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A tractor is a very useful motor vehicle that is a necessity for those people who own huge properties. Tractors are very useful in various activities related to construction and agriculture, as, they reduce human labor and the time needed for conducting these activities. I am curious that why most of the farm tractors do not have titles or registration?
Globally, exemption of title or registration for farm tractors is common in practice. According to chapter 46.04 of Revised Code of Washington (RCW) vehicle which does not operate on public highways, bridges and tunnels do not require title or registration. However, a tractor used for commercial purposes like construction activities has titles.
I know it is not understandable that a vehicle with high cost has no tile or is not registered. It becomes difficult for an owner to prove ownership of a vehicle which do not have title or registration. However, there is a need to understand why farm tractors do not have titles or registration. Let’s see why tractors are not tiled or registered?
Why are Tractors not titled?
When government give a title to a vehicle and start its registration process it gets the following useful information for the vehicle:
• Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
• Vehicle’s make and type.
• Vehicle’s model.
• Vehicle’s manufacturing year.
• Vehicle’s weight
• Vehicle’s odometer reading.
All information mentioned above is available with a tractor but still, it has no title or not registered. I have found that most of the farm tractors are not titled because they fall in the category of vehicles under chapter 46.04 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Vehicles under this category don’t use public highways, tunnels, and bridges regularly. Moreover, tractors also have fewer chances of fraud or theft as compare to other vehicles therefore they do not have title or registration.
However, few tractors require title or registration especially used for commercial purposes like construction. Similarly, those farm tractors which are used in lawns alongside expressways also require title or registration. Many countries of the world even do not give a title or register commercial tractors as well, however, in Canada and the United States of America, all commercial tractors require title and registration.
Why are Tractors not registered?
Registration of vehicle is an instrument which government uses for collection of annual fees and taxes from owners of vehicles. The main purpose of these fees and taxes is to upgrade and maintain local roads, public highways, and the transportation network of a state which these vehicles use. Since most of the tractors especially farm tractors do not use these roads, expressways, tunnels, and bridges regularly, therefore they are not entitled to registration and to pay these fees and taxes to the government.
How to Prove Ownership if a Farm Tractor is not titled or has registration?
I purchased my farm tractor privately by paying cash and did not get any paperwork other than only a handwritten receipt. After noticing that the farm tractor does not have a title or registration, how can I prove my ownership of the tractor? I sought help from many attorneys and notary public in the town, who advised me that to avoid any confusion keep a copy of the purchased invoice which is your claim of ownership. However, if anyone does not have any helpful document; record the following items in the form of a document at the time of the tractor’s purchase:-
• Reading of odometer, write down the reading of odometer, the date and time of purchase of a tractor, take a picture of the odometer and save it with a date stamp like “Ford MX4000 tractor, reading of odometer on March 9, 2021”.
• Serial Numbers, note down all serial numbers mentioned on different parts of tractors. I also recommend that take pictures of all these serial numbers and save them with a date stamp same as mentioned above.
• Seller’s ID, take a copy of seller’s ID and attach it with cash receipt or any other document related to a tractor.
• The picture proves it is strongly recommended that take a picture with the former owner of the tractor while purchasing a tractor from him.
• Postcard, another important step is to ask the seller that he send cash receipt through postcard on provided postal address. Federal stamps on the postcard will act as additional evidence to prove ownership of the tractor.
• Extra steps, get a piece of advice from some notary public or attorney on the same matter and try to get any additional paperwork. Some specific parts of the tractor can also be registered with some local authorities for confirming ownership at the time of claim.
Do tractors have VINs?
All kinds of tractors have serial numbers or VINs which are usually printed on the plate of the tractor’s body. Various components of tractors like the engine and axle also have serial numbers. In serial numbers or VIN of tractors, the first three digits indicate the year of manufacturing of that tractor. Depending on model and manufacturer, serial numbers or VINs can be on any place as defined below:-
• On the floor or the console seat platform in the cab.
• Printed into the chassis, forward of the cab on the right or left side.
• On the tombstone.
• On the frame in the compartment of the engine or on the chassis.
• Behind the front wheel on the front chassis at left or right.
• On the chassis or transmission below the operator’s cab.
No doubt buying an expensive and necessary vehicle like a tractor without any title or registration seems odd and unsafe. Title or registration gives peace of mind to claim ownership especially in case of theft or stolen. However, by taking some prudent steps as mentioned above, ownership of the tractor can be ensured without any kind of title or registration. I would suggest that it is better to be safe than sorry by completing all the above steps and even some additional.