'Farm use' cars to be banned

Finding that some people were exploiting Virginia's rule that was allowing some cars to escape DMV registration, Culpeper Delegate Ed Scott has introduced a bill which would limit "farm use" vehicles to pickup trucks, SUVs, and bigger vehicles. Under HB1277, which has now passed both House and Senate, cars would no longer qualify for farm use.

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I have never seen a passenger car with farm plates that wasn't being driven by someone who appeared to be an illegal alien.

Is this to raise money, go after illegal immigants, penalize farmers, who by the way are an endangered species in this country; I mean what is the point ?

If the vehicle is insured and has no visible mechanical defects then leave well enough alone. My understanding is that any vehicle (not tractor) on the road needs liability insurance.

that goes for antique and dealer tags too. They both require insurance so who cares?

Farm Use cars got to be an issue over in one of the western counties (Bath?) and the cops started writing tickets for improper use. Basically, what the state police told people is that Farm Use cars can be on the road to get gas and that's it. Seemed fair to me. Not sure if that helped solve the problem.

i saw a grey 99 nissan sentra with "farm use " written on a piece of cardboard taped to the back where plates should be. I would have to think any cop would pull that person over, right?

Tina - it seems your first comment has nothing to do with the topic at hand - you needed to add a second post to address what is being discussed here.
Flounder posted the DMV rules for all here to read - farm vehicles DO have to be insured. Echoing what's already been said, it seems the problem is not the law, but the enforcement. Your attack of bikers on Garth Road is irrelevant. You want bikers to be responsible when you hit them? The laws of physics state that when a car and a bike get in a collision, the biker is going to lose EVERY time. Most of us know this when we climb on our bikes but choose to take the risk anyway for various reasons INCLUDING the cost avoided by not driving a car. Garth road is not always a safe place for people to be biking. But it is also not a safe place for people to be driving 50 mph. Slow down on roads that are " 'SO' curvy".
Another part of the DMV rule reads "Operating a vehicle bearing an F-tag for non-farm use on a Virginia highway is a Class 2 misde- meanor. (Va. Code § 46.2-698(F))" If this piece were more strictly enforced, maybe there would be less ire among registration-paying motorists. But to say that going to the store is not farm use is to ignore the job that one really does when working on a farm. I am with farmkid on this. Go plant a garden and try to eat for a week only using what you grow. Try it for 2 days even. And then go thank a farmer.

As a person whos family has farmed in this community (Albemarle, Greene, and Madison)their entire lives let me say that farm use tags are abused. Much like cold medicines are abused those of use with legitamate uses are punished instead of going after the true law breakers. You want to impose a 30 mile limit on us? To get between our different pastures and the feed store is far more than 30 miles. Unless you are unemployed it is highly unlikely that farmers make more than you do. Farmers are the life blood of society yet are the lowest paid person in the human food chain. Farmers provide meat to eat, milk to drink, grains to make bread and the list goes on but everyone wants to beat on them and take their hard earned dollars. I would like to see anyone who is not a farmer do the amount of work a farmer does to provide for so many for so little pay. You wouldn't make it. To tax our equipment that is used to provide you food. next time you sit down to eat, be it a vegetarian meal or not, thank the farmers that provided the products that the chefs propared for you. Keep taxing and beating the farmers down and sit there and wonder where is my meal coming from. People move to a farming community but don't want the cow crap in their back yard. Go after the law breakers not the hard working farmer.

from the DMV web site... seems that they should just enforce existing law...

Registered Farm Vehicles (F-tag)
For what purposes can I use a registered farm vehicle?
Vehicles that are registered for farming purposes can be used to transport:
agricultural products to market or to other points for sale or processing;
materials, tools, equipment, or supplies that will be used or consumed on the farm;
anything incidental to the routine operation of the farm;
farm produce, supplies, equipment, or materials to another farm through a mutual agreement with the owner of the other farm;
forest products to the farm including forest materials originating on a farm or related to the regular operation of the farm;
forest products which originate on the farm.
Vehicles used on a tree farm are not eligible for farm registration unless the tree farm is also a nursery, a Christmas tree farm, or is part of what is otherwise a farm.

