International Registration Plan (IRP)


Important Renewal Information

All IRP renewals for the registration year must be completed by June 30. Carriers should complete their renewal application in a timely manner to ensure the application is processed so that operating credentials are received prior to the July 1 enforcement date. See the Renewal Information Booklet for instructions for completing your renewal application.


As of January 1997, the International Registration Plan, commonly called IRP, is an optional program for licensing commercial vehicles traveling in two or more IRP jurisdictions. A jurisdiction may be a state or Canadian Province. As of January 1997, all states, except Hawaii and Alaska, are members.

If a Massachusetts registered commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight over 26,000 lbs. chooses not to register under IRP, it cannot travel interstate, that is outside of Massachusetts, without first calling ahead and purchasing Trip Permits from each state that it wishes to travel through. The vehicle will be cited for being unregistered if it is stopped in any other jurisdiction if it does not have an IRP registration listing the subject jurisdictions on the cab card, or has not purchased Trip Permits from each state on its itinerary.

All IRP member jurisdictions are required to comply with the following three basic concepts of the Plan: Issuing an apportioned license plate; issuing a single registration or Cab Card, and allowing intrastate and interstate movement.

Under IRP, an interstate carrier files an application with the jurisdiction in which it is based. That jurisdiction is known as the base jurisdiction. IRP allows the base jurisdiction to collect the registration fees for the other IRP jurisdictions. Fees are based upon mileage and weight information submitted by the carrier. The base jurisdiction issues a set of Apportioned Plates and a Cab Card for each vehicle. The Cab Card lists all IRP jurisdictions and the corresponding weights that the carrier has requested.

You may register your vehicle(s) in the IRP Plan if you travel in Massachusetts and at least one other IRP jurisdiction and the vehicle is used, maintained, or designed primarily for the transportation of property; used for the transportation of persons for hire; or is a power unit with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds, or with three or more axles, regardless of the weight, or that hauls another unit and the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 lbs.

There are four locations in Massachusetts where IRP applications (available on our "Registration Forms" page) are processed. They include:

Please note:  2017 will be the last renewal season that in-person transactions will be accepted at the 25 Newport Avenue Extension, Quincy Headquarters location.

To obtain IRP registrations in Massachusetts you must have an established place of business in Massachusetts. You must then submit a completed Massachusetts IRP application listing all the jurisdictions that the vehicle(s) will travel in, an estimate of the mileage to be traveled in each jurisdiction, and the gross vehicle weight of each vehicle for each jurisdiction. Along with the IRP application, an insurance certified application for Registration and Title, commonly called an RMV-1, and the Certificate of Origin or Title for each vehicle must be submitted. The IRP Processing Center cannot determine your registration fees until your completed application has been processed. The cost of your IRP registration will depend upon the percentage of miles traveled in each IRP jurisdiction, the registered combined gross vehicle weight, as well as that jurisdiction's registration fee.

An IRP Apportioned Registration does not exempt a carrier from the payment of Motor Fuel Taxes in any state; nor exempt a carrier from obtaining operating authority from a state where the apportioned vehicle operates; nor exempt a carrier from payment of Federal Highway Vehicle Use Tax (IRS form #2290); nor permit a carrier to exceed maximum height, length, width, and axle limitations nor permit the violation of "bridge laws."

Vehicles that are exempt from the IRP include government owned vehicles; buses and livery vehicles used exclusively for charter parties; vehicles displaying a restricted plate such as dealer, repair, transporter, owner contractor, or farm; city pick-up and delivery vehicles and recreational vehicles.

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