Trailer Towing (Click here for Canada)

United States

Alabama

Maximum of 1 boat or general utility trailer may be towed behind passenger or pleasure vehicles.

Alaska

N/A

Arizona

Devices used for towing shall not exceed 15 feet from 1 vehicle to the other.

If a chain, rope, or cable is being used, a white flag or cloth at least 12 inches square must be displayed on the device itself.

Arkansas

Special permit is required if towed vehicle is not registered. Proof of ownership is required. Drawbar is required (maximum length 15 feet). Reciprocity is granted.

California

No additional requirements.

Colorado

N/A.

Connecticut

N/A.

Delaware

No vehicle shall be driven upon any highway pulling more than 1 other vehicle.

The drawbar or other connection between any vehicle and the vehicle it is towing shall not exceed 15 feet in length.

If the connection between 2 vehicles, 1 towing the other, consists of a chain, rope, or cable, there shall be a red flag or other cloth not less than 12 inches square attached to the connection.

District of Columbia

N/A.

Florida

When 1 vehicle is towing another, the drawbar or other connection shall be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed.

The drawbar connection shall not exceed 15 feet from 1 vehicle to the other.

When 1 vehicle is towing another and the connection consists of a chain, rope, or cable, there shall be displayed upon such connection a white flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square.

Georgia

No driver of a motor vehicle may allow a person or persons to occupy a towed house trailer while it is being towed by a motor vehicle upon a public highway.

Hawaii

N/A.

Idaho

Passenger or pleasure vehicles may tow 2 units behind them.

Illinois

N/A

Indiana

The maximum length of 2 or more vehicles together, including any cargo is 60 feet. The maximum length for 3 or more vehicles together, including a load, is 65 feet. The maximum load size in length is 3 feet beyond the front and 4 feet beyond the rear.

Iowa

When a vehicle is towing another, the drawbar or other connection must not exceed 21 feet.

The drawbar must be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed and must be fastened to the frame of the towing vehicle in such manner as to prevent side sway. In addition to the principal connection there must be a safety chain which must be fastened as to be capable of holding the towed vehicle should the principal connection fail for any reason.

Kansas

N/A.

Kentucky

No vehicle may haul more than 2 vehicles, connected in such a manner as to keep them evenly spaced, at any one time.

Louisiana

The connection between 2 vehicles when 1 is towing the other must be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed.

The connection must not exceed 15 feet.

When the connection between a vehicle and a towed vehicle is a chain, rope, or cable, a red flag or cloth at least 1-foot square must be displayed on the connection between sunrise and sunset, and a red light visible for a distance of at least 500 feet must be visible on the connection between sunset and sunrise.

Riding in towed trailers is prohibited.

Maximum of 2 trailers may be towed behind passenger or pleasure vehicles.

Maryland

If a trailer is towed by a Class E truck, it must have a GVW of 20,000 lbs. or less.

If a trailer is towed by a Class A passenger vehicle or a Class M multipurpose vehicle, it must have a GVW of 10,000 lbs. or less.

Class A and Class M vehicles may only tow the following: boat trailers; camping trailers; travel trailers; house trailers; or utility trailers.

A person may not occupy any mobile home while it is being towed on a highway.

Massachusetts

N/A.

Michigan

N/A.

Minnesota

N/A.

Mississippi

When 1 vehicle is towing another, the drawbar or other connection shall be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed. The drawbar or other connection shall not exceed 15 feet from 1 vehicle to the other except the connection between any 2 vehicles transporting poles, pipes, machinery, or other objects of a structural nature which cannot readily be disassembled.

When 1 vehicle is towing another and the connection consists of a chain, rope, or cable, there shall be displayed upon such connection a white flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square.

Not more than 3 vehicles in combination shall be towed by saddle-mounts, provided the overall length of the towing and towed vehicles shall not exceed 75 feet in length.

Not more than 1 motor vehicle shall be towed by a tow bar.

Missouri

N/A.

Maine

Only 1 trailer or semitrailer may be pulled by a motor vehicle with exception of a truck tractor, semitrailer, and full trailer on the interstate highway system.

Maximum of 1 boat or general/utility trailer may be towed behind passenger or pleasure vehicle; total length of both not to exceed 65 feet.

Montana

N/A.

