What is My Base State?

Corrina Peterson, Editor - Transport

September 14, 2021

 White truck

Interstate motor carriers must indicate a base state of operations under several reporting programs. The base state approach simplifies compliance by eliminating the need to report operations, register vehicles, and pay fuel taxes to multiple states for every vehicle operated by the carrier.


Carrier registration (UCR)

Nearly all carriers engaged in interstate commerce are subject to the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) program. Each carrier must register, report fleet size, and pay fees annually to its base state. However, not all states participate in UCR. But even though a carrier’s base state doesn’t participate, they must still register under UCR.

Under this program, when the principal place of business is in a participating state, that state will serve as the carrier’s base state. When the principal place of business is not located in a participating state, any participating state in which the carrier maintains an office or operating facility may serve as its base state.

When a carrier does not have a principal place of business, office, or operating facility in any participating state, the participating state that is nearest to the location of the carrier’s principal place of business may be the base state, or the carrier may select any participating state within their FMCSA region.


Vehicle registration (IRP)

Instead of registering commercial vehicles in every state in which they travel, carriers can register their trucks in the base state and have the registration recognized by all jurisdictions.

Under the International Registration Plan (IRP), “base jurisdiction” means the jurisdiction (state or province) where the carrier has an established place of business, where mileage is accrued by the fleet, and where operational records of the fleet are maintained or can be made available.


Fuel tax reporting (IFTA)

Rather than each state having its own fuel tax regulations, the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) allows motor carriers to maintain one license, carry one set of fuel credentials, and file quarterly tax returns with a base state. The base jurisdiction then distributes the taxes to all other jurisdictions in which the carrier operated.

Under IFTA, base jurisdiction means the member jurisdiction where qualified motor vehicles are based for vehicle registration purposes.


Let J. J. Keller expedite the process of keeping your vehicles operating legally — call 888.473.4638 to speak with a Compliance Specialist today or fill out the form below and we'll be in touch.