IRP Burps

How are U.S. States going to treat IRP-registered trucks or recognize full-and-free reciprocity agreements?

That’s a question trucking operations across the entire eastern half of Canada have to address, because Quebec and Atlantic Canada also start IRP on April 1. Manitoba jumps in a month earlier, March 1, to coincide with its annual vehicle registration period. IRP, as you know, is an agreement among U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions that facilitates the proper apportionment and distribution of vehicle registration fees. Most jurisdictions in North America-including British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan-already belong.

The easy answer for you is to maintain the status quo. Get your licences for the full year (you probably won’t be refunded for the months after IRP takes effect in your home province), or buy individual trip permits instead, depending on what’s cheaper or makes the most sense for your operation.

Bear in mind that annual vehicle registration fees are changing next year. In some cases, the new charges are dramatically different. Phone each jurisdiction you run through and find out its fee schedule. When you do, ask whether the state is developing an interim transition policy for vehicles in jurisdictions joining IRP later in the year-an alternative that would allow carriers in Manitoba and Eastern Canada to bridge that three-month gap.

Right now there’s no promise anywhere that these provisions will happen. Since you’re already on the phone, be sure to ask.

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