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Farm use requirements have changed

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By Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown, www.bedfordcountysheriff.org, 540-586-4800 Emergency: Dial 9-1-1

We are lucky to still have many working farms here in Bedford county and we all need to be aware of the change in Virginia law as far as the F-tag, or, FARM USE tags on vehicles.
    Cars can no longer be tagged for farm use, as per DMV. Pickup trucks, SUVs and bigger vehicles will only qualify for farm use. As of July 1, 2010, if you register a vehicle as a farm vehicle, you will be asked for information pertaining to your farm; its location and acreage, type of farm and amount of commodity your farm produces annually. You must also sign a statement that the vehicle will be used only for authorized purposes. Authorized uses include taking products to market for sale, transporting materials, tools or equipment that will be used on the farm, or anything incidental to the routine operation of the farm.
    Other approved uses include securing medical treatment or supplies and transporting family members to school or church. A farm vehicle must have a gross weight of 7,500 pounds or more, must be titled and registered and you must certify that it is insured. If not insured, you must pay $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee at time of registration. 
    If you have a farm use vehicle and it does not meet the outlined requirements, you must notify DMV and replace your farm plates with appropriate license plates. If you knowingly make false statements on a registration application, you will be charged with a Class 6 felony. Or, if you operate a vehicle bearing a farm tag for non-farm use on a Virginia highway, you will be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor. If you have any question as to these changes in farm use tags, please contact the DMV for full details pertaining specifically to your vehicles on your farm.
    I hope this clears up some of the confusion we have encountered since the change in July.  Remember, we don’t make the laws, we just enforce them!