Best Practices for Vehicle Registration Through IRP

(June 2019) - International Registration Plan (IRP) is a reciprocity agreement among states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, and provinces of Canada which recognizes the registration of commercial motor vehicles issued by other jurisdictions. Motor carriers register with and pay to one jurisdiction (their “base jurisdiction”). Registered motor carriers receive apportioned plates and are able to travel through all IRP member jurisdictions. Commercial motor vehicles either alone or used in combination weighing more than 26,000 pounds (11,794 kilograms), and traveling in two or more jurisdictions, are likely registered under IRP.

In recent litigation, plaintiff attorneys will attempt to attach liability to motor carriers via the IRP when at-fault drivers are neither operating commercial motor vehicles owned by or leased from the motor carriers, nor utilizing the motor carriers’ operating authority because the motor carriers failed to delete vehicles from their fleets.

Many motor carriers wait until the end of the registration year before deleting vehicles. However, the best practice is to submit a supplemental application to delete vehicles from a fleet during the registration year. This supplemental application includes an option to “turn in plates,” which is required to delete a vehicle unless another form is submitted regarding the registrant’s inability to turn in the plate.

The IRP directs motor carriers to contact their base jurisdiction for information regarding adding, deleting, or transferring vehicles in their fleets during a registration year. To contact your base jurisdiction for specific information regarding deleting vehicles, visit IRP’s Motor Carrier Homepage.

Author: Christine Hall, Partner, Atlanta

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