Tom Wolf, Governor Leslie S. Richards, Secretary, Department of Transportation

Frequently Asked Questions: Apportioned Registration

Charter Bus Questions and Answers

Full Reciprocity Plan (FRP) Questions and Answers

What types of vehicles are eligible for apportioned registration?

What information do I need to establish an apportioned account?

Once my account is established, how do I obtain apportioned registration for my vehicle(s)?

Are apportioned registrants required to have a USDOT number?

How do I get a US DOT number?

When is the IRS, Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) required? What proof of payment is acceptable?

HVUT is required to be paid annually. What are the correct dates for the Form 2290 during the renewal period?

The information on my renewal application is incorrect. How do I correct it?

How do I add a vehicle to my apportioned account?

I did not receive a form in the mail to record apportioned distances. How do I report my distance travelled?

I did not receive my renewal invitation, how can I obtain a new one?

What method of payments is accepted for apportioned transactions and where can I pay my invoice?

Where is the nearest Temporary Authority (TA) Agent?

How do I delete a vehicle from my apportioned account that I no longer have?

How do I obtain a refund for a vehicle?

How do I cancel my apportioned account?

Where do I call to inquire about apportioned registration or the status of a transaction?

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Charter Bus Questions and Answers

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Background

The International Registration Plan (IRP) is a cooperative registration agreement among all of the states in the continental United States, the District of Columbia and Canadian Provinces providing for payment of apportionable registration fees on the basis of total distance operated in all jurisdictions. On September 18, 2014, IRP jurisdictions voted in favor of amending the definition of "Apportionable Vehicle" in the Plan by removing the exemption for charter buses effective January 1, 2016.


Q.

How does the change impact my bus company?

A.

Beginning January 1, 2016, companies with charter buses performing interstate operations will be required to either register their buses with apportioned registration plates or maintain their bus base plate and purchase trip permits for each jurisdiction where travel is intended. Note that these vehicles must meet the definition of an apportionable vehicle to be registered under IRP.


Q.

What is the definition of an apportionable vehicle?

A.

An "Apportionable Vehicle" means any Power Unit that is used or intended for use in two or more IRP member jurisdictions, and is used for the transportation of persons for hire, or designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property, and:

  1. has two Axles and a Gross Vehicle Weight or Registered Gross Vehicle Weight in excess of 26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms), or
  2. has three or more Axles, regardless of weight, or
  3. is used in combination, when the Gross Vehicle Weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms).


Q.

What are the requirements to establish a Pennsylvania apportioned account?

A.

In order to establish an apportioned account with the Department, the applicant must provide three identifying documents. The name and address on the identifying documents must match the address on the apportioned account. If the applicant is an individual, one of the three identifying documents must be their Pennsylvania driver's license. If the applicant is using a business name, they must provide a copy of the documentation received by the Department of State verifying the entity is registered.

The two additional forms of identification may be one of the following: Utility bill(s), Federal or State tax filing, Current Real Estate or Property Tax, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) correspondence. Note: PO Boxes are not acceptable as physical business addresses, however can be used as a mailing address.

To apply for apportioned registration, please complete the Registration Application Schedule for New Account, MV-550 or MV-550A (single vehicle), on our website.


Q.

How long does it take to receive apportioned registration?

A.

Apportioned registration may be obtained the same day at the PennDOT Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg. Applications submitted through a local Temporary Authority (TA) agency are forwarded to PennDOT for processing. Temporary authority registration is valid for 60 days from issuance. It is important that all required documentation is provided with the initial application to help expedite the application process.


Q.

Are school buses travelling interstate for school related activities affected by the Charter Bus change?

A.

Apportioned registration is not required for school bus vehicles used in performing school related activities travelling interstate. However if the school bus is used in charter operations any time during the registration period, the bus would be subject to IRP requirements or have to obtain a trip permit.


Q.

What are the record keeping requirements for an apportioned vehicle?

A.

A log book or record of daily trips must be kept for all apportioned vehicles. The daily trip information must include: Equipment Number, Date, Origin and Destination including city and state, beginning and ending odometer readings and routes of travel. Monthly and quarterly vehicle summaries should include date and distance by jurisdiction (including PA). The mileage for apportioned vehicle record keeping also requires the routes and roads travelled.


Q.

My current bus plate expires in a month other than May (the month apportioned registration expires), will I be able to maintain my current expiration date if I convert my fleet or portion of my fleet to apportioned registration?

A.

