Oregon is unique in its diesel handling. All fuel isn’t used or taxed the same in Oregon. First off, there is no sales tax for any fuels. Diesel taxes fall into three categories: dyed diesel, PUC use, and everyday road use or “auto diesel.” The biggest difference in pricing relates to how the diesel is used and the size of the vehicle being used.

Oregon Diesel Taxes Explained 1024 685 Star Oilco

Oregon Diesel Taxes Explained

How Oregon Diesel Taxes Are Calculated

As of January 1st, 2022 Oregon is raising Fuel Taxes to $.38 a gallon. (source) The prices in this article have been updated to reflect that.  There will be another $.02 a gallon fuel tax increase set in 2024 as well.

Oregon is unique in its handling of diesel. All fuel isn’t used or taxed the same in the state of Oregon. First off, there is no sales tax for any fuels. The taxes that are charged for diesel are divided into 3 categories: dyed diesel, PUC use and everyday road use or “auto diesel.”  The big difference in pricing is how the diesel is used and the size of the vehicle using the diesel.


Oregon Fuel Taxes in a Nutshell

Off-road diesel

If a vehicle is burning diesel “off-road” like a back-hoe, agricultural use, generators or similar use, the fuel is not taxed by either the federal government or Oregon State. This fuel is also dyed red to show it is for off-road use only. If you use dyed red off-road diesel fuel in an on-road vehicle and you get caught, the state of Oregon can and will likely fine you $10,000. Yes, we have seen them do this in recent history.

On-road diesel (auto diesel)

If your vehicle is below 26,000 gross vehicle weight, Oregon charges a per gallon vehicle tax.  This tax is paid at the gas pump, is collected by the retail or commercial cardlock location, and you do not have to consider any additional taxes other than buying on-road fuel.

On-road diesel (P.U.C. diesel)

If your vehicle is above 26,000 gross vehicle weight in Oregon, you pay a weight mile for your vehicle’s state diesel tax.  This cost per mile depends on your registered vehicle weight with Oregon. It is anecdotally assumed at the top weights over 80,000 lbs of gross vehicle weight, this tax is equivalently more than double the per gallon cost of auto diesel bought at a retail location.  This class of diesel usage requires extra P.U.C. filings and vehicles over 26,000 GVW have special P.U.C. plates denoting their class as it relates to diesel fuel tax.

Oregon Fuel Taxes for a Layperson

A small motorhome that would use On-Road Diesel

A small motorhome that would use on-road diesel

On-Road Diesel (Auto Diesel)

The easiest one to understand is on-road diesel, also known as “auto diesel.” Most non-truck vehicles driving on streets, roads, and highways around Oregon fall into this category for use, or as you can see in this picture, a smaller motor home or RV (recreational vehicle).  This fuel is the one you see at a pump at a retail station. Its price includes federal tax, state tax and any applicable local taxes.

Current auto diesel taxes in Oregon for vehicles under 26,000 GVW (gross vehicle weight):

  • Federal tax rate is $.244 per gallon
  • The state tax rate is $.38 per gallon

In addition to these, local municipality and cities have their own taxes that can be added to the price of fuel. To make it even more complicated, some cities charge a different tax amount based on time of season; specifically Newport and Reedsport who charge a few more cents during the summer months. Currently the highest additional taxes are in the city of Portland, Oregon at $.10 per gallon. Source.

Fuel price at the pump is listed at: $2.989

  • Federal                =$.244
  • State                    =$.38*
  • Portland             =$.10

For a total of                =$.724 per gallon in taxes

The actual cost per gallon would be $2.265. This includes the OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) wholesale price, transportation costs, and the margin the retail station adds to pay its bills (usually $.15 to $.40 depending on the provider).

*January 1st, 2022 Oregon State Tax fuel went up to $.38 per gallon for Oregon Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax. Oregon Use Fuel Tax also went up to $.38 a gallon.


Dyed Diesel also called Red Diesel is used for vehicles that don't drive on public roads.

Dyed diesel, also called red diesel, is used for vehicles that don’t drive on public roads.









Off-Road Dyed Diesel

Dyed diesel, also called farm diesel, marked fuel, or red diesel, is a fuel that has an added dye in the mix. The dye, usually solvent red 26 or solvent red 164, doesn’t cause any change in the operation of an engine versus using regular clear diesel. The dye marks the taxable status of the fuel.

