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Do SUVs Need Truck Plates

Do SUVs Need Truck Plates

Have you seen an SUV that looked like it has truck plates and wondered if that was necessary on all models? Well, if you have, we have the answer to why that is, and if truck plates are required on SUVs.

Owning an SUV is like having the best of both worlds because you get the seating of a van but the cargo space of a truck. This is largely due to the fact that SUVs are built on a truck chassis. However, the size of the vehicle and how much seating can affect what kind of plates you can have.

If your SUV has more than half of its interior dedicated to cargo space then you will need to get a truck plate for the vehicle. If less than 50% of the interior is dedicated to cargo space then a truck plate is not required.

If you would like to know more about this topic and why certain SUVs don’t have to get truck plates while others do, then keep reading and you will see all of the information we gathered on the subject.

Does My SUV Need Truck Plates?

In order to know if your SUV must get truck plates, you will need to take a look at a few different factors.

These will determine what your car is used for and if you will need to get plates that are made for trucks instead of automobile plates.

So, if you are unsure which type of plates you need for your SUV, take a look at the list below to figure out what your vehicle needs!

Seating Capacity

The main thing that will separate two SUVs from having the same license plate type is the seating capacity of the vehicles. To be considered an automobile, a vehicle’s interior must have at least half the space designed for seating.

For a typical SUV, this means that if you have more seats that you do cargo space, then you could be considered an automobile. However, if you don’t have at least half your space dedicated to passengers, then your vehicle is more like a truck and will need the proper plates.

If this is not the case, and there is more space for cargo, then this will not be considered an automobile, and will instead be labeled as a truck.

This is because trucks are not made for many passengers and have much more cargo space than seating.

Trucks are built a certain way and are made to move goods and equipment around. Although they may come with a second row of seats, they are not considered passenger vehicles.

If your SUV has seating in the back, this doesn’t mean that it is a passenger vehicle. You must measure that space and determine that 50% is meant for passengers if not, state law could fine you and you will have to pay a second time for the correct plates.

Truck Chassis

Another reason why most SUVs might be considered a truck is that they are often built upon a truck chassis. This allows the vehicle to hold more weight, whether that is from passengers or cargo.

Because these SUVs are made to be like a truck, it is understandable that they would be considered one by the state since they are made in a similar way.

A truck chassis makes the entire vehicle stronger and also adds extra weight to the vehicle. This can make it heavier than the average automobile and make it more dangerous for smaller vehicles when you get into an accident.

Unlike an automobile, which has a regular frame without a truck chassis, these vehicles are able to handle the tougher road. This allows them to go off-roading easily without any adjustments to the vehicle.

Size and Weight

There are many different SUV models available today, and because of this, they are often separated by their weight and size. This is what often makes them unable to use automobile plates.

An SUV that is very large, and fits into the weight range of a heavy truck will need to use truck plates. This is due to the fact that those who need to identify the vehicle can know the approximate weight just by seeing the truck plates.

This can be helpful to law enforcement officers, or paramedics who come upon an accident with one of these vehicles. Knowing the weight of the vehicle can allow them to know how fast the car was moving, and whether that was the probable cause of the accident.

Also, the size of the vehicle plays a role as well. Larger vehicles like trucks can vary in size and go from around 4,000 pounds up to 5,000 pounds.

With the average automobile weighing closer to 3,000 pounds, this is a lot more weight on the road. Some areas don’t allow heavier vehicles to travel on it, and seeing a truck plate will let people know that the SUV is considered a truck and weighs more than the weight limit allows for.

This will make sure that drivers with these larger and heavier vehicles are not being reckless on the road and are keeping themselves, others, and the roads safe.

License Plates 

Although many citizens think that having to pay for and maintain a license plate and registration for a vehicle is quite frustrating, everyone with a car must do it.

This is done to help law enforcement officers identify and track down vehicles that have been involved in a crime or are registered and drive by a criminal.

This is intended to help keep good citizens safer, and it can help keep track of stolen vehicles better than other systems.

So, because these plates are made to identify the vehicle, it makes sense that the license plate also tells the officer what type of vehicle it is, and why it is used.

For instance, work vehicles have different license plates than recreational vehicles. This is because they are subject to different rules and regulations on the road.

If that car were to be in an accident, that worker will not pay out of their insurance, but the company that owns it will cover it since the employee was driving a vehicle for commercial use.

In the same way, if police officers are looking for a specific vehicle, this may still be difficult to do when there are multiple models on the road. This means that they must rely on seeing the full license plate.

This is not always easy, and if the vehicle is moving, it makes things even harder. Well, if you can see the difference between a truck and automobile license on an SUV, then you can tell which vehicle is which without needing to see the license plate number.

Types of License Plates

License plates have many different purposes, but identifying a vehicle’s purpose and type is the number one use. This means that each type of vehicle will have its own kind of license plate so that people can tell them apart.

Depending on what kind of vehicle you drive, you will have a different type of license plate. There are options for automobiles, buses, dealers, trucks, motorcycles, trailers, and many more.

You will notice that there is no separate option for SUVs.

This makes it difficult for a vehicle owner to know what type of plates they should choose. Well, this should be an easy decision, but this actually depends on a few different factors.

Final Thoughts

Having an SUV is the best of both worlds because you get to have lots of cargo space for your things when you travel or go to the store, but you also have more seating than you would with a regular car.

Many people find that SUVs are the perfect vehicle for them because they give you everything that you need in a car.

They are also much more popular than the traditional minivan because they offer a cooler, sleeker style than vans do. Whether you need more seating for your growing family, or you just like having a larger vehicle for when you and your friends go on road trips, you will likely love an SUV.

But whether you like it or not, it is very similar to a large truck and requires plates that identify that. You just need to know if your SUV can be considered an automobile by measuring how much seating you have in your interior, the size and weight of the vehicle, and whether your SUV has a truck chassis.

The biggest factor is the amount of seating in the interior of the vehicle, so this is the best place to start. If you find that your SUV has more than 50% seating, then you can choose to opt for automobile plates.

However, if you find out that your SUV has less than 50% of the seating required to be considered an automobile, then you will have to get truck plates and register your vehicle as a truck.

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Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!