Beginning January 1, 2019, truck drivers may present an enforcement officer with either a traditional paper copy or an electronic image of the IRP (International Registration Plan) cab card and the IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) license. Both organizations voted in 2017 to allow electronic copies of these required credentials.

That means the IRP and IFTA credentials formerly carried in the cab  – where over time they can be lost, torn or soiled – can now reside on a computer, tablet or smartphone for ready display.

This allows the company and/or the driver to choose how the credentials are displayed, just as jurisdictions may still choose to initially issue the credentials either on paper or electronically.

Because electronic images can potentially be altered, enforcement officers may use the same verification process as currently performed with paper copies where an alteration is suspected.

If the display of electronic images of credentials sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because the IRP and IFTA organizations conducted a pilot test in 2016-2017. But as of January 1, 2019, it will be an accepted, legal option everywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

A couple pointers for fleets and drivers:

  • Paper or electronic, the credential must still be legible.
  • Wireless service has “dead zones,” so store electronic images in PDF format for display to officers, when there is no connectivity.