Fuel Smarts

Oklahoma Legislative Committee Looks at New Registration Rules

February 20, 2002

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The Oklahoma legislature has joined the fracas over new residency rules for truck registration.

The rules, adopted by the state’s Tax Commission earlier this month, essentially ban trucking companies (but not owner-operators) from using third party agents to establish Oklahoma as their base state under the International Registration Plan. The change came after IRP threatened sanctions, including the loss of reciprocity fees from other jurisdictions, if Oklahoma didn’t tighten its residency rules.
Not surprisingly, the main opponents to the new rules have been third party agents. In recent testimony before a legislative committee, a spokesman for the Association of Transportation Consultants reportedly argued that the previous registration rules offered truckers low fees and helped make Oklahoma the top state in the nation for registering trucks.
Other states have, in fact, complained that Oklahoma’s rules allow truckers to avoid higher registration fees and property taxes in their own states. The Oklahoma Trucking Assn. supports the new rules. Testifying before the legislative committee, David McCorkle of McCorkle Truck Lines warned that alienating the IRP could make Oklahoma an island in the trucking world that would be avoided by other trucking companies.
The legislative committee postponed a decision and may be awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit brought by ProCert Inc., an Oklahoma-based consulting firm that offers registration services. ProCert says the new residency requirements violate the trucking industry’s constitutional rights of due process, equal protection and freedom of contract. An Oklahoma district court has issued a temporary restraining order and is scheduled to hear arguments in early March. IRP has postponed sanctions until that case is decided.

Related stories:
"New "Place of Business" Rules for Oklahoma-Based Truckers," 2/6/2002
"Owner-Operators Not Included in Oklahoma Registration Changes," 2/8/2002
"Court Blocks New Oklahoma Registration Rules," 2/12/2002.

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