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FAQ - Truck Taxes and Fees

Why do I need both a registration weight and declared weight?

The registration weight is the highest weight a vehicle will operate during the registration reporting period, January 1 through December 31.

The declared weight is for Oregon weight-mile tax purposes. It is the weight of the vehicle plus the load and it represents the heaviest weight that will actually be carried in a given configuration for the reporting period, either monthly or quarterly. The accompanying graphic shows one truck configuration that would have a declared weight of 80,000 pounds when pulling two trailers and then 46,000 pounds after dropping both trailers.

The registration weight for a vehicle may be the same or higher than the declared weight, depending on the type of operations conducted during the year.

The declared weight may be the same as the registration weight, but it may not be higher.

Exception: Tow vehicles and mobile home haulers may register the actual weight of the vehicle. They may operate with declared weights higher than registration weights.

Carriers who plan to operate in excess of either their registration weight or declared weight must contact the Motor Carrier Transportation Division in advance to increase these weights. Carriers may not change declared weights on a weight-mile tax report. To amend a declared weight, call staff in Salem at 503-378-6699 or use Trucking Online. 

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Who qualifies to pay weight-mile taxes on a quarterly basis?


Motor carriers may request to file Oregon weight-mile tax reports on a quarterly basis if they have a 12 consecutive month filing history and in that 12-month period they have not had any of the following:
  • A suspension related to reporting or payment of taxes or fees.
  • A revocation of their International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) tax license.
  • More than 25% of weight-mile tax reports filed late.
  • A repayment plan.
  • A delinquency in payment of over-dimension permit fees or road use assessment fees.
Also in the previous 36 months the carrier must not have had an audit resulting in assessments that exceeded reported fees by 15%.

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What are the requirements regarding bonds and cash deposits?


Oregon law requires that carriers file a bond with the Oregon DOT as a guarantee of payment of taxes and fees. The Motor Carrier Transportation Division sends notification of the bond requirement and instructions how to post the bond. Bonds may be filed in the form of:
  • Money (cash deposit)
  • Savings Assignment
  • Surety Bond
Surety bonds, the most common security filed, can be obtained from most insurance companies. If a carrier chooses to deposit cash, it will accrue interest.

A new carrier can have the bond or cash deposit requirement waived if they have a Dun & Bradstreet rating of 3A2 or higher. An established carrier can have the requirement waived if the scheduled annual review by the Motor Carrier Division finds that in the previous 12 months the motor carrier meets the following criteria:
  • No Suspensions with the Department.
  • No revocation of International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) tax license.
  • No more than one weight-mile tax report filed late.
  • Fees timely paid.
  • No more than two estimated weight-mile tax reports filed.
  • No more than one estimated weight-mile tax report filed without an actual report filed within a 30-day period.
  • No non-sufficient fund checks.
  • No outstanding billings for over-dimensional variance permits.
An established carrier will not qualify for a waiver of deposit if within the previous 36 months the carrier had a weight-mile tax audit resulting in an assessment that exceeded by more than 15% the amount of the weight-mile taxes and fees reported and paid during the audit period.

If a motor carrier no longer meets the above criteria, the bond required may be increased or a previously waived bond may be required.

New carriers who have not previously received a permit or certificate of authority from the Oregon DOT must meet the following security deposit requirements:
  • One vehicle -- $2,000
  • Plus $375 for each additional vehicle from 2-5 vehicles
  • Plus $250 for each additional vehicle from 6-10 vehicles
  • Plus $125 for each additional vehicle above 10 vehicles
  • Maximum deposit required -- $10,000
Different requirements exist for private carriers, farmers, and vehicles using gasoline for which Oregon state fuel tax is paid. For more information about bond requirements, contact the Motor Carrier Division's Bond Unit at 503-378-4823.
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How does a carrier claim credit for fuel taxes paid in Oregon?


