Motor Carriers

IFTA Record Keeping Requirements

Motor carriers must maintain mileage and fuel records that support the information that is represented on their quarterly IFTA tax returns, which may be audited. All carriers sign a Record Retention Statement when registering for IFTA. This statement provides a quick overview of the documentation requirements for an audit.

Generally, you must maintain fuel and distance records for four years following the date the IFTA tax return was due or filed, whichever is later. Check P510 in the record keeping requirement manuals to learn about uncommon exceptions.

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Disclaimer: It is the carrier's responsibility to stay up to date on all current IFTA regulations and the changes that are made. For more information visit

IFTA record keeping requirements


Questions about IFTA record keeping?

Manual Documentation Requirements (Written Trip Reports)

Distance records produced by a means other than a vehicle-tracking system must include:

  • Beginning and ending dates of the trip to which the records pertain.
  • Origin and destination of the trip.
  • Route of travel.
  • Beginning and ending reading from the odometer, hubodometer, engine control module (ECM), or any similar device for the trip.
  • Total distance of the trip.
  • Distance traveled in each jurisdiction during the trip.
  • Vehicle identification number or vehicle unit number.

What mileage needs to be recorded for each unit?

The carrier must maintain original, daily driver prepared, distance records for each IFTA vehicle in their fleet. This includes all miles driven by each IFTA power unit (including interjurisdictional and intrajurisdictional distances, loaded and unloaded mileage, and personal or business use travel).

NOTE: FMCSA hours of service rules are not the same as IFTA regulations. IFTA does not have any 100 or 150 mile radius exemptions. IFTA requires all travel to be recorded.

If you have question on how to complete these forms, reach out to our audits team at

Electronic Vehicle Tracking Documentation Requirements

Distance records produced by a vehicle tracking system that utilizes latitudes and longitudes must create and maintain a record a minimum every 10 minutes when the vehicle’s engine is on. The data must include:

  • Date and time of each system reading.
  • Latitude and longitude to include a minimum of 4 decimal places (0.0001) of each system reading.
  • Odometer reading from the engine control module (ECM) of each system reading. If no ECM odometer is available, a beginning and ending dashboard odometer or hubodometer for the trip will be acceptable.

Vehicle identification number or vehicle unit number. This data must be accessible in an electronic spreadsheet format such as XLS, XLSX, CSV or delimited text file. Formats from a vehicle tracking system that provides a static image such as PDF, JPEG, PNG, or Word are not acceptable.

An ELD is an electronic device designed to comply with the FMCSA criteria to accurately record a driver’s driving time for hours of service (HOS) compliance. IFTA and IRP each allow the use of electronic devices to document vehicle distance by jurisdiction provided that the required supporting data is maintained for audit purposes.

The purchase of an ELD does not necessarily mean it will be compliant for IFTA and IRP purposes or vice versa. Beware of vendors stating that their systems are IFTA or IRP certified. There is no such certification.

Over the road fuel

To receive credit for the tax paid on retail fuel, the licensee must provide a:

  • Receipt, invoice, or transaction listing from the seller.
  • Credit card receipt.
  • Transaction listing generated by a third party.
  • Electronic or digital record of an original receipt or invoice.

For tax-paid credit, a valid retail receipt, invoice, or transaction listing must contain the:

  • Date of the fuel purchase.
  • Name and address of the seller of the fuel (a vendor code, properly identified, is acceptable for this purpose).
  • Quantity of fuel purchased.
  • Type of fuel purchased.
  • Price of the fuel per gallon or per liter, or the total price of the fuel purchased.
  • Identification of the qualified motor vehicle into which the fuel was placed.
  • Name of the purchaser of the fuel (where the qualified motor vehicle being fueled is subject to a lease, the name of either the lessor or lessee is acceptable for this purpose, provided a legal connection can be made between the purchaser named and the licensee)

Attention icon Prepaid Receipts and Credit Card Statements without itemized purchase information are not adequate forms of tax paid documentation. See P550.300 in the "Fuel Records" section of the IFTA manual to review all requirements a receipt must include.

Bulk Fuel

You must keep the following records for your bulk storage facilies:

  • Receipts for all deliveries.
  • Quarterly inventory reconciliations for each tank.
  • The capacity of each tank.
  • Bulk withdrawal records for every bulk tank at each location.

You must also provide records that contain the following items for each withdrawal from your bulk storage facilities:

  • Location of the bulk storage from which the withdrawal was made.
  • Date of the withdrawal.
  • Quantity of fuel withdrawn.
  • Type of fuel withdrawn.
  • Identification of the vehicle or equipment into which the fuel was placed.

Attention icon In addition to receipts for all deliveries, it is up to the carrier to record ALL bulk fuel withdrawn from the bulk fuel tank. This includes both IFTA and non-IFTA vehicles and equipment, itemized by unit number, fueling from the tank.

Inadequate Records Assessment

If the base jurisdiction finds that the records submitted by the licensee during an audit fail to meet the standards outlined in P530 for the licensee's entire fleet, or if the licensee fails to produce any records after receiving a written request from audit staff, IFTA requires the base jurisdiction to impose an additional assessment by either:

  • Adjusting the licensee’s reported fleet MPG to 4.00 or 1.70 KPL; or
  • Reducing the licensee’s reported MPG or KPL by twenty percent.

This section does not affect the ability of a base jurisdiction to disallow tax-paid credit for fuel purchases which are inadequately documented, or, for cause, to conduct a best information available audit which may result in adjustments to either the audited or reported MPG or KPL, suspend, revoke, or cancel the license issued to a licensee.

Disclaimer: The Iowa DOT has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided on this website. The DOT does not take any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, and completeness of the information contained on the website. It is the carrier's responsibility to stay up to date on all current IFTA regulations and the changes that are made. Find out more information about IFTA regulations.


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