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New York Highway Use Tax
New York Highway Use Tax Guide

The New York highway use tax (HUT) is imposed on motor carriers operating certain motor vehicles on New York State public highways (excluding toll-paid portions of the New York State Thruway). The tax is based on mileage traveled on New York State public highways and is computed at a rate determined by the weight of the motor vehicle and the method that you choose to report the tax.

In general, the gross weight method is used to compute your tax and determine your registration requirements. However, you may elect to use the unloaded weight method to compute your tax and determine your registration requirements. You must use the same method for all your motor vehicles.

The following motor vehicles are subject to tax depending on whether the gross weight method or unloaded weight method is used: Gross weight method Any truck, tractor, or other self-propelled vehicle with a gross weight of more than 18,000 pounds.

Gross weight means the unloaded weight of the truck, tractor, or other self-propelled vehicle plus the unloaded weight of the heaviest trailer, semitrailer, dolly, or other device to be drawn by that motor vehicle plus the maximum load to be carried or drawn by the motor vehicle. The weight of the driver and a helper is not included. The gross weight of a tow truck does not include the weight of any vehicle that is being towed partly or wholly upon the towed vehicle's own wheels. However, the gross weight of a flatbed tow truck must include the weight of the heaviest vehicle being transported on the bed of the truck. (Also see the Excluded and exempt vehicles section beginning on page 6.)

Any truck with an unloaded weight of more than 8,000 pounds and any tractor with an unloaded weight of more than 4,000 pounds. Unloaded weight means the actual weight of the motor vehicle, including all equipment necessary for its performance as a vehicle, necessary for its safety, permanently attached to the vehicle, used exclusively for the protection of its load, or used exclusively for loading or unloading the vehicle. The unloaded weight includes the weight of full fuel tank(s) used to propel the vehicle. The weight of the driver and a helper is not included.

The election to use the unloaded weight method is made on the first HUT return (Form MT-903) filed by the carrier during the calendar year and may not be changed until the first HUT return is filed for the next calendar year.

Before operating in New York State, you must obtain a certificate of registration for each motor vehicle subject to the tax. In general, there are two types of certificates of registration, a HUT certificate of registration and an automotive fuel carrier (AFC) certificate of registration:

1) A HUT certificate of registration is required for any truck, tractor, or other self-propelled vehicle with a gross weight in excess of 18,000 pounds.

2) An AFC certificate of registration is required for any truck, trailer, semitrailer, or other attached device transporting automotive fuel and having a gross weight in excess of 18,000 pounds. A separate AFC certificate of registration is not required for any tractor transporting automotive fuel trailers that has been issued a HUT certificate of registration.

Automotive fuel includes diesel motor fuel (kerosene, kero-jet fuel, no. 2 heating oil, and other fuels commonly used in diesel engines) and motor fuel (gasoline, aviation gas, benzol, and other fuel suitable for use in nondiesel motor vehicle engines).

When the unloaded weight method is used, any truck with an unloaded weight of more than 8,000 pounds, and any tractor with an unloaded weight of more than 4,000 pounds, must also have the applicable certificate of registration.

For more specific information on obtaining these certificates, see Registration requirements beginning on page 8.

The fee for a HUT or AFC certificate of registration is $15 for each truck, tractor, or other self-propelled vehicle. The fee for an AFC certificate of registration is $5 for each trailer, semitrailer, or other attached device used for transporting automotive fuel.

To apply for a certificate of registration, file a completed Form TMT-1, Application for Highway Use Tax and/or Automotive Fuel Carrier Certificate(s) of Registration. The fee is $15 for each truck, tractor, or Registration requirements other self propelled vehicle and $5 for each trailer, semitrailer, or other attached device used for transporting automotive fuel.

Instead of obtaining a HUT certificate of registration and filing Form MT-903, you may obtain a HUT trip certificate of registration for a fee of $25 from a permit service (see Permit service company on page 10). The HUT trip certificate of registration allows you to operate in New York State until it expires on midnight of the third day after the date it was issued. This period cannot be extended by Saturdays, Sundays, or public holidays. For the period covered by the HUT trip certificate, you are not required to file a tax return or pay tax on miles traveled in New York State by the motor vehicle for which the certificate is issued. You must keep copies of each HUT trip certificate for at least four years to prove you have met your highway use tax obligations. No refund is allowed for a HUT trip certificate that has not been used. You may not apply for more than 10 trip certificates during a calendar year.


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