TRALA Pushes Tax Checks in New Mexico

February 26, 2008

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) is asking the New Mexico Motor Transportation Division (MTD) to switch to license plate recognition technology for purposes of checking vehicles’ compliance with the state’s weight-distance tax. 

Currently, the MTD uses U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) carrier identification numbers displayed on truck cabs to identify taxpayers and check tax compliance. This has created problems at state Ports of Entry (POEs) for leasing companies that handle tax compliance for their carrier customers.


Federal law requires that a carrier operating a vehicle under a lease agreement of more than 30 days must display its DOT number on the truck cab. If the vehicle lessor is complying with tax responsibilities, the carrier’s DOT number will not be identified as having paid the state’s weight-distance tax. This has resulted in delays and unnecessary trip permit costs for lease customers operating in New Mexico. The problem has escalated due to the state’s recent stepped-up enforcement of weight-distance tax compliance.


TRALA and the New Mexico Trucking Association are working with the MTD to implement a new tax compliance check system using electronic license plate recognition technology. Such a system will better identify the registrant of a vehicle and allow the state to check tax compliance more effectively without stopping leased vehicles at POEs.


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