Governor Expedites Inspection Process to Attract Large Trucking Firms

This week Governor Bob McDonnell issued a proclamation that expedites the safety inspection process for commercial motor vehicles traveling the Commonwealth’s highways by eliminating the duplicative layers of federal and state mandates. The proclamation results from cooperative work between Secretary of Public Safety Marla Decker and Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton to make Virginia more attractive to trucking companies for purposes of titling and registering their vehicles.

Effective immediately, any commercial motor vehicle, subject to regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), that is registered in Virginia and operates in interstate commerce, and is found to meet the federal requirements for annual safety inspection, shall be deemed to be in compliance with Virginia safety inspection laws.

Speaking about the expedited process, Governor McDonnell remarked, “Previously, heavy trucks that operate in multiple jurisdictions were required to display a Virginia safety inspection sticker if the vehicle displayed Virginia license plates.   Many large trucking firms meet safety inspection requirements through a self-inspection program authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.   By accepting the federally authorized safety inspection programs, Virginia affords trucking companies flexibility to keep fleets safely moving from state to state without stopping at a Virginia inspection station once a year.”

Heavy trucks that operate interstate are registered through an agreement called the International Registration Plan (IRP) which is an agreement between the states and most Canadian provinces.   Under the IRP, trucking companies conduct all of their business with their base state.   This allows them to work with one state to get their fleets of vehicles registered to operate in all states and provinces that are party to the agreement.   Large companies with an established place of business in many states may designate their base jurisdiction.

“Virginia prides itself on being a business-friendly state,” said Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton.   “As a result of the Commonwealth’s adoption of the federal safety inspection requirements together with existing benefits such as permanent plates, an electronic renewal system and no sales and use tax on the purchase of trucks and trailers over 26,000 pounds, companies will be more inclined to select Virginia for vehicle titling and registration needs.”

UPS has chosen Virginia to support its IRP registration needs for 300 new vehicles being purchased this summer.   UPS Fleet License Manager Paul Kovalik says the company selected Virginia “for a variety of reasons, but most importantly because of the Department of Motor Vehicles’ strong service orientation, the positive working relationship we have with Virginia, and the many automated processes Virginia offers that save us time and money.   We look forward to expanding our Virginia fleet and the partnership we have with the Commonwealth.”