Virginia IRP blames computer error for fee screw up

| 12/28/2006

Within the past week, OOIDA has had several members call with complaints regarding extra charges from Virginia IRP. Apparently there was a computer error as far back as 2003 in calculating the fees and now Virginia is charging the registrants for those fees.

Virginia, along with all other states in the continental U.S., the District of Columbia and 10 Canadian provinces, belong to the International Registration Plan for the registration of semi-trucks and trailers, as well as certain other types of vehicles.

Under the plan, a truck owner can register in one state and pay to that state the pro-rated registration fees for all of the states in which the truck operates. The fees paid for a given state depend on the number of miles the truck or trailer operates in that state and the annual registration fee in that state. The state in which the vehicle is registered then transmits the fees collected to the appropriate states.

Deborah Brown, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, confirmed in an e-mail to OOIDA that the system failed to charge the IRP-estimated jurisdictions at the second year estimate rate.

"We consulted with our attorney general's office and were informed that we had an obligation to bill for these charges in light of the inter-jurisdictional relationships," Brown stated. "These are the fees the carriers should have paid at the time of their registrations."

Brown explained in her e-mail that Virginia understands this may cause a hardship for some carriers and has, therefore, offered a payment plan to any carrier owing more than $1,000. All carriers have until March 30, 2007, to pay.

"We set up a special toll-free phone line, and although due to the high volume of calls the carrier may not be able to speak to someone immediately, we are returning the calls within 24 hours," Brown stated. "When we do, if we have to leave a message, we leave our name and our direct line for the carrier to call us back. They do not have to go back through the toll-free line."

The toll-free number is 1-866-812-6371. Motor carriers may also call the Virginia Trucking Association at (804) 355-5371 for more information.

- By Land Line staff