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Do Tractors Have Titles? Should You Get One For Your Tractor?

Did you buy a new tractor? Did you only get a receipt upon purchase?

You aren’t the only one! A lot of dedicated gardeners eventually upgrade their work equipment with a garden tractor

But they quickly learn that buying a tractor is nothing like buying a car. There is no paperwork involved! You only get a receipt, and the tractor is yours!

This raises an important question that I’m here to answer. 

Do tractors have titles?

Unfortunately, this is not a simple yes or no question. Keep on reading! You’ll find your answer and the best solutions in the sections to come!

Do Tractors Have Titles: Answered

A John Deere Tractor

For many farmers, owning a tractor is a necessity. But this necessity comes at a high cost. You can expect to pay anywhere from $8,000 to $75,000 for a new or used unit. 

With such a high cost, it is understandable if you feel shocked when you only get a receipt upon purchase. When you make such a huge investment, it is only right to expect to get a title with it.  

Before we go any further, let’s determine what a title really is. 

What Is A Title?

A title, also known as certificate of title or a pink slip, is a document establishing the legal owner of a motor vehicle. This “legal owner” can be a person or a business. 

This document is issued by the state department of motor vehicles. It is a fundamental part of owning a vehicle, be it a truck, car, or motorcycle. But what about tractors? Do they fall into this category?  

Do Tractors Have Titles? 

Yes and no. Some construction tractors do have a title, but for the most part, the average tractor doesn’t come with one. The only paper that proves your ownership of the tractor is the receipt you get when you purchase it.  

The price of the tractor doesn’t have a big say in the matter either. You can spend up to $250,000 and it won’t bring you any closer to a title. You will get only a receipt, as if you just bought a can of soda at a gas station. 

This is pretty alarming, I know, especially when you can buy a car for $100 and still get a title. 

Differences By State

Some states have specific rules in place that make you eligible for a title. 

For example, if you buy a truck tractor in New Hampshire weighing more than 18,000 pounds, you will get an ownership certificate with it. This applies to brand new as well as used tractors. 

In Vermont, titles aren’t given to tractors weighing less than 6,100 pounds when fully loaded.

In both instances, you have to buy a heavy-duty tractor to get a title.  

Importance Of A Title

You may be thinking: What’s the big deal about not having a title? Buying a tractor is so much easier without it. No paperwork involved!

A title of ownership will give you peace of mind. 

If your tractor gets stolen, you will be able to easily prove that you are the legal owner of it. If you can’t do this, you might as well say goodbye to your working buddy.

If all tractors had a title, they would be much easier to buy from second-hand dealers. Buying a used tractor without any certification is a risqué business since you don’t know if it has been stolen

It would be a waste of money to buy a tractor, only to have the police knocking on your door, years later, telling you it is stolen.  

It is in your best interest to protect your tractor with some kind of paperwork.  Here are your viable options. 

Your Options

  1. Keep the receipt

When you buy a new lawn or garden tractor from a reputable store, you will get a receipt, no questions asked. But when buying from a second-hand dealer, you may have to request one. Either way, you shouldn’t leave empty-handed.  

Most importantly, you need to store this receipt in a safe and dry place, so the details on it won’t smudge or fade away. 

The safest option is to keep your receipts safe, maybe even in a fireproof document organizer. 

  1. Get a serial number

The next best thing you can do is to find out the serial number of your tractor. This info will give you some legitimacy in case you are ever asked to disclose it. The serial number will also help the authorities tracked down your tractor if it ever gets stolen. 

Having trouble reading the serial number on your tractor? You might find it on

  1. Send a postcard 

This step is optional. You can have the seller write the receipt on a postcard and send it to your home address. This way, you will have the federal date stamp as additional evidence that you are the true owner of the tractor. 

  1. Extra steps you can take

Last but not least, you can try going to a notary public to get more advice on the matter and get any additional paperwork filled. You can also try marking the specific parts of your tractor with identifying numbers and registering them with the local authorities

How To Protect Your Tractor From Theft

Since tractors don’t have a title, they are sometimes subject to theft. There are easily targeted since their ownership is hard to prove, and their serial number can be changed. 

You can prevent this from happening with the help of this YouTube video. Check it out!

YouTube player

Better To Be Safe Than Sorry

So, do tractors have titles? 

Not all. Most tractor owners don’t get a title. You’ll have to secure the proof of ownership on your own. Here is how you do this:

  1. Store the receipt in a safe, ideally a fireproof one.
  2. Check for the serial number of your tractor.
  3. Send yourself a receipt on a postcard. 
  4. Go to a notary public.
  5. Register certain tractor parts with authorities. 

The more steps you complete, the better. At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Do you have any more questions about this topic? Let me know in the comments below and also feel free to share your experience of buying a tractor without a title.

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About The Author

Nadya Jones

Nadya's the creative mind behind this blog, sharing her passion for landscaping, gardening and making spaces that nourish the soul. An entrepreneur and writer based in Raleigh, NC, Nadya turns imaginative ideas into inspiration, fueling home and garden dreams. Though Nadya crafts gorgeous posts and photos showcasing lush yards or blooming gardens, the real magic happens behind the scenes where Nadya's partner Brett provides endless support, implementing each vision with care and dedication. Brett's the one ensuring her creative concepts come to life. At heart, Nadya remains an imaginative soul, forever dreaming of whimsical details, vibrant hues and lush landscapes. Each manicured edge or blossoming bloom fuels inspiration, expanding her vision of what's possible in design and life. She shares her love for landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design in her blog, the one you are visiting right now. If you are interested in the same things, be sure to check it out! Also, follow Nadya on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, and LinkedIn!

2 thoughts on “Do Tractors Have Titles? Should You Get One For Your Tractor?”

  1. So, we found a local “buy here pay here” used car dealer. They often install trackers in their vehicles. We asked about them, made friends with them and got them to “rent” us a tracker. For $6. per month, we have a small plastic device. Smaller than a pack of cigarettes, and has a simple positive/negative wire. If we show up one day and see our tractor gone, we need only call the guy. He can then pull up a satellite location, to within 10 feet, of the tractor location. Anywhere in the country. We did this with a horse trailer once. A small atv battery, a small solar charging panel, and a tracker all glued to the top of the trailer. Stolen one day, the State police followed the unit and grabbed the guy on his way to North Carolina.

  2. Great advice! Unfortunately it’s a little late for me. Someone stole my Kubota about 2 months ago. Good news is they caught the guys and they had a pretty large stockpile of stolen equipment, so there going to have some time on their hands to think about what they’ve done! I did have tractor insured, but still waiting on the claim to be resolved, but I have my fingers crossed. You can bet on my next tractor I will use some of your suggestions!


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