Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Truck Registration

What are the requirements to start a trucking company in Oregon?

graphic of truck
Requirements for a new trucking company include establishing an account with the Oregon DOT, Motor Carrier Transportation Division.

A new motor carrier completes an Application for Motor Carrier Account -- Form 735-9075.

To register a truck to operate only within Oregon, the carrier completes an Oregon Commercial Registration Application -- Form 735-9691. 

To register a truck to also operate in other states and Canada, the carrier completes an Oregon Application for IRP and/or IFTA International Registration Plan - Schedule A International Fuel Tax Agreement-License Application -- Form 735-9908.

To haul for-hire from point to point within Oregon, the carrier completes an Application for Class 1A Permit -- Form 735-9745.

Regardless of the type of operation, an intrastate carrier is required to have proof of insurance on file with the Motor Carrier Transportation Division, required to belong to a drug and alcohol testing consortium, and required to file a highway-use tax bond or cash deposit. Visit the Division's Registration page for more about insurance and bonds. Visit the Division's Safety page for more about drug and alcohol testing. Interstate carriers are governed by U.S. DOT regulations regarding insurance. Review 49 CFR Part 387 for the Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers.

To apply for a U.S. DOT number and an MC interstate authority number, the carrier contacts the U.S. DOT. This can be done online at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Registration Web site. For more information, visit the FMCSA home site www.fmcsa.dot.gov or call the Oregon Division office in Salem at 503-399-5775.

If the carrier is a corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or it's operating under an assumed business name, the carrier contacts the Oregon Secretary of State, Corporation Division. Visit the Division's Central Business Registry or contact the Oregon Corporation Division  by mail to 255 Capitol Street NE, Suite 151, Salem OR 97310-0210, or call 503-986-2200.

For more about Oregon registration requirements, visit the Motor Carrier Division's Web site for its Motor Carrier Education program Web site. Other information, including registration forms can be found at the Oregon Trucking Online site -- www.oregontruckingonline.com

Also, contact a registration analyst 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 503-378-6699.

Back to Top

What's DMV's responsibility vs. the Motor Carrier Division?

In Oregon, the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) handles:
  • All vehicle titles.
  • Registration for personal vehicles (vehicles not operated as part of a commercial enterprise).
  • Registration for commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less operated solely within Oregon -- vehicles that need Oregon T plates.
The Motor Carrier Transportation Division (MCTD) handles:
  • Registration for commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more operated solely within Oregon, called Commercial trucks.
  • Registration for commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more operated in two or more jurisdictions under the International Registration Plan (IRP) for paying apportioned registration fees.
  • Registration for commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less operated in two or more jurisdictions under IRP for paying apportioned registration fees.


Contact DMV at 503-945-5000 or visit its Web site.  

Contact MCTD at 503-378-6699 or visit its Web site

Back to Top

What are the different types of truck registration?

There are three types of registration:
  1. If a truck will only be operated in Oregon, the motor carrier pays full Oregon registration fees and is issued a COMMERCIAL registration plate for the truck.
  2. If a truck will be operated in Oregon and at least one other state, the motor carrier pays pro-rated registration fees to Oregon and is issued an APPORTIONED registration plate for the truck.
  3. If a motor carrier is just temporarily operating a truck, the carrier pays registration fees and is issued a temporary VEHICLE TRIP PERMIT.

Commercial license plateCOMMERCIAL registration is for vehicles that are Oregon based and operate solely in Oregon. Registration fees are based on the heaviest weight of the vehicle with its load for the registration period (January 1 through December 31). Commercial registration fees may be paid annually or quarterly. If paying fees quarterly, there is an additional $1 charge per quarter and a charge of $2.50 for each replacement registration card. This registration is valid only in Oregon. To operate in another state or Canadian province, the carrier must purchase registration trip permits for that state.

Additionally, a tax credential (Oregon Weight Receipt and Tax Identifier) is required to be obtained and carried in the vehicle. The Oregon weight-mile tax is reported and paid separately from registration fees.
Apportioned license plate APPORTIONED registration is for vehicles that will operate in more than one jurisdiction -- state or province. Motor carriers must have either permanent or temporary registration in each of those jurisdictions. To obtain temporary registration, carriers need to contact each jurisdiction prior to entering the jurisdiction and after obtaining full registration in the vehicle(s) base jurisdiction.