Carriers can claim a credit if they paid Oregon state fuel tax on fuel purchased for a vehicle that is over 26,000 pounds and subject to weight-mile tax. The deduction must be for the reporting period that the fuel was used. Credits for previous reporting periods will not be granted until time of audit.

Attach copies of fuel invoices to the highway-use tax report. The invoice must contain:
  • The date and location of the purchase.
  • Who supplied the fuel.
  • The kind of fuel.
  • The number of gallons.
  • Oregon DOT identification plate, receipt number, or pass number of the vehicle.
  • The amount of Oregon state fuel tax paid.
Trucks usually don't pay Oregon state fuel tax at the pump because fuel providers know to check for a valid weight-mile tax credential, which is proof that the carrier is paying that tax. If a carrier is charged Oregon fuel tax, a separate entry showing state tax will appear on the receipt.

Carriers who buy fuel in bulk may only claim credit for fuel pumped into a qualified vehicle during the reporting period. Those who buy fuel in bulk or buy fuel from a card lock station must keep invoices and maintain a daily record indicating the vehicle number and the number of gallons pumped into each vehicle. These records must be filed with the carrier's tax report.

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What are the record keeping requirements for weight-mile taxes?


pic of person with paperworkWeight-Mile Tax
All motor carriers must maintain records of their motor vehicle operations for a period of three years and must produce these records for inspection upon request of the department. The department must give the motor carrier a reasonable time and place to produce the requested records. The department shall be reimbursed by the motor carrier if department representatives travel outside the State of Oregon to examine operational records.

All carriers must maintain records containing the following information for each vehicle:

• Origin and destination points
• Oregon entry and exit points
• Actual Oregon miles for each trip
• Pickup and delivery points in Oregon for each trip
• Routes for travel for each trip
• Dates of each trip
• Daily beginning and ending odometer or other mileage recording device readings for each vehicle
• Load tickets and/or bills of lading for each shipment transported
• Identification of any exempt miles claimed, which shall include beginning and ending odometer or other mileage recording device readings for the exempt portion of each trip. If repeated trips are made to and from the same locations, a one-time recording of odometer or other mileage recording device readings for the exempt portion of those trips may be applied to the total number of trips.

• Carriers operating motor vehicles that are issued or required to obtain an annual variance permit under ORS 818.200(1)(a) to (c) with a combined weight of more than 80,000 pounds shall also provide for each reporting period the number of axles in the vehicle configuration, and a record of changes of operation. A change of operation occurs when the vehicle configuration remains the same but the actual weight of the vehicle and load changes from over 80,000 lbs. to 80,000 lbs. or under. Empty movements are not changes in operation.

• Carriers operating motor vehicles in multiple configurations shall provide the number of miles operated in each motor vehicle configuration for each trip.

All registrants that pay registration fees via registration trip permits must retain a copy of each registration trip permit.

Records generated from on-board recording devices, vehicle tracking systems, or other electronic data recording systems may be used in lieu of, or in addition to, the records required in this rule provided that the electronic records meet all the requirements of sections (1) through (3) of OAR 740-055-0120, and are provided in printed format upon request.

If operating under the International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), carriers must maintain all records pertaining to such operations as required by IRP and IFTA.  See IRP and IFTA record keeping requirements below.

Oregon Administrative Rules 740-055-0100, 740-055-0120
Oregon Revised Statutes 823.025

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What are the record keeping requirements for IRP?


pic of IRP and IFTA logoInternational Registration Plan (IRP)
Registrants are required to preserve the records upon which the apportioned registration application is based for a period of three years after the close of the registration year, and shall be made available for audit during normal business hours upon request. The registrant must record all movement of apportioned vehicles including loaded, empty, deadhead and/or bobtail distance. The registrant must also record all distance traveled by apportioned vehicles under trip permits.

