Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 14 of 38

Chapter 13: Commercial Vehicles

13.045 Federal Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (FHVUT) (VC §4750 and U.S. Code, Title 26 §4481)

Commercial motor vehicles or buses that operate at 55,000 pounds or more combined gross vehicle weight (CGW) must have evidence of full payment of, or exemption from, the FHVUT before the vehicle can be registered. The CGW equals the total weight of the power unit, any trailers towed, y the load. The unladen weight of a vehicle plays no part in FHVUT determination.

FHVUT Tax Period (July 1 to June 30) — An electronically filed (e-file) Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Schedule 1, Form 2290 containing a legible watermark indicating the document was received by the IRS is acceptable as proof of payment for FHVUT. The tax must be verified only once during the registration period (proof of payment for PYR vehicles is furnished at the time of first registration during the calendar year). Proof of payment can be accepted for the immediately preceding taxable period for vehicles with expiration dates in July, August, or September.

Exclusions — The FHVUT requirement does not apply to:

  • Applications for “Title Only.”
  • Original or transfer applications in the new owner’s name submitted within 60 days of purchase or transfer.
  • Vehicles not being operated.

Taxpayers may register their newly acquired vehicle subject to FHVUT without proof of tax payment if one of the following applies:

  • They present the California Certificate of Title or an original or photocopy of a bill of sale showing that the vehicle was purchased within the 60 days prior to the date of application for registration.
  • The vehicle was not registered in any state after the date of purchase. Proof of payment of, or exemption from, FHVUT is required:
  • For parked vehicles placed into operation after July 1, 1985.
  • Once during the registration period for a vehicle. For vehicles registered PYR, FHVUT proof is required at initial registration for the calendar year.
  • For fleet vehicles. An IRS Form 2290 used to report FHVUT for a fleet of more than 21 vehicles does not list individual vehicle identification numbers (VIN) but may be accepted if the name of the taxpayer on the Form 2290 is either:
    • The same as the registered owner, y the total number of vehicles for which the tax has been paid is equal to or more than the total number of vehicles being registered.
    • Not the same as the registered owner y a written statement from the taxpayer is submitted, stating the tax for the current period has been paid for the vehicles being registered.

The IRS requires taxpayers to e-file Form 2290 when filing 25 or more vehicles. A watermarked Schedule 1, Form 2290 is returned to the taxpayer as proof of payment. end of note

  • An inquiry to the database will show one of the following messages:
    • “FHVUT PROOF VERIFIED” or “Form 2290 verified.”

Acceptable Proof of Exemption — An original or photocopy of an IRS receipted Schedule 1, Form 2290 (electronically watermarked or manually stamped), listing the vehicle as exempt.

Acceptable Proof of Payment — Upon renewal of registration, any of the following may be accepted as proof of FHVUT payment:

  • The original or photocopy of an IRS receipt Schedule 1, Form 2290.
  • An electronically filed (e-file) IRS Schedule 1, Form 2290 containing a legible watermark indicating the document was received by the IRS is acceptable proof of payment.
  • A photocopy of Schedule 1, Form 2290, filed with the IRS y a photocopy of the front and back of the cancelled check payable to the IRS for the tax.

The IRS does not accept partial payments for FHVUT; therefore, DMV no longer accepts evidence they are making payments to the IRS for FHVUT.

Other Applications—The procedures below must be followed:

  • Verify the proof of payment, or exemption from, FHVUT y return the proof to the customer. For mail applications, attach the form to the application.
  • Collect any fees due for the transaction y process as clearing. Do not suspense the transaction unless it is required for another reason.
  • Issue a 30-day Temporary Operating Permit (TOP–REG 19) if operating indicia will be issued by DMV headquarters.

A one-time 60-day TOP may be issued to commercial vehicle owners having difficulty filing the FHVUT if the vehicle expiration date is July 31.