Reader Question: Farm Use Tags?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Derek asks: I’ve heard you can avoid having to renew annual registration as well as “safety” inspections by slapping Farm Use tags on your vehicle. Is this true?

My reply: Yes – with an asterisk.

Farm Use tags are similar to Antique tags in that they are permanent (i.e., no annual renewal fees) but also in that they are restricted. Technically – legally – a vehicle with Antique tags is only allowed to operate on public roads for “testing purposes” and to/from car shows. If an armed government worker thinks you’re using your Antique-tagged vehicle for regular transportation, he can hassle – and mulct – you.

Same goes for the Farm tags. You’re only supposed to use your Farm-tagged vehicle to deliver/get farm-related stuff (e.g., hay, deliver produce, transport livestock, etc.).

As a practical matter – in my experience – you can “get away” with driving around using either tag if your vehicle matches the tag.

What I mean by that is – as regards Antique tags – that the car look like an antique. Not an old piece of shit. I have never had an issue with AGWs while out driving my ’76 TA because it’s obviously a well-kept antique muscle car. But I expect I would have a problem if I drove around in a ragged out ’92 Taurus with Antique tags on it.

Similarly, Farm tags.

I could put them on my old truck and – with some hay in the bed – I doubt I’d get hassled and if I did, I could point out that I do have a farm (technically). But Farm Use tags on the ’92 Taurus and registered to someone who lives in suburbia probably isn’t going to cut it.

PS: With either tag, you’re still legally required to carry state minimum liability insurance.

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  1. No such thing as farm plates in Montana, but at year 11 you can pay extra and get non-expiring plates on any vehicle (well, probably not a semi…?).

    But even with only a 40 acre “homestead” we have “farm truck” insurance on several of our vehicles.

  2. In Texas you have to prove you have a farm, an easy task and you get a break on the cost of tags but inspection is still part of it. In fact, it’s all tied together so you get an inspection, take the slip of paper along with your proof of insurance to get tags. They all come due at the same time.

    Hooking up to the boat or the travel trailer will get you a ticket when an AGW notices.


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