Frequently Asked Questions

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The Road Usage Charge (RUC) Program, was created by Senate Bill 810, and authorizes the Oregon Department of Transportation to assess a per-mile charge for volunteer drivers. The OReGO program starts July 1, 2015. Here are the details:

  • The road usage charge is set at 1.5 cents per mile.
  • The number of vehicles in the program is limited to 5,000 cars and light-duty commercial vehicles.
  • Credits are applied for the state tax paid on fuel purchased.
  • Restrictions will be in place to safeguard all personally identifiable information.
More documents and information about the history and administrative information about the Road Usage Charge.
While the program is open to all Oregonians, ODOT will evaluate vehicles for participation in OReGO based on the following legislative requirements:

  • No more than 5,000 cars and light-duty trucks may participate in OReGO on July 1.
  • No more than 1,500 vehicles rated at less than 17 mpg.
  • No more than 1,500 vehicles rated from 17 to less than 22 mpg.
If you are an Oregonian ready to make history, please join the Interest List. While we can only enroll 5,000 qualified vehicles initially, and not everyone is guaranteed a spot, we anticipate future opportunities for more OReGO volunteers. Stay active on the Interest List for program updates.
More people are driving highly fuel-efficient vehicles in Oregon and throughout the U.S. This is important for protecting our environment and reducing our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, but it also reduces funding for road maintenance and improvement. This funding comes from drivers paying the state fuel tax. A good road network is at the heart of our economy and reduces annual vehicle maintenance costs, especially for lighter, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Oregon’s per-mile usage charge law establishes a funding model where drivers of all vehicle types pay their fair share for upkeep of our road network using Oregon’s long tradition of “user pays.”
In addition to Oregon, several other states are developing pay-per-mile programs. California recently passed a bill authorizing its own road usage charge demonstration program. Washington state is studying and testing concepts similar to Oregon’s program. Oregon is a member of the Western Road Usage Charge Consortium, an 11-state research collective examining a per-mile or road usage charging as a regional policy in the West. Elsewhere in the nation, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Maine, Delaware and Florida are studying or investigating per-mile charging for roads.
The Road User Fee Task Force, established by the 2001 Oregon Legislature, was charged with establishing Oregon’s road usage charge policy. Its mission is “to develop a revenue collection design funded through user pay methods, acceptable and visible to the public, that ensures a flow of revenue sufficient to annually maintain, preserve, and improve Oregon´s state, county, and city highway and road system.” Learn more here.
The Road Usage Charge per-mile rate was established by the 2013 Oregon Legislature as part of Senate Bill 810. The rate of 1.5 cents per mile was designed to be revenue-neutral for the state fuel tax and equates to the state’s current vehicle fleet fuel economy, which is approximately 20 mpg. For the duration of the OReGO volunteer program, the 1.5 cents per mile rate will remain unchanged unless there is legislative action.

The per-mile rate will likely be revisited in future legislation as the vehicle fleet fuel economy changes due to the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy federal standards. ODOT, by law, performs a cost allocation study every two years to inform the Oregon Legislature’s rate-setting decisions for fuel taxes, weight-mile taxes, and possibly (in the future) road usage charging rates. This cost allocation study is meant to keep pace with current and future changes in the vehicle fleet.
The current Road Usage Charge Program addresses only motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. It does not address motorcycles or non-motorized vehicles, such as bicycles, which also use Oregon’s roadways.
Senate Bill 810 directs ODOT to deposit all net revenue generated from the Road Usage Charge Program into the State Highway Fund. The State Highway Fund is distributed 50 percent to the state, 30 percent to counties and 20 percent to cities.
The OReGO GPS monitoring options differentiate between out-of-state and in-state road mileage. Participants with the GPS-enabled option are not charged for out-of-state road usage.

The devices are still in development, and later on some devices will be able to differentiate between non-public and public road usage.

Drivers choosing a non-GPS enabled reporting option can still apply for a RUC credit for non-public and out-of-state road mileage.
What happens to Oregon’s Road Usage Charge Program is ultimately up to the Oregon Legislature and, potentially, Oregon voters. Though the Senate bill (810) that created the volunteer program has no end date, there are no other programs or mandates in place right now.
The Road Usage Charge per-mile rate was established by the 2013 Oregon Legislature as part of Senate Bill 810. The rate of 1.5 cents per mile was designed to be revenue-neutral for the state fuel tax and equates to the state’s current vehicle fleet fuel economy, which is approximately 20 mpg. For the duration of the OReGO volunteer program, the 1.5 cents per mile rate will remain unchanged unless there is legislative action.