Nebraska

The draw-bar or other connection between any 2 vehicles, 1 of which is towing or pulling the other on a highway, shall not exceed 15 feet in length from 1 vehicle to the other.

The connecting device between any 2 vehicles, 1 towing the other, shall have displayed at approximately the halfway point between the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle a red flag or other signal or cloth not less than 12 inches square.

Whenever the load on any vehicle extends more than 4 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body, there shall be displayed at the end of such load a red flag not less than 12 inches square.

Whenever the load on any vehicle extends more than 4 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body, and is being operated between sunset and sunrise, there shall be displayed a red light plainly visible under normal weather conditions at least 200 feet from the rear of the vehicle.

Nevada

N/A.

New Hampshire

Every trailer or semitrailer, including farm and agricultural vehicles, shall have, in addition to the towbar or coupling device, a safety chain or cable to prevent breakaway from the towing vehicle. Each chain or cable shall have an ultimate strength at least equal to the gross weight of the trailer and the load being towed. Chains or cables shall be connected to the towed and towing vehicle to prevent the towbar from dropping to the ground in the event the towbar fails.

Except for duly registered wrecking vehicles and transporters or motor vehicles towing with a chain or cable for no more than 1 mile another vehicle which is disabled and unable to proceed under its own power, no motor vehicle shall be used to tow another vehicle on any road unless the 2 vehicles are connected by a tow bar of sufficient strength to control the movements of the vehicle being towed without manual steering of said towed vehicle.

No vehicle may tow on any road more than 1 vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, except one used exclusively for agricultural purposes or authorized by the DMV to do so.

No person or persons shall occupy any type of house trailer or automobile utility trailer while it is towed.

New Jersey

Maximum of 1 boat or general utility trailer may be towed behind passenger or pleasure vehicle.

New Mexico

When 1 vehicle is towing another and the connection consists of a chain, rope, or cable, there must be displayed upon such connection a white flag or cloth not less than twelve inches square.

When a combination of vehicles are engaged in transporting poles, pipe, machinery, or other objects of structural nature which cannot readily be dismembered, the load shall be distributed so as to equalize the weights on the axle of each vehicle insofar as possible.

New York

No vehicle shall be towed with the use of a dolly, unless the dolly is secured to the towing vehicle by safety chains or cables which will prevent the dolly from separating from the towing vehicle.

It is unlawful to operate any open truck or trailer transporting loose materials, unless the truck or trailer has a cover, tarpaulin, or other device that covers the opening on the truck or trailer to prevent the falling of any material. However, if the load is arranged so that no loose material can fall from or blow out of the truck or trailer, the covering is not necessary.

North Carolina

No trailer, semitrailer, or other towed vehicle shall be operated unless such trailer is firmly attached to the rear of the towing unit, and unless so equipped that it will travel in the path of the vehicle towing it without snaking.

North Dakota

N/A.

Ohio

N/A.

Oklahoma

Every trailer, semitrailer, or manufactured home shall be equipped with a coupling device designed and constructed so that the trailer will follow in substantially the same path as the vehicle towing it without whipping or swerving from side to side.

Oregon

It is unlawful for a person to be a passenger in any towed vehicle. This provision does not apply to a 5th-wheel trailer if the 5th-wheel trailer is equipped with safety glazing materials on the windows and doors, an auditory or visual signaling device that may be used to contact the driver, and at least 1 unobstructed exit capable of being opened from both the interior and exterior.

Pennsylvania

When 1 vehicle is towing another, the connection must be of sufficient strength to pull all of the weight towed and the distance between the 2 vehicles must not be more than 15 feet.

If the distance between the vehicles is more than 5 feet, a red flag or cloth at least 12 inches square must be displayed on the connection between the vehicles. During the hours of darkness a red light shall be displayed at the same location in lieu of the flag or cloth.

Every trailer must be attached to the towing vehicle so that the path of the trailer’s wheels are no more than 6 inches from the path of the towing vehicle’s wheels.

Rhode Island

A tow truck or any vehicle towing another, except when designed to be in combination, when on any public highway divided into multiple lanes for travel in the same direction, may travel only in the right lane of a 2-lane highway, or the 2 right lanes of a 3- or more lane highway.

South Carolina

N/A.

