Laws concerning farming vehicles and registrations

I find that the easiest place to go and find out about the law is actually the law. For years I’d look for someone else’s opinion of the law, some industry trade publication or something. Then one day, while discussing a topic with my wife I jumped on Google to find out what the actual law said about our topic. (Of course, I was right).

Anyway, recently I bought some new trailers and I was trying to determine what to do about registration. A quick look on the government website turned up the following law, noted below. However more looking turned up a summary pamphlet by Farm Bureau. Great, now I have to reconcile the two because they conflict somewhat. Oh well, nothing is easy but at least the information is easily available.

G.S. 20-51

§ 20-51.  Exempt from registration.

The following shall be exempt from the requirement of registration and certificate of title:

(1)        Any such vehicle driven or moved upon a highway in conformance with the provisions of this Article relating to manufacturers, dealers, or nonresidents.

(2)        Any such vehicle which is driven or moved upon a highway only for the purpose of crossing such highway from one property to another.

(3)        Any implement of husbandry, farm tractor, road construction or maintenance machinery or other vehicle which is not self-propelled that was designed for use in work off the highway and which is operated on the highway for the purpose of going to and from such nonhighway projects.

(4)        Any vehicle owned and operated by the government of the United States.

(5)        Farm tractors equipped with rubber tires and trailers or semitrailers when attached thereto and when used by a farmer, his tenant, agent, or employee in transporting his own farm implements, farm supplies, or farm products from place to place on the same farm, from one farm to another, from farm to market, or from market to farm. This exemption shall extend also to any tractor, implement of husbandry, and trailer or semitrailer while on any trip within a radius of 10 miles from the point of loading, provided that the vehicle does not exceed a speed of 35 miles per hour. This section shall not be construed as granting any exemption to farm tractors, implements of husbandry, and trailers or semitrailers which are operated on a for-hire basis, whether money or some other thing of value is paid or given for the use of such tractors, implements of husbandry, and trailers or semitrailers.

(6)        Any trailer or semitrailer attached to and drawn by a properly licensed motor vehicle when used by a farmer, his tenant, agent, or employee in transporting unginned cotton, peanuts, soybeans, corn, hay, tobacco, silage, cucumbers, potatoes, all vegetables, fruits, greenhouse and nursery plants and flowers, Christmas trees, livestock, live poultry, animal waste, pesticides, seeds, fertilizers or chemicals purchased or owned by the farmer or tenant for personal use in implementing husbandry, irrigation pipes, loaders, or equipment owned by the farmer or tenant from place to place on the same farm, from one farm to another, from farm to gin, from farm to dryer, or from farm to market, and when not operated on a for-hire basis. The term “transporting” as used herein shall include the actual hauling of said products and all unloaded travel in connection therewith.

(7)        Those small farm trailers known generally as tobacco-handling trailers, tobacco trucks or tobacco trailers when used by a farmer, his tenant, agent or employee, when transporting or otherwise handling tobacco in connection with the pulling, tying or curing thereof.

(8)        Any vehicle which is driven or moved upon a highway only for the purpose of crossing or traveling upon such highway from one side to the other provided the owner or lessee of the vehicle owns the fee or a leasehold in all the land along both sides of the highway at the place or crossing.

(9)        Mopeds as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)d1.

(10)      Devices which are designed for towing private passenger motor vehicles or vehicles not exceeding 5,000 pounds gross weight. These devices are known generally as “tow dollies.” A tow dolly is a two-wheeled device without motive power designed for towing disabled motor vehicles and is drawn by a motor vehicle in the same manner as a trailer.

(11)      Devices generally called converter gear or dollies consisting of a tongue attached to either a single or tandem axle upon which is mounted a fifth wheel and which is used to convert a semitrailer to a full trailer for the purpose of being drawn behind a truck tractor and semitrailer.

(12)      Motorized wheelchairs or similar vehicles not exceeding 1,000 pounds gross weight when used for pedestrian purposes by a handicapped person with a mobility impairment as defined in G.S. 20-37.5.

(13)      Any vehicle registered in another state and operated temporarily within this State by a public utility, a governmental or cooperative provider of utility services, or a contractor for one of these entities for the purpose of restoring utility services in an emergency outage.

(14)      Electric personal assistive mobility devices as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(7a).

