Overview of Oregon Highway Use Tax Bond Requirements

Transportation carriers who wish to operate within Oregon are required by the Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Transportation Division to post a surety bond known as an Oregon highway use tax bond.

This bond serves several purposes. It ensures that transportation companies comply with the provisions of Chapters 825 and 826 of the Oregon Revised Statutes. More specifically, the bond provides an extra layer of protection for the public, because it holds bonded companies to certain safety standards. It also protects the state by making sure companies pay all fees, taxes, charges, penalties and interest to the state.

Failure to adhere to any of these terms of the surety bond can result in a claim. Bond claims provide quick recourse to third parties adversely affected by the actions of the bond holder.

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If you want to learn more about this type of surety bond, keep reading for more information below. You can always contact us at (866)-450-3412 if you need help.

Oregon Highway Use Tax Bond Cost

The total amount for highway use tax bonds in Oregon is calculated depending on the number of vehicles your company operates, and whether you are a new carrier or an established company. There are also different bonding requirements for some private carriers as well as farmers.

New Carriers

A new carrier is considered a company who has either never operated in Oregon, or has not operated in the state for 12 or more months in the most recent 36 month period after receiving a permit from the Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Transportation Division. Here are the total bond amounts for new carriers:

  • For 1 vehicle: $2,000
  • Between 2 and 5 vehicles: $2,000 (plus $375 for each additional vehicle)
  • Between 6 and 10 vehicles: $2,000 (plus $250 for each additional vehicle)
  • More than 10 vehicles: $2,000 (plus $125 for each additional vehicle) but no more than a total of $10,000

For example, if you have six vehicles, your total bond amount would be $2,000 + (6 X $250) = $3,500.

Established Carriers

Total bond amounts for carriers who no longer classify as “new carriers” are as follows:

  • For 1 vehicle: $2,000
  • Between 2 and 5 vehicles: $2,000 (plus $750 for each additional vehicle)
  • Between 6 and 10 vehicles: $2,000 (plus $500 for each additional vehicles)
  • More than 10 vehicles: $2,000 (plus $250 for each additional vehicles) but no more than a total of $20,000.

Other Bonding Requirements

There is a separate bonding requirement for “private carriers, carriers that conduct operations under ORS 825.020, or farmers issued permits under 825.024 who operate motor vehicles weighing under 55,000 pounds that use gasoline on which gasoline tax provided by law has been paid to the State of Oregon”. For them, the bond amount is $500 for one vehicle plus $150 for each additional vehicle– but no more than a total of $10,000.

If you fall into the above category but your vehicle uses fuel other than gasoline– or uses gasoline but hasn’t paid gasoline tax to the state– then the bond amount is $750 for one vehicle plus $225 for each additional vehicle– but no more than a total of $15,000.

Calculating Your Premium

Before you can calculate your premium, you’ll have to determine your exact bond amount. You can use the above guidelines, but it’s always best to verify your total amount with the Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Transportation Division.

Normally, your credit score is what determines your premium, though the items in your credit report and your financial strength can also play a role. Applicants with good credit pay between 1% and 3% a year, while those with a lower score can get premiums in the 3% - 10% range.

There are a number of strategies you can employ to reduce your premium. Be sure to check out our comprehensive surety bond cost guide for some tips on some of these strategies.

Apply For Your Bond Today!

Regardless of your credit score or financial standing, you can your Oregon highway use tax bond quickly within two business days.

All you have to do is submit our one-page online application, one of our agents will get in touch with you shortly. We’ll need ownership information as well as some additional paperwork, but don’t worry– we’ll help you throughout the whole process and fill out most of the forms for you.

We will give you a free bond quote and after finalizing your application, we’ll send you the signed bond form via mail as soon as receive it from the surety bonds company.

For any questions throughout the application process, don’t hesitate to contact us our knowledgeable experts at (866)-450-3412. We’re looking forward to your call!

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About the author:
Todd Bryant
Todd Bryant is a graduate of Germantown Academy and the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration Honors College. He has been President of Bryant Surety Bonds, Inc., an A+ rated Business with the Better Business Bureau, since 2007. Licensed as a producer with the Department of Insurance, he has been published in the National Association of Surety Bond Producers newsletter and on numerous authoritative publications such as The Washington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Azcentral.com and many more.