All apportioned registrations expire May 31. Vehicles not in the apportioned registration may retain their current expiration date. While not yet available, PennDOT plans to offer staggered apportioned registrations in the future.


Q.

How do I learn more about other bus plates and related requirements?

A.

To learn more about other bus plates in Pennsylvania, please see our Bus, School Vehicle, Limousine, Taxi Registration Fact Sheet on our website.

For additional information on the apportioned registration program please visit the PennDOT website at http://www.dmv.pa.gov



Full Reciprocity Plan (FRP) Questions and Answers

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Q.

What is the benefit of the Full Reciprocity Plan (FRP)?

A.

The FRP process supports the fundamental principle of the International Registration Plan (IRP) by granting full reciprocity for all apportioned vehicles in all member IRP jurisdictions. The intent of this change is to make the Plan more efficient to administer and more equitable and more flexible for its member jurisdictions and registrants. The FRP will change the IRP by granting full reciprocity for all apportioned vehicles in all member IRP jurisdictions. Language is removed from the Plan that references a registrant's intent to operate in selected jurisdictions. This is no longer needed since under "full reciprocity" a registrant will have the ability to operate in any jurisdiction. Renewing registrants pay an apportioned registration fee based on the actual miles reported.


Q.

When does the FRP become effective?

A.

The FRP becomes effective January 1, 2015. Existing Pennsylvania apportioned accounts will be affected by the FRP at the time of renewal for the registration cycle beginning on June 1, 2015.


Q.

If a registrant renews the apportioned registration early and receives cab cards valid on June 1, 2015, is the registrant authorized to operate in all jurisdictions prior to June 1, 2015?

A.

No, registrants may only operate in the jurisdictions displayed on their current cab card which expires on May 31, 2015. Although the new credentials may be received prior to June 1, 2015, the jurisdictions on the cab card do not become effective until June 1, 2015.


Q.

How is a transaction such as an add vehicle or add jurisdiction to be handled between the January 1, 2015 effective date of the FRP and the June 1, 2015 effective date for the new registration cycle?

A.

Established apportioned accounts fall under the current registration year which ends on May 31, 2015. Transactions to add vehicles or add jurisdictions to an established account will be handled as they have in the past until June 1, 2015. Any new accounts created on or after January 1, 2015 will be affected by the FRP. For example, a new apportioned account established February 2, 2015 will fall under the FRP provisions.


Q.

Are all existing apportioned registrants going to be subject to the average per vehicle distance chart fees for all jurisdictions the first year under the FRP?

A.

No. Existing apportioned accounts being renewed for the registration year beginning June 1, 2015, will report actual distances traveled during the distance reporting period. Registration fees will be based on actual distance traveled.


Q.

When will registration fees be based on the average per vehicle distance chart?

A.

When a registrant's fleet is considered new under Section 420 of the IRP, or when the fleet did not accumulate any actual distance during the distance reporting period, fees will be calculated using the base jurisdiction's average per vehicle distance chart.


Q.

When is actual distance to be used to determine registration fees?

A.

Actual distance must be used when the registrant's fleet accumulated any actual distance during the distance reporting period. The reporting period is always July 1 through June 30 of the previous year. For example, registrants renewing apportioned registrations for the registration cycle beginning June 1, 2015 will report actual distance travelled between: July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.


Q.

Can new fleets created after January 1, 2015 use a combination of actual and average per vehicle distance?

A.

No, a new fleet has no actual distance. Under the FRP, the jurisdiction's average per vehicle distance chart must be used to determine fees for all IRP jurisdictions. A combination of actual distance and average per vehicle distance should never be used under the FRP.


Q.

How is the Average Per Vehicle Distance (AVD) chart established?

A.

The Average Per Vehicle distance chart is to be established in accordance with Section 320 (d) of the IRP.


Q.

Does the 90 days of actual distance operations in the distance reporting period apply under the FRP?

A.

No. The 90 day rule was removed by passage of the FRP ballot.


Q.

How would an apportioned registrant be handled if actual distance occurred only in Pennsylvania during the reporting period? Is the registrant charged 100% of the base jurisdiction's fees?

A.

Yes. Under the FRP the registrant must report the actual distance accumulated during the distance reporting period.


Q.

Under the FRP, what weight should be displayed on the IRP cab card?

A.

Under the FRP, the gross vehicle weight should be displayed on the cab card for every IRP jurisdiction. The gross weight for Pennsylvania plus the comparable weight for each member jurisdiction will be reflected. (Pennsylvania's maximum gross vehicle weight is 80,000 pounds; vehicles may be registered at higher weights in other jurisdictions as permitted by those jurisdictions).


