Which States Require Truck Camper Registration?

So you’re thinking about buying a truck camper, but aren’t sure if you need to register it in your state. You’ve come to the right place. Rather than spending hours researching your state’s motor vehicle department website you can look right here. You may need to do additional research on your state’s laws, but at least you’ll be able to see at a glance what your state does or doesn’t require. If you see something here that is incorrect or if your state has recently made a change in state laws, please let me know so I can keep this listing up to date. I consider this post a public service for the truck camper community.

At present, 10 states require that your truck camper be registered with their motor vehicle department. Some states require that it be done annually, while others require that it be done just once upon purchase. You’ll need to pay a sales tax for your camper as well. Why these states require truck campers to be registered isn’t a big mystery. It comes down to one thing—revenue. Some cash-strapped states will look for any way to generate income. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. It makes sense to register motorhomes, fifth-wheels, and travel trailers because they have axles, wheels, and tires, but not the truck camper. It has none of those things. Heck, most truck campers don’t even have a vehicle identification number (VIN) like other types of RVs. Because of this, and the fact they don’t have an axle, the truck camper really should be considered cargo. Fortunately, 40 states agree with this line of reasoning.

At this point you might be wondering about titling. The states that require you to title your truck camper differs, in some cases, from the states that require registration. At present, there are 10 states that require you to title your truck camper. What proof do you have that you own a truck camper in those states that have no title requirement? That’s a great question. Every truck camper manufacturer will create a Certificate of Origin when they build a truck camper. The camper’s VIN or an equivalent identification number will be on this form. This will be signed over to you when you purchase your truck camper from the dealership. This certificate is used just like a title if you ever decide to sell your truck camper sometime in the future.

Note: The requirement to register a truck camper only applies to residents of those states. So if you’re a resident of Arizona traveling to, say, Utah, you do NOT need to register your truck camper in Utah just to visit there.

I. List of States that Require the Truck Camper to be Registered:

  1. Idaho
  2. Indiana
  3. Maine
  4. Mississippi
  5. Montana
  6. Oregon
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Tennessee
  9. Utah
  10. Washington

II. List of States that Require the Truck Camper to be Titled:

  1. Idaho
  2. Indiana
  3. Michigan
  4. Mississippi
  5. Montana
  6. Nevada
  7. Ohio
  8. Oregon
  9. Tennessee
  10. Washington

Please like and share this article if you found this list useful and please let me know if this list has changed.

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About Mello Mike 295 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure Magazine. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a truck camper and Jeep enthusiast, and has owned and restored several Airstream travel trailers. He enjoys college football, hiking, travel, off-roading, photography, and fishing. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years and now works as a project manager for a major banking and security firm. He also does some RV consulting and RV inspections on the side.

25 Comments on Which States Require Truck Camper Registration?

  1. Hi Mike;
    I have a Calif registered truck with old TC (1970’s) no reg, no title…How safe is it to travel thru states where
    Reg and/or Title is required???

    Thanx Joe

  2. My husband purchased a truck camper years ago in a state where titles are not required, however we now live in Michigan and apparently one is needed here. Does anyone know how you obtain a new one? We would like to trade/sell but not having a title seems to be causing an issue.

  3. Dear Mike, congratulations for your nice truck camper site.
    My name is Takashi, I live in Brazil.
    I'm planningo to go to Central and North América and travel in the USA during one year.
    I would like to know if I must register may pop up Truck Camper in all States where I'll go.
    Thanks so much.

  4. After seeing Missouri needs registration for truck campers on your list I called the state DMV & I can tell you that there is no titling or registration on a truck camper in Missouri. For extra measure I called the state highway patrol & he came up w/nothing specifically on truck campers in the statutes just travel trailers/5th wheels. This draws the conclusion that Missouri doesn't recognize a truck camper as an rv but rather cargo in the truck bed.

  5. there is one big fall back with campers when you trade it in to a dealer in a state that requires a tiltle you have to have the original mso so it can be resold and titled so be careful with used campers in states that do not title them

  6. Maine requires that truck campers are registered. The fee is $12. Not many truck campers out this way; I don't think that this is heavily enforced!

  7. I am new to truck campers. What do you do in the situation if you live in none of these states and travel there or through them? Does this only apply if your truck is registered in the particular state requiring registration?

  8. Kentucky does not require you to license or register a truck camper. You do not have to license a travel trailer either unless you pull out of state.
    Only thing (camper related) you have to license in KY is a motor home, as it moves under its own power. Again unless you pull out of state, but even then a truck camper does not require anything as its the same as a truck topper…

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