(15)      Any vehicle that meets all of the following:

a.         Is designed for use in work off the highway.

b.         Is used for agricultural quarantine programs under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

c.         Is driven or moved on the highway for the purpose of going to and from nonhighway projects.

d.         Is identified in a manner approved by the Division of Motor Vehicles.

e.         Is operated by a person who possesses an identification card issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

(16)      A vehicle that meets all of the following conditions is exempt from the requirement of registration and certificate of title. The provisions of G.S. 105-449.117 continue to apply to the vehicle and to the person in whose name the vehicle would be registered.

a.         Is an agricultural spreader vehicle. An “agricultural spreader vehicle” is a vehicle that is designed for off-highway use on a farm to spread fertilizer, seed, lime, or other agricultural products on a field.

b.         Is driven on the highway only for the purpose of going from the location of its supply source for fertilizer or other products to and from a farm.

c.         Does not exceed a speed of 35 miles per hour.

d.         Does not drive outside a radius of 50 miles from the location of its supply source for fertilizer and other products.

e.         Is driven by a person who has a license appropriate for the class of the vehicle.

f.          Is insured under a motor vehicle liability policy in the amount required under G.S. 20-309.

g.         Displays a valid federal safety inspection decal if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 10,001 pounds.

(17)      A header trailer when transported to or from a dealer, or after a sale or repairs, to the farm or another dealership.  (1937, c. 407, s. 16; 1943, c. 500; 1949, c. 429; 1951, c. 705, s. 2; 1953, c. 826, ss. 2, 3; c. 1316, s. 1; 1961, cc. 334, 817; 1963, c. 145; 1965, c. 1146; 1971, c. 107; 1973, cc. 478, 757, 964; 1979, c. 574, s. 6; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1286; 1983, cc. 288, 732; 1987, c. 608; 1989, c. 157, s. 2; 1991, c. 411, s. 4; 1995, c. 50, s. 4; 1999-281, s. 2; 2002-98, s. 4; 2002-150, s. 1; 2006-135, s. 2; 2007-194, s. 1; 2007-527, s. 41; 2012-78, ss. 2, 3.)

A bull with a drinking problem?

Darling Wifey sent me this. Perhaps I handled the Ninja Cow all wrong and should have simply opened the liquor cabinet.

KALLMUNZ, Germany – This is a very simple story. Man gets bull. Man loses bull. Man gets bull back after gets drunk on two bottles of vodka.

It all went down in the area around Kallmunz near Regensburg. About six months ago, the bull escaped its owner and went rogue, reportedly hiding out in the Bavarian woods for most of that time.  According to Bavarian Rudfunk radio, the bull was causing concern in the area.
The desperate owner initially appealed to a local veterinary office for permission to shoot and kill the bull. He was denied. Over the course of six months, the owner then attempted to shoot the bull with tranquilizers. But the bull eluded him repeatedly.
The bull found his match in a local farmer whose yard he frequented. The farmer’s first attempts to apprehend the bull proved unsuccessful. He tried catch him with a rope while it was eating from a bucket but the suspicious bull wandered off as the farmer approached. The farmer was too concerned with the bull’s health to fire off a tranquilizer so he turned to a bottle of vodka in hopes of slowing him down.
Again, the bull toyed with his foe, gobbling down a mix of grain and vodka and then going on his way. But the farmer was not to be outwitted by a bull. A few nights later, he attempted the same move again, but this time with two bottles of vodka.
The bull saddled up to the bucket and took down the massive cocktail, after which he was apparently sluggish enough that the farmer was able to get a rope around his neck and cajole him into a barn.
The bull was returned to his owner and is currently on the ninth of the twelve steps. He was seen apologizing throughout the Kallmunz region.

NC Department of Revenue law change

Looks like some more regulations have hit farmers and farmers markets. Thanks NC legislature for making it just a little bit harder to be a farmer.

Here are the details as I received them in an email.

From: Jake Parker
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:04 PM
To: Debbie Hamrick
Subject: RE: Question about Farmers Markets and Recent Tax Law Change

After reviewing the specialty market statutes and talking with a couple of individuals who helped draft the recent revisions to the law, it is my opinion that: (1) farmers market operators are now required to maintain a daily registration list of vendors regardless of whether they rent or merely provide space to vendors; and (2) farmers market vendors are required to obtain a certificate of registration from the NC Department of Revenue (NCDOR) even though all of the items they sell are exempt from sales tax (e.g., agricultural products grown on their farms).

Here’s my more detailed analysis of the issue:

N.C.G.S. § 66-255 requires specialty market operators or operators of events where space is provided to vendors to maintain a daily list of vendors that discloses, among other information, the vendors’ NCDOR registration numbers. Prior to last summer, the statute applied only to operators of specialty markets, which are defined as locations where space is rented to a vendor for the purpose of selling or offering goods for retail. See N.C.G.S. § 66-250(4) (emphasis added). Under this old language, it was arguable that farmers market operators may have been able to get around the daily registration list requirement if they did not lease market space to their vendors. However, during the 2013 long session, the legislature expanded the scope of the statute to include “operators of events where space is provided to vendors.” The purpose for this revision was to assist NCDOR in executing its sales tax compliance checks.

