Anna Stoops, Extension Ag Agent, New Castle Co.; firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been an issue discussed at New Castle County Farm Bureau meetings and an issue on the minds of Delaware agriculture producers who haul their products across the Delaware state line into New Jersey. Until this past February, producers hauling agricultural products into NJ were required to have commercial vehicle registrations to cross the state line, which can cost significantly more than the Farm Vehicle registration (‘FT’ tag) that is offered to Delaware ag producers who haul their own products within the state. Thanks to the efforts of Delaware Department of Agriculture, Delaware Department of Transportation, New Jersey Department of Agriculture and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, with this reciprocity agreement DE ag producers who haul their own products in their own properly State of Delaware-registered Farm Vehicles may now transport their product across the state line into New Jersey without a special permit or commercial tag (and vice versa).
I’ve talked to several producers who haul over the state line, and this agreement is a welcome one. In theory, this agreement allows properly tagged and licensed DE ag producers to drive across state lines without being stopped by law enforcement and being cited for violation. However, you can still be pulled over and cited for violation of New Jersey or Delaware transportation laws if you are out of compliance with current transportation regulations/requirements or your vehicle load is overweight. The truck enforcement units are out there.
It is a good idea to carry the reciprocity agreement with you when transporting across state lines. Until this agreement becomes well-known, you may still be stopped in NJ for having DE “FT” registered tags, and it’s a good idea to have the agreement in hand. The agreement can be found at: http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/pdf/mvcdelfarm.pdf
Along with the Farm Vehicle registration reciprocity, Delaware and New Jersey also signed a separate agreement so that now both states recognize each others’ commercial driver’s license exemption regulations for farmers. Meaning, if you have properly and legally acquired a valid driver’s license in Delaware and transport your own agricultural commodity in your own properly and legally registered farm vehicle, you are now exempt from obtaining a commercial driver’s license to haul into the state of New Jersey. This agreement may be found at: http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/pdf/delcdlfarmers.pdf
For more detailed information and specific information on NJ farm vehicle regulations see the following links: http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/news/press/2009/approved/press090218.html
For more detailed information on Delaware Department of Transportation code relating to farm vehicle regulations see the following link: http://regulations.delaware.gov/register/february2009/final/12%20DE%20Reg%201114%2002-01-09.htm