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IRP Carrier Manual - Overview

1.  What is IRP?

Members of IRP

IRP stands for International Registration Plan, a cooperative agreement for registering vehicles travelling into two or more member jurisdictions. The IRP provides for payment of registration fees based on fleet distances operated. The unique feature of the IRP is that although registration fees are paid to the various jurisdictions in which fleet vehicles are operated, only one (1) set of licence plates and one (1) cab card is issued for each fleet vehicle.

The following jurisdictions are IRP members:

Alabama AL Iowa IA Newfoundland* NL Quebec* QC
Alberta* AB Kansas KS New Brunswick* NB Rhode Island RI
Arizona AZ Kentucky KY New Hampshire NH South Carolina SC
Arkansas AR Louisiana LA New Jersey NJ South Dakota SD
British Columbia* BC Maine ME New Mexico NM Saskatchewan* SK
California CA Manitoba* MB New York NY Tennessee TN
Colorado CO Maryland MD North Carolina NC Texas TX
Connecticut CT Massachusetts MA North Dakota ND Utah UT
Delaware DE Michigan MI Nova Scotia* NS Vermont VT
Dist. of Columbia DC Minnesota MN Ohio OH Virginia VA
Florida FL Mississippi MS Oklahoma OK Washington WA
Georgia GA Missouri MO Ontario* ON West Virginia WV
Idaho ID Montana MT Oregon OR Wisconsin WI
Illinois IL Nebraska NE Pennsylvania PA Wyoming WY
Indiana IN Nevada NV Prince Edward Island* PE

* Denotes Canadian Province

NB: Mexico, Alaska, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are the only continental North American jurisdictions that are not members of IRP

How IRP Works

Under IRP, inter-jurisdictional carriers must file application(s) with the jurisdiction in which they are based. The base jurisdiction then issues one permit, cab card and a set of apportioned plates per vehicle. The plates are embossed with the letters "PRP" (which stands for Pro Rate Plate) down the left hand side. These apportioned plates, permit, and the cab card are the registration credentials you need to operate on an inter-jurisdictional basis in member jurisdictions. Intra-jurisdictional operations are permitted in Canadian jurisdictions using an IRP cab card, but US jurisdictions may require that the carrier meet other requirements of the jurisdiction. A cab card lists the weights you have requested for each jurisdiction and registration fees are apportioned according to these weights.

IRP jurisdictions have agreed to allow the base jurisdiction to collect the applicable fees for apportionment for all jurisdictions collectively and at one time. These fees are calculated and sent to other IRP jurisdictions according to the:

  • Percentage of distance travelled in each jurisdiction ("prorate percentage"),
  • Vehicle identification information, and
  • Maximum weight to be carried in that jurisdiction.

A "prorate percentage" is determined by dividing any jurisdiction's distance into the total distanced travelled by the fleet in all jurisdictions. This "prorate percentage" is then applied to that same jurisdiction's fee for the applicable gross weight, and the carrier is charged the appropriate jurisdictional fees for that jurisdiction, and all others, on this basis. Some jurisdictions also charge sales tax. This tax is assessed in a similar manner, using the prorate percentage and the vehicle taxable value (purchase price or capital cost) to determine the amount of tax owed.

Under the IRP, all member jurisdictions:

  • Accept a single registration plate
  • Accept a single registration card (cab card), and
  • Allow registrants to travel inter-jurisdictionally ('intra' travel is subject to the terms of the authority issued by each member State, while all Canadian provinces allow 'intra-jurisdictional' travel using an IRP cab card)

IRP Registration Does Not:

  • Waive or exempt a truck /bus operator from obtaining other requirements from any Province/State in which the apportioned vehicle travels, (including Single State Registration (SSRS)) or
  • Allow registrants to exceed the maximum length, width, height or axle limitations, or
  • Waive or replace the requirements of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), or
  • Waive or exempt the payment of tax reporting requirements or US Federal Heavy Vehicle Use Tax — applicable on vehicles with a gross weight of 55,000 lb and greater travelling into the US, or
  • Exempt a carrier from filing the necessary proof of liability coverage in each Province/State where required.


Enforcement representatives look at the original cab card for verification that vehicles are properly registered. The original cab card must always be carried in the vehicle described. Cab cards may not be altered in any way; photocopies are not acceptable as proof of IRP registration.

Commercial vehicles not displaying a current registration plate and decal, cab card or a valid trip permit, are in violation and the registrant is subject to penalties and fines in all jurisdictions in which the vehicle travels.