The per-mile rate will likely be revisited in future legislation as the vehicle fleet fuel economy changes due to the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy federal standards. ODOT, by law, performs a cost allocation study every two years to inform the Oregon Legislature’s rate-setting decisions for fuel taxes, weight-mile taxes, and possibly (in the future) road usage charging rates. This cost allocation study is meant to keep pace with current and future changes in the vehicle fleet.
The current Road Usage Charge Program addresses only motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. It does not address motorcycles or non-motorized vehicles, such as bicycles, which also use Oregon’s roadways.
The focus of Oregon’s law is that all vehicle owners depend on good maintenance, preservation and improvement of state roads. AAA studies show that good roads help reduce operating and maintenance costs of light-duty vehicles, especially high fuel-efficient vehicles. Bad roads—with rough, pot-holed or uneven pavement—do more damage to lighter vehicles because they have lighter suspension systems.

As part of ODOT’s 2012-13 research, high fuel-efficiency vehicle owners were asked how they felt about a road usage charge program replacing the fuel tax. Most were in favor and open to paying slightly more than they are currently paying in state fuel taxes because they recognize that they are contributing to wear-and-tear on Oregon’s roads. They also said they purchased their high fuel-efficiency vehicles for other benefits beyond saving money on the state fuel tax.
Volunteers will have open access to their billing information, so billing mistakes should be rare. The process is no more difficult than checking one’s electric bill or telephone bill. But if a billing mistake is made, volunteers can apply for an adjusted invoice and account managers are required to address the issue, investigate it and provide information back to the volunteer. Our goal is to send accurate bills and develop a streamlined process to fix mistakes with little hassle to drivers.
Volunteers in the program will continue to pay tax at the pump. The system will automatically apply a credit for fuel tax paid at the pump to your road usage charge account. You won’t pay both fuel tax and the road usage charge. If the amount of fuel tax paid at the pump exceeds the road usage charge, you will receive a refund of the difference. If the net road usage charge exceeds the fuel tax, you’ll pay the difference.
Not at this time. Some elements of past legislation included the option of just paying a flat per-year fee. That idea did not become a part of Senate Bill 810, the enabling legislation for OReGO.
There’s a cost to collect a road usage charge, which goes down incrementally depending on the number of program participants. For example, if, in the future, account managers also handle regional accounts covering Washington and California in addition to the accounts they manage for Oregon’s program, the overall collection cost would go down. The ideal number of participants for cost efficiencies is about 1 million Oregonians (or a combination from other states) participating in the program. While it is easier to pay at the pump, drivers may actually save money with a road usage charge, and be more informed and aware of their driving habits, how much they drive and how much it costs to drive. This information could lead to changing driving habits and saving money.
Volunteers will have open access to their billing information, so billing mistakes should be rare. The process is no more difficult than checking one’s electric bill or telephone bill. But if a billing mistake is made, volunteers can apply for an adjusted invoice and account managers are required to address the issue, investigate it and provide information back to the volunteer. Our goal is to send accurate bills and develop a streamlined process to fix mistakes with little hassle to drivers.
The focus of Oregon’s law is that all vehicle owners depend on good maintenance, preservation and improvement of state roads. AAA studies show that good roads help reduce operating and maintenance costs of light-duty vehicles, especially high fuel-efficient vehicles. Bad roads—with rough, pot-holed or uneven pavement—do more damage to lighter vehicles because they have lighter suspension systems.

