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My guess is that if it were the law, then you could not have purchased it without it. Kind of like California Emission Laws. You cannot buy a vehicle there without the modifications done to it. I would assume the same is true for all states. You cannot buy a vehicle that cannot be inspected in that state. if you have an inspection sticker, you are fine to drive. Now there may be something about hauling rocks, sand, etc inthe bed without a cover.
 

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I don't know the answer for sure, but I suspect it may have to do with it being considered a "commercial vehicle". I know in NYC that regardless of what type of plates you have (commercial/passenger) they have they're own pretty wacky rules on what is considered commercial. If they deem it commercial you could end up getting parking tickets depending on where you park. I have never heard of the requirement to have a rear cover though. Used to be state law thay you needed a cap to register as a passenger vehicle, but that was done away with a few years ago.
 

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bboyg is right.

I from NY, I believe the law is any vehichle over 5,000 lbs is considered commerical. If you cover the bed you can get passanger plates. This happened to a friend of mine that bought a 4x4 QC. I think they got sticter as manufacturs where fudging vehicle weights or dealers would issue passanger plates ignoring the law.
 

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Never heard of having to cover bed but I know that depending on your plates, passenger or commercial, you will be restricted on which roads you can use, where you can park and the time of day to use some roads. If you have a 1500 you should be under the weight limit and be OK for passanger plates but any of the big boys are over and have to have commercial plates. Never heard of it being enforced except on the parkways. Check out NY State DMV FAQ should answer it there, good luck.
Rob.
 
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