When I register my vehicle as a farm vehicle, will I be asked for information about my farm?
Yes. You will be asked to provide:
location and acreage of the farm or farms;
type of commodity farmed and the approximate amounts produced annually;
a signed statement that the vehicle will be used only for authorized purposes.

What are the requirements for registering a vehicle as a farm vehicle?
To register a vehicle as a farm vehicle, the vehicle must have a gross weight of 7,500 pounds or more (Va. Code § 46.2-698). Farm vehicles must also meet titling and insurance requirements.

How much does a farm vehicle registration cost?
To register a vehicle for farming purposes you will pay one-half the registration fee paid for a private vehicle; however, your registration fee will be at least $15.00. (Va. Code § 46.2-698)

Who may use farm vehicle plates?
Farm vehicle license plates issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles may be used on a vehicle used for farming purposes by anyone who owns, rents, or operates a farm of a size that reasonably requires the use of such a vehicle to transport agricultural products.

Can a farm vehicle using F-tags be used for anything other than farming?
Yes; however, non-farm use is limited to the personal use of the owner and his immediate family to attend church or school, to secure medical treatment or supplies, or to secure other household or family necessities.

Are there penalties for knowingly registering a vehicle as a farm vehicle when it will not be used for farming purposes?
Yes. Knowingly making a false statement on a registration application is a Class 6 felony. (Va. Code § 46.2-605)

Is there a penalty for operating a farm vehicle for non-farm purposes on a Virginia highway?
Yes. Operating a vehicle bearing an F-tag for non-farm use on a Virginia highway is a Class 2 misde- meanor. (Va. Code § 46.2-698(F))

Does a farm vehicle have to be titled?
Yes. Every motor vehicle operated on a highway must be titled, even those exempt from registration. (Va. Code § 46.2-600)

What are the insurance requirements for farm vehicles licensed with an F-tag?
When you register the vehicle, you must certify that it is insured or you must pay the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee at the time of registration.(Va. Code § 46.2-706)

I think this is a good idea because these illegal aliens use these tags religiously in Franklin County on hundreds of cars just because they can get out of paying for something that we all have to pay just because they worked on or work on a farm. That does not mean that the vehicle is used for a farm...it is used for transportations to a farm. Not just illegals but half the people I know get away with it all the time and who uses a firebird or taurus on a freaking farm??? A great number of them don't even live on a farm but have a friend who has one or they live near one and get away with it. I think they should make a College use tag where college students could get a break only if they were full time students. But thats just me and I am white so I probably will be called a racist for saying alien.

Some girl in my neighborhood (in cville city) drives a 4Runner with farm use tags around charlottesville all the time. It pisses me off every time I see it. Some cop needs to pull her over and ask her what farm she's headed to when she's on a residential street.

I think this is great--the other night I drove up 29N behind a pickup with a "Farm Use" tag on the back and nothing on the front. The original idea was that it would be for vehicles used *on the farm,* not on public highways and streets.

I met a girl once at Rivals...She had a "farm use" tag on her underwear..

Is that the same thing?

Here's what the delegate said in the Culpeper paper:

ââ?¬Å?It’s not the car you take to church on Sunday,” Scott said.

Here's what the law currently says:

non-farm use is limited to the personal use of the owner and his immediate family to attend church or school,

IIRC, there are 2 types of farm-use tags: those issued by the DMV ("F-tags", in the above legalese), and the kind you just buy at the hardware store and put on your truck. Sorry if I am remembering this completely wrong, but as I recall it, there is already a limit of 30 miles, and that is only when you have two pieces of farm land. For going to the feed store, it is different. A deputy in Highland County went all Barney Fife on people stopping at the conveeince store on the way home and had to be reined it, a few years ago. My memory of the exact regs must be wrong, because I remember that school is allowed but *not* church.

The main thing is INSURANCE. When I read it, it said your vehicle should be covered by your farm insurance policy! And that while you didn't need an inspection sticker, the vehicle should be in inspectable condition if you drive it off the farm.

