Does a Tow Dolly Need a License Plate in Indiana? PA, CA, FL

When it comes to vehicles and different-sized trailers, each state gets to make its own rules. It is up to you to check with your local DMV when you are in doubt. They will be the last word on these types of topics.

According to our research, Indiana requires registration for utility trailers, not tow dollies. When in doubt when traveling with a tow dolly, you need to follow the laws of your home state. You do not need to register in other states to be legal.

To learn more about this issue, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about so you can do the right thing when you use a tow dolly.

Do The Non-Registering States Honor The Registration State's Rules?


Yes, each state is supposed to honor the rules of other states. That means you can drive with your registered tow dolly in unregistered states and vice versa. When you travel, you need to follow the rules of your home state and that should be enough.

The laws that apply to your tow dolly and other trailers are the ones from your home state. As long as you follow those laws you should be okay. Your license plates will let the state troopers know what laws you are to follow.

Call your local DMV to see what rules you have to follow when you are getting ready to buy or rent a tow dolly.

What About Towing The Dolly Without a Vehicle On It?

You do not have to tow a vehicle on your tow dolly to legally tow the dolly. If you are renting one, you have to tow it home to get it attached to your RV and then attach your vehicle to the dolly.

The only thing you have to worry about is if the tow dolly behaves badly during the drive. It has been reported that without weight, these trailers can bounce around, sway, and so on.

You have to watch your driving to make sure the tow dolly does not swing out into oncoming traffic. But every state may have its own laws on this topic so before you tow an empty dolly, call your DMV or state trooper’s office and see what they say.

Does a Tow Dolly Need a License Plate In Indiana?

We checked the Indiana DMV website and did not find any mention of a tow dolly having to be registered or needing a license plate. You can double-check our search by clicking this link.

If you are from out of state, you won’t have to worry about this issue. As long as you are following the laws of your home state, you should be okay. We suggest that you contact the Indiana DMV office if you cannot find it on their website either.

We do know that utility trailers need to be licensed but there is no word on any of the legal websites we found that mentioned this towing accessory. It is also best to double-check to make sure.

Do Car Dollies Need Plates in California?


This website will give you all the details you need to know. We will just generalize here. No, you do not need to register your tow dolly in this state. However, that website goes on to say- but may be registered under the Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) program.

This program is highly recommended if you plan to travel to other states using your tow dolly for your vehicle. That website will also provide exclusions and other mandatory paperwork you may need.

To participate in the PTI program, just call your local DMV office and see what steps you have to take to sign up. There is no mention of a fee for this program but do not be surprised if there are some.

Does a Tow Dolly Need a License Plate in Florida?

The state may not. We checked their website and found no mention of tow dollies needing registration or a license plate. Again we suggest you call your local Florida DMV office and ask them specifically.

We did look on their license plate chart and while mopeds were mentioned, we did not see anything about tow dollies. Travel trailers are mentioned as well on that page.

If the tow dolly does not exceed 5000 pounds, you may not have to register them. You can read the rules about license plates on this website. There are several pages at that link to go through and tow dollies may be listed under trailers for hire. It is hard to say where the state would place that device.

Do Car Dollies Need License Plates in Texas?

No, according to our research, all that may be required of you is to make sure the dolly has lights on it. Here is the link for the Texas version of the DMV office. You can search its pages or give the office a call.

There are different states that will not require registration or a license plate. But they will require different features. For example, one state requires that the tow dolly not be further than 15 feet from the tow vehicle.

This is why we tell you to double-check. These unique regulations are not always mentioned in the different websites talking about this topic. You have to go to the right state office to get the right information.

Does a Tow Dolly Need a License Plate In Arizona?


Arizona state laws require that all devices used for towing not exceed 15 feet from one vehicle to another, which means a tow dolly is perfectly legal.” There is no mention of needing a title, registration, or license plate for this state.

That quote comes from the first link at the beginning of this article. Those will be the type of information and rules you will need to find out when you call your local DMV offices.

These requirements will not be the same for all states. That is why you should ask questions beyond ‘do I need a license plate for my tow dolly?’ Get all the facts first then go out and buy or rent your device. You want to make sure you are in compliance with your state’s rules.