As part of ODOT’s 2012-13 research, high fuel-efficiency vehicle owners were asked how they felt about a road usage charge program replacing the fuel tax. Most were in favor and open to paying slightly more than they are currently paying in state fuel taxes because they recognize that they are contributing to wear-and-tear on Oregon’s roads. They also said they purchased their high fuel-efficiency vehicles for other benefits beyond saving money on the state fuel tax.
No. The road usage charge program is designed to replace the state fuel tax for drivers that volunteer for the OReGO program. Volunteers will receive a credit for state fuel taxes so no one will be charged for both the road usage charge and state fuel taxes.
Senate Bill 810 directs ODOT to deposit all net revenue generated from the Road Usage Charge Program into the State Highway Fund. The State Highway Fund is distributes 50 percent to the state, 30 percent to counties and 20 percent to cities.
The OReGO GPS monitoring options differentiate between out-of-state and in-state road mileage. Participants with the GPS-enabled option are not charged for out-of-state road usage.

The devices are still in development, and later on some devices will be able to differentiate between non-public and public road usage.

Drivers choosing a non-GPS enabled reporting option can still apply for a RUC credit for non-public and out-of-state road mileage.
Heavy vehicles do more damage than passenger cars, and freight trucks loaded to the maximum legal weight do about 8,000 times more road damage than standard passenger cars. That’s why Oregon’s heavy vehicles already pay more for road use. Truckers using Oregon’s public roads pay a weight-mile tax based on the number of axles, vehicle weight and number of miles driven. We ensure that big rigs pay their fair share for this extra wear and tear on our roads caused by hauling heavy loads.

Unlike semi-trucks, the impact on roads created by regular cars and light trucks—from small compacts to large pickups—is practically the same across the board. It would not be fair to charge drivers of large cars a higher fee than drivers of small cars because the difference of road impacts is very small—in fact, it is barely measurable.
Some say that a road usage charge could put an unfair financial burden on rural drivers who may have longer distances to travel, for example, to get to the grocery store or doctor. However, this would be no different than it is with the current fuel tax: the more miles you drive, the more fuel tax you end up paying. Further, because many rural drivers typically drive less-efficient vehicles, they might pay less in road usage charges than by paying the fuel tax.
Similar to the current fuel tax, the more miles you drive, the more tax you pay through increased fuel consumption. If income level is a barrier to purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles, OReGO volunteers driving older or less fuel-efficient vehicles will typically pay less in road user charges than in fuel tax.
Visitors to Oregon will continue to pay fuel tax if they fuel in the state and drive on Oregonian roads.
There’s a cost to collect a road usage charge, which goes down incrementally depending on the number of program participants. For example, if, in the future, account managers also handle regional accounts covering Washington and California in addition to the accounts they manage for Oregon’s program, the overall collection cost would go down. The ideal number of participants for cost efficiencies is about 1 million Oregonians (or a combination from other states) participating in the program. While it is easier to pay at the pump, drivers may actually save money with a road usage charge, and be more informed and aware of their driving habits, how much they drive and how much it costs to drive. This information could lead to changing driving habits and saving money.
While raising the fuel tax might be a good short-term option for increasing the State Highway Fund, it fails to create a long-term and sustainable solution to the problem. New federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards require new vehicles to get 54.5 mpg or greater by 2025. As consumers continue to buy high-mpg vehicles, they buy less and less fuel and Oregon’s fuel tax revenue continues to dwindle. The new law, SB 810, seeks to establish a fair and sustainable solution to the problem that closely follows Oregon’s long-standing “user pays” principle of charging consumers for their use of Oregon’s roadways. In this way, we can ensure that our children and grandchildren will continue to benefit from a safe, efficient, well-maintained road network.
Heavy vehicles do more damage than passenger cars, and freight trucks loaded to the maximum legal weight do about 8,000 times more road damage than standard passenger cars. That’s why Oregon’s heavy vehicles already pay more for road use. Truckers using Oregon’s public roads pay a weight-mile tax based on the number of axles, vehicle weight and number of miles driven. We ensure that big rigs pay their fair share for this extra wear and tear on our roads caused by hauling heavy loads.

Unlike semi-trucks, the impact on roads created by regular cars and light trucks—from small compacts to large pickups—is practically the same across the board. It would not be fair to charge drivers of large cars a higher fee than drivers of small cars because the difference of road impacts is very small—in fact, it is barely measurable.
The Road User Fee Task Force researched lots of different possibilities for raising state transportation funding revenue, including tolling. The task force found that road usage charging was more fair and more sustainable, and follows Oregon’s long-standing “user pays principle” of charging vehicle owners solely for their own use of the state’s roadways.