Highway use tax
New York State imposes a highway use tax (HUT) 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 rate is based on the weight of the motor vehicle and the method that you choose to report the tax. See Tax Bulletin An Introduction to Highway Use Tax (TB-HU-40).
Certificate of registration and decals
Before operating a motor vehicle on the public highways of New York State you must obtain a certificate of registration and decal for each motor vehicle subject to the highway use tax. There are two types of registrations:
- A HUT certificate of registration is required for any truck, tractor, or other self-propelled vehicle with a gross weight over 18,000 pounds. (If you elect to use the unloaded weight method to file your returns, a certificate is required for any truck with an unloaded weight over 8,000 pounds and any tractor with an unloaded weight over 4,000 pounds.)
- An automotive fuel carrier (AFC) certificate of registration is required for any truck, trailer, or semi-trailer, or other attached device transporting automotive fuel. (The same gross weight and unloaded weight rules apply.)
To establish your account and request your credentials, file:
- Form TMT-39, New Account Application for Highway Use Tax (HUT) and Automotive Fuel Carrier (AFC). If you plan to obtain your HUT credentials online, use our One Stop Credentialing and Registration system (OSCAR), or
- Form TMT-1, Application for Highway Use Tax (HUT) and Automotive Fuel Carrier (AFC) Certificates of Registration (C of R) and Decals.
New York State provides a single point of contact to apply for various operating credentials over the Internet. After you establish a HUT account, many services are available to you on OSCAR.
For more information regarding certificate of registration and decal requirements, see Tax Bulletin Certificate of Registration (TB-HU-115) and Tax Bulletin Decals - Highway Use Tax (TB-HU-160).
If you only occasionally operate a motor vehicle in New York State, you can get a trip certificate of registration instead of registering, obtaining a decal, and filing HUT returns. See Tax Bulletin Certificate of Registration - Trip Certificate (TB-HU-116).
Excluded and exempt vehicles
Certain vehicles are excluded from the highway use tax (HUT) registration requirements if they are used for the purpose for which they were designed. Other vehicles may be exempt from the HUT registration requirements if used exclusively for an exempt activity. See Tax Bulletin Excluded and Exempt Vehicles - Highway Use Tax (TB‑HU‑245).
Filing requirements and due dates
If you have been issued a certificate of registration (except a highway use tax trip certificate of registration), you must file a highway use tax return even if no tax is due, or even if another person will pay any tax due on the use of the vehicle operated under the certificate of registration. There are two ways to file:
- Web File: You may Web File your highway use tax return.
- File by mail: You may file a paper tax return using Form MT-903, Highway Use Tax Return.
For more information, see Tax Bulletin Filing Requirements for Highway Use Tax (TB-HU-260).
How your highway use tax is determined
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.
When completing your first return for the calendar year, you must choose to use either the gross weight method or the unloaded weight method to compute your tax. After you select a method, you:
- must use the same method to compute your tax for each return filed during the year,
- cannot change the selected method until the following year, and
- must use it for all your vehicles.
You should base your method on your particular operations. One method may be more economical or convenient for you. For additional information concerning methods of computing HUT, see Tax Bulletin How to Determine Your Highway Use Tax (TB-HU-360).
Every motor carrier subject to the highway use tax must keep daily records of the miles traveled in New York by each vehicle that has been issued a certificate of registration to operate in New York State.
For more information, see Tax Bulletin Recordkeeping Requirements - Highway Use Tax (TB-HU-765).
If you do not comply with the Highway Use Tax Law, the Tax Department may:
- deny you a certificate of registration to operate a motor vehicle in New York State, or
- suspend or revoke your certificate for any violation of the provisions of the highway use tax.
Failure to comply with the Highway Use Tax Law may also subject you to criminal fines, imprisonment, or both. For an overview of the Highway Use Tax Law enforcement provisions, see Tax Bulletin Summary of Enforcement Provisions - Highway Use Tax (TB-HU-835).
For more information, see:
- Tax Bulletins
- Forms and instructions
- Advisory Opinions
- Stay On The Road And On The Job