Based on the revised statutory language, farmers markets are certainly “events where space is provided to vendors.” As a result, farmers market operators are now required to maintain a daily registration list of vendors regardless of whether or not they rent space to vendors. The revised statute also requires farmers market operators to make their daily registration lists available upon request to law enforcement or NCDOR compliance officers.

In addition, the revised statute clarifies that farmer’s market vendors must obtain a certificate of registration from NCDOR even though they are planning to sell only tax exempt items, such as agricultural products grown on the vendors’ farm. The prior version of the statute suggested that farmers market vendors may be required to have a NCDOR registration number because it mandated that farmers market operators: (1) ask vendors to show their “valid certificate of registration . . . at the time of registration [at the market]”; and (2) ensure that vendors “keep the certificate . . . conspicuously and prominently displayed.” N.C.G.S. § 66-255. But another statute exempted certain vendors who sell “farm or nursery products” grown on their farms or who locate at farmers markets from the registration requirement. See generally N.C.G.S. § 66-256. However, in revising N.C.G.S. § 66-255, the General Assembly nullified these exemptions as they relate to the registration requirement. Consequently, farmers market vendors must now secure a certificate of registration from NCDOR if they wish to sell their products at farmers markets. According to the NCDOR website, vendors who exclusively sell tax exempt items “are required to file a return reflecting $0.00 in tax due for the filing period.” See (last visited Jan. 21, 2014). As a corollary, the vendor must report and remit the proper amount of sales tax to NCDOR to the extent they are selling non-exempt goods.

I hope this information is helpful. I have pasted the revised text of N.C.G.S. § 66-255 below for easy reference. As always, please let me know if you have questions.


§ 66-255. Specialty market or operator of an event registration list

A specialty market operator or operator of an event where space is provided to a vendor must maintain a daily registration list of all specialty market or other vendors selling or offering goods for sale at the specialty market or other event. The registration list must clearly and legibly show each vendor’s name, permanent address, and certificate of registration number. The specialty market operator or other event operator must require each vendor to exhibit a valid certificate of registration for visual inspection by the specialty market operator or other event operator at the time of registration, and must require each vendor to keep the certificate of registration conspicuously and prominently displayed, so as to be visible for inspection by patrons of the vendor at the places or locations at which the goods are offered for sale. Each daily registration list maintained pursuant to this section must be retained by the specialty market operator or other event operator for no less than two years and must at any time be made available upon request to any law enforcement officer or the Secretary of Revenue or the Secretary’s duly authorized agent. For purposes of the registration list, the exemptions in G.S. 66-256 do not apply.

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 66-255 (2014 West).

Jake Parker
Legislative Counsel & State Legislative Director
North Carolina Farm Bureau
PO Box 27766
Raleigh, NC 27611
(919) 987-1244 (o)
(919) 605-5603 (c)
Twitter: @jakeparkerjr

I’m back, again.


Once again I’ve snuck away from the farm. This time it wasn’t for work, or to pick up a cow. It was to go to Las Vegas with some of my good friends and vacate a bit. We rode in limos, drove fast cars, attended SHOT, and ate some pretty good food. The five part mini-series on grass fed beef I just posted was caused by two things.

1. While in Las Vegas for 3 days, I had the distinct pleasure of trying to be 20 again and stay up late, coupled with the fact that I’m nowhere close to 20 and am a farm boy and get up at 0’dark early. The end result is I slept about 9 hours in 3 days, leaving me lots of time to work on posts for you fine folks while everyone else snored.

2. Las Vegas is known for their restaurants and food. They aren’t the “foodie” culture of Charleston or New York, but they do try to one up each other out there and serve something better than the next guy. I made sure to sample lots of beef and pork and came across the $66 grass fed ribeye that was the basis for the previous five posts. So my field research resulted in a pretty good result at only $13.20 per post.

So now I’m back and it’s time to get more farm related stuff published here. I have lots of details from the class I took last week, plus a new stock trailer that needs some pictures and needs some animals to ride. We also have our hog killing class coming up in a month which will get lots of press. And before we know it, it’ll be spring and we’ll be back to pictures of grazing and trample (CB, I know you cannot wait).

And just in case you were wondering about the fast cars. Here is one of my friends, post drive, trying out the fit of something he now desperately wants. IMG-20140116-00136