Use Fuel Tax Registration and Renewal Information
Who is required to register?
Vendor, Generally, you are required to register for a Vendor Use Fuel Tax Permit if you sell and deliver a use fuel into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle. A vendor can be a wholesaler, a retailer such as a service station operator, or a user who sells fuel to other users. Persons who sell fuel through a key or card lock facility or self-service pump are also considered vendors. It is important to note that not all fuel retailers qualify as vendors. Persons who pump fuel exclusively into vehicles registered for the flat rate annual tax are not vendors. Likewise, person selling fuel only for non-vehicular use, such as retailers who exclusively sell fuel for home heating, cooking, or lighting are not vendors.
If you qualify as a vendor, you are required to obtain a California Sales and Use Tax account.
User, Generally, you are required to register for a User Use Fuel Tax Permit if you operate a motor vehicle (including equipment such as a forklift or tractor) that is powered by a use fuel and operated on a highway in California.
You are not required to register for a user permit if your only use of fuel in this state is to operate:
- A vehicle licensed under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).
- A vehicle registered out of state if the vehicle has less than three axles and does not have a gross vehicle weight over 26,000 pounds (11,797 kilograms); or, when used in combination, does not have a combined or registered gross vehicle weight over 26,000 pounds (11,797 kilograms).*
- A privately operated passenger motor vehicle. Included in this class of vehicles are pickup trucks when used like an automobile for the private transportation of people.*
- A recreational vehicle. Recreational vehicles include motor homes, pickup trucks with attached campers, and buses when used exclusively for personal pleasure.*
- A commercial vehicle, including a pickup truck, with an unladen weight of less than 7,000 pounds.*
- A privately operated two-axle truck that you have rented or leased for a period of 30 days or less.*
* If your vehicle is fueled from bulk storage you do not qualify for the exceptions listed above.
Users who operate motor vehicles powered by LPG, LNG, or CNG may choose to register under the Flat Rate Fuel Tax program. This program allows you to pay an annual flat rate as an alternative to paying the tax to your vendors. The annual tax is based on the type and weight of the vehicle.
|Vehicle Type and Size||Annual Flat Rate|
|All passenger vehicles and vehicles with automobile license plates||$ 36|
|Vehicles with an unladen weight of 4,000 lbs. or less||$ 36|
|Vehicles with an unladen weight of 4,001 lbs. to 8,000 lbs.||$ 72|
|Vehicles with an unladen weight of 8,001 lbs. to 12,000 lbs.||$ 120|
|Vehicles with an unladen weight of 12,001 lbs. or more||$ 168|
Exempt Bus Operator, Users who operate public and private transit companies that provide services to students or the public may be eligible to register as a Use Fuel Exempt Bus Operator. This program allows you to pay a reduced rate for fuel used in qualifying services.
Is there an alternative to obtaining a permit?
Vendor, There is no alternative to obtaining a permit. If you qualify, you are required to obtain a Vendor Use Fuel Tax Permit and file returns with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA).
User, If you qualify for a User Use Fuel Tax Permit but do not choose to register, you must obtain a California Fuel Trip Permit to travel into or through California. The California Fuel Trip Permit must be purchased and completed before you enter this state.
More about California Fuel Trip Permits
To renew your Use Fuel Tax Permit and pay the annual flat rate tax, you must use our online registration services webpage.
If you have questions regarding this program, please contact the Motor Carrier Office at the following address or telephone number:
Motor Carrier Office, MIC: 65
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
PO Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0065