What is IRP & Who Needs It?
IRP stands for International Registration Plan. It is an agreement that provides for the apportioned registration of commercial motor vehicles based on the total miles traveled in each jurisdiction. IRP registration replaces normal in-state commercial registration for vehicles who are required to get it.
The IRP consists of two main items. First are the apportioned plates themselves. These go on the truck and identify you as an apportioned vehicle when you enter a port or weigh station. Second is your Cab Card, often called your registration. This piece of paper identifies the vehicle, plate number, registered weight by jurisdiction, and the jurisdictions in which your vehicle is registered. As the name suggests, you must keep this card in the cab of your truck at all times.
IRP is the registration - including the plates- for your vehicle. It is required for vehicles crossing state lines with a GVW over 26,000 lbs. or vehicles that have three or more axles. Though, any commercial vehicle can opt to register for IRP instead of normal commercial combination plates.
Trailers are not required to be apportioned (have IRP plates) and can be registered at your local DMV. States may take from one to four weeks to process the request. Once the state has processed the order and you have paid the fees, they will mail out the plates and cab card or you may be required to pick them up at one of their office locations. You may also be issued a temporary cab card so you can get started. If you receive your cab card and have still not received your plates, you can still legally run, but will be required to display your cab card clearly on your passenger window.
The registration is issued per the VIN of the vehicle and must be printed and placed in the cab of the vehicle(s). You must renew your plates each year. The expiration date varies per state and is printed on the cab card.