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Truck Trip & Fuel Permit Requirements

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Commercial carriers must register and complete quarterly forms to comply with the International Fuel Tax Agreement. Carriers register with IFTA in their base state and track all miles and fuel purchases. The various states they pass through receive reimbursement for fuel taxes. Carriers also register an apportioned tag in their base state for each state they travel through, and the money is distributed to the states to pay for road use taxes. If a carrier travels through a state not on their registration or apportioned tag, they must receive a temporary permit from the state to travel in it.

Purchase Permit Before Entering State

All states require that you pay for permits before you enter the state. Your drivers can pick them up at the first weigh station if necessary, but you cannot buy them there. You can use a permit service to order, and they will fax the permit to the location you request. Some states now sell permits on their websites, and that is the option to use if you only need one permit.

Weight Requirements

States require commercial vehicles more than 26,000 pounds to purchase permits. Vehicles with three or more axles must buy permits regardless of their weight. The only states to differ on weight requirements are Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. In Arizona and California, all commercial vehicles must have a permit, although California allows you to carry your personal belongings without one. Nevada requires commercial vehicles more than 10,001 pounds to acquire a permit, and in New Mexico, trucks more than 12,001 pounds require a permit.


Permits are valid for between three and 15 days depending on the state. Permits must have the dates and the number of days the permit will be valid. You can purchase permits ahead of time, but you cannot make any changes after you order.

Vehicle Identification

The permit must have the truck's Vehicle Identification Number, make and model on it. You must specify the correct motor carrier name and unit number for the permit to be valid. The truck's travel will be restricted if the information on the permit is not correct.