The following farm vehicles are exempt from registration, if they have and display an identification plate as specified in Section 5014, and the vehicles shall not be deemed to be implements of husbandry and they shall be subject to all equipment and device requirements as if registered:
(a) A motor vehicle of a size so as to require a permit under Section 35780 owned and operated by a farmer, designed and used exclusively for carrying, or returning empty from carrying, feed and seed products of farming, and used on a highway between one part of a farm to another part of that farm or from one farm to another farm.
(b) A vehicle equipped with a water tank owned by a farmer and used exclusively to service his or her own implements of husbandry.
(c) A water tank truck that is owned by a farmer, not operated for compensation, and used extensively in the conduct of agricultural operations, when used exclusively (1) for sprinkling water on dirt roads providing access to agricultural fields or (2) transportation of water for irrigation of crops or trees.
(d) (1) A cotton module mover, as defined in Section 36012.
(2) In order to maintain the exemption from registration granted under this subdivision for a truck tractor, when combined with a semitrailer, the owner of that truck tractor shall not operate it during the exemption period in any manner other than as a cotton module mover, as defined in Section 36012, and shall do all of the following:
(A) Register the vehicle with the department before operating it as a commercial motor vehicle.
(B) Apply to the department on a yearly basis for any renewal of the exemption from registration.
(3) Exemption from registration under this subdivision does not exempt a truck tractor, when combined with a semitrailer, operating as a cotton module mover pursuant to Section 36012 and this subdivision from the applicable safety requirements of this code or any regulation adopted pursuant to any statute, including, but not limited to, equipment standards, driver licensing requirements, maximum driving and on-duty hours provisions, log book requirements, drug and alcohol testing, maintenance of vehicles, and any driver or vehicle standards specified in Division 14.8 (commencing with Section34500).
(4) Truck tractors exempt from registration under this subdivision are subject to the fees imposed under Sections 9250, 9250.8, and 9250.13, and to any other vehicle fees that are imposed by statute on or after January 1, 1998, that are deposited in the Motor Vehicle Account.
(e) A trailer that is equipped with a plenum chamber for the drying of agricultural commodities.
(f) Except as provided in subdivision (j) of Section 36005, a trap wagon, as defined in Section 36016, that is equipped with a fuel tank or tanks. The fuel tank or tanks shall not exceed 3,000 gallons total capacity.
(g) A forklift truck, operated by a farmer not for compensation. For purposes of this section, a hay-squeeze shall be deemed a forklift.
(h) A truck tractor or truck tractor and semitrailer combination specified in this subdivision that is owned by a farmer and operated on the highways only incidental to a farming operation and not for compensation. This subdivision applies only to truck tractors with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating over 10,000 pounds that are equipped with all-wheel drive and off-highway traction tires on all wheels, and only to semitrailers used in combination with that truck tractor and exclusively in the production or harvesting of melons. The vehicles specified in this subdivision shall not be operated in excess of 25 miles per hour on the highways. The Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol may, by regulation, prohibit the vehicles specified in this subdivision from operating on specific routes. These vehicles shall not be operated laden on the highway for more than two miles from the point of origin and shall not be operated for more than 30 miles unladen on the highway from the point of origin. These vehicles shall not be operated for more than 15 miles unladen on the highway from the point of origin, unless accompanied by an escort vehicle to the front, and an escort vehicle to the rear.
(i) A motor vehicle specifically designed for, and used exclusively in, an agricultural operation for purposes of carrying, or returning empty from carrying, silage that is operated by a farmer, an employee of the farmer, or a contracted employee of the farmer between one part of a farm to another part of that farm or from one farm to another farm, on a highway for a distance not to exceed 20 miles from the point of origin of the trip. This subdivision does not include a vehicle that is used for the transportation of silage for retail sales. For the purposes of this subdivision, "silage" includes field corn, sorghum, grass, legumes, cereals, or cereal mixes, either green or mature, converted into feed for livestock.