Do Tow Dollies Need To Be Registered in PA?

When you go to this link, vehicles exempt from registration, you need to scroll down till you get to (19) on the list. That point clearly spells out that tow dollies do not need licenses or registration in this state.

That website will give you all the legal codes and updates to the legal code at the bottom of the page. There is no gray area for this device so you can travel throughout the state with peace of mind.

The code cannot be written any clearer than it is here. We do not see any mention of special regulations you have to meet either. But if you want to, you can call the PA DMV office and check with them.

Does a Tow Dolly Need a License Plate In Illinois?

Some states can make issues like this one very complicated. When it comes to tow dollies and Illinois, you should read this website. This is what Illinois says about a tow dolly:

A tow dolly, also known as a tow-dolly, is a piece of towing equipment that has two wheels, an axle, and a tongue. The tongue is the portion of the equipment that attaches to the trailer and keeps the trailer a safe distance from the tow vehicle. The Illinois Secretary of State (ILSOS) considers a tow dolly to be legal because it fits within the definition of a trailer.”

You must follow the trailer licensing laws to have a legal tow dolly. There is a lot of good information on that website.

Do Car Dollies Need License Plates in Ohio?


In this topic, the problem with going to the different discussion forums is that you will get conflicting information. One person will say that if it has wheels on the road in Ohio, it needs to be registered.

Another person will say they did not have to register their tow dolly. This is another reason we tell you to go to the state’s DMV. You never get the straight story from a majority of websites.

For this state, we are not getting any credible information so call up your local DMV office in that state and see what they say. For some reason, we cannot access that state department’s website at this time.

Does a Tow Dolly Need a License Plate in Washington State?

No. To verify that answer, just click on this link. That link will take you to the Washington State laws concerning what vehicles are exempt from registration, etc.

Once you get to the website, scroll down to (13), and like, Pennsylvania, the statute is very clear. Tow dollies are exempt from registration. Again, there is no gray area and the exemption is clearly stated.

Tow Dolly And License Plate in Louisiana

Here is what Louisiana says about tow dollies:

A tow-dolly is, essentially, a two-wheel, single axle device that supports the front wheels of an automobile so that it can be towed and maneuvered in the same manner as a trailer. It is NOT a trailer that can be used to haul cargo, since there is no space provided on it for that purpose. According to a legal opinion dated October 4, 1988, it should be classified as an automobile accessory, in the same manner as a tow-bar. “ (link)

It does not need registration, etc.

Tow Dolly License Plate in Maryland


According to the meta description, you cannot register or license a tow dolly in this state. The link we provided talks about which vehicles need to be registered.

Those words are found in this section- How do I register a tow truck or rollback truck? You can use the menu to get to it or just scroll down till you get to that section.

Does a Tow Dolly Need a License Plate In Missouri?

Missouri is like Washington State and Pennsylvania in that tow dollies are exempt from registration. Just go to this link and scroll down to exemptions and you will find those words listed there.

The exemptions are the second section on that page making it easy to find the term tow dolly. It is very clear as well and no one should be confused.

Does a Tow Dolly Need a License Plate In Michigan?

According to our research, Michigan does not consider tow dollies trailers, so there is no need to register them. You do not need a special license to use it either.

This legal website spells out the towing laws and when they mention car dolly, you will notice that no additional information is mentioned for registration of these devices.

As usual, and we risk sounding like a broken record, double-check with your local DMV office to make sure of this information. Laws do change without notice. That goes for all the states we have or haven’t listed here.

Some Final Words

When it comes to RV life and all the different topics related to their ownership, laws are not going to be universal, for the most part. Each state governs this area of life and they may or may not implement the same laws for all things RV.

This means that you have to do what we have been saying throughout this article. Contact your local DMV office for the straight information. The internet is not that helpful as we have run into many websites that do not provide the right information.

Go to your local government offices to make sure you are being told the truth and double-check. Sometimes we may miss a web page that has the information on it. Also, watch for synonyms as tow dolly may not always be used.

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