Economics and Research Section

A Brief History of Registration Fees, Fuel taxes in Idaho

1913 First vehicle registration, annual fees range $15.00 to $40.00 based on Horsepower. Motorcycle fee, a flat $5.00.

1917 Vehicle registration based changed from horsepower to vehicle weight - $15.00 at 2,000 lbs or less, to $40.00 for over 4,000 lbs. Also introduced vehicles age; after five years old, fees were 2/3 of the fee schedule.

1921 Regulated vehicle loads: GWT as rated by manufacturer, plus 50%, not to exceed 500 lbs per tire width over 2" or 350 lbs for 2" and under.

1923 First fuel tax, 2 cents per gallon. Reduction of registration by one third. Truck registration split from car registration. Truck fees were from $17.50 to $110 based on rated capacity. First fees for commercial truck trailers.

1925 Fuel tax raised from 2 to 3 cents per gallon.

1927 Fuel tax raised from 3 to 4 cents per gallon. Truck dimensional restrictions introduced: Outside width 8 feet except farm trucks which could be 9 feet (no limit for farm equipment); height 14'6", single unit length 33'; combined length 85'. Over dimensional permits introduced.

1929 Truck axle limits introduced: single axle 16,000 lbs; double axle 24,000 lbs, triple axle 40,000 lbs. GWT increased: tires over 5", 800 lbs; 3"-5", 600 lbs; less than 3", 400 lbs. Gas and special fuel taxes segregated, both set at 5 cents per gallon.

1931 Gasoline refund for non-highway use.

1933 Car registrations reduced 14.5 percent. Truck GWT changed to formula, w = 600 (L+40).

1935 Introduction of Caravan fees, flat $5.00.

1937 Truck axle loads increased from 16,000 to 18,000 lbs; allowable load changed from 50,000 to 68,000 lbs.

1939 Flat vehicle registration fee, $5.00 for autos and pickup trucks. Farm vehicles given reduced fees. Truck capacity changed from formula to declared Gross Weight. Joint Resolution: Fuel tax dedicated to roads; into law as approved in 1940 General Election.

1945 Gasoline tax from 5 to 6 cents per gallon, temporarily. Fuel tax extended to non-highway use: waterways and aviation (e.g. not refundable). Truck dimension changed: single unit, 35'; tractor/semi-trailer, 60'; truck/trailer combinations, 65'. Special routes designated for minerals, logs, poles and pilings could be hauled in excess of legal limits.

1949 Gasoline tax of 6 cents per gallon made permanent. Truck weights increased. Maximum legal limit, 72,000 lbs. Except trucks with axle spacing between 22 and 30 feet (short logging trucks): maximum allowable for this group was 56,000 on four axles, or 60,000 lbs on five axles.

1951 Weight Distance tax; fees scheduled by type of operation, declared GWT, and fuel type. Used mil per mile basis.

1953 Special fuel tax increased from 5 to 6 cents per gallon. Weight distance amended. Introduced base GVW registration fee, a special plate fee for vehicles excess of 24,000 lbs, and paid the use fee only over 30,000 miles. Forest, mine, and farm products operators could choose to pay either the plate fee, or all miles.

1956 Vehicle registration flat fee increased.

1957 Weight distance modified: fees on GVW went to combined weight and; separate schedules established for gas and special fuels.

1967 Longer Combination vehicles allowed, not to exceed 98' in total length. Allowable weight increased to 105,500 lbs.

1968 Reintroduced sliding scale for car registration, now based on vehicle age: $7.50 to $17.50 range. Gasoline and motor fuels increased from 6 to 7 cents per gallon.

1972 Gasoline and Special Fuels tax increased from 7 to 8.5 cents per gallon.(Implied) Registration schedule adjustment: $7.20 to $18.00.

1975 Vehicle registration schedule range increased: $12.60 to $29.40

1976 Gasoline and Special Fuels tax from 8.5 cents to 9.5 cents per gallon.

1980 Gasohol rebate of 4 cents per gallon.

1981 Gasoline and Special Fuels tax from 9.5 cents to 11.5 cents per gallon. Gasohol tax, 7.5 cents per gallon. Vehicle registration schedule range increased: 15.60 to $36.00.

1982 Gasoline and Special Fuels tax from 11.5 to 12.5 cents per gallon. Gasohol tax from 7.5 to 8.5 cents per gallon.

1983 Gasoline and Special Fuels tax from 12.5 to 14.5 cents per gallon. Gasohol tax from 8.5 to 10.5 cents per gallon.

1987 Vehicle registration schedule range increased: $16.08 to $36.84.

1988 Gasoline and Special Fuels tax from 14.5 to 18 cents per gallon. Gasohol tax from 10.5 to 14 cents per gallon.

1991 Gasoline and Special Fuels tax from 18 to 21 cents per gallon. Gasohol tax from 14 to 17 cents per gallon.

1992 Gasohol tax from 17 to 21 cents per gallon.

1993 Special Fuels change from quarterly report to tax at the pump.

1994 Gasohol tax from 21 to 18.5 cents per gallon.

1996 Gasoline and Special Fuels tax from 21 to 25 cents per gallon, credit for ethanol of up to 2.5 cents per gallon is allowed to the distributor for gasoline/ethanol blends; the additional four cents fuel tax and additional passenger car registration fee is deposited in new Restricted Highway Account - distribution 50/50 with local government. Vehicle registration range increased: $24.00 to $48.00. Supreme Court ruling that the net of 1 cent Clean Water Trust Fund transfer fee was a fuel tax and to go to the Restricted Highway Fund.

1999 Restricted Highway Fund eliminated. Highway Distribution Account percents changed to: 38% to Local Governments, 5% to Law Enforcement and 57% to State Highway Account. One cent transfer fee suspended due to the Clean Water Trust reaching the $30 million ceiling mandated by law.

2000 Commercial Truck Registrations moved to a three-tier system, based on mileage

2001 Commercial Truck Registrations moved from a three-tier to a five-tier system, based on mileage. This change has reduced annual revenue by an estimated $10M per year.

2009 All fuels, including gasohol and biodiesel, are now taxed at the rate of 25 cents per gallon. This increased revenue to ITD by approximately $15M per year.

Please send comments, questions and suggestions to:
Bob Thompson -