IRP, IFTA, UCR, ABC, 123… Blah, blah, blah.
Do you guys remember the teacher from Charlie Brown? Every single time she spoke all we heard was, “Wah, wah wah, wah wah wah.” Complete and utter nonsense, right?
I imagine that’s how you think we sound when we are talking about all of the annual responsibilities we have as companies with a DOT number and the acronyms that accompany them.
But, when you start to understand what the letters stand for and why they are important, when we say, “IRP,” you won’t hear Charlie Brown’s teacher speaking! But instead, you will hear “Apportioned plates,” or “International Registration Plan”
So, let’s start with the different acronyms and what they mean.
Can you think of any?
I hope so, I gave you 3 at the beginning of this!
The most common acronyms we use, aside from DOT and CDL, are IRP (International Registration Plan), IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement), UCR (Unified Carrier Registration), WD (Weight Distance), among a few others.
But what the heck do those mean?
The International Registration Plan, or IRP, is something that I am sure a lot of you have dealt with before. In fact, if you are crossing state lines a CMV then you should have apportioned plates on your trucks.
IRP is renewed annually, at the time of year you initially enrolled/ established your IRP account and were issued credentials (plates, month/year tabs, and cab cards).
The cost of IRP will vary per truck. The newer the truck, typically, the more expensive the IRP cost. Think of it as very comparable registration on your personal vehicle at the county clerk’s office.
When I register my 2004 pick-up truck, it cost me less money to register than it does someone who drives a new BMW SUV.
It is important to remember that at time of renewal, you will not be issued renewed and valid credentials until you pay the renewal fees.
So, be sure to know when your IRP renewal is and ensure you have the funds to cover that cost, so you are not operating with an expired IRP registration.
For any questions on IRP, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org!
IFTA, more formally known as the International Fuel Tax Agreement. IFTA is one of the more time consuming annual obligations, especially if you do not keep your daily mileage logs accurate and up to date and you fail to document every purchase of fuel you make and in what state the purchase was made.
IFTA is one of those annual renewals as well. However, this process pops up a few more times throughout the year.
While we renew IFTA annually, we also need to file it quarterly! They do allow you a 30 day grace period so you have one month after the quarter to get it submitted to the state in which your IFTA account is established.
When you go to submit this report, you have to report, the exact amount of mileage driven in each jurisdiction, but that’s the state’s fancy way of asking for mileage driven in each state.
Not only that, but you also have to report the type of fuel you purchased, and the number of gallons purchased in each state.
The website will then do the calculations and it should show you a MPG (miles per gallon) determined by the data your provided!
Pro-tip- if your MPG is reading above 8.0 MPG, you should review your data and ensure you have not made any errors inputting your numbers, as 8.0 MPG on majority of rigs most of us drive is a bit high to be accurate. If it is below 3 MPG then you should review it as well.
Once you review your information, you will need to hit submit and then we play the waiting game. I make a habit of checking IFTA submissions morning and night every day after submission, until the return is accepted by the state.
At that time, you will be able to pay anything you might owe for that quarter, or you will receive a credit to your account. If you receive a credit, it will simply apply to the following quarters filing period.
You are obligated to have these reports completed by the 30th of April for Quarter 1, July 31st for Quarter 2, October 31st for Quarter 3, and by January 31st of the preceding year for Quarter 4.
At the end/ beginning of every year, you need to renew your IFTA permits. With that being said, your account needs to be paid up to date for the state department to issue you new IFTA decals and permits.
We know it can be tough to track all your mileage and fuel purchased, so we created a tracking log that makes it simple to keep an accurate log of your mileage driven and fuel purchased in every state.
To request a copy of the IFTA tracker sheet or to ask a question not addressed here, reach out to email@example.com for more information!
UCR or Unified Carrier Registration is another annual responsibility that many are unsure whether or not they are required to register and comply with.
So, let’s start with determining who needs to comply with UCR and who does not.
Those of you who are SOLELY involved in Intrastate Commerce. Whether you are transporting passengers, goods, or both, you are not required to abide by UCR regulations as long.
By SOLELY involved in Intrastate Commerce, I mean your goods are not coming from another state, even if you are picking them up at a dock, airport, etc. The same here goes for passengers.
Seems pretty simple so far here, right?
As soon as these goods or passengers start crossing state lines AT ANY POINT in their journey, your status changes as far as UCR is concerned and you need to register and for UCR.
Are there are more rules and exceptions to those rules?
Are you operating solely in the state of Hawaii? If so, you are exempt from UCR. If you solely operate emergency vehicles, you are also exempt from UCR.
If you are transporting placarded amounts of hazardous materials, you are also required to abide by and register with UCR that have crossed any state or national borders throughout their journey. Even if the product crosses state lines after or prior to your receiving of the materials.
Have I confused you yet? Still unsure on whether or not you are obligated to register and abide by Unified Carrier Registration?
Go to https://www.ucr.gov/ and click the box that reads, “Not sure if you need to register? Click Here.” This will redirect you to a decision tree that will ask you questions on your business operations and type of business you are authorized to conduct.
This tool will easily tell you whether or not you and your team are needing to register with UCR.
UCR registration uesually opens every November for the following year and is enforceable at roadside by law enforcement and DOT on January 1st every year. So if you need UCR, and have not registered it for 2022, you are subject to fines and penalties at this point.
Need help getting registered or have question that was not answered here?
Reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on getting your UCR up to date!
Now, obviously these are not all of the annual responsibilities we have! That would be WAY too easy.
For those of you that file IFTA, you are required to file NMWD or New Mexico Weight Distance through the New Mexico TAPS platform (Tax-payer Access Point System). To file quarterly with New Mexico, you will need to establish a NMWD account.
Another one you probably are more familiar with is something WE ALL need. Can you guess what it is?
MCS-150’s are important for us all and we are required to complete biennial or biannual (every two years) updates on these.
When you have to do this is determined by the last two digits of your US DOT number. For more information on your MC-150 requirements, please reach out to email@example.com.
Obviously, there are way more annual obligations than what was covered here today. We have to keep our DL’s up to date and valid, our medical cards, our annual DOT inspections, form 2290 for heavy use vehicle taxes, MVR’s, Clearinghouse reports, etc. and the list goes on.
For questions on what you should be doing annually or how Eclipse DOT’s team can handle everything for you so you don’t have to worry about it! (Say Yes if you want someone to do all the tedious paperwork for you!) Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!