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Registering Your Company and Vehicles

Company Registrations

There are several registration processes to complete before operating a commercial motor vehicle.

U.S. DOT or Maryland DOT number

All DOT numbers must be obtained from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Operating Authority (MC number)

You must obtain operating authority if you are an interstate for-hire passenger or property carrier, unless specifically exempt.

You must obtain operating authority if you are an intrastate passenger carrier, unless specifically exempt.

Unified Carrier Registration

All interstate motor carriers, motor private carriers, leasing companies, brokers, and freight forwarders are required to register under the Unified Carrier Registration Act (UCR).

Maryland is not a participating state.  It is not registering carriers nor collecting fees.  Maryland interstate carriers, private carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies must register with an UCR state, thus establishing a “base state.”  The UCR Agreement applies to the following types of operations of passenger and property in interstate commerce:  Motor carrier; Motor private carrier; Freight forwarder; Broker; and Leasing company.  All registrants are required to submit an annual filing of information required within the UCR Agreement.

Vehicle Registrations

Choose Apportioned Registration or Maryland-only registration:

  • If you will regularly operate a vehicle interstate and the combined/gross vehicle weight is 26,001pounds or more, you need Apportioned Registration under the International Registration Plan (IRP).
  • If you operate interstate, and your vehicles weigh less than 26,000 pounds, you need Maryland-only registration.
  • If you operate ANY size vehicle only intrastate, you need Maryland-only registration.

The Apportioned Registration Manual is a guide to the International Registration Plan (IRP) process for commercial vehicles that will be based in Maryland and will operate in other jurisdictions as well.

The Motor Carrier Handbook provides information on registration as well as other regulations for commercial vehicle operators.

Interstate Operations --  Apportioned Registration under the International Registration Plan (IRP)

You must use apportioned registration (IRP) if your vehicle travels in Maryland and in other IRP jurisdictions, and it is used for the transportation of persons for-hire, or it is designed, used or maintained primarily for the transportation of property, and

  • it is a power unit having two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross weight in excess of 26,000 pounds, or
  • it is a power unit having three or more axles, regardless of weight, or
  • it is used in combination, when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight
  • IRP is optional for two axle vehicles, or combinations thereof, having a gross weight of 26,000 pounds orless.

Under IRP, you must decide which IRP jurisdictions you will operate in (48 states, the District of Columbia, and 11 Canadian provinces).  You must keep track of the miles driven by your fleet in each IRP jurisdiction and report the mileage annually.  The fee calculation is based on the fees in each of the jurisdictions, apportioned according to the percentage of miles your fleet drives in each.

To obtain additional information, please visit MVA's Apportioned Registration Website, or call 410-787-2971 or 1-800-950-1MVA(1682).

Interstate Operations -- Dump Service Operations

Maryland and Pennsylvania do not have dump service truck registration reciprocity.

Interstate Operations -- Trip Permits

An out-of-state vehicle operator must obtain a Maryland 72-hour Trip Permit prior to driving the vehicle in Maryland when all of these conditions are true:

  • the vehicle is registered in another jurisdiction; and,
  • the vehicle meets the criteria for apportioned registration, but is not authorized to travel in Maryland (vehicle may or may not have an apportioned registration in the other jurisdiction); and,
  • the vehicle operator wishes to drive the vehicle in Maryland for only a brief period of time (less than 3 days).

Note that the use of a Maryland 72-hour Trip Permit is only recommended when the out-of-state vehicle will be driven in Maryland less than three times a year.

Trip permits can be obtained from third-party commercial providers. For a list of trip permit providers, contact MVA at 1-800-950-1MVA (1682).

Interstate Operations -- Fuel Tax (IFTA) Filing

All interstate and inter-jurisdictional carriers that travel in International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) member jurisdictions with a qualified motor vehicle must file fuel taxes through the IFTA.  IFTA member jurisdictions include all contiguous states (except Alaska and the District of Columbia) and Canadian provinces (except Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon Territory).

  • A "qualified motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle used, designed, or maintained for the transportation of persons or property and:

    -- has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered weight exceeding 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms;

    -- has three or more axles regardless of weight; or
    -- is used in combination when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms 
        gross vehicle weight, or registered gross vehicle weight.
    -- Qualified motor vehicle does not include recreational vehicles and vehicles owned by the U.S. Government.

The Maryland Comptroller's Motor Fuel Tax division handles IFTA.  For an IFTA compliance manual and to file electronically, visit the Comptroller's Office Motor Fuel Tax Division.

In-State Operations -- Maryland-only Registration

  • If you operate ANY size vehicle only intrastate, you need Maryland-only registration.
  • If you operate interstate, and your vehicles weigh less than 26,000 pounds, you need Maryland-only registration.

MDOT MVA Vehicle Titling and Registration has information on registration.

In-State Operations -- Multi-year Fleet Registration

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has a registration process that may be used for fleets of 25 or more intrastate commercial vehicles. The program is not available for vehicles with Apportioned Registration.

For more details on obtaining a Multi-year Fleet Registration, contact MDOT MVA at 1-800-950-1MVA (1682).