Registering Your Teardrop Trailer with the DMV

When I originally went to register my teardrop trailer with the local DMV, it was a comedy of errors. First of all, since I purchased the trailer from out of state, I had to get it inspected by the DMV inspection department first. This ended up taking longer than expected because as soon as I pulled up to the station, all the available attendants went nuts over the trailer and had to get a personal tour.

Once my paperwork and the trailer passed inspection, I had to go inside to register it. After standing in line for about 20 minutes, I sat in front of a woman who had never seen or heard of the diminutive camping trailers. These were the questions she asked me:

Her: "What size is it?"
Me: "It's 5 feet by 8 feet"
Her: "It's 8 feet tall?"
Me: "No, it's about 4 feet tall and 8 feet long. It's 5 feet wide"
Her: "Can you stand up in it?"
Me: "No, you can't normally stand up in teardrop trailers."
Her: "How do you stand up in it."
Me: "You don't"
Her: "Then what do you do with it?"
Me: "You sleep in it."
Her: "So you camp in it."
Me: "Yes, it's a camping trailer."
Her: "But you can't stand up in it."
Me: "Right."

This went on for a while as she tried to envision this strange non-standing trailer in her head. I did not have a photo of it from the inspection crew, so I actually had to draw a little picture of the teardrop on a piece of paper with a stick figure next to it to show scale. The entire process took about half an hour.

After all this, my suggestion would be to have a photo of your teardrop with you at all times.

Photo by OregonDOT


  1. Christine,
    This is hilarious!
    I have yet to go to the DMV with my trailer, but you just saved me a hilariously frustrating conversation. Thanks for the tip: I will be adding a photo of my teardrop to my phone for just such a purpose! Great DMV photo too!


    1. I know! It was quite comical and actually created a crowd at the DMV worker's desk. Yes, come to the DMV with all your paperwork: purchases, original title, original license plate; anything you can think of that they could ask about.

  2. Hi, I have just discovered your blog and think it is fabulous. I live in Australia and have been an avid hiker from many years but I think those days are over and I am ready for something a little more comfy! I can't really afford to buy a new teardrop, but the building looks like a good option. Do you know of any women out there who have successfully built their own campers? Keep up the great posts and I love all the pictures and stories of other teardrop travellers. Sensational.

    1. Hello Ms OBrien. Thank you for your comment! I don't know of any women personally who have built their own teardrop trailer, but I do know a lot of couples who built their own together. There is a great thread for ladies only on the TNTTT forum. The forum has builders and teardrop fans from all over the world.

    Built HER own teardrop.