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VIN for utility, farm trailers now needed

January 9, 2019

Owners of farm and utility trailers across Nebraska will now be asked to include the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) when registering or renewing trailers in 2019.

The new policy began on Jan. 1, in which owners of utility or farm trailers will be asked to include the VIN of their utility or farm trailer when registering their trailer for the first time, or when renewing their registration, according to information released by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles.

“This is an important step to bringing the registration of utility and farm trailers into line with other, similar types of trailer,” Rhonda Lahm, director of the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles, said in a released statement.

If the trailer does not have a VIN, or if the VIN is unknown, the county treasurer’s office will provide one. The county treasurer will also provide a decal to display the assigned VIN on the trailer at no additional cost to the owner.

“By including the VIN, or allocating a VIN to a trailer which doesn’t have one, we are able to track ownership of trailers more accurately,” Lahm said. “In the event of theft, a VIN displayed on the trailer and registration document will assist in pairing the trailer with its owner.”

In 2017, there were 184,770 utility and 81,784 farm trailers registered in Nebraska.

According to Administrator of the Driver and Vehicle Record Division Betty Johnson, tracking ownership of trailers can be difficult without recording a VIN.

“The new information will ensure greater consistency in how trailers are registered and result in us providing a more comprehensive service to our customers,” she said in a released statement.

She added that the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles has been working with county treasurer offices and agricultural groups across the state to prepare for the change.

Existing owners of utility and farm trailers are not required to provide a VIN until their registrations are up for renewal.

“At that time, they can renew their trailer as normal and include the trailer VIN to ensure it is properly registered,” Johnson said.

In Dodge County, new trailer registration is completed at the Dodge County Treasurer Office located in the Dodge County Courthouse at 435 N. Park Ave., in Fremont.

According to Dodge County Treasurer Gail Bargstadt, her office has already registered several trailers and provided VIN decals for newly registered trailers.

“We’ve already had a few, even with it still being early in the year,” she said. “It’s not a huge change to the process. Now we just ask for a VIN.”

With the change, Bargstadt reminds local trailer owners to check if their trailers do or do not have a VIN before coming in for registration.

“Hopefully, people will start looking at their trailers to determine if there is a VIN before coming in — if just to save themselves from having to come back in if they are unsure,” she said.

She added that farm and utility trailer owners who do have trailers with a VIN can just take a photo of the VIN and bring that in when they come to the Dodge County Treasurer’s Office for registration.

Renewals can also be completed online at dmv.nebraska.gov and by mail, and Bargstadt said her office can send out VIN decals by mail — but that owners who renew by mail may be contacted to find out if there is already a VIN on the trailer they are renewing.

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