Closings & Delays

‘Ask Evan’: “Why do some dump trucks have two license plates?”

This week's 'Ask Evan' question comes from George R.  George asks, "I recently saw a dump truck with two license plates. One from Pennsylvania and the other from Maryland. Why two plates?"

I checked with the folks at PennDOT for an answer.  When a dump truck has both a Maryland and Pennsylvania license plate-- it means the vehicle is 'dual registered' in both Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Dual registration is used because the two states have different weight restrictions for dump trucks.

Maryland allows dump trucks to carry heavier loads than Pennsylvania because the federal government permitted Maryland to keep or 'grandfather' the weight limitations in its state law when the federal interstate gross weight limits were adopted in 1956, and amended in 1975.

Maryland prohibits Pennsylvania registered trucks from carrying the same loads as Maryland-registered trucks.  So instead, Maryland requires trucks be registered in Maryland before they may carry the heavier loads in Maryland.  So, to be competitive with Maryland-based companies, a Pennsylvania-based company may decide to register its trucks in both states if those trucks are regularly used in Maryland.

If you have question, send me an email to  Please put 'Ask Evan' in the subject line.  You can also reach out to me on Facebook at Evan Forrester FOX43.  Whatever the topic I'll do my best to track down answers you are looking for.


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