Last Updated on July 23, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
Is Jack’s pickup truck a commercial or a passenger vehicle?
Jack recently posted a thoughtful comment on Larry’s Blog. His challenge was parking his pickup truck overnight in a residential neighborhood. (Can you feel Jack’s pain?). That is to say, Jack’s pickup truck:
- Weighed in excess of 5,500 pounds
- Was not capped
- Was unaltered
- Had commercial plates
Meantime, Jack argued that his pick-up truck was not altered, and therefore, was not a commercial vehicle pursuant to the NYC Rules.
On the other hand, the parking ticket warrior who issued the ticket for “overnight parking” replied that if a vehicle bears commercial plates, it is a commercial vehicle (and cannot park overnight on a residential street).
NYC parking rules versus DMV regulations
It is essential to separate the New York City Traffic Rules from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle regulations for registering a pickup truck. I’ll summarize, In order for a pickup truck to qualify as a commercial vehicle under the NYC Traffic Rules:
- It must be altered.
- If not altered, it cannot be issued a parking ticket for overnight parking in a residential neighborhood because it is not a commercial vehicle.
On the other hand, according to the DMV regulations:
- if a pickup truck weighing in excess of 5,500 pounds with a uncapped bed
- Is registered as a passenger vehicle, and parks on an NYC street,
- It can be issued a parking ticket for improper registration
- Because the owner violated the DMV regulations that are incorporated in the NYC parking violation.
Furthermore, if an unaltered pickup truck weighing in excess of 5,500 pounds is properly registered as a commercial vehicle, it can still be issued a parking ticket for an unaltered commercial vehicle because a pickup truck bearing commercial plates must be altered.
I’ve written several blog articles about how to figure out if a pickup truck should be registered as a commercial or passenger vehicle. And, what happens if you guess wwrong.
That is to say, my analysis is a bit more complex than “if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck…Well, it must be a duck.”
Certainly, it behooves the pickup driving community to learn the difference.