OGC Opinion No. 06-01-02

The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on January 3, 2006 representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Applicability of New York State Insurance Law § 9110 to Semitrailers.

Question Presented:

Is the motor vehicle law enforcement fee (hereinafter "the fee") specified in N.Y. Ins. Law § 9110(b) (McKinney Supp. 2005) applicable to a semitrailer?


No. The fee provided for in N.Y. Ins. Law § 9110(b) is not applicable to a semi-trailer.


No facts have been provided. The inquiry is of a general nature.


N.Y. Ins. Law §9110(b) (McKinney Supp. 2005) provides as follows:

The annual fee is hereby imposed at the rate of five dollars per insured motor vehicle registered pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section four hundred one of the vehicle and traffic law. Such fee will be paid monthly by insurance companies to the superintendent on or before the fifteenth of the month next succeeding the month in which such collections are received. (emphasis added)

Note that the fee will remain at $5 due to an extension to July 1, 2006 by Section 1 of Part C of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2005 amending Section 7 of Part Q of Chapter 62 of the laws of 2003, and that the fee will revert to $1 after such time unless the 2003 legislation is extended further.

In Opinion of General Counsel No. 05-06-18 (June 17, 2005), we stated that a trailer, as defined by N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 156 (McKinney 1996), is not a motor vehicle, as defined by N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 125 (McKinney 1996), and thus, trailers are not subject to the fee.

The term "semitrailer’ is defined by N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 143 (McKinney 1996) as:

Any trailer which is so designed that when operated the forward end of its body or chassis rests upon the body or chassis of the towing vehicle.

Thus, since a semitrailer is a trailer, the fee specified in N.Y. Ins. Law § 9110(b) (McKinney Supp. 2005) is not applicable to a semitrailer.

For further information you may contact Assistant Counsel Brenda M. Gibbs at the Albany Office.