2.  When to Apportion Your Vehicle

IRP Definition

Under the IRP, carriers are required to register vehicle(s) in their base jurisdiction (see: Appendix F, Glossary). If carriers have established a base of operations in more than one member jurisdiction, they should register applicable vehicles operating from that base in that jurisdiction. Base jurisdiction "shopping" is not allowed.

Carriers must apportion their vehicle(s) or purchase trip permits if the vehicle(s) travel(s) into two or more IRP jurisdictions and is used to transport passengers for hire or is designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property, and:

  • Is a power unit having a gross vehicle weight (GVW) in excess of 11,793 kg/ 26,000 lbs, or
  • Is a power unit having three or more axles regardless of weight, or
  • Is a power unit which is used to pull another unit and the weight of such combination exceeds 11,793 kg GVW/26,000 lbs, or
  • Is a regular route bus, or,
  • Are vehicles, or combinations thereof, having a gross vehicle weight of 11,793 kg/ 26,000 lbs or less, two-axle vehicles and buses used in the transportation of chartered parties which may be proportionally registered at the option of the registrant.

Vehicles below the IRP weight threshold of 11,793 kg/26,000 lbs may be registered in IRP. Carriers wishing to undertake intra-jurisdictional moves in Canadian provinces must register in IRP or obtain special permits. Carriers travelling into Saskatchewan and British Columbia with vehicles weighing 5,500 kg or more are also required to register in IRP or obtain trip permits. Special authority is required for intra-jurisdictional moves in the US. It is not part of IRP registration in U.S. jurisdictions.

Continuous Registration

Some US jurisdictions have a policy requiring motor carriers to have vehicles continuously registered.

  1. The vehicle was registered in the fleet last year, but not renewed until later in the registration year. Because "continuous registration" fees are applicable in the jurisdiction for this example, the registrant would be required to pay full registration fees as if the vehicle had been registered from the start of the registration period.

  2. Vehicle is registered in a fleet, deleted, and then re-registered in the same fleet year — continuous registration fees are charged.

Jurisdictions that have continuous registration requirements are:




New Jersey





New Mexico





North Dakota









New Hampshire



Exempt Vehicles

The IRP exempts the following vehicles from IRP registration; however, a regular Ontario plate must be obtained and displayed on:

  • Commercial vehicles used solely within the Province of Ontario, or
  • Recreational vehicles used for personal pleasure or travel by an individual or family, or
  • Commercial vehicles displaying restrictive plates which have geographic area, distance or commodity restrictions, or
  • Trailers

Due to jurisdictional statutes and regulations, some exemptions may not be recognized. A carrier should check with a jurisdiction prior to conducting operations in that jurisdiction.

3.  Types of Operations

For-Hire Carriers

An individual or company, whose business or undertaking is the transportation of goods, property or equipment of others and includes the transportation of passengers for compensation or gain, (Please refer to 'Buses' for more details.)

Private Carriers

A private carrier is an individual or company whose business or undertaking is the transportation of its own goods, property or equipment and includes the transportation of passengers that is not for compensation or gain. (Please refer to 'Buses' for more details.)

Household Goods Carriers

A private or for-hire carrier that specializes in the transportation of household goods, including the personal effects of a household, new furniture and appliances.

Daily Rental

A carrier that rents its vehicles to other carriers for periods not exceeding 30 days.


Regular routes — apportionment is a requirement under IRP for all buses travelling regularly scheduled routes. At the option of the registrant, total distance may be the sum of all actual in-jurisdiction distance, or a sum equal to the scheduled route distances per jurisdiction from the farthest point of origin to the farthest point of destination of the route schedule.

Charters — buses used exclusively for the transportation of 'chartered parties' may require apportioned registration under IRP, however most IRP jurisdictions allow charter buses access without IRP registration or trip permits. Charter bus operators should check with the jurisdictions into which they wish to operate prior to departure to verify each jurisdiction's requirements.

Private — apportionment is required under IRP for all buses used exclusively for the transportation of passengers not for compensation or gain.

Household Goods Carriers

Leased Equipment — Based Outside Ontario

Household Goods Carriers using equipment leased from service representatives (other household goods movers) may elect to base such equipment in the base jurisdiction of the service representative, or that of the carrier.

If the service representative's base jurisdiction is selected, the equipment shall be registered in the service representative's name, and the Household Goods Carrier shall be indicated as lessee. The apportionment of fees shall be according to the combined distance records of the service representative and those of the carrier. Such records must be kept or made available in the service representative's base jurisdiction.

Leased Equipment — Based in Ontario

If the base jurisdiction of the Household Goods Carrier is selected, the equipment shall be registered in the name of the carrier for 'Licence and Insurance Purposes Only'. The apportionment of fees shall be according to the distance records of the carrier and the records must be kept or made available in Ontario.