South Dakota

In addition to the regular trailer hitch or coupling device, every trailer that is towed on the public highways at a speed of more than 20 mph must be coupled to the towing vehicle with a safety chain, chains, cables, or an equivalent device. This requirement does not apply to a semitrailer having a connecting device composed of a 5th wheel and kingpin assembly that meets the requirements of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Tennessee

N/A.

Texas

A person may not ride in a house trailer while it is being towed.

Utah

Every towed vehicle shall be coupled by means of a safety chain, cable, or equivalent device, in addition to the regular trailer hitch or coupling. The safety chain or cable shall be securely connected with the chassis of the towing vehicle, the towed vehicle, and the drawbar. The safety chain or cable shall be of sufficient material and strength to prevent the 2 vehicles from becoming separated and shall have no more slack than is necessary for proper turning. The safety chain or cable shall be attached to the trailer drawbar so as to prevent it from dropping to the ground, and to assure the towed vehicle follows in the course of the towing vehicle in case the vehicles become separated. The requirement for chains or a cable does not apply to a semitrailer having a connecting device composed of a 5th-wheel and kingpin assembly, nor to a pole trailer.

Whenever the load upon any vehicle extends to the rear 4 feet or more beyond the bed or body of the vehicle there shall be displayed at the extreme rear end of the load, between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise, 2 red lamps and 2 red reflectors located so as to indicate maximum width and maximum overhang. At all other times, there shall be displayed red flags, not less than 12 inches square, marking the extremities of the load.

Vehicles drawing trailers are prohibited from operating in the left-most general purpose lane on highways with more than 3 lanes traveling the same direction.

Vermont

There must be carried on each trailer coach at least 1 fire extinguisher of a type approved by the state fire marshal, in good usable condition and easily accessible.

Virginia

No person may occupy a house trailer or camping trailer while it is being towed on a public highway.

Washington

No person may occupy any trailer while it is being moved on a public highway, except a person occupying a proper position for steering a trailer to be steered from a rear-end position.

No vehicle towing a trailer may be driven in the left-hand lane of a limited access roadway having 3 or more lanes for traffic moving in 1 direction except when preparing for a left turn.

West Virginia

N/A.

Wisconsin

It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle towing a 5th-wheel mobile home when any person under the age of 12 is in the 5th-wheel mobile home, unless that person is accompanied by at least 1 person who is at least 16 years old. It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle towing a 5th-wheel mobile home while passengers are in the 5th-wheel mobile home unless there is a 2-way communication device capable of providing voice communications between the operator of the motor vehicle and the occupants of the 5th-wheel mobile home.

No vehicle with a load or fixture which extends more than 4 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body of the vehicle may be operated during the hours of darkness unless a red light or lantern, visible from a distance of 500 feet, is displayed on the extreme rear of the load or fixture. When such vehicle is operated at a time other than during the hours of darkness, a red flag not less than 12 inches square must be displayed on the extreme rear of the load or fixture.

A motor vehicle may be towed without being equipped with brakes if the GVW of the towed vehicle is not more than 40% of the GVW of the towing vehicle and the towing vehicle has brakes adequate enough to stop the combination of vehicles.

It is unlawful for a single vehicle to tow more than 1 vehicle unless the vehicles are being towed by the drive-away method and their overall length does not exceed 65 feet.

Wyoming

No person may occupy a house trailer while it is being towed on a public highway.

Puerto Rico

N/A.


Canada

Alberta

Riding in a holiday trailer, fifth-wheel trailer, or truck box, with or without a canopy, is not permitted. Riding in a camper is permitted.

British Columbia

A person must not drive or operate a motor vehicle and trailer unless the following occurs: the drawbar or other connection between the motor vehicle and trailer holds them together; the device which couples the trailer to the motor vehicle is firmly attached to a structurally adequate integral part of the frame of each vehicle; and the vehicles are equipped and connected with an auxiliary coupling device consisting of a chain or metal cable equal in strength to the principal coupling device. This provision does not apply where the coupling device is a 5th-wheel and kingpin assembly used to couple a semitrailer to a truck.

  • Except when the combination of vehicles consists of a motor vehicle and a pole trailer, the length of the drawbar or other connection between the motor vehicle and the trailer must be 6 meters or less to operate without a permit.
  • Tow dollies displaying valid license plates are exempt from BC licensing requirements for a period of up to 6 months.

