The Oregon Department of Transportation has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to rule on whether it may continue to require motor carriers to display weight-mile tax credentials. FMCSA is seeking comments on ODOT’s petition until July 13.
The major transportation law enacted last year prohibits states from requiring motor carriers to display in or on commercial motor vehicles any form of identification other than forms required by the U.S. Department of Transportation. But the law also declares that states may continue to require display of credentials that are required under a state law regarding motor vehicle license plates or other displays that DOT determines are appropriate.
Oregon has been requiring motor carriers to obtain weight-mile tax credentials since 1947. Until 2001, ODOT required out-of-state carriers to display a special Oregon license plate on each truck registered to operate in the state. State legislation passed in 2001 eliminated that mandate and replaced it with a simpler requirement to carry a permanent or temporary paper credential.
ODOT argues that the current weight-mile tax credentials identify a motor carrier’s Oregon account, facilitate reporting and payment of the tax, and assist in tracking vehicle-miles traveled over Oregon highways. It also contends that truck drivers want to have the credential at hand when fueling in Oregon, because fuel providers use it to verify that a vehicle is exempt from Oregon fuel tax.
According to ODOT, about 15,000 out-of-state carriers operate 283,000 trucks that carry a permanent Oregon tax credential. Another 10,000 trucks operate with 10-day temporary credentials at any given time.
For more information, go to http://dms.dot.gov/search and search Docket No. 25004.