Skip to contentU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Funding Our Nation's Highway Programs and Leveling the Playing Field

Collage: Bridge, Currency and Trucks

HVUT Compliance Review Checklist

Protocol Checklist

The protocol checklist is composed of four major activities:

  • preparation for the compliance review
  • preliminary meeting
  • review with the State
  • report of compliance review.

The sections following the checklist in the compliance review protocol describe each activity in more detail.

Preparation for the compliance review
  • Review the continuous improvement process at to ensure that this approach is used during the compliance review.
  • Review 23 U.S.C. 141(c) – Federal-Aid Highways, General Provisions: Enforcement of Requirements) and associated Federal regulations in 26 CFR 41.6001-2 – Proof of Payment for State Registration Purposes, and 23 CFR 669 – Enforcement of Heavy Vehicle Use Tax.
  • Assess what has changed either from a regulatory or legal standpoint since conducting the last HVUT compliance review.
  • Review sample questions to ensure they reflect current code and regulations.
  • Review certifications from State since last review that recorded compliance with 23 U.S.C. 141(c) – Federal-Aid Highways, General Provisions: Enforcement of Requirements.
  • Review prior compliance reviews for the State and any supporting documentation.
  • Review recommendations from the last HVUT compliance review completed for the State.
  • Review any documentation and any supporting material documenting the State's procedures for registering trucks and certifying the process.
  • Review the basis for registration of trucks and other vehicles subject to the HVUT, e.g., gross vehicle weight, declared weight, and operating weight.
  • Identify questions or comments resulting from reviews of material previously submitted.
  • Contact an excise specialist from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) district in charge of regional HVUT compliance and determine his or her interest in participating. Discuss potential meeting schedules and any concerns or issues that might be encountered during the compliance review. Keep the IRS specialist updated on compliance review process and findings.
  • Obtain and review the IRS Form 2290 and instructions.
  • Obtain scanned originals of the IRS stamps for your State and those used by the IRS's Cincinnati Processing Center.
  • Review the protocol sections on types of HVUT evasion and associated signs of evasion.
  • Conduct a pre-screening of HVUT data by comparing the number of the vehicles subject to the HVUT registered in your State to the number of HVUT payments received by the IRS.
  • Identify staff who will assist in the compliance review.
  • Develop a list of review meeting participants.
  • Contact the agency responsible for registering vehicles to set dates for the preliminary review meeting and subsequent records review.
  • Send a letter announcing the upcoming compliance review to each participating agency.
  • Contact FHWA headquarters to determine whether there are any issues or concerns with the HVUT process in your State.
  • Familiarize yourself with the qualifications and background of the staff you will be working with at the State level during the compliance review process.
  • Review other States' triennial compliance reviews.
  • Read documentation on selecting a compliance sample.
  • Develop sampling procedures for verifying proof of payment.
  • Division Office: Conduct a risk assessment on the State's program for complying with proof of payment since the last certification:
    • legislative changes
    • personnel (staff, delegate) changes
    • technology
    • whether the State delegates responsibility to different levels for collecting proof of payment of the HVUT and vehicle registrations, e.g., county level, municipalities, private agencies.
  • Identify principal contacts and their responsibilities (Department of Transportation [DOT], Department of Motor Vehicles [DMV], etc.).
  • Set up an initial meeting with representatives from the FHWA division and Washington Office.
Preliminary meeting
  • Discuss roles and responsibilities of the principal contacts (DOT, DMV, other) for the compliance review.
  • Review and discuss prior compliance review results and recommendations.
  • Discuss results of the risk assessment on the State's program for complying with proof-of-payment requirements.
  • Discuss any changes in HVUT regulations or codes implemented since the last compliance review.
  • Provide an overview of the data request and information requirements for the compliance review.
  • Discuss the timeline for conducting the compliance reviews.
  • Contact the State about the compliance review and set up schedule to complete it.
  • Send the protocol questionnaire to the State for initial review and completion.
Review with the State
  • Prior to meeting with the State, review their answers to the protocol questions.
  • Determine which answers need further review.
  • Meet with the State and review the answers to the protocol questions.
  • Visit the registration office to review and further discuss actual practices used to obtain proof of payment, including what they do to detect evasion.
  • Draw a sample from the State and, where appropriate, county or other local registration records, ideally using the sampling guidelines described in Appendix A to ensure proof of payment.
  • Follow the review questions to ensure proof of payment requirements are met:
    • proof of payment required
    • proof of exemption required
    • proof of payment not fraudulent
  • Prepare meeting minutes and share with the State.
Report of compliance review
  • Provide vehicle identification numbers (VINs) to the IRS for cross-check, if the prior meeting indicated willingness to cross-check.
  • Determine recommendations based on results of the compliance review and cross-check.
  • Document all findings and recommendations.
  • Draft a report of the compliance review results.
  • Provide a draft report to the State and offer to participate in a follow-up meeting with State agency personnel to discuss findings and address any questions or concerns raised during the compliance review process.
  • Review the report with division and Washington office representatives.
  • File the completed report on the State's compliance.


<< Previous Table of contents