Q.

How are weights over 80,000 pounds to be handled?

A.

The FRP doesn't affect how weights over 80,000 pounds are handled. The registrant should continue to declare the gross vehicle weight.


Q.

How are mid-year applications for weight increases handled for jurisdictions where no actual distance was reported and no fees were paid?

A.

The FRP doesn't affect how weight increases are handled. If no actual distance is reported, then no fees are due until the apportioned registrant accumulates distance in the jurisdiction.


Q.

Can new apportioned registrants indicate lower weights in some jurisdictions other than Pennsylvania?

A.

There is a 10% variance of registered weights rule in the IRP Plan. Refer to the IRP, Section 325 regarding this and related registration weight requirements.


Q.

Where can I find information about Pennsylvania's Apportioned Registration Program?

A.

Information on Pennsylvania's Apportioned Registration Program can be found on the Driver and Vehicle Services website at http://www.dmv.state.pa.us.


Q.

Where can I find information about the IRP and the FRP?

A.

Information on the IRP and FRP can be found on the IRP, Inc. website at http://www.irponline.org


What types of vehicles are eligible for apportioned registration?

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An apportionable vehicle is any power unit that is used or intended for use in two or more International Registration Plan (IRP) member jurisdictions and that is used for the transportation of persons for hire or designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property, and:

  1. has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms), or
  2. has three or more axles, regardless of weight, or
  3. is used in combination, when the gross vehicle weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms).

A recreational vehicle, a vehicle displaying restricted plates, a bus used in the transportation of chartered parties or a government-owned vehicle is not an apportionable vehicle. A truck or truck-tractor, or the power unit in a combination of vehicles having a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms), or less, and a bus used in the transportation of chartered parties may be registered under the IRP Plan at the option of the registrant.

What information do I need to establish an apportioned account?

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When establishing a new apportioned account, the applicant must provide three forms of identification to validate proof of residency. The names and addresses on each identifying document must match. One of the three documents must be either a Pennsylvania driver's license for an individual or verification with the Pennsylvania Department of State. The other two identification documents may include:

  • Current utility bill - electric, gas, water or cable
  • Filed federal tax document or receipt such as the Federal Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
  • Paid real estate or personal property tax receipt
  • Property lease agreement - must be a current lease or rental agreement signed and dated
  • A Pennsylvania certificate of title.
  • Current weapons permit

Additional documentation may be required to be produced to meet PennDOT's satisfaction.

Authorized business representative name, telephone number, e-mail address and fax number.

Once my account is established, how do I obtain apportioned registration for my vehicle(s)?

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If this is a new apportioned account the following proof is required to register a vehicle in the apportioned registration program. The information must contain the same address as the apportioned account. P.O. boxes may only be used for the mailing address.

  1. The account holder must be a Pennsylvania resident or have an established place of business in Pennsylvania, or be leased to a carrier (who is registering the vehicle) who has an established place of business in Pennsylvania;
  2. Provide proof of the actual title or Manufacturer's State of Origin (MSO), or a copy of the out of state title (front & back) if the registrant is leasing onto an established Pennsylvania fleet;
  3. Provide a stamped receipt proof of payment for the Federal Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, (HVUT). This may be an electronic receipt or a stamped paid receipt of Form 2290;
  4. Provide proof of financial responsibility(Insurance binder, declaration page or card)
  5. Additional documentation may be required to meet PennDOT's satisfaction.

Also, for single vehicles, complete Pennsylvania Form MV-550A or for multiple vehicles MV-550 and MV-551. Several MV-550 applications may be necessary depending on the number of vehicles required to be registered.

Are apportioned registrants required to have a USDOT number?

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Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Numbers. USDOT numbers are unique identifiers that assist in the collecting and monitoring of safety information of surface transportation, pursuant to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) that govern interstate, and some intrastate commerce.

A commercial motor vehicle means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle--

  1. Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater; or
  2. Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
  3. Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
  4. Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, Subtitle B, Chapter I, Subchapter C.

This USDOT number must be obtained prior to operating in interstate commerce by filling out the Forms MCS-150 and MCS-150A.

The application may be completed on-line by visiting the FMCSA at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/. Commercial motor carriers are required to update their USDOT information biannually.

Intrastate vehicles are also required to display a USDOT number pursuant to 67 PA. Code, Chapter 231.

How do I get a US DOT number?

