ExpressIFTA Blog

Friday, August 14, 2015

IFTA Jargon 101 With ExpressIFTA

With IFTA, there are lots of terms and acronyms thrown about, and unless you're well-versed in IFTA jargon, you may be left wondering what on earth someone is talking about when you hear them. That’s where we come in at ExpressIFTA, so just keep reading and we’ll explain some of the most commonly used IFTA terms and what they mean.

IFTA Jargon 101

Below are some of the most used IFTA terms and definitions:

Unladen Weight: For IFTA purposes, the only weight that matters is the unladen weight, unlike with your 2290 and the taxable gross weight. The unladen weight of the vehicle is the vehicle’s weight when it is not carrying any passengers, goods, or other items. It does, however, include the body of the vehicle and all parts that are normally used with the vehicle or trailer. The weight of a full tank of fuel is not included in the unladen weight.

IFTA Temp. Permit: An IFTA temporary permit is a permit that must be obtained to place a qualified motor vehicle into service before you’ve received the vehicle's permanent IFTA decals. The temporary permit is valid for 30 days, and the permit along with your IFTA license must be kept inside of the vehicle. Temporary IFTA permits are only valid for the vehicle they were ordered for, and they cannot be obtained unless your account is in good standing.

IFTA Base Jurisdiction: For IFTA, you will be required to register and send payment to your base jurisdiction. Your base jurisdiction is the state where your business is headquartered, unless your state does not participate in IFTA. (Hawaii and Alaska) This is the state you will obtain your IFTA license and two decals from, and those will authorize you to travel in all IFTA jurisdictions. You will only have to file one tax return each quarter with your base jurisdiction, and as you know, you will also have to report your fuel mileage and your mileage driven in each jurisdiction. Also note that if you ever do face the unfortunate event of an audit, they are typically only performed by your base jurisdiction.

IRP Base Jurisdiction: Your IRP base jurisdiction works just like your IFTA base jurisdiction, although the two do not have to be the same. In order to get your cab card and your necessary plates for each vehicle, you will need to register with your base jurisdiction. By registering for IRp, you will have the authority to operate interstate. The requirements and rules for obtaining and maintaining your registration vary from state to state, so if you ever have any questions regarding documentation for insurance, authority, etc, be sure to contact your base jurisdiction.

Qualified Motor Vehicle: Only qualified motor vehicles are required to register for IFTA and IRP. What is a qualified vehicle? A qualified vehicle is categorized as any vehicle that:

  • Has three or more axles
  • Has two axles, and a registered gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds 
  • Is used in a combination that has a registered gross weight of over 26,000 pounds
Vehicles such as campers or motorhomes do not count as qualified vehicles when individuals use it for personal pleasure only. Vehicles must be used in connection with a business operation in order to be considered a qualified vehicle.

We hope this helps clear up some of your IFTA questions, but if you ever have any others, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call at 704.234.6005, email us at, or even live chat with us straight from our website.

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