In New York City, trucks and commercial vehicles are two distinct vehicle classifications. Determining the correct vehicle classification is important for properly operating a truck or commercial vehicle in the City, as rules and regulations can vary depending on classification.
Pursuant to Section 4-13 of the New York City Traffic Rules, a truck is defined as any vehicle or combination of vehicles designed for the transportation of property that has the following characteristics:
- two axles and six tires, or
- three or more axles
Pursuant to Section 4-01(b) of the New York City Traffic Rules, a commercial vehicle is defined as the following:
For the purposes of parking, standing and stopping rules, a vehicle shall not be deemed a commercial vehicle or a truck unless:
- it bears commercial plates, and
- it is permanently altered by having all seats and seat fittings, except the front seats, removed to facilitate the transportation of property, except that for vehicles designed with a passenger cab and a cargo area separated by a partition, the seating capacity within the cab shall not be considered in determining whether the vehicle is properly altered; and
- it displays the registrant's name and address permanently affixed in characters at least three inches high on both sides of the vehicle, with such display being in a color contrasting with that of the vehicle and placed approximately midway vertically on doors or side panels.
For the purposes other than parking, stopping and standing rules, a vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of property or for the provision of commercial services and bearing commercial plates is considered a commercial vehicle.
Vehicles from other states or countries bearing commercial or equivalent registration plates from other states or countries shall not be deemed trucks or commercial vehicles unless they are permanently altered and marked as required in the above bulleted list.