Purchased a new Denali 2500 (gas) a few weeks ago to be a daily driver. I don't tow or haul much at all--just wanted a nice big truck for the 6,000 miles I drive a year around town. I also wanted something that would be usable as a tow vehicle if the family ever gets a travel trailer. Here's the issue: I was told by the dealer that a D plate is required by the State of Illinois. My old F150 had a normal B plate so the idea of a D plate is new to me. The new truck has curb weight of 7,423 pounds and GVWR of 10,650 pounds. Per the Illinois Secretary of State D plates are for Division 2 vehicles with a weight of 10,001 to 12,000 pounds. Because it is a truck, it is automatically a Division 2 vehicle since it is designed to tow and haul cargo. Use doesn't seem to matter---it's about design as far as I can tell. The dealer said the GVWR is the weight that they must go by when registering the vehicle, hence the need to have a D plate. I've since done some additional research and learned that vehicles with a D plate in Illinois (with few exceptions) must be safety inspected every six months and display a safety certification sticker at all times. Both the inspection and the sticker come at a fee, of course. This requirement applies to vehicles used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. I wrote my state congressman to see if he had encountered these issues with other constituents. He provided the text below which is supposedly from his contact at the Secretary of State:
[He] does not have to get the D plate if he does not plan on hauling anything over 10,000 pounds. Since he states that this truck will not be used commercially, another option would be to get the C truck plate for $218.00. There are no inspections that need to be done with the C plate. The weight for the C plate is 8,001 to 10,000.
The dealer refuses to acknowledge this option, so I'm stuck with a D plate for $238 and to change, apparently, would cost another $218. What's worse is if I don't get the safety inspections I could be jailed for up to 30 days and face $1,500 in fines, not to mention the liability I would be assuming if the vehicle were in an accident. Limited information exists regarding D plates and whether they are really required. Much of what I could find on the topic is very dated. I can't find any information on what is actually inspected during the safety inspection. When driving around town I look to see if 3/4 and 1 ton trucks have a D plate and I would say only about 10% do. I have never actually seen a C plate on a vehicle. Most trucks that I've encountered are running the normal B plate, like my old 1/2 ton Ford had. So, my question to any Illinoisians out there: What plate are you running? Have you ever had a D plate and dealt with the safety inspections?