Prorate Plates from ICBC enable transport vehicles to operate, that is, pick up and deliver goods all over North America without red tape from operating in the 59 different states or provinces, (zones) each with a myriad of regulations.
Whether you are delivering your own goods, goods of others, or running empty, each zone wants to collect taxes and registration fees for larger vehicles operating in or through their jurisdiction. This would be vehicles with or without trailers with GVW in excess of 11,800 Kg. or vehicles with 3 or more axles.
At the root of the operation in BC is the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC), which provides the clearinghouse in concert with a similar organization in each of the 59 states and provinces. ICBC becomes part of the international registration and tax plans to ensure that vehicles just don’t operate based in one cheaper territory, and use the roads and facilities of each state without contributing to their upkeep costs. This is centralized, rather than each zone applying for trip permits at each zone border crossing. Hence, the license plate that “pro-rates” all these costs into one yearly fee, the PRORATE plate.
In order to get you a Prorate Plate from ICBC, it can seem like a bit of a process. AMC Insurance is there to help you through the process. Of course, trying to keep 59 zones happy can require a lot of details and set up for your transportation business.
Getting an International Fuel Tax Act Agreement (IFTA) number can take up to 15 days and is one of the first steps. Obtaining a National Safety Code (NSC) can take about the same time, as you would need a kit of instructions from Victoria, complete the information, and submit. It actually comes back fairly quickly if you have done a good job on the application. If you are working on a contract for another company that does have an NSC number, you can get their written permission. This is especially useful but requires you to do 100% of your work under contract for the NSC registered company.
Once you have that, AMC Insurance staff will help you complete the Prorate application for ICBC. It usually takes about 5 business days to process your application. You tell the AMC licensed rep what zones you intend to be working in, and ICBC calculates the taxes and portioned fees for each. The rates will depend on the actual mileage that you drive in those zones. For the first year, your fees will be based on averages of all prorate trucking fleets in BC, so expect your rates to be adjusted each year.
It will not:
- Allow you to exceed length, width, height, or axle limit is these zones.
- Exempt filing proof of liability if required.
- Waive operators from obtaining operating authority.
- Waive requirements of the IFTA for the operator.
And if you find that out of province trucking is not for you, a midterm canceled Prorate license can get you a refund, less any exit taxes that might be retained. Happy trucking!