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Canadian Towing Laws

*Breakaway required above stated vehicle weight.

0 kg (0 lbs): *Northwest Territories

910 kg (2,007 lbs): *Alberta, Manitoba, * Yukon

1,300 kg (2,867 lbs): *Quebec

1,360 kg (3,000 lbs): *Saskatchewan, Ontario

1,500 kg (3,308 lbs): *New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, *Newfoundland (Required if vehicles cannot be brought to a stop within a distance of 10 meters at 30 km/h from the point at which brakes are applied.)

1,800 kg (4,000 lbs): *Nova Scotia

2,000 kg (4,409 lbs): *British Columbia (Independent trailer braking system required where licensed weight of a trailer (excluding tow dollies) exceeds 1,400 kg or over 50% of licensed weight of towing vehicle; not required with motorhome towing with towbar a motor vehicle weighing less than 2,000 kg that is also less than 40% of motorhome GVWR.)


United States Towing Laws

0 lbs: *Kansas, *North Dakota, *Utah, Wyoming

1,000 lbs: New York, North Carolina

1,500 lbs:  *California, *Idaho, *Nevada, *Tennessee, New Hampshire

2,000 lbs: *Mississippi, *Ohio

3,000 lbs: *Alabama, *Arizona, *Arkansas, *Colorado, *Connecticut, *Dist. of Columbia, *Florida, Georgia, *Hawaii,*Illinois, *Indiana, *Iowa, *Louisiana, Maine, *Maryland, *Michigan, *Minnesota, *Montana, *Nebraska, *New Jersey New Mexico, *Oklahoma, *Pennsylvania, *South Carolina, *South Dakota, *Vermont, *Virginia, *Washington, *West Virginia, Wisconsin

4,000 lbs: Delaware, *Rhode Island,North Carolina

4,500 lbs: *Texas

5,000 lbs: *Alaska

10,000 lbs: Massachusetts


Provinces With Special Requirements

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

A vehicle towing one or more trailers in combination must have the coupling devices connecting the vehicle and trailers designed, constructed, and installed so that they do not deviate more than three inches on either side of the towing vehicle’s path when driving on a level, smooth, and paved surface.

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.


This information was collected from the Digest of Motor Laws 2006 and from a variety of third-party sources. While reasonable efforts were made to verify the information, Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation, its employees and agents do not warrant the accuracy of the information and disclaim all liability for any claims and damages of any nature that may arise from errors omissions. If you have any questions regarding state or local laws, please consult with the appropriate agency. (Updated Apr. 2007)

AAA Towing Laws