to a crop share agreement to transport the landlord’s crop
- Not be used to transport hazardous materials.
The CFV- 1 form designates the vehicle as a covered farm vehicle (Note that this form does not need to be submitted; you can just fill it out and carry it in the glove box). Download copies of the CFV-1 from the DMV website at Designation as a New York State Covered Farm Vehicle (pdf) (CFV-1), or obtain them at your local DMV Office.
The Covered Farm Vehicle designation means that you are exempt from needing a commercial driver license (CDL) to operate a covered farm vehicle, unless the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight (GCVW) exceeds 26,000lbs. It also means that you are exempt from some federal regulations related to hours of service, medical certification, drug testing, and maintenance requirements (State requirements still apply).
When pulling a trailer with a combined weight greater than 10,000 lbs, or a heavy farm vehicle over 10,000lbs for commercial farm business, you should:
- Complete a CFV-1 (Covered Farm Vehicle) form and keep it in your glove box
- Get a USDOT number and display it on the side of your truck with Farm name (Font must be at least 2” tall, visible from 50’ distance). This information can be on magnetic signs because it is only required to be displayed when operating a vehicle or combination of vehicle and trailer with a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight (GCVW) greater than 10,000 lbs. There are additional vehicle marking requirements if operating in NYC.
- Pull into Weigh stations when they are open - Although the CFV is not subject to normal roadside inspection, Covered Farm Vehicles should pull into safety checkpoints if the points are active.
- If you are a CFV with less than 26,000 lbs GCVW, you don’t need to have a log book for driving hours anywhere in the US (exempt from Hours of Service requirement).
When operating a truck and/or trailer with a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight (GCVW) greater than 26,000 lbs:
- All of the above applies, AND
- If a vehicle or combo of the vehicle that would normally require a CDL license (i.e. GCVW >26K) is only operated 150 mi radius from the farm, you do NOT have to have a CDL.
- If you are operating a class B configuration (truck over 26,000 lbs) or a class A (trailer over 10,000 lbs and the combination is over 26,000), you are exempt from needing a CDL if you have a Farm A or Farm B license and only operate within 150 miles of the farm.
- If you go beyond the 150-mile radius, you must have a CDL and you will be subject to the federal Hours of Service requirement.
For additional information on SMV emblems, please refer to:
- State Vehicle and Traffic Regulations
- Title 15, Part 68 – Slow-Moving Vehicle Emblem (15 NYCRR 68)
For additional information on required lighting equipment, refer to:
- State Vehicle and Traffic Regulations
- Title 15, Part 43 – Motor Vehicle Lighting (15 NYCRR 43.9)
- Section 43.9 – Lighting Requirements on Agricultural Equipment
These regulations can be found by:
- Visiting http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=nycrr-1000
- Select the Department of Motor Vehicles
Moving Tractors and Other Farm Equipment on Public Roads
The “slow-moving vehicle” emblem, a fluorescent or reflective orange triangle, must be displayed on the rear of vehicles drawn by animals, and most farm vehicles and construction equipment. It must be displayed on all equipment designed to operate at 25 mph or less, whether self-propelled or used in combination. These signs fade with time, so it is recommended to replace them every 2-3 years. The emblem must be displayed separately on each piece of equipment, whether self-propelled or used in combination as per VTL 375-36(b).
It is unlawful to operate agricultural equipment on any public highway between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise or at any time when visibility ahead or behind is less than 1000 feet, unless the equipment is equipped with approved working lamps. If on a public highway after dark, requirements include:
- Two white headlights on front of tractor at the same height and as far apart as practicable
- One red tail lamp at the farthest end (tractor or implement) and as far apart as practicable
- Two amber combined hazard warning and turn signal lamps at least 42 inches high at the same level, visible from front and rear. If just a tractor, these lights can be on the cab. If traveling with an implement, these lights need to be mounted at rear of implement
- Two red reflectors at the rear of the implement, at the same level and as far apart as practicable
If the width of tractor/implement combination is between 12 and 17 feet, you cannot travel on public roads after dark. When traveling during daylight, red or orange fluorescent flags not smaller than 18 square inches and reflectors need to be placed at extreme corners of the load. In addition, 2 amber lights or hazard lights visible from the rear of the load must be flashing. If the vehicle or implement extends beyond the center line or is traveling during inclement weather, the implement should be preceded by an escort vehicle with a warning sign and flashing lights.
Transportation of Hazardous Materials on Public Roads
A farmer who is operating as a private business (not for hire) is exempt from vehicle placarding and marking regulations when transporting an agricultural product (hazardous material including fertilizers, pesticides, fuel, etc.) over local roads between fields utilized by the farm.
Tractor and Machinery Certification for Youth
New York State 4-H Youth Development provides Tractor and Machinery Certification for youth 14 years and older. This certification allows 14 and 15-year-olds to legally operate tractors and machinery while off the family farm. Farm safety awareness is a major focus. https://nys4-h.org/risk-management