So you’re thinking about buying a truck camper, but aren’t sure if you need to register it in your state. You’ve come to the right place. Rather than spending hours researching your state’s motor vehicle department website, you can look right here. You may need to do additional research on your state’s laws, but at least you’ll be able to see at a glance what your state does or doesn’t require.
Please note: If any information here is incorrect or if your state has recently made a change in laws, please let us know so we can keep this listing updated. We consider this listing a public service to the truck camper community. Note also that a few websites are now copying our list and claiming the information as their own.
I. Do you need to register your truck camper?
Which states require truck campers to be registered? Fortunately, only nine states. Some require that it be done annually, while others require that it be done just once upon purchase. You’ll need to pay a sales tax for your camper as well. Why these states require slide-in truck campers to be registered isn’t a big mystery. It comes down to one thing—revenue. Some cash-strapped states will look for any way to generate income. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. It makes sense to register motorhomes, fifth-wheels, and travel trailers because they have a chassis consisting of axles, wheels, and tires, but not the truck camper. It has none of those things. Indeed, some truck campers don’t even have a vehicle identification number (VIN) like other types of RVs. Because of this, and the fact they don’t have an axle, the truck camper really should be considered cargo. Fortunately, 41 states agree with this line of reasoning.
Which states require the slide-in truck camper to be registered? Here is the current list:
- Rhode Island
II. Do truck campers have titles?
Which states require truck campers to be titled? At present, only 10 states. That may seem like a good thing, but what proof do you have that you own a truck camper in those states that have no title requirement? That’s a great question. Every slide-in truck camper manufacturer will create a Certificate of Origin when they build a truck camper. The camper’s VIN or an equivalent identification number will be on this form. This will be signed over to you when you purchase your truck camper from the dealership. This certificate is used just like a title if you ever decide to sell your truck camper sometime in the future, so don’t lose it. Note: the requirement to register a truck camper only applies to residents of those states. So if you’re a resident of Arizona traveling to, say, Utah, you do NOT need to register your truck camper in Utah just to visit there.
So which states require truck campers to be titled? Here is the current list. Note that some of these states differ from what’s required for registration:
In Indiana, the BMV states that all “RV’s” need to be registrated. Upon attempting to identify the definition of what an RV is defined as. The Indiana general assembley statute 9-13-2-150 clearly excludes truck campers. I am still not sure if Indiana requires registration or not.
Appreciate your knowledge! Have a question for you. We live in Calif. and bought a new Truck Camper from a dealer about 10 years ago. We did not receive a Cert of Origin from them at that time. We recently posted our camper for sale and a couple from Oregon bought it. When trying to register and title it Oregon, their dmv requires the Cert of Origin, and luckily, our dealer still had it and was able to send it to us. My question is, where do we sign, to transfer it to the new owners? It isn’t a title.
If there isn’t a place for a signature then simply pass it down to the next owner. Like you said, it isn’t a title.
If we bought a truck camper in Indiana, live in Michigan, and never registered it or titled it, are we going to have an issue with selling it to a private party?
You shouldn’t as long as you have the Certificate of Origin.
Moved from California to Oregon in 2015. I want to sell my 2001 lance camper. It has sit at my house since. Do I need to register it before I can sell it.
I wouldn’t. Let the person who buys it worry about. Their state might not require it.
Would love to check yours out if selling it!
I live in CATAX, (new state abbr.) I guess I got away from both as I bought mine in WA.I hung the plate on the wall with my personalized CA collection that one can no longer add to unless they want to pay $45.00 for each set annually even without being on a vehicle!
Thank you very much for these lists!
Do I have to title/register my camper as a non-resident (foreigner) if I title/register the carrying truck in one of the states in the lists above?
I’m especially interested in the situation in Washington State and Michigan.
No, non-residents and foreigners are not bound by these laws. Only residents of these states.
Thanks for that answer!
Do you also think that Michigan’s 90 day rule for titling does not hold for campers used by foreigners? ( https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-5647_12539_48268-179824–,00.html )
the RV dealer in the state of Wisconsin told me that my new truck camper has to be titled ( fee of $69.95) is this true
That may be so. It might be a new law. Can you check into it for us and report back?
Nebraska requires registration, but not a title.
Ohio require residents to title their truck campers, no registration/tag required.
This is incorrect.
After talking with a county sheriff deputy and looking up the regulations in the Ohio Revised Code, I found Ohio requires both titling AND registration.
I don’t think that is correct. Can you copy and paste and statute here? Ohio requires registration for other types of RV’s including travel trailers and campers, but not truck campers as far as I know.
Correction to your listing – Montana requires pickup camper title but NOT registration. Here’s an excerpt from the state of MT website:
Registration: General Information
Under state law, all motor vehicles including motor homes; motorcycles and quadricycles; travel trailers; utility trailers; all-terrain vehicles; sailboats over 12 feet in length; motorboats, jet skis and other motorized vessels; and snowmobiles must be registered with the state. Pickup campers are an exception—they must be titled, but are not registered.
Thanks, Robb, for letting me know. The listing has been updated.
