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Understanding the Difference Between IRP and IFTA Permits

For business owners involved in the trucking industry, there’s more to it than just maintaining an efficient engine, understanding rules and regulations, and insuring your truck. Here are the most common issues for owners of commercial trucks and those are IRP and IFTA. Let’s talk about these in more detail.

What is the IRP and how does it work?

IRP, or International Registration Plan, is a reciprocity agreement across forty-eight (48) continental United States as well as the District of Columbia and 10 Canadian provinces. This allows truck fleets to register automobiles in one home location and pay apportioned licensing fees based on how much they operate in specific locations or jurisdictions.

This trip permit is crucial if a truck business, or a business enterprise that frequently uses trucks as transportation for goods, regularly operates at two or more States or provinces. Motor carriers can register their qualified vehicles in one place, presumably where they operate as home base, instead of for each jurisdiction where they conduct business.

Without the IRP, truck owners may have to obtain trip permits each time a vehicle ventures into a State or province that is outside its home base. This would open up the truck business for significant fines and sanctions plus other operational sanctions if they haven’t registered with an IRP and paid their taxes on time.

What is an International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)?

IFTA is something that you will regularly come across when you’re involved in the commercial motor vehicle registration and trucking permits. Both the IRP and the IFTA are required for vehicles that travel between two or more jurisdictions that are members of the IFTA. This means that trucks and vehicles that are used, designed, and maintained to transport people or property are included.

Once you have the IRP and the IFTA with the help of a permit solutions company, you will receive your Apportioned License Plate for your unit and also an Apportioned Cab Card that will list the State or province where the vehicle is permitted to operate. There will also be decals or stickers for your truck and an IFTA license that should be carried at all times inside the vehicle.

What is a trip permit?

A trip permit will be issued in the place of IRP credentials, but only for vehicles registered in their home base but that have not been given an apportioned plate and credentials to a place/location where the vehicle will immediately travel to. A trip permit is also issued to truck carriers that don’t intend to apportion with a specific jurisdiction.

What the trip permit does is that it allows a commercial truck to operate interjurisdictionally for a limited amount of time only. You could get a rate quote with us to fast track the processing of your permits.


Note that there are exceptions which means that recreational vehicles and government-owned vehicles are exempted from this requirement. You should immediately start processing for a trip permit by giving us a call for a quote so we can help you with your permitting requirements.

A bonus reminder is that you should also process for load permitting, especially if your vehicle or truck often loads property and goods that would need overweight or superloads permits. Talk to one of our permit specialists at Reliable Permit Solutions, LLC today to find out more.

2024-02-26T18:56:58+00:00August 22nd, 2022|Blogs|