If you’re an interstate trucker, the chances are good that you would benefit from getting IRP and IFTA registration. From the trucker’s perspective, they are quite similar. After all, if you need one, you almost always need the other. However, you may not understand the distinction between these two critical filings. Read on to learn about the distinctions between IRP and IFTA and why you should get both.
IRP shares registration fees across states.
When you register any vehicle in your home state, you pay a fee to that state to register your truck there. This fee goes towards road maintenance and other transportation projects within the state. If you’re an interstate trucker, however, your truck travels on roads all over the country. This means that other states are paying for you to put wear and tear on their roads. Meanwhile, your home state collects all the fees for itself.
The International Registration Plan, or IRP, fixes this problem. With IRP apportioned plates, your truck’s registration is recognized in every jurisdiction you’ll travel to. In exchange, your base state shares your registration fees with the other states you travel in. This way, the fees that you incur pay for maintenance on the roads your truck actually uses, not just your home state. IRP makes the registration fee system more fair for the states.
IFTA is about fuel purchases and use.
IFTA is a similar program to IRP, but it doesn’t care about registration fees. Instead, IFTA (the International Fuel Tax Agreement) concerns the taxes truckers pay on the fuel they use. IFTA proportionally shares the taxes you pay when you buy fuel across all jurisdictions that you travel through. This way, if you buy fuel in Arizona and then spend most of your time on the road in California, then California will get a larger percentage of your fuel taxes.
Just like IRP, IFTA creates a more fair system where the vehicles that put the most mileage on a jurisdiction’s roads pay towards their maintenance. However, IFTA does this for fuel taxes, making it a distinct entity from IRP.
Both IRP and IFTA are important for interstate truckers.
Despite their differences, both IRP and IFTA are critical for interstate truckers. They simplify the complicated system by which truckers register their trucks and file their fuel tax returns. If you’re an interstate trucker who needs help getting these registrations, the helpful agents at DOT Operating Authority can help you get what you need.