Alabama asks truckers to swap IRP tags; come home

| Wednesday, August 07, 2002

The Alabama Department of Revenue is asking all Alabama trucking companies to drop their Oklahoma registrations and register in their home state. The department is offering to forgive past property taxes for those who do, or ticket those who don't.

On April 1, the International Registration Plan imposed sanctions against the state of Oklahoma for permitting third-party registration agents to allow interstate motor carriers to use their physical address and telephone numbers as the qualification for an Oklahoma registration.

Charles Crumbley, director of investigations for the DOR told Land Line that before his men began giving out tickets he had attended an IRP meeting in Washington, DC, and had personally gone to Oklahoma to see the third party registrars. "There are more than 30 agents that we know of," he said. "We found one in a hospital, one address is a vacant lot, some in fancy office buildings. All have thousands of truckers as clients." He went on to say he didn't quite understand why an Alabama trucker would want to register in Oklahoma. "We're ranked 43rd in the country in trucking fees, we can't be that high."

Carla Snellgrove, media spokesman for ADOR, said the department is trying to get the word out to motor carriers. "Check your tags to make sure you are in compliance with your base-state laws and IRP regulations. ADOR is stepping up enforcement. If you let it go, you may be ticketed," she said. "Tickets will cost those who are stopped with improper tags from $200 to $500 plus court costs."

According to a statement released by ADOR, no additional Alabama IRP registration fees will be charged for an expired Oklahoma license plate. The registrants will not have to seek a refund of IRP fees paid to the state of Oklahoma. Crumbley explained his department was trying to make the exchange as easy as possible. "We are also doing audits, so if they don't come in voluntarily their company may be hit for all the back fees."

The process will simply be a swap - an Alabama plate and cab card for an unexpired Oklahoma plate and cabcard. There will be an issuance fee of $1.75 per vehicle and any Alabama property tax and sales tax due must be paid before Alabama IRP license plate and cabcard will be issued. "We are only collecting one year's back taxes," Crumbley explained. "The swap will be from the month they come in to the end of registration."

Crumbley said registrants have to meet certain criteria to swap plates. The criterion is available from the IRP. Application forms are available in Montgomery at the IRP office, Room 1239 of the Gordon Persons Building, online at www.ador.state.al.us or by contacting the IRP at (334) 242-2999.
--Donna Carlson, staff writer

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