A carrier obtains permanent registration credentials to operate interstate by applying for registration under the International Registration Plan (IRP). This type of registration is referred to as Apportioned or Prorated registration because only a percentage of each jurisdiction’s registration fee is paid based on the fleet’s previous history of operations. The carrier's base jurisdiction collects and distributes registration fees for each jurisdiction in which the vehicle is licensed. All states (except Alaska and Hawaii), Washington D.C. and all Canadian provinces (except the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon are members of the IRP.

Registration fees are based on the rates that are charged by each jurisdiction plus the percentage of operation in each jurisdiction. The basis for registration fees varies but is generally based on
vehicle weight, value, age, and other factors. The vehicle is legally registered in all jurisdictions that appear on the vehicle’s registration card. Apportioned registration is annual and may not be paid quarterly.

EXCEPTION: Motor carriers that qualify to base in Oregon may pay the Oregon portion of their registration fees quarterly if the Oregon fees exceed $1,000. However, it is still an annual fee and must be paid even if the vehicle does not operate in a particular

Registration DOES NOT cover intrastate authority, fuel taxes or other taxes in any jurisdiction.

VEHICLE TRIP PERMITS are for vehicles that are operating on a temporary basis. The permit is issued for no more than 10 days. There are two types of vehicle trip permits:
  1. Heavy Vehicle Trip Permit -- $43 -- Issued for vehicles without registration in Oregon.
  2. Registration Weight Trip Permit -- $5 -- Issued to increase registration weight temporarily for a vehicle that already has registration. A motor carrier may also need to increase a vehicle's Oregon weight-mile tax declared weight.
To purchase a registration trip permit:
  • Call the Motor Carrier Transportation Division in Salem at 503-378-6699.
  • Go to the Portland Bridge Registration office during business hours, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed ALL state observed holidays.
Back to Top

What is GVW, GCVW, and registration weight?

truck registration weight graphic The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) or Gross Combination Vehicle Weight Weight (GCVW) is the actual weight of the vehicle(s) plus the weight of the load. This is commonly referred to as LOADED WEIGHT or COMBINED WEIGHT. Registration weight is the HIGHEST loaded weight for the vehicle during the registration period (January 1 through December 31).

For example, the accompanying graphic shows a truck that operates at 63,000 pounds in January, hauls heavier loads at 80,000 pounds in July, and then returns to operating at 63,000 pounds in December. The REGISTRATION WEIGHT for this vehicle is 80,000 pounds.

Note: The registration fee rate schedule stops at 105,500 pounds, the maximum weight at which a vehicle may register. Carriers hauling heavier non-divisible loads must register at the maximum weight class, 105,500 pounds, plus purchase a Special Transportation Permit.

Back to Top

How does a motor carrier determine truck registration weight?

Registration weight is the highest loaded weight for a vehicle during the registration period. The registration weight for a vehicle should, of course, be limited to the capacity of the vehicle and vehicle weight limits in Oregon.
Exception: Tow vehicles and mobile home haulers may register the actual weight of the vehicle. They may operate with weight-mile tax declared weights that are higher than registration weights.

The "legal" operating weight of a truck is determined by tire size, the number of axles, and the wheelbase of the truck or the combination of truck and trailer(s). Legal weights are determined on the basis of (1) gross allowable weight for single axles and tandem axles, and (2) gross allowable weight for any vehicle, group of axles, and combination of vehicles.

In Oregon, the maximum legal gross weight limit is 80,000 pounds. The gross weight of a single axle cannot exceed 600 pounds per inch of total tire width on the axle (limited also by manufacturer's sidewall tire rating), or 20,000 pounds, whichever is less. The gross weight of a tandem axle cannot exceed 600 pounds per inch of total tire width of the wheels on tandem axle, or 34,000 pounds, whichever is less.

Combinations with a total gross weight over 80,000 pounds and up to 105,500 pounds must obtain a special permit, called an Extended Weight permit. These permits are often needed, for example, by truckers operating double- and triple-trailer combinations that have legal axle, tandem and group weights, the total of which weigh between 80,001 and 105,500 pounds.

For more information about Extended Weight and other variance permits, contact the Motor Carrier Transportation Division at 503-373-0000. Visit the Motor Carrier Division Web site for more information.  

Back to Top

Oregon is a weight-mile tax state, rather than a fuel tax state, so motor carriers must meet weight-mile tax and registration requirements when operating in the state. Carriers need to obtain a permanent or temporary Oregon Weight Receipt and Tax Identifier ($8). If they're conducting short-term operations in the state, they also need a Temporary Pass ($9) through which they can pay weight-mile taxes in advance. Motor carriers based in other states may participate in the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), but that doesn't cover their travel in Oregon.

