Fuel Smarts

IRP Base State Question Now In Court

March 16, 2000

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What's your base state? The International Registration Plan says it's the state where you maintain your principal place of business -- not the address of your licening bureau. Truckers Bookkeeping Service doesn’t agree, and has taken the issue to court.

Last November a dispute resolution committee of IRP Inc., the governing authority for multi-state truck registration, ruled against using a third-party licensing agent’s address as a carrier's base state. The decision was potentially devastating to agents, many of which are based in low fee states and market their services by offering to let carriers use their address as an IRP base.
Oklahoma City-based TBS says IRP’s decision is wrong. The registration plan, it insists,
recognizes the right of agents to provide their trucking clients with an "established place of business" for purposes of paying vehicle registration fees in that jurisdiction. It immediately filed a lawsuit alleging that the IRP committee had no authority, under the plan or its own charter, to make what amounted to a change.
"TBS believes the committee's action is inconsistent with plan provisions and precedent, and with applicable regulations of the Oklahoma Tax Commission," the company said. "At the very least, formal amendment of the plan by ballot of the state and province member jurisdictions would be required to change the plan."
TBS recently issued a press release stating that IRP admitted, in court documents, that it has no power to enforce the November ruling. Consequently the company has withdrawn its application for a preliminary injunction but will "vigorously pursue" a permanent injunction.
"We’re happy that the IRP has finally admitted that it can’t tell us what to do," said a TBS spokesman. "But so long as the IRP thinks it can force a change in Oklahoma law, we’re still under the gun. So long as the decision remains on the books our business and hundreds of Oklahoma-registered truckers are threatened."
No one at IRP was available for comment.

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