If you own a trailer in Nevada, you should be aware that towing a trailer comes with certain legal responsibilities. You need to make sure the equipment is safe. When a driver fails to safely secure their trailer and an accident ensues, that negligence could make them legally and financially responsible for any resulting damages. For this reason, it is crucial to understand Nevada’s state laws governing installation requirements and safety for trailers.
Title, Registration, and Dimensions
Under Nevada state law, all travel and utility trailers must be properly registered and titled prior to being operated on public roads. Trailers that are under 1,000 pounds need a state-issued small license plate that should be affixed to the trailer. The owner must always have a registration that is up-to-date. Failing to register or title a towing trailer can have consequences including a traffic citation and the inability to use the trailer until it is properly registered and titled.
While state law does not expressly state how long a trailer can be, there is a limit of 70 feet for its combined length with the towing vehicle, inclusive of energy conservation and safety devices. Moreover, state law prohibits a trailer to be more than 8.5 feet wide and 14 feet high exclusive of lights, mirrors, and other mandatory safety devices.
Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 484.593 mandates that any semitrailer, pole trailer, or house trailer manufactured after July 1, 1975 weighing 1,500 pounds or more must have all wheels equipped with service brakes. The brakes on all wheels on the trailer must have the capacity to remain applied for a minimum of 15 minutes should the trailer detach from the towing vehicle.
Semi trailers, house trailers, and pole trailers manufactured after July 1, 1975 that weigh less than 3,000 pounds do not need to have brakes on all wheels. Those that weigh more than 3,000 pounds must have parking brakes that are adequate enough to hold the trailer on any ground on which it is operated and under all conditions.
Lighting and Signals
Nevada law also mandates that all trailers have two tail lamps on the back that display a red light and are visible at a minimum of 500 feet from the rear of the trailer. These tail lamps must be mounted on the trailer, at the same level and widely spaced, at a level of between 15 and 72 inches from the ground. In addition to the tail lamps, state law requires that trailers have at least two stop lamps that activate when the brakes are applied. Like the tail lamps, the brake lights must display a red, yellow, or amber light and be at a brightness level that is visible from a distance of 300 feet from the rear of the trailer during the day. Turn signals are mandatory for most trailers built in the last 50 years under Nevada law. Moreover, NRS 484D notes that two or more red reflectors should be mounted on the back of the trailer as turn signal lights either separate or as part of the tail lamps.