When travel originates in Oregon, carriers must obtain tax and registration credentials prior to operating. 

When entering Oregon, carriers must obtain tax and registration credentials prior to entry EXCEPT:
  1. Entry to Oregon on I-5 @ OR/WA Border and go directly to Portland Bridge Office @ Jantzen Beach and purchase credentials. Open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Closed ALL state observed holiday.  

WARNING: Drivers without credentials who enter Oregon at other locations in the state, or when their company is suspended or the vehicle’s registration is suspended, are subject to citation and a fine.

Note: Oregon administers an IFTA program as a service to Oregon-based companies who operate in other states that do charge a fuel tax. The IFTA program is necessary because except by purchasing single-trip permits, these companies have no other way to discharge their fuel tax liability. They cannot individually file quarterly fuel tax reports and make payments to states and provinces.

Back to Top

How can a motor carrier become suspended in Oregon?

A motor carrier's account can be suspended for the following reasons:
  • Weight-mile tax reports not timely filed
  • Any taxes or fees not paid
  • Balances not paid on time
  • Insurance not filed or canceled
  • Surety bond or cash deposit not filed
A carrier will be warned that it faces suspension because the Motor Carrier Transportation Division sends a letter 10 days before each proposed suspension date. The letter explains the reason for the proposed suspension and tells the carrier how to correct the problem. If the problem is not corrected by the suspension date, the Division sends another letter notifying the carrier that the account has been suspended.

Back to Top

How can a carrier reinstate an account?

Once a carrier has satisfied all of the conditions needed to correct its problem (filed insurance, paid fees, etc.), it may reinstate the account.
  • Call the Motor Carrier Transportation Division in Salem at 503-378-6699.
  • Go to the Salem or Portland Bridge Registration offices, during regular business hours.

The carrier must bring any necessary documents and pay a $25 reinstatement fee plus $5 per vehicle. The account can be immediately reinstated if all requirements are met.

Back to Top

What's involved in changing a company name or changing ownership?

If a company changes its name but does not change ownership, the company must apply for a name change only. Complete a new Application for Motor Carrier Account (Form 735-9075) and, if participating in the IRP and IFTA, a new Oregon IRP and IFTA Applications (Form 735-9908) in order to request cab cards in the new company name ($2.50 each vehicle).

If the company is changing ownership (i.e., individual or partnership to a corporation, partnership to an individual, etc.), an application must be submitted in the new ownership name so a new account can be established. Registration fees cannot be transferred from previous ownership to new ownership during any registration year. Fees will be recalculated for the remainder of the registration year according to the new application information submitted.

Contact the Salem Registration office at 503-378-6699 for further information.

Back to Top

What does a company do when it has a change of address?

To change the address for a motor carrier account in Oregon, a company must contact the Oregon DOT, Motor Carrier Transportation Division. The company can mail or fax a letter to:

Salem Headquarters - Motor Carrier Transportation Division
3930 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem OR 97302-1166
FAX: 503-378-6880

The Motor Carrier Division will also accept the notification of a change of address over the phone -- 503-378-6699 -- if the caller is an authorized company representative. If the caller is an agent or reporting service with Power of Attorney for the company, the person must have specific authority from the motor carrier to change the address.

The simplest way for a company to change its address is by using Trucking Online. Companies signed up for that Internet-based service can use it to change company mailing address, the location address for receiving packages, the records address (when different from mailing and location address), or company e-mail address.

Back to Top

How does a company close an Oregon account?

When a company decides to go out of business, it should contact the Motor Carrier Transportation Division in writing. The company's letter should request closure of its account and a refund of any bond or cash deposit as well as any outstanding credits.

The company should be prepared to return all Oregon plates and Oregon Weight receipts in order to ensure that its tax liability for the plates and receipts is terminated. To avoid any penalties, the company should file weight-mile tax reports through the date that the plates and receipts are returned or cancelled.

The company should then keep the Motor Carrier Division informed of any address changes until the account has been officially audited and closed. An account cannot be closed until all tax liabilities have been satisfied. That's why it's important that the company keep records for three years.

Back to Top

FAQs -- Other Subjects

graphic of question markThe Motor Carrier Transportation Division has created a number of pages like this with frequently asked questions about other subjects.

FAQ by subject -- a page listing all FAQs

Individual Pages
Farm Trucks
Green Light 
Household Goods Moving 
Over-Dimension Trucks
Taxes and Fees
Trucking Online

Still need an answer to a question?
Complete the Ask ODOT online form or call 1-888-ASK-ODOT (1-888-275-6368).

Back to Top