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The USDOT Number may be obtained online by completing the Federal form MCS-150 application. The form may be made available through your local Federal building or the PennDOT Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg. Applicants completing the form online shall be issued a USDOT Number immediately through that process.

When is the IRS, Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) required? What proof of payment is acceptable?

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Federal Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) must be paid directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Electronic filing is required for each tax return reporting 25 or more vehicles that are filed during the tax period. However, all taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically regardless of the number of vehicles being reported.

Acceptable proof of payment is:

  1. A copy of an IRS Form 2290, Schedule 1, which has been date stamped as "paid" by the IRS and contains the vehicle's identification number (VIN); or,
  2. An Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) 'e-file' receipt.
  3. A copy of an IRS Form 2290, Schedule 1 containing the vehicle identification number, and a copy of the front and back of the cancelled check for the appropriate tax year payment.

If a registrant is exempt from tax payment, the IRS shall provide a stamped receipt of the filing. For more detailed information concerning the HVUT and exemptions, please visit the Internal Revenue Service website at www.irs.gov

HVUT is required to be paid annually. What are the correct dates for the Form 2290 during the renewal period?

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PennDOT accepts a copy of the IRS Form 2290 stamped paid or electronic receipt for the current year July 1, through June 30.

The information on my renewal application is incorrect. How do I correct it?

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Make all corrections in red ink. Draw a red line through the incorrect data, list the appropriate corrections and submit to PennDOT for processing.

How do I add a vehicle to my apportioned account?

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Complete Form MV-552A. The certificate of title to the vehicle and any lease agreements (if applicable) are required. Vehicles with an out of state certificate of title require a VIN tracing and weight verification by a certified Pennslyvania Inspection mechanic, notary public employed by a manufacturer, dealer or an authorized full agent of the Department, as defined in Chapter 43.

I did not receive a form in the mail to record apportioned distances. How do I report my distance travelled?

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Apportioned customers are no longer required to submit distance traveled in advance of the apportioned registration renewal process. Distance reporting will be captured at the time of renewal.

I did not receive my renewal invitation, how can I obtain a new one?

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There are several ways to obtain an apportioned renewal application.

  • Complete Form MV-550 and MV-551 if renewing a fleet with multiple vehicles.
  • Complete Form MV-550A if renewing a fleet with one vehicle.
  • Contact the PennDOT Customer Call Center at 1-800-932-4600. Please have your apportioned account number available when you call.

What method of payments is accepted for apportioned transactions and where can I pay my invoice?

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Payments may be made with cash (for in-person transactions) or certified funds. Money orders, certified checks, and ComData checks are acceptable.

Payments may be made at PennDOT's Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg. However, the last two weeks of May and the first week of June, the apportioned counter operations are moved to the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Building also located in Harrisburg. During this period, the alternate location is utilized to provide our customers' greater convenience and ample parking facilities.

Payments may also be accepted at local Temporary Authority (TA) agencies provided the renewal invoice is submitted. Please be aware the TA agents do not stock the actual registration credentials. If no changes are required on the invoice transaction a 60-day temporary authorization may be issued.

Payments may be mailed to the address below. Please ensure certified payment is sent along with the apportioned invoice. Write the apportioned account number on the certified payment.

PA Department of Transportation
Commercial Registration Section
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 68286
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8286

Express mail deliveries should be addressed to:

PA Department of Transportation
Commercial Registration Section
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
1101 S. Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Where is the nearest Temporary Authority (TA) Agent?

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Refer to the Driver and Vehicle Services section of this website. Search on "agent locations" for Temporary Authority agents.

How do I delete a vehicle from my apportioned account that I no longer have?

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Complete Form MV-552A. If the registration plate is no longer being used, it should be returned to the Commercial Registration Section, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 68285, Harrisburg, PA 17106-8285 along with the registration (cab) card.

How do I obtain a refund for a vehicle?

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Complete Form MV-700. Attach the registration plate, un-affixed registration sticker and unsigned cab card to the application.

How do I cancel my apportioned account?

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Submit a letter to the Commercial Registration Section at the address below requesting that your apportioned account be closed or write CANCEL or CLOSE ACCOUNT on your renewal notice and return it to the Commercial Registration Section. The registration plate(s) must be returned to PennDOT.

PA Department of Transportation
Commercial Registration Section
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 68286
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8286

Where do I call to inquire about apportioned registration or the status of a transaction?

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Contact the PennDOT Customer Call Center at 1-800-932-4600. Please have the apportioned account number or the exact account name when calling to inquire about the status of your application.

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