State Permits (IRP, IFTA)

Owner-operators need to understand state permits, particularly the International Registration Plan (IRP) and the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). These permits are essential for legally operating across state lines and efficiently managing fuel tax payments.

The IRP streamlines the registration of commercial vehicles that travel in multiple states. Under this plan, a single registration fee, based on the total distance traveled in each jurisdiction, covers all the states where the vehicle operates. This system eliminates the need for separate vehicle registrations in each state, simplifying the process. Each state’s share of the fee depends on the miles driven within its borders, ensuring equitable distribution of registration costs.

IFTA, on the other hand, standardizes the reporting and payment of fuel taxes for vehicles that operate in more than one state. By consolidating the reporting requirements into one quarterly tax return, IFTA helps reduce the administrative burden on trucking companies. Fuel taxes are calculated based on miles driven and fuel purchased in participating jurisdictions, ensuring fair allocation of tax revenue.

To comply with IRP and IFTA, owner-operators must apply for and maintain the necessary permits and documentation. This involves tracking mileage and fuel purchases diligently. Accurate records simplify reporting and ensure compliance, avoiding potential fines and penalties. Each state has specific requirements for applications, renewals, and record-keeping, so it’s important to stay informed about any changes in regulations.

IRP applications require detailed information about the vehicle, including its weight, intended routes, and travel patterns. Once approved, operators receive IRP plates and a cab card listing all the jurisdictions where the vehicle is registered. This card must be kept in the vehicle at all times as proof of compliance.

IFTA applications necessitate providing information on the miles driven and fuel purchased in each state. Quarterly reports must accurately reflect these figures. Proper record-keeping includes maintaining receipts for fuel purchases and logs of miles driven in each jurisdiction. Software solutions can help automate this process, reducing the likelihood of errors.

Compliance with IRP and IFTA also involves regular audits by state authorities. These audits ensure that reported mileage and fuel use align with actual records. Preparing for audits by maintaining organized and accurate records can prevent disruptions and potential penalties.