Owned Equipment

For equipment owned and operated by owner-operators, other than service representatives, and used exclusively to transport cargo for a Household Goods Carrier based in Ontario, the equipment shall be registered in the carrier's name for 'Licence and Insurance Purposes Only'. The apportionment of fees shall be according to the distance records of the carrier and the records must be kept or made available in Ontario.

Rental Vehicles

For the purposes of IRP, the following definitions are applicable to Rental Vehicles:

  • Rental Owner — an owner principally engaged in renting (one or more rental fleets) to others or offering for rental the vehicles of such fleets, without drivers.
  • Rental Fleet — one or more vehicles which are rented or offered for rental without drivers and which are designated by a rental owner as a rental fleet.
  • Rental Vehicle — a vehicle that is part of a rental fleet.
  • Renting and Leasing — the giving of possession and control of a vehicle for compensation for a specified period.
  • Rental Transaction — for the rental of a vehicle shall be deemed to occur in the jurisdiction where such vehicle first comes into possession of the user.

Rental Vehicle: Base Jurisdiction — the jurisdiction from or in which the vehicle is most frequently dispatched, garaged, serviced, maintained, operated or otherwise controlled.

Rental Fleets

The IRP specifically provides for the registration of various types of rental fleets.

Rental Fleets owned by any individual or firm engaging in the business of renting vehicles with or without drivers for valuable consideration for a specific period shall be extended full 'inter' or 'intra' jurisdictional privileges, providing that:

  • Such person or firm has received either the appropriate approval from the jurisdiction to apportion such rental fleet, and
  • The operational records of the fleet are maintained by the rental owner and must be identifiable as being part of such fleet, and
  • Such vehicles are part of a rental fleet which are identifiable as being a part of such fleet and must include the specified number of vehicles, and
  • Such person or firm registers the vehicles as described below:

3.8.1 Trucks and Truck-Tractors

Regular apportioned registration is required.

3.8.2 Rental Passenger Cars

Passenger vehicle rental companies operating in more than one member (IRP) jurisdiction must register a percentage of their rental fleet in Ontario based on the gross revenue earned for rentals in Ontario. To calculate, divide the gross revenue for passenger car rental received in the preceding year by Ontario-based rental locations by the total gross revenue for passenger car rental transactions received in the preceding year occurring in all member (IRP) jurisdictions where the company has passenger car rental locations. The resulting percentage shall be applied to the total number of rental passenger cars owned by the company, in order to determine the actual number of rental passenger cars that shall be plated and pay full licence fees in Ontario.

3.8.3 One-Way Allocated Rental Vehicles

Trucks of less than 11,793 kg / 26,000 lbs gross vehicle weight operated as part of an identifiable one-way fleet will allocate and fully plate vehicles to the respective jurisdictions based on the fleet distance factor. All trucks of such one-way fleets so qualified will be allowed to perform both 'inter' and 'intra' jurisdictional movements in all jurisdictions.

4.  Ontario Regulatory Requirements

Fuel Tax Act Requirements — IFTA

All carriers who use a vehicle in Ontario for the multi-jurisdictional carriage of passengers or goods are required to pay tax under the Fuel Tax Act on fuel consumed in the Province. Accordingly, carriers registering their vehicles under the International Registration Plan (IRP) must also register under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) if the gross vehicle weight exceeds 11,797 kg / 26,000 lbs. Vehicles at or below that weight are not required to register in IFTA, however they may be registered in IRP.

To register under IFTA, please contact:

Ministry of Revenue
Client Accounts and Services Branch
IFTA Program
33 King Street West
PO Box 625
Oshawa, ON  L1H 8H9
1 866 ONT-TAXS (1 866 668-8297
Fax:  905-433-5680

Once registered under IFTA, the carrier will be issued credentials that will enable them to operate in all other IFTA member jurisdictions. The carrier will file tax returns (quarterly in Ontario) to their base jurisdiction, reporting the fuel consumed in each IFTA member jurisdiction and the tax owing or refundable to each jurisdiction, with a net payment or net refund amount. The base jurisdiction will forward the applicable information and payments (where required) to the other IFTA member jurisdictions. The base jurisdiction will also pay the net refund amount on behalf of the IFTA member jurisdictions.

For operations in non-IFTA jurisdictions, carriers must continue to follow the current procedures and file the returns required by the statutes and regulations of each non-IFTA jurisdiction.

