You have 30 days from the date of purchase to title and pay sales tax on your newly purchased trailer. If you do not title the trailer within 30 days, there is a title penalty of $25 on the 31st day after purchase. The penalty increases another $25 for every 30 days you are late with a maximum penalty of $200.

Trailer definition

A trailer is a unit attached to and towed by a motorized vehicle designed to carry property and/or passengers. A trailer cannot be motorized or self-operable. A trailer may include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Homemade trailers;
  • Kit trailers;
  • Farm wagons;
  • Boat trailers;
  • Utility trailers;
  • Flat bed trailers;
  • Semi trailers;
  • Livestock trailers; and
  • Camping trailers

Exemptions

The following types of trailers are exempt from titling and registration:

  • Cotton trailers
  • Tow dollies
  • Certain hay trailers

To title and register a trailer in the state of Missouri, the owner must submit the following:

Proof of ownership

In most cases (as outlined above), the applicant for title will submit a Certificate of Title or a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) as proof of ownership. However, there are certain exceptions:

  • Out-of-State purchase – Some states do not title or register trailers. In those cases, the applicant must submit a bill of sale as proof of ownership. To verify whether a title or a bill of sale is required for a used trailer purchased from an out-of-state seller, contact mvbmail@dor.mo.gov. Your e-mail should include the weight of the trailer, as well as a description of the type of trailer and the name of the state where the seller resides.
  • Kit – A trailer that is purchased from a retailer (in- or out-of-state) as a kit will not normally come with an MSO. In that case, the applicant may submit a bill of sale or paid invoice.
  • Farm Wagon – An applicant who is applying for title to a farm wagon may submit a bill of sale, paid invoice, or a statement with the unit description, name of seller, purchase price, and all facts regarding how ownership was acquired.

You will pay

  • State sales tax of 4.225 percent and any local sales tax due on the net purchase price (the purchase price less trade-in allowance or other allowance, if any). Local sales tax is based on the rate where you live, not where you bought the trailer.
    NOTE: If you owned and operated the trailer in another state for at least 90 days prior to titling and registering in Missouri, no sales tax is due. Owners who have owned the trailer for less than 90 days and paid sales tax to another state, less than the amount of Missouri State and local taxes, will be required to show proof of payment of those taxes and also pay the difference of the two amounts.
  • $8.50 title fee
  • The applicable registration fee;
    • $7.50 – 1-year registration
    • $22.50 – 3-year registration
    • $52.50 – Permanent registration
  • $2.50 title processing fee; and
  • $3.50 registration processing fee, if applicable.

Estimate your taxes:

Homemade Trailer Inspection Requirements:

If you have constructed your own homemade trailer you will not pay sales tax when you title the unit, but there are special inspection requirements.

  • Less than 16 feet: The trailer must be inspected by an Official Vehicle Safety Inspection Station, to verify that the trailer is homemade ($10 inspection fee).
  • 16 feet or more: The trailer must be inspected by the Sheriff from your county of residence or by authorized Missouri State Highway Patrol personnel ($10 inspection fee).

When you apply for title at the license office, an Identification Number Plate will be issued to you. This number plate should be affixed to the tongue of the trailer's frame.