IRP tells Oklahoma to pay Illinois $6.3 million in base-plating case

| Friday, April 16, 2004

The International Registration Plan has awarded Illinois $6.3 million in a dispute with Oklahoma over registration fees.

The dispute grew out of Oklahoma’s administration of its IRP program, which allowed out-of-state truckers to base plate in Oklahoma, a state with substantially lower registration fees. Many of the truckers used post offices boxes or registered using third-party agents.

In addition, recent court cases have revealed that private companies had falsified some truckers’ mileage reports, upon which the distribution of IRP funds is based. The IRP is an interstate compact that regulates the payments of truck registration fees, with a portion of the fees going to each state a trucker drives in based on the percentage of his total miles he runs in that state.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White filed a claim more than three years ago against Oklahoma over the out-of-state truck registrations and false mileage estimates, his office said in a statement. 

In 2002, IRP’s Dispute Resolution Committee ruled that Oklahoma’s practice of allowing out-of-state truckers to base plate there was not in compliance with the interstate pact; that fall, the IRP ordered Oklahoma to change its ways.

The Dispute Resolution Committee ruled recently that Oklahoma must pay Illinois $6.3 million to compensate for the losses. Illinois will keep $3.1 million in fees it had already withheld from Oklahoma; officials in Springfield plan to pursue the rest, as well as 4 percent interest on the unpaid fees and a 10 percent penalty if the outstanding fees aren't paid within 45 days.

White’s office said that if Oklahoma did not pay the money, Illinois would continue to withhold registration fees that would normally be due to Oklahoma until the full amount is collected.

However, the case is not entirely closed yet. According to Pantagraph.com, Oklahoma officials have filed an appeal asking a federal court in the western district of Oklahoma to overturn the decision.

Illinois plans to deposit any money it recovers in the case into its road fund.

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