Farm machines, trailers and semitrailers used primarily for farming and ranching, including the raising of poultry and for use in feedlots, are exempt from motor vehicle tax. "Primarily" means at least 80 percent of the operating time. Other motor vehicles operated on a farm or ranch are subject to motor vehicle tax, even if they display farm plates.
The qualified farm trailer or other farm vehicle must be used on a farm or ranch to produce crops, livestock or other agricultural products to be sold in the regular course of business. A farm or ranch includes a dairy farm, commercial orchard, commercial greenhouse, feedlot or similar commercial agricultural operation that is the original producer of agricultural products.
A home garden is not considered a farm or ranch.
A farm or ranch trailer or semi-trailer, including a gooseneck trailer, is designed and can be used primarily as a farm or ranch vehicle. An owner must use a farm or ranch trailer in the production of food for human consumption, grass, feed for any form of animal life, or other livestock or agricultural products to be sold in the regular course of business.
A farm trailer primarily used by a farmer or rancher in processing, packing or marketing of the farmer’s own livestock or agricultural products is not subject to tax.
A farm trailer exclusively used by an agricultural cooperative in processing, packing or marketing agricultural products is taxable, unless the cooperative can prove the cooperative itself is the original producer of all agricultural products being processed, packed or marketed. The cooperative must perform the functions at a location it operates.
A qualifying farm machine includes a self-propelled motor vehicle specially adapted primarily for use in the production of crops or rearing of livestock, including poultry; for use in feedlots; or specially adapted for applying plant food materials, agricultural chemicals or feed for livestock.
For example, a flatbed truck modified with both a cube feeder and hay bale roll-out distribution device is a qualifying farm machine.
A standard pickup truck is not exempt as a farm motor vehicle, even though it may have a farm registration and may be operated with farm plates. The type of cab does not determine the pick-up truck’s eligibility.
A flatbed truck modified solely with a hay spear/spike, a hay bale roll-out distribution device, or a cube feeder of a size allowing the truck bed to be used for general purposes do not qualify as a farm machine.
A horse trailer with sleeping quarters is not exempt, nor is any trailer used for transporting horses to and from competitions or shows.
Under certain circumstances, an owner must register a farm tractor with the county tax assessor-collector. For example, an owner must register a farm tractor when it is used to mow a public highway right-of-way. Motor vehicle tax is not due since the definition of motor vehicle does not include farm tractors.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are off-highway units that are taxed under Tax Code Chapter 151 for limited sales tax. They are not motor vehicles as defined in Tax Code Chapter 152, so they are not subject to motor vehicle tax.
The type of registration and titling required by TxDMV does not determine tax liability. For more information on motor vehicle exemptions, see Agricultural and Timber Production page in this guide.