It is the responsibility of commercial vehicle owners/operators to file taxes and have the appropriate operating authorities.

The following definitions were compiled to assist you in determining which taxes and operating authorities you are responsible for:


Private Carrier
Transports goods or property and is not for-hire.
For-Hire Carrier
Transports goods or passengers for payment.
Intrastate Carrier
Transports goods or passengers within the state of Kentucky.
Interstate Carrier
Transports goods or passengers across state lines.

Licenses

Considering commercial driving in KY? Make sure you have the necessary licenses.

 Note: Carriers need to renew decals for KIT and IFTA licenses on a yearly basis, otherwise these licenses will become inactive.

Kentucky Highway Use License ( KYU )

This license is required for vehicles with a combined licensed weight of 60,000 lbs. and above to report mileage tax.

International Fuel Tax Agreement License ( IFTA )

This license is required for interstate carriers with a gross vehicle weight or a registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 lbs. or vehicles with 3 or more axles regardless of weight to report fuel use tax. Kentucky currently exempts farm plated vehicles, buses and government vehicles. Exemptions are different for each state. If you are required to file taxes you will need to obtain an IFTA license through Kentucky.

Kentucky Intrastate Tax License ( KIT )

This license is required for intrastate carriers with a gross vehicle weight or a registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 lbs. or vehicles with 3 or more axles regardless of weight to report fuel use tax.

Authorities

INTRAstate Authority

Required for all intrastate for-hire carriers

Kentucky Passenger and Household Goods Certificate

Required for intrastate for-hire carriers transporting passengers and/or household goods.
To obtain an application for this authority, please call (502) 564-1257 or e-mail.
Learn more about Passenger Vehicles or a Household Goods Certificate.

FMCSA Operating Authority

Required if you are operating as an interstate for-hire carrier transporting goods subject to FMCSA operating authority regulations. To obtain an application for this authority, please call (202) 358-7106 or (202) 358-7108.

US DOT Number

Required if you are operating vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating or actual gross weight of 10,001 lbs. or above and used in commerce. Some private farm plated vehicles also need a DOT number. Farm plated vehicles with the gross vehicle weight rating or actual gross weight of 10,001 lbs. or above operating interstate will need a DOT number. INTRAstate farm plated vehicles with the gross vehicle weight rating or actual gross weight exceeding 26,000 lbs. will also need a DOT number. To obtain an application: call (800) 832-5660 or visit the FMCSA at fmcsa.dot.gov

International Registration Plan ( IRP )

Required for interstate carriers who operate through two or more of the member jurisdictions with a gross weight exceeding 26,000 lbs. or vehicles with 3 or more axles regardless of weight.
Vehicles operating intrastate in any member jurisdiction would either need to have an IRP Apportion Registration or Purchase a Trip Permit
For questions regarding this authority, please call (502) 564-1257 or e-mail irp.dmc@ky.gov.

 KY IRP Online​

Unified Carrier Registration( UCR )

A Federal Mandated Program enforced by participating states. UCR (Unified Carrier Registration) - any motor carrier that operates in interstate or international commerce is subject to the UCRA fees. This includes: Motor Carriers, Motor Private Carriers, Leasing Companies, Brokers, and Freight Forwarders.
Unified Carrier Registration Portal

Further Information

If you are leasing from or will be leasing to another motor carrier please contact the company to determine which party will be responsible for paying taxes and obtaining the necessary authorities. If you are uncertain as to which of the licenses and authorities apply to you, contact the Division of Motor Carriers and a customer service representative will be able to assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

A KYU number is a tax license number issued for the Kentucky Weight Distance Tax. Under KRS 138.660(3), any carrier over 59,999 pounds traveling in Kentucky is subject to this tax.
All incoming applications are processed within 7 to 14 business days of the receipt of the application. When your application is fully processed, you will receive by mail a letter of issuance with your new tax license number on it, as well as the necessary quarterly tax forms to be filed.
There is NO FEE TO OBTAIN a permanent KYU tax license number, but you are still responsible for the quarterly mileage tax. You may apply online for a permanent KYU number through the Motor Carrier Portal or through the mail with a paper application.
Register and obtain a KYU number online using the Motor Carrier Portal or use the Kentucky Trucking Application (TC 95-1) to apply by mail. Allow 10 to 14 business days for applications mailed to this office.
No.  KRS 138.660 establishes the fuel tax, surtax, and Kentucky Weight Distance Tax (KYU) You cannot pay for KYU on your IFTA tax form. IFTA is a fuel tax based on the fuel consumed by a vehicle within a certain IFTA jurisdiction. IFTA taxable vehicles start at over 26,000 pounds or has 3 or more axles regardless of weight. KYU however, is a highway usage tax that is based purely on KY mileage. KYU taxable vehicles start at over 59,999 pounds. If your vehicle is over 59,999 pounds, you will need to pay both.

Commonly Made Mistakes

Please make sure that you have received your certificate of authority from the FMCSA before you apply online or send in the application. If you have always been an intrastate or private motor carrier you don’t have to worry about this.
Please check your current US DOT record to make sure that all information matches by checking the carrier snapshot for your company at the FMCSA SAFER web site at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/. To update your information if it is currently incorrect, visit the FMCSA website or call FMCSA at (800) 832-5660.
When mailing the application, please include an original signature, representative title, and date in Section 7 before mailing the application. Unfortunately, all applications without an original signature must be rejected. Copied signatures, stamped signatures, faxed signatures, and POA signatures without a copy of the power of attorney attached will result in the application being rejected as well.
Please read all sections and the instructions carefully. The required sections are marked “Required”. If you are still confused as to what needs to be completed, please call our office at (502) 564-1257 before you submit the application.
Please make sure all vehicle information is completed in Section 3. This includes the plate number, state of registration, complete VIN number, unit number, year, make, and gross weight. Vehicles licensed in Kentucky, must also include the title number.
For in-state carriers, please call our office at (502) 564-1257 if you have previously had credentials with the KY Division of Motor Carriers before you submit a new application. For out-of-state carriers, please make sure that your US DOT number, and motor carrier authority (if applicable) are both active. The Unified Carrier Registration must also be completed before submitting an application.
Kentucky Intrastate For-Hire Authority is for carriers that pick up and deliver the same cargo within Kentucky. Out of state carriers that are for-hire that only transport cargo across state lines using the motor carrier authority from FMCSA, are not required to have this authority. Out of state carriers that are for-hire and do both intrastate and interstate transportation of carrier, will be required to complete Section 6 and submit the applicable fee and Form E insurance filing. The Unified Carrier Registration vehicle fees must be paid before applying for this authority.
Kentucky based companies that transport cargo as an intrastate carrier only and apply for intrastate for-hire authority must submit the $25 application fee and the $10 per vehicle fee with the application. Carriers that transport cargo as an intrastate carrier and an interstate carrier and apply for intrastate for-hire authority must submit the $25 application fee regardless of the company’s base state.
The proof of insurance card is not the same as a Form E insurance filing. The original Form E must come directly from the insurance carrier to our office by mail or electronically through the National Online Registries (NOR) website. Faxed copies will not be processed. If the insurance carrier does not know what a Form E is, please have them call our office at (502) 564-1257.
PLEASE allow 10 - 14 business days for processing of any incoming application. Sending your application Fed Ex, UPS, or overnight mail will only save you on the mailing time; NOT the processing time. Additional time may be required to process for-hire authorities if the Form E is not already in our office.
Please read the application carefully. Not all of it will apply to you. You will only need to send money if you are applying for some type of for-hire authority through Kentucky. All other credentials do not have an application fee.