Rob, yes, anything that operates on the public highways with and around other motorists should be registered, licensed, inspected and insured, In My Humble Opinion. Unless they are going for a very short distance... crossing the highway to get from one side of their farm to the other. Even the 30 mile limit in the above proposed law is way too much and will be abused as always. When is the last time you have seen a farm 30 miles long?

I suspect almost every farmer in Virginia makes more money than you or I do in a year. But I have to keep 6 vehicles registered, inspected and insured to operate them on a public highway.

People have been abusing the "farm use" exemption for decades. They'll drive to Richmond to pick up parts for the industrial equipment on their farms. I even saw an entire family roll out of an older Suburban at Wintergreen one night with "farm use" tags. Even if they were on official farm business, they were not using the vehicle in the manner the law intended. But they were there to ski.

It's just a law that never should have been on the books in the first place.

The law still doesn't go far enough though.

ANY vehicle that's operated on the public highways should be required to be registered, licensed and insured.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert says "ANY vehicle that’s operated on the public highways should be required to be registered, licensed and insured."

Should this apply to farm equipment such tractors, combines, etc?

I believe the problem with the exisitng law is enforcement. If a farm use motorist is stopped, he can easily claim to be travelling to a feed store/farm supply business. Most of them are located in town, near the barbershop/mall/liquor store.... I remember Judge Morton finally venting his frustration at a motorist and some deputies who had a Farm Use tag on an old Cadillac. The deputies who were asked about why they did not write more tickets replied that judges in the area ususally dismissed the tickets, so why bother.

When people walk into a courtroom and commit perjury, the judge usually has no choice but to dismiss a ticket. In the example I gave above about Wintergreen, all the family would need to do is claim they were attending a farm bureau meeting and decided to go skiing afterwards.

We have to remember this "farm use" law was originally drafted and passed by legislators who owned large farms and were looking out for themselves.

I saw a "farm use" vehicle in the Emmett Street southbound right turn lane going into the John Paul Jones arena last night about 7:30 p.m. They would not have been going that route and in the right turn lane unless they were going into JPJ most likely. And as we all know, there was no farm related event at JPJ last night. :)

I think the biggest problem with "farm use" is indeed enforcement. But only because so many cop shoppes have no clue what the law allows and what is not allowed. But, when a cop sees a brand new 2010 $55,000 Chevrolet Suburban with a family of 5 pulling into the Aberdeen Barn one evening at 8:00 p.m., he/she should be intelligent enough to realize that a violation is taking place.

The 2nd and 3rd most abused and misused license plates in Viginia are dealer's tags and antique motor vehicle tags. The problems associated with these would take 3 days non-stop to write about.

The deal is, you MAY register your "farm use" vehicles with the DMV and get official DMV "farm use" tags, but you don't HAVE TO...So we have a situation where folks are required to register and insure vehicles for operation on public roads, unless THEY DON"T FEEL LIKE IT!! In which case they can crudely daub the words "farm use" on the back of their vehicle and go on their merry way without insurance or the means by which others may identify who owns the vehicle. If they're feeling high class they can go on down to Southern States and buy a pretty red plate with those words on it.

Reading what the DMV really says about this is eye-opening when you see how all the rules for public safety and financial responsibility have this loophole which Governor Arnold remarked during his campaign against Grey Davis (referring to something else) "I could drive my hooomer through"

GBSOE is on target asserting that yes, everyone operating anything on the roads must be insured. After all, how much damage can a backhoe do to you and wouldn't you like to think the owners could be made to bear the costs?

I have friends who've used the farm use loophole for decades and are totally insouciant about it...

I totally agree with Gasbag on this one. Any vehicle that goes on the road should be registered, licensed, and insured.

I also believe that all the bicyclists that ride on the roads should have to be insured to cover accidents. I 'know' we are suppose to share the road, but what is right for one should be mandated for the other as well. It is 'SO' incredibly dangerous passing bicyclists on roads like Garth Road. The road is curvy.

As for the farm use tags. I see them on a ton of vehicles that you know for a fact is not a farm vehicle. Especially when the people live in the city. Going to the store, bank, etc...is NOT farm use. I am glad they are doing away with the farm use. Most of the vehicles that have these plates on them are probably not safe enough to be on the road to begin with.