An Oklahoma County district court on April 12 upheld Oklahoma’s new registration rules with tougher requirements for out-of-state trucking firms seeking registration there.
The most prominent of the rules states that an “established place of business” can’t be provided for a registrant by or in the form of a registration agent or other third party.
Oklahoma had faced sanctions from the International Registration Plan, which controls the distribution of truck licensing fees among the U.S. states and Canada. The IRP requires registrants to have an established place of business within their state of registration, and prohibits use of a third-party licensing provider to meet that requirement.
Oklahoma had originally issued the new rules in February, but a lawsuit filed by registration agents led to a court order blocking enforcement of the rules, until the judge’s final decision April 12.
ProCert, the firm that filed the lawsuit, is looking at appealing the decision or going to federal court, according to H.N. Cunningham III, ProCert’s legal representative. “The IRP is doing the trucking industry a gross disservice,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham said small trucking firms and registration agents will be forced out of business by the new rules, and non-owner-operator companies consisting of one or two trucks will face a major financial obstacle in the IRP requirement of a staffed, “brick-and-mortar” office.
The newly approved rules were put in place April 15, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.