Hi Mike, I have lived in WA ST. most of my life. I bought my first used camper in 1990. It came with no license, but had a title of ownership. Used it on my truck for 5 years. My second camper, I bought at a lot used, it too had a title of ownership, it had no license. I had this on my truck for ver ten years. My third camper came with a title and license. I bought from a private party as I did my first camper. The license had tabs and were good for another six months.
When the tabs expired I went to the DMV to ask if having a license and tabs were optional. Afer all I drove around with my last two camper without tabs or license for over fifteen years and nothing was ever said! I not only got a song and dance, but was threatened with mayhem, all sorts of license violation, prison and fines up the ying-yang. I might be slightly exaggerating, but you get the point. Not only that, I need to display both plate on my camper, because it hangs over the truck plate.
Case-in-point; I have never seen another Truck and Camper with two plates on the camper even though the truck plate was not visible. I had always assumed the plate on the rear of the camper was that of the truck. I have never seen a plate on a camper that fit completely in the truck bed, only the truck plate.
Because my truck is high and the legs of the camper will not reach the ground I can not get to the truck plate. I just put the new truck tabs in the glove compartment. Now I need to figure out a way to remove the truck plate and mount it on my camper. I took it to an RV lot, they wanted $120 an hour to get the plate. Any suggestions?
Kentucky has always required a title for TC, but that law was never enforced. Unfortunately, I found out in May of 2017 that they will begin to enforce this law in the state of Kentucky. You will have to title, but not tag or register, if you are a Kentucky resident. According to the DMV in Frankfurt, they are not backdating this, but only enforcing it going forward.
Indiana does not require, nor can you get a tag for your truck camper. Either you must move the plate back and forth or you can follow Doyle Crews suggestion and duplicate a copy. You can obtain a voluntary registration/title for your TC, but, it comes without a plate. I ran into this a couple of years ago when trading in my previous TC. I have re-verified this information with both the Indiana Bureau of motor vehicles and the Indiana state police.
Thanks, Steve, for letting me know. The list has been updated.
How about driving to Alaska thru Canada??
Same thing. You’re not a Canadian. They don’t care if your camper is registered or not or if you have a title.
I have a Calif registered truck with old TC (1970’s) no reg, no title…How safe is it to travel thru states where
Reg and/or Title is required???
You don’t have to worry about the other states. The registration requirement only applies to residents of those states.
My husband purchased a truck camper years ago in a state where titles are not required, however we now live in Michigan and apparently one is needed here. Does anyone know how you obtain a new one? We would like to trade/sell but not having a title seems to be causing an issue.
I believe you can apply for one in MI having the VIN or by providing them with the documentation you got with the camper.
I know that this is an old post but just an FYI the selling dealer is required to keep the original MCO in the file and you can call them to get it.
Dear Mike, congratulations for your nice truck camper site.
My name is Takashi, I live in Brazil.
I'm planningo to go to Central and North América and travel in the USA during one year.
I would like to know if I must register may pop up Truck Camper in all States where I'll go.
Thanks so much.
No, you will not be required to register your camper in each state you visit.
Enjoy your visit.
After seeing Missouri needs registration for truck campers on your list I called the state DMV & I can tell you that there is no titling or registration on a truck camper in Missouri. For extra measure I called the state highway patrol & he came up w/nothing specifically on truck campers in the statutes just travel trailers/5th wheels. This draws the conclusion that Missouri doesn't recognize a truck camper as an rv but rather cargo in the truck bed.
Excellent! Thanks, Justin. I'll update the list.
SC no longer requires TCs to be titled or registered..
there is one big fall back with campers when you trade it in to a dealer in a state that requires a tiltle you have to have the original mso so it can be resold and titled so be careful with used campers in states that do not title them
Maine requires that truck campers are registered. The fee is $12. Not many truck campers out this way; I don't think that this is heavily enforced!
Thanks for letting me know. I'll update the list.
I am new to truck campers. What do you do in the situation if you live in none of these states and travel there or through them? Does this only apply if your truck is registered in the particular state requiring registration?
Hi Kenneth. Good question. Registration of your truck camper applies only in the state in which you live or in your home of residence.
Kentucky does not require you to license or register a truck camper. You do not have to license a travel trailer either unless you pull out of state.
Only thing (camper related) you have to license in KY is a motor home, as it moves under its own power. Again unless you pull out of state, but even then a truck camper does not require anything as its the same as a truck topper…
Thanks. I appreciate the feedback.
Idaho is tricky on truck campers. it is required to be registered if its made after jan 1 2009. there are a couple other factors also. here is a link to help out:
thanks for the list you have made.
Thanks and thanks for your link. I've linked it back for Idaho.
We agree with you about getting off the road etc., the truck camper is idea. A little close in Canyonlands.
Yeah, I agree. LOL!
I'm very surprised that California isn't on both lists. They tax us for everything – looks like they missed this one. 🙂
Shhhhhh! Don't say that too loud. Don't want to give them any ideas! 🙂
TCs in California fall under The Dept of Housing, paying the fee depends on how you bought that TC. We bought our from a Lance dealer and had to pay that fee (45$ one time) private party sell usually don't pay that fee.