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Apportioned Registration Program

Program Overview

Pennsylvania is a member of the International Registration Plan (IRP) which is a registration reciprocity agreement among jurisdictions of the United States and Canada. The agreement provides for registration fee payments on the basis of fleet distance operated in various jurisdictions.

The unique feature of this plan is that even though registration fees are paid to various jurisdictions where fleet vehicles are operated, only one registration plate and cab card are issued for each fleet vehicle when registered under the plan

The fundamental principle of the Plan is to promote and encourage the fullest possible use of the highway system by authorizing apportioned registration of fleet vehicles and recognition by each member jurisdiction of the vehicles apportioned by other member jurisdictions, thus contributing to the economic and social development and growth of the member jurisdictions

You must register your vehicle(s) apportionately if the vehicle(s) travels or is intended for travel in two or more of the member jurisdictions and is used for the transportation of persons for hire or is designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property, and: 

  • is a power unit having a gross or registered weight in excess of 26,000 pounds, or
  • is a power unit having three or more axles regardless of weight, or
  • is used in combination when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

Vehicles or combinations, having a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less and two axle vehicles, may be apportioned at the option of the registrant.

ELECTRONIC CAB CARDS

The International Registration Plan (IRP) has been amended to allow motor carriers to store apportioned registration cards in an electronic format, no longer requiring apportioned registered motor carriers to maintain paper credentials. The Pennsylvania apportioned registrant does not have to do anything different as a result of this amendment but may elect to upload their signed credential electronically. This amendment is effective January 1, 2019 and requires law enforcement from all US and Canadian IRP member jurisdictions to accept electronic images of apportioned registration cards (also known as cab cards). When stopped by law enforcement, apportioned registrants may show their credential as an electronic image on an electronic device or as a paper copy. Regardless of the format, the document must be valid, accurate, accessible and readable by law enforcement.

 PennDOT is not changing their apportioned registration credential. Today, PennDOT can email the registration credential to motor carriers upon request; However, Section 1311(a) of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code requires the registration document to be signed by the Pennsylvania apportioned registrant. This means that although PennDOT may email the apportioned registration credential electronically, the motor carrier operator must still print and sign the credential; If they choose, they may upload the signed apportioned registration credential to their electronic device as a result of the Plan amendment or maintain it as a paper credential. 

Charter Buses

On September 18th, 2014, the International Registration Plan (IRP) jurisdictions voted in favor of amending the definition of Apportionable Vehicle in the plan. This amendment removed charter buses as a vehicle exempt from IRP registration. Effective January 1st, 2016, all charter buses operating interstate required to obtain apportioned registration or purchase trip permits.

The apportioned registration cycle for apportioned registered vehicles runs from June 1 through May 31. Pennsylvania does not maintain staggered registration for apportioned registered vehicles at this time. As a result, some questions may arise on when to transition bus plates to apportioned registration plates. Please reference the bullets below:

  • If the registrant has an existing apportioned fleet, they may elect to add their current non-apportioned vehicles to the fleet. Vehicles added to the existing apportioned fleet will maintain the current annual June through May apportioned registration cycle.
  • If the registrant elects to convert their current bus plates to apportioned registration prior to the current bus expiration date, credit shall be applied to the new apportioned registration. Please note that registrants are not required to convert all of their vehicles to apportioned registration; some can maintain the bus plate depending on how they use them (i.e. limited to intrastate travel or trip permits are purchased). 

School Buses and other Organizations

The changes in the IRP charter bus requirements are not intended to affect school bus or other non-profit organization vehicles with bus plates. However, if the bus is used in charter operations any time during the registration period, the bus would be subject to either IRP or trip permit requirements.

Full Reciprocity Plan (FRP)

The IRP adopted the Full Reciprocity Plan (FRP) effective January 1, 2015. As a result of the FRP, the trucking industry has greater flexibility since apportioned registrants have access to operate in all IRP jurisdictions. Established apportioned registrants benefit through the elimination of trip permits and "over 100% fees" for added jurisdictions as the FRP bases fees on actual distance traveled in the last reporting period. New apportioned customers with no travel history pay registration fees based on Pennsylvania's Average per Vehicle Distance chart in their first year of operation.

Apportioned accounts established prior to January 1, 2015 will be affected by the FRP at the beginning of the next registration cycle. Changes to existing apportioned accounts will follow the current IRP requirements. When existing apportioned registrants receive their renewal application, actual distance travelled will be submitted for the last reporting period . Estimated distances will no longer be used for renewal; apportioned registration fees will be based only on jurisdictions where travel occurred. Once the resulting invoice is paid, a cab card containing all IRP jurisdictions will be produced. Registrants may wish to consider consolidating their fleets since under the FRP there is no longer a need to segment fleets based on geographical travel. The optimal time to consolidate fleets is at the time of renewal.

The International Registration Plan (IRP)