Motor Fuel Use Tax General Overview

Since October 1, 1977, Illinois has imposed a motor fuel use tax on fuel used by interstate commercial motor vehicles. Revenues collected from this tax help, in part, to build and maintain roads and highways.

If you are an Illinois-based carrier operating qualified motor vehicles interstate, you are subject to Illinois' International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) program requirements. IFTA is a base jurisdiction motor fuel use tax agreement in which the base jurisdiction (typically a state) administers motor fuel use taxes for all IFTA jurisdictions and apportions payments to those jurisdictions. IFTA does not, however, administer other state requirements, such as vehicle licensing, operating authority, and non-highway fuel tax refunds.

Statutory Reference

How do I know which of my vehicles qualify for IFTA?

A qualified motor vehicle is a motor vehicle traveling interstate and is used, designed, or maintained for transportation of persons or property and either

  • has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds
  • has three or more axles regardless of weight; or
  • is used in combination and the gross vehicle weight or the registered gross vehicle weight of the combined vehicles exceeds 26,000 pounds.

Click here if you have these types of vehicles and need to register.

Are there qualified motor vehicles that are exempt in Illinois?

The only qualified motor vehicles exempt from registering for the Motor Fuel Use Tax in Illinois are:

  • recreational vehicles
  • school buses (must have school bus license plates)
  • state of Illinois or federal vehicles,
  • and qualified motor vehicles operating solely within Illinois for which all motor fuel is purchased within Illinois.