Whether you live in Georgia or are planning to take a road trip across multiple states with a heavy load, be clear on Georgia trailer towing laws since violating them could net you a traffic citation that comes with a fine. Even if you are following the rules in one state, you could be in violation of Georgia trailer laws once you cross the state line.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Georgia utility trailer laws require that you properly register your trailer as well as outfit it for safety and drive according to specific regulations.
Requirements for Utility Trailer Registration in Georgia
Assuming you own a utility trailer in Georgia, the state requires that you have it properly registered. Before you can register any vehicle in this state, you must first have a valid Georgia driver's license. Once you have this, it's a requirement that you register any vehicle at your County Tag Office.
Universal Utility Trailer Requirements
Whether you are in Georgia or not, every U.S. state requires that your utility trailer have two features. First, it must have working taillights as a basic safety feature. Second, it needs to have a visible license plate with its own light.
Most U.S. states, including Georgia, also require such things as safety chains, brake lights, reflectors and turn signals. Specifically, Georgia requires that you affix lights on your trailer no higher than 60 inches or lower than 20 inches and that they can be seen from 500 feet to the rear and at up to a 180-degree angle.
Georgia Trailer Towing Laws
Georgia law mandates a speed limit when towing a trailer of 55 mph on the highway and 30 mph in a residential or urban district. You cannot have a person riding in your trailer while it is moving.
Some of Georgia's laws applying to trailers are based on the size and weight of the trailer. These include:
- If your trailer is over eight-feet wide and you are carrying over 3,000 pounds, you need a special permit and your trailer must have brakes.
- If you a pulling a large, swinging trailer, the state may require that you take a special driving course.
- If you have a very large trailer, be aware that the maximum allowable size of a trailer in Georgia is 60 feet in length, 96 inches in width (102 inches on certain roads) and 13.5 feet in height.
Using a utility trailer for business also comes with some requirements. A vehicle and trailer used for business that has a combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,001 lbs or more is subject to Federal Safety Regulations. These require that you have a medical qualification, obtain a DOT number, and adhere to hours-of-service regulations.
Georgia Trailer Safety Laws
When you pull a utility trailer on a public road, you have a duty to keep others safe from harm. Georgia will enforce laws related to road hazards if you are pulling a trailer that law enforcement believes is a hazard. This might mean that your trailer has bald tires, isn't of sound construction, or is so poorly loaded that objects could become projectiles over bumps or in inclement weather. For these reasons, you should take care when maintaining and loading your trailer for transport.
- Georgia Department of Public Safety: Motor Carrier Compliance Division FAQ
- Georgia Department of Revenue: County Tag Office
- Justia U.S. Law: 2010 Georgia Code TITLE 40 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC CHAPTER 8 - EQUIPMENT AND INSPECTION OF MOTOR VEHICLES ARTICLE 1 - EQUIPMENT GENERALLY PART 2 - LIGHTING EQUIPMENT § 40-8-23 - Taillights