Derate Trailer VIN

Derate Trailer VIN

At Pono Trailers, we offer the option to derate your trailer's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to 9,990 lbs during the purchase process. If you wish to derate your trailer to a different weight, please contact us directly.

Why Consider Derating Your Trailer's VIN?

There are two primary reasons to consider this option:

1. Your vehicle may not be legally permitted to tow a higher-rated trailer, but towing a derated trailer is permissible.
2. You may wish to avoid obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or class 4 license.

Implications of Derating a Trailer's VIN

Once a trailer's VIN is derated, the driver must adhere to the new Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) listed on the VIN. For instance, if a 14,900 lbs GVWR trailer is derated to 9,990 lbs GVWR and the empty trailer weighs 4,000 lbs, the Department of Transportation (DOT) legal payload is 5,990 lbs.

GVWR - Empty Trailer Weight = Legal Payload
14,900 lbs - 4,000 lbs = 5,990 lbs

Hawaii Licensing Requirements

In Hawaii, a class 4 driver's license is required for any single vehicle with a GVWR of 18,001 -26,000 pounds or any combination of vehicles where the lead vehicle GVWR is 18,001 - 26,000 pounds and the combined GVWR is 26,000 pounds or less.

A class A CDL is required for any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 lbs or more, provided that the GVWR of the vehicles being towed is in excess of 10,000 lbs.

A class B CDL is required for any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more, and any towed vehicle not exceeding 10,000 lbs.

A class C CDL is required for any single vehicle or combination of vehicles with a GVWR or GCWR less than 26,001 lbs and is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or used in the transportation of hazardous materials which requires the vehicle to comply with 49 C.F.R., Part 172, Subpart F.

CDL Quick Check

Pono Trailers Legal Disclaimer

Pono Trailers does not endorse or condone illegal activities, including exceeding the legal payload inscribed on the VIN or driving without a required commercial driver's license. If the VIN is derated, you are legally obligated to comply with all local, county, state, and federal laws associated with the lower VIN.

Please note that commercial driver's licenses may be required in certain states and counties for commercial use of the trailer, regardless of the trailer’s GVWR or GCVWR. The licensing requirements mentioned above are specific to Hawaii. If you reside outside of Hawaii, please review all applicable local, county, state, and federal laws.

For more information on licensing requirements within Hawaii, please refer to this government link:


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