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Question

Recently a friend told me that it was illegal for me to drive my pickup truck to go out to eat because it had a farm tag on it. He said the pickup could be used only for farm purposes. Is there any truth to that? I thought that paying less for my tag was a benefit for being a farmer. Are there any restrictions to having a farm tag on my pickup truck? If there are, could you please tell me what they are? What is the penalty for getting caught in violation of the farm tags restrictions if there are any?

Answer

Judy Houdyshell of the Marion County Vehicle Department says a farm tag does place usage restrictions on such vehicles.

“If you have a farm tag, it is supposed to be used strictly for farm use,” she said. “You can’t even go to the grocery store and buy a loaf of bread with it. That’s what they told us at the state.”

Houdyshell cited KSA 8-143: “A truck or truck-tractor registered for a gross weight of more than 12,000 pounds, which is owned by a person engaged in farming, and which truck or truck-tractor is used by the owner to transport agricultural products produced by the owner, or commodities purchased by the owner for use on the farm, shall be classified as a farm truck. Vehicles registered as a farm truck, also in addition may be used as follows: to transfer commodities without compensation for religious or educational institution, to transport sand, gravel, slag stone, limestone, crushed stone, cinders, blacktop, dirt or fill material to a township maintenance or construction site of the township in which the owner of the truck resides.”

Houdyshell and another knowledgeable source at the courthouse did say that farm-tag violations generally are not strictly enforced by law enforcement officers in this agricultural-based area-except when violations involve load weight limits. But that isn’t to say other usage violations won’t be ticketed.

If someone is ticketed for an improper use of farm-tag vehicle, it could result in a financial penalty. The statute itself states the following: “If an applicant for registration of any farm truck or farm truck tractor operates such vehicle for any use or purpose not authorized for a farm truck or farm truck tractor, such applicant shall pay an additional fee equal to the fee required for the registration of all trucks or truck tractors not registered as local, 6,000-mile or farm truck or farm truck tractor motor vehicles, less the amount of the fee paid at time of registration.”

Do you have a question about Daily Life? Send it to the Free Press, 116 S. Main, Hillsboro, KS 67063; e-mail: staff@hillsborofreepress.com

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