Records produced by a means other than a vehicle-tracking system are required to contain:

  • Date of trip (starting and ending)
  • Trip origin and destination
  • Route of travel
  • Beginning and ending reading from the odometer, hubodometer, engine control module (ECM), or similar device for the trip
  • Total trip distance traveled
  • Distance traveled in each jurisdiction
  • Unit number or vehicle identification number

Records produced wholly or partly by a vehicle-tracking system, including a system based on a global positioning system (GPS) must contain:

  • Original GPS or other location data for the vehicle to which Records pertain
  • Date and time of each GPS or other system reading
  • Location of each GPS or other system reading
  • Beginning and ending reading from the odotmeter, hubodometer, engine control mdoule (ECM), or any similar device for the period to which the recoreds pertain
  • Calculated distance between each GPS or other system reading
  • Route of the vehicle's travel
  • Total distance traveled by the vehicle
  • dDistance traveled in each jurisdiction
  • Vehicle identification number or vehicle unit number

A summary of the fleet's operation for each month and quarter including the distance traveled by each vehicle in each jurisdiction.

If operating vehicles subject to weight-mile tax and/or the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), carriers must maintain all records pertaining to such operations as required by OAR 740-055-0120 and IFTA. See record keeping requirements listed for each elsewhere on this Web page.

Oregon Administrative Rule 740-200-0010

International Registration Plan

 

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What are the record keeping requirements for IFTA?


pic of IRP and IFTA logoInternational Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
Every carrier with an IFTA license is required to maintain records that substantiate what is reported on their IFTA Quarterly or Annual Tax Return. Carriers must keep operational records for a period of four years from the due date of each return or the filing date, whichever is later. The required records include Distance Records, Fuel Records, and Bulk Fuel Records (if applicable), and must be recapped in monthly summaries. The following must be presented to Oregon Department of Transportation auditors upon request:

DISTANCE RECORDS

  • Date of trip (starting and ending)
  • Trip origin and destination
  • Route of travel
  • Beginning and ending odometer or hubodometer reading of the trip
  • Total trip miles 
  • Miles by jurisdiction
  • Unit number or vehicle identification number
  • Vehicle fleet number
  • Registrant’s name


FUEL RECORDS

  • Purchaser’s name
  • Seller’s name and address
  • Date of purchase 
  • Fuel type 
  • Price per gallon
  • Unit number 
  • Number of gallons received
  • Separate totals must be compiled for each fuel type, and retail fuel purchased must be accounted for separately from bulk fuel purchases

BULK FUEL RECORDS (if applicable)

  • Date of withdrawal
  • Number of gallons
  • Fuel type
  • Unit number

Purchase and inventory records to substantiate that tax was paid.

Bulk fuel inventory reconciliations must be maintained, and records must distinguish fuel placed in qualified vehicles from other uses.

Failure to maintain the above records may result in disallowance of tax-paid credits claimed on the IFTA tax returns, assessing fleet miles per gallon to 4.0 mpg, or both. Receipts that have been altered or indicate erasures are not accepted for tax-paid credits unless the licensee can demonstrate that the receipt is valid.

If operating vehicles subject to weight-mile tax and/or the International Registration Plan (IRP), carriers must maintain all records pertaining to such operations as required by OAR 740-055-0120 and IRP. See record keeping requirements listed for each elsewhere on this Web page.

Oregon Administrative Rule 740-200-0040
IFTA Articles of Agreement 

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What's the history of Oregon's truck tax system?


Oregon’s State Highway Fund derives most of its revenue from three major highway user taxes: vehicle registration fees, motor vehicle fuel taxes (primarily the gas tax), and motor carrier fees (primarily the weight-mile tax). The basis of each of these taxes is governed by the concept of cost responsibility. This three-tiered structure is used to collect a fair share of revenue from each highway user class.

The third tier in the Oregon highway finance system is the weight-mile tax. Oregon’s first third-structure tax was put into effect in 1925 in the form of a ton-mile tax. It was used to cover the responsibility of the growing number of trucks and other heavy vehicles appearing on the public
roadways at that time.

