Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
International Registration Plan
The International Registration Plan (IRP) is for apportionable vehicles, defined as commercial motor vehicles engaged in interstate commerce (i.e., operating in more than one jurisdiction) with power units that meet one of the following criteria:
- Have a gross vehicle weight (GVW) over 26,000 pounds; or
- Have three or more axles, regardless of weight; or
- Are used in combination with a trailer for a combined GVW that is over 26,000 pounds.
IRP is a reciprocal agreement, meaning that when the vehicle is registered in the jurisdiction where the motor carrier is based, the registration is valid in all the other IRP member jurisdictions. Additionally, the IRP registration is “apportioned” because the fees paid to the base jurisdiction are divided among all the member jurisdictions in which the vehicle(s) operated. IRP member jurisdictions are the the lower 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the 10 Canadian provinces.
A base jurisdiction is where motor carriers may register, if they meet certain physical location requirements, their vehicles accrue part of their mileage there, and it is a place where they maintain (or can make available) the operating records of their fleet.
To use Florida as the base jurisdiction, IRP requires that the motor carrier have an established place of business in Florida. To have an established place of business as defined by IRP, there must be a physical structure located within Florida that is owned or leased by the IRP applicant or registrant. The physical structure does not need to have a land line telephone, but it must be open for business and staffed during regular business hours by one or more persons employed by the motor carrier, on a permanent basis, for general management of the motor carrier business. The staff of the business cannot be independent contractors or service agents who work for a carrier service that is paid a fee by the carrier to handle a particular duty, such as the credentialing or distance and fuel reporting.
Motor carriers without an established place of business as described above may still use Florida as their base jurisdiction if they (or an officer of their motor carrier company) are a Florida resident.
All applicants must provide three forms of proof that they have an established place of business (as defined above) or are residents in Florida.
For each registration year, Florida will issue an apportioned license plate and a cab card (proof of registration) to each registered vehicle. The cab card must be in the possession of the vehicle operator and/or carried in the vehicle at all time while the vehicle is being operated. These are the only registration credentials that the registrant needs for operating apportioned vehicles in any other member jurisdiction throughout the registration year.
In Florida, power units are the only vehicles that must have apportioned registrations. Semi-trailers must be registered at the carrier’s local county tax collector office. The following vehicles are also exempt from IRP (and require registration through the local tax collector office):
- Government-Owned Vehicles
- City Pick-Up and Delivery Vehicles
- Recreational Vehicles
These are defined as vehicles used for personal pleasure or travel by an individual or the individual’s family. The vehicle cannot be used in connection with any business endeavor.
- Vehicles Operating Intrastate Florida Miles Only
These are commercial vehicles that operate only within Florida regardless of their weight.
- Vehicles Operated with a Restricted License Plate
These are vehicles with a less than one-year registration period or that are subject to a geographical area, mileage, or commodity restriction. Note: Florida carriers with a restricted commodity plate can move specified commodities (unprocessed forest products, fertilizer, farm products, milk) within all jurisdictions, even though ONLY Florida appears on their registration document. However, back hauling (transporting a load on the return trip) of finished or unrelated products is strictly prohibited. Because of the special operational aspects of restricted license plates, these carriers are not required to maintain operational records. Before operating a restricted plate vehicle through other jurisdictions, Florida carriers should contact those jurisdictions to confirm they recognize Florida restricted plates.
IRP Registration Period
All IRP registrations are valid for a 12-month period. Florida uses a 10-month staggered renewal system, which means each IRP account is assigned a renewal month that ranges from January through October. When processing an original registration, the Bureau of Commercial Vehicle and Driver Services will designate the renewal month. The renewal month will be displayed on the license plate and cab card of every registered vehicle in that account. The license plates (and registrations) of every vehicle in that account will expire at midnight on the last day of the assigned renewal month. Enforcement begins at 12:01 a.m., the first day of the next month. (There is no grace period.)
IRP Registration Fees
The total fee for an apportioned license plate and cab card is based on the number of miles travelled in each jurisdiction. Miles accrued in a particular jurisdiction represents a percentage of total miles travelled. This percentage is multiplied by the specific registration fee schedule of that jurisdiction. In most cases, the declared gross vehicle weight of the truck or combined gross vehicle weight of the power unit and any trailer are also factors in determining the fees. Due to the volume and complexity of these computations, a computerized system calculates the apportioned fees. After an IRP application is fully processed and all supporting documents are on file, an invoice is generated and sent to the motor carrier. Below is an example of an IRP fee calculation:
Assume an 80,000-pound registered power unit (with a Florida-based for-hire operator) operates in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The total annual actual mileage for the power unit was 100,000 miles, with the amount of miles in each state, as shown in the following table:
|Milage||Percent of Total||Full Year Fee Per State||Apportioned Fee|
Penalty for Not Renewing IRP Credentials on Time
In accordance with Florida laws governing all vehicle registrations, a late penalty will be assessed on the 11th day after the expiration date, as follows:
|If The License Tax Is Due||Then The Penalty Will Be|
|At least $5 but not more than $25||$5|
|Over $25, but not more than $50||$10|
|Over $50, but not more than $100||$15|
|Over $100, but not more than $400||$50|
|Over $400, but not more than $600||$100|
Other Sources for information and assistance with IRP
The national IRP, Inc. website is a helpful resource for learning more about the IRP program and the provisions that apply to all member jurisdictions. Visit www.irponline.org for more information.
For assistance with Florida IRP registration or other IRP transactions, you may call the Bureau of Commercial Vehicle and Driver Services Customer Service line at (850) 617-3711.
A more complete description of Florida IRP provisions and requirements can be found in the Florida IRP Trucking Manual.