Do I need a trip permit?

Interstate carriers operating trucks between 10,001 and 26,000 pounds may need trip permits

Posted December 19, 2016

Permitting compliance for interstate vehicles between 10,001 and 26,000 pounds can often be confusing, especially when trying to determine whether the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and the International Registration Plan (IRP) applies.

IFTA and IRP apply to interstate vehicles with a gross weight or registered weight over 26,000 pounds, combinations with a gross weight or registered weight over 26,000 pounds, or vehicles with three or more axles regardless of weight (counting axles on the truck or power unit only).

When trucks or combinations are two axles and are at or under 26,000 pounds gross weight or registered gross weight, IFTA does not apply.

However, when trucks or combinations are two axles and are at or under 26,000 pounds gross weight or registered gross weight, determining whether you need IRP apportioned plates, or a trip permit, becomes a little more complicated. The states decide how they’re going to regulate these types of vehicles. About half of the states require trip permits or IRP apportioned registration to travel into, though, or within the states.

Under the IRP, vehicles that are two axles and at or under 26,000 pounds can be registered with apportioned plates at your option. Many often wonder, “If I’m not required to apportion my vehicles, why would I?” It’s a great question, but the answer comes down to state-by-state rules. Some states – not all, though – may require trip permits, or apportioned plates, to operate these vehicles in the states. Permits may be required for simply traveling through the state or engaging in intrastate transportation within a state. It all depends on the state.

Whether you apportion your vehicles between 10,001 pounds and 26,000 pounds will depend on the states in which you operate and the frequency of operation in those states. If trips will be infrequent, then trip permits may be best. However, if operating frequently in states that require trip permits for these vehicles, it may be easiest and most cost-effective to apportion them for interstate travel.

And, if you’re operating only in states that do not require trip permits whatsoever, then you’re off the hook!

The bottom line here is that when you’re operating these types of vehicles across state lines, it’s always best to first check with your intended state(s) of operation to ensure you’re meeting the requirements.


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