Oregon’s first weight-mile tax was enacted in 1947 and implemented in 1948. The tax applies to all commercial motor vehicles with declared gross weights in excess of 26,000 pounds. It is based on the declared weight of the vehicle and the distance it travels in Oregon. The weight-mile tax is a use tax that takes the place of the fuel tax on heavy vehicles. Vehicles subject to the weight-mile tax are not subject to the state fuel tax.

The Oregon weight-mile tax system consists of a set of schedules and alternate flat fee rates. There are separate schedules for vehicles with declared weights of 26,001 to 80,000 pounds and those over 80,000 pounds. Additionally, log, sand and gravel, and wood chip haulers have the option to pay flat monthly fees in lieu of the mileage tax.

Since 1990, carriers hauling divisible load commodities at gross weights between 80,001 and 105,500 pounds pay a weight-mile tax (statutory Table “B”) based on the vehicle’s declared weight and number of axles. There are separate schedules for five, six, seven, eight, and nine or more axle vehicles with each schedule graduated by declared weight. The rates are structured so that, at any declared weight, carriers can qualify for a lower per-mile rate by utilizing additional axles. Also since 1990, carriers hauling non-divisible loads at gross weights in excess of 98,000 pounds under special, single-trip permits pay a per-mile road use assessment fee. Non-divisible (or “heavy haul”) permits are issued for the transportation of very heavy loads that cannot be broken apart such as construction equipment, bridge beams, and electrical transformers. The road use assessment fees are expressed in terms of permit gross weight and number of axles and are currently based on a charge of 7.1 cents per equivalent single axle load mile of travel. (Equivalent single axle load, ESAL, is equivalent to a single axle carrying 18,000 lbs.) As with the Table “B” rates, carriers are assessed a lower per-mile charge the greater the number of axles used at any given gross weight. The road use assessment fee takes the place of the weight-mile tax for the loaded, portion of non-divisible load trips. With rare exceptions, empty back haul miles continue to be subject to the weight-mile tax and taxed at the vehicle’s regular declared weight. 

Weight-mile rates are adjusted based on the results of updated cost responsibility studies. Oregon Highway Cost Allocation Studies are conducted by the Department of Administrative Services, Office of Economic Analysis. More on Highway Cost Allocation Studies.  

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Why is "cost responsibility" such a key concept in Oregon?


Cost responsibility is the principle that those who use the public roads should pay for them and, more specifically, that users should pay in proportion to the road costs for which they are responsible. Cost responsibility requires each category of highway users to contribute to highway revenues in proportion to the costs they impose on the highway system. Cost allocation is the process of apportioning the cost of highway work to the vehicles that impose those costs, and is therefore necessary for the implementation of the cost responsibility policy of the State of Oregon.

Since 1937, Oregon has based the financing of its highways on the principle of cost responsibility. This tradition has served Oregon well over the years by ensuring that the State’s highway taxes and fees are levied in a fair and equitable manner. Periodic studies have been conducted to determine the “fair share” that each class of road users should pay for the maintenance, operation, and improvement of the State’s highways, roads, and streets. 

Oregon voters ratified the principle of cost responsibility in the November 1999 special election by voting to add the following language to Article IX, Section 3a (3) of the Oregon Constitution:

“Revenues . . . that are generated by taxes or excises imposed by the state shall be generated in a manner that ensures that the share of revenues paid for the use of light vehicles, including cars, and the share of revenues paid for the use of heavy vehicles, including trucks, is fair and proportionate to the costs incurred for the highway system because of each class of vehicle. The Legislative Assembly shall provide for a biennial review and, if necessary, adjustment, of revenue sources to ensure fairness and proportionality.” 

Oregon Highway Cost Allocation Studies are conducted by the Department of Administrative Services, Office of Economic Analysis. For copies of the studies and more information regarding highway cost allocation and how the studies are conducted.  

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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
Authority
Citations  
Farm Trucks
Green Light 
Household Goods Moving 
Insurance 
Over-Dimension Trucks
Registration 
Safety
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).

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