Temporary permits or permanent credentials: How to choose?
Carriers that operate in more than one state must decide whether to:
- Register their trucks under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and apportion under the International Registration Plan (IRP), or
- Utilize temporary fuel permits (IFTA) and trip permits (IRP).
To decide, carriers need to weigh two factors:
- The cost of purchasing permits, versus
- The resources needed to satisfy the administrative requirements of permanent credentials.
Consider the pros and cons of each option when deciding.
If travel is required to or through a state and a vehicle does not have IFTA and IRP credentials, temporary fuel and trip permits are required.
- Valid for a defined period of time or for a single trip.
- Can be obtained through wire services.
- Avoid extensive recordkeeping and the possibility of audits of IFTA and IRP records.
- Must be obtained from each state on your route of travel.
- Fees are determined by each state and wire services charge an additional fee.
- Some states limit the number of permits you can use each year.
For carriers that operate in other jurisdictions more than five times per year, permanent IFTA and IRP credentials are often the best option.
- Permanent IFTA and IRP credentials allow you to freely operate in any IFTA and IRP jurisdiction.
- Register with and pay to just one jurisdiction.
- Professional services are available to assist you in managing these programs.
- These programs involve annual renewals and considerable recordkeeping requirements.
- Every motor carrier may be subject to audit.
- Additional expense could be incurred if contracting for professional services.
Ultimately, the choice between trip permits and permanent credentials depends on how often your trucks operate across state lines along with the time, available staff, and training that you can devote to these programs.