Manitoba

It is not permissible to operate a motor vehicle that is towing a trailer on the highway unless: (1) the motor vehicle and trailer are connected by a drawbar; (2) the drawbar connection must not exceed 5 meters; (3) the attachment for connecting the drawbar, except for when towing a vehicle with a gross weight in excess of 900 kg, is securely affixed to the frame of the towing vehicle; (4) the coupling connection of the drawbar to the motor vehicle is secure; and (5) the drawbar and connection are adequate to prevent the vehicle from swaying, whipping, or weaving on the highway. In addition to a drawbar and a coupling connection, the towing vehicle must also have an additional safety chain or cable to: (1) prevent complete disconnection of the vehicle and trailer in the case of accidental disconnection of the primary coupling connection; and (2) prevent the drawbar from dropping to the ground in the event that the primary coupling device becomes disconnected and the additional safety chain or cable must not be fastened or connected to the ball, socket, eye, hook, or any other fasteners common to the primary coupling connection. It is not permissible to occupy a house trailer while the trailer is traveling upon a increases on a sliding scale with the accumulation of 6 or more demerit points.

Compulsory government insurance for all residents.

Manitoba does not have non-resident service of process law; has guest suit law.

New Brunswick

Every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, and any other vehicle drawn at the end of a train of vehicles must be equipped with at least 2 tail lamps, mounted 1 on either side of the rear of the vehicle, that when lit emits a red light plainly visible from a distance of 150 meters.

Every vehicle towed must be equipped with a tail lamp or a separate lamp constructed and placed to illuminate a white light to the rear registration plate and render it visible from a distance of 15 meters.

Newfoundland and Labrador

A motor vehicle towing a trailer must be securely held together by a drawbar or other connection.

The device, which attaches the trailer to the motor vehicle, must be firmly attached to a structurally adequate and integral part of the frame of each vehicle. If the towed vehicle is a gross vehicle mass less than 900 kg the device which attaches the trailer to the motor vehicle must be firmly attached to a structurally adequate part of the towing vehicle and to an integral part of the frame of the towed vehicle.

A motor vehicle towing a trailer must also be equipped and connected with an auxiliary coupling device that consists of a chain or metal cable equal in strength to the principal coupling device. This rule does not apply if the coupling device is a 5thwheel and kingpin assembly used to couple a semitrailer to a truck tractor and that assembly is securely attached to the towing vehicle. Also, the vehicle must not be operated with fewer bolts than were provided by the manufacturer or with any cracks or breaks in the securing attachments.

If a towing motor vehicle is equipped with a 5th-wheel assembly, the jaw closure mechanism and locking components must function properly and the frame assembly must be fitted with slide rails properly mounted to ensure that the trailer kingpin is securely engaged.

Northwest Territories

The certificate of registration for a trailer must be kept in the trailer or in the vehicle towing the trailer.

No person may occupy and no driver whose motor vehicle is pulling a trailer may permit a person to occupy a trailer while it is being moved on a highway.

No person operating a vehicle of 4,500 kg GVWR or less may tow more than 1 vehicle.

Nova Scotia

The attachment of a towing structure to a vehicle or trailer must be reinforced or braced to prevent distortion of the frame or point of attachment of the vehicle or trailer and have a strength equal to or greater than that of the trailer hitch.

A passenger cannot ride in a travel trailer or a mobile home while it is being towed on the highway.

Nunavut

No person operating a vehicle of 4,500 kg GVWR or less shall tow more than one vehicle.

No person shall occupy and no driver whose motor vehicle is pulling a trailer shall permit a person to occupy a trailer while it is being moved on a highway.

Ontario

No driver of a motor vehicle to which a house trailer or boat trailer is attached may operate the motor vehicle on a highway if the trailer is occupied by any persons.

Prince Edward Island

N/A.

Quebec

No person may occupy a trailer in motion or tolerate such practice. Where a trailer is specially designed and equipped for the transportation of persons, it may be used for that purpose in parades or other popular events provided the highway used is closed to all other traffic.

No person may use a road vehicle for pulling another road vehicle the wheels of which remain on the ground, unless the vehicle is firmly held by a bar.

Saskatchewan

N/A.

Yukon

No person may occupy or permit any other person to occupy a house trailer while it is being moved on a highway.