Sales Tax Requirements

Harmonized Sales Tax

Effective July 1st 2010, the Province of Ontario converted the Retail sales Tax (RST) to a value –added HST,  a  federally administered single sales tax. The Harmonized Sales Tax , is a combined tax rate of 13%: a provincial portion at 8% same as the RST rate and a federal portion of 5% same as the  Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate. Due to introduction of HST, the Multi-Jurisdictional Vehicle Tax (MJVT) has been eliminated and the Exit Tax no longer applies to vehicles leaving IRP.
Vehicles original registrations and transfers of used vehicles are subject to either HST or RST (dependent upon where the vehicle is purchased and who the vehicle is purchased from).  

Consult the Ministry of Revenue (MOR) for more information, you can call the Ontario Budget hotline at 1-800-337-7222 (both from Ontario and outside the province) or visit the MOR’s website at: . You can also call Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) at 1-800-959-5525 or visit CRA’s website at  

Multi-jurisdictional Vehicle Tax

On October 1, 2001, the Ontario Ministry of Finance replaced the previous proportional 8% retail sales tax (RST) on multi-jurisdictional vehicles registered in Ontario with an annual prorated sales tax, also known as "multi-jurisdictional vehicle tax" or MJVT. This tax used to be collected at the time of registration or renewal under IRP. Owners of multi-jurisdictional trucks and buses paid MJVT in annual instalments over the life of the vehicle, rather than up front, in a larger lump sum.

The MJVT rates had been designed to take into account the purchase price of multi-jurisdictional vehicles, trailers, and the average costs for repair parts and labour for such vehicles and trailers, all of which were purchased exempt from RST. Carriers who were registered under IRP, and broker drivers who were under contract with a registered carrier,  could  purchase or lease multi-jurisdictional vehicles exempt from RST on or after October 1, 2001. Carriers who registered a multi-jurisdictional vehicle under IRP, on which Ontario RST was previously paid, were eligible for a credit of the previously paid RST on that vehicle.

Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration Certificate (CVOR)

Unless exempt, truck and bus operators/carriers that have:

  1. Commercial motor vehicles plated in Ontario and or,
  2. Registered under the International Registration Plan (IRP) base plated in Ontario and or
  3. Plated commercial motor vehicles in a state of the United States of America or Mexico.

are required to register as a Commercial Vehicle Operator.

The types of vehicles include all heavy commercial vehicles (power units only — leased; rented; owned) having a registered gross weight/actual weight of more than 4500 kgs. or a bus designed to carry ten or more passengers. For exceptions, refer to the Highway Traffic Act. It is an offence to operate a commercial motor vehicle without having a CVOR certificate and carrying either the certificate or a copy in every commercial motor vehicle operated.

Note: Carriers that operate commercial motor vehicles plated in other Canadian jurisdictions will be required to produce a Safety Fitness Certificate and/or National Safety Code (NSC) Number issued by the base plate jurisdiction (each jurisdiction may have different titles for their NSC numbers e.g. Quebec refers to theirs as an NIR #).

In Ontario once the application is processed, operators are issued a Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) Certificate (Safety Fitness Certificate / Ontario's NSC #). The CVOR Registration creates a Commercial Vehicle Operator Record. Once an operator record is set up, general information and compliance data (accidents, convictions, inspections) are stored on the record. A record may also be created for a non commercial vehicle operator registrant should a conviction, accident or inspection event be processed for the operator.

If a corporation has a number of operating divisions, the divisions are included under the CVOR certificate held by the parent corporation. If the corporation has a number of subsidiary companies that are individually registered as companies, each company if plating vehicles in Ontario must obtain its own CVOR.

The CVOR automated system triggers identification of a carrier for review when poor performance is identified, based upon the severity and number of events. At this point a detailed analysis is conducted which verifies the company profile and the need for and type of ministry intervention. Progressive interventions may include:

  • warning letter to the carrier's chief executive officer
  • interview with a ministry official
  • facility audit/investigation or
  • sanctions (fleet limitation; suspension; cancellation or seizure of plates, permits and/or CVOR certificate)

Legislation covering CVOR can be found in the Highway Traffic Act, Sections 16-22, 47, 205 and
Regulation 424/97 Part I.

For more information contact:

Carrier Sanctions & Investigations Office
301 St. Paul Street, 3rd Floor
St. Catharines, ON  L2R 7R4

Phone: 416-246-7166
Toll Free: 1-800-387-7736 (Ontario only)
Fax: 905-704-2525


A licence or permit to operate a vehicle in Ontario may not be issued unless the applicant also provides proof of valid insurance pursuant to the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, Highway Traffic Act and the Motor Vehicle Transport Act.

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