This fuel is intended for only off-road equipment and vehicles. Farm equipment, construction vehicles and any other vehicles that don’t drive on public roads can use this fuel. In addition, any engine or oil heater that burns diesel is allowed to use dyed diesel. Those that have heating oil delivered are purchasing dyed diesel.

The benefit of this fuel is that you save state, federal, and city or municipal taxes. Acquiring this fuel as a customer usually requires access to a commercial fueling station or hiring a fuel company to deliver the fuel. This is likely to prevent accidental use of this fuel in an on-road vehicle. Anyone found using dyed diesel in an on-road vehicle will be fined. Fines are either $10/gallon or $1000 per violation, whichever is greatest (Source). To ensure that diesel users aren’t abusing this fuel, police officers can “dip” a tank; usually by sticking a clear tube into a tank and verifying the color of the fuel.

Oregon PUC Permit and IFTA for vehicles over 26,000 GVW

Oregon PUC Permit and IFTA for vehicles over 26,000 GVW

Oregon PUC Permit

While PUC stands for “Oregon Public Utilities Commission”,  it is the Oregon Transportation Department who regulates fuel taxes and PUC plates.

PUC plates are required by vehicles over 26,000 GVW. Oregon PUC Permit or heavy motor vehicle trip permit refer to vehicles that are at this weight and up to 80,000 GVW. They also include an Oregon PUC card number and a log book that shows fuel usage. View Table “A” tax rates.

These vehicles are only required to pay the federal tax at the pump. They are then required to log the mileage they drive and pay an amount based on weight, number of axles and miles. The heavier the vehicle, the more wear and tear on the road, so the higher the tax.

Oregon per Mileage fuel tax for vehicles between 26,000 lbs and 80,000 lbs.

Source : Oregon Department of Transportation 

The fees are applied for a whole trip. Say a truck is scheduled to drive 100 miles round trip to deliver watermelons. A vehicle driving 100 miles that weighs over 44,000 but less than 46,000 would be charged $0.0907 per mile or $9.07. Trucks that are driving a full load of product and an empty load back pay for the total miles of the trip, including the miles they are driving empty. In the above example, even if half the miles were at the 26,001 rate for the return trip, the taxable rate is the full load price.

Any commercial vehicle that is over 80,000 GVW would use the Table “B”, which is similar but includes different pricing based on the number of axles, not just weight.

Oregon per Mileage fuel tax for vehicles between 80,000 lbs and 105,500

Source: Oregon Department of Transportation

As the vehicles get heavier, the amount of axles used change the price. In the chart, 5 axles at 81,000 miles is $0.2115 a mile and a vehicle with 9 axles and the same weight is $0.162 a mile.

For any additional questions about the PUC plates, tax rates and trucking information in Oregon, please contact ODOT at 503-378-5849.

IFTA – International Fuel Tax Agreement

IFTA is for the same vehicles over 26,000 GVW if they drive into more than one state or into Canada. This helps simplify the reporting process of taxes, refunds and mileage for vehicles that travel in more than one state. These commercial motor vehicles are required to file quarterly with their base jurisdiction and the amount of taxes that they might have paid at the pump is recorded. Then they either pay the difference or receive a refund if they overpaid. Prior to IFTA, trucks would need a permit for every state they operated in.


Star Oilco is a supplier of  Fuel for NW Oregon and SW Washington.  If you have questions about fueling your fleet or your construction site we would love to talk to you.

Contact Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

To learn more about What Oregon Requires for a Business to Use Pacific Pride and CFN Cardlock Stations

To learn more about RV Vehicles and Pacific Pride or CFN cards

Recent proposed legislation could mean more or different tax handling fees or laws in the future. We will be following these stories as they come out. If you would like to know more – Oregon Legislature proposes an end to petroleum diesel

If you would like to learn a little bit more about biofuels – Every Question We Have Been Asked About Biodiesel & Every Question We Have Been Asked About Renewable Diesel

Got questions about Red Dyed Diesel? We have answers!

Oregon and Self-Serve Laws at the Pump 1024 576 Star Oilco

Oregon and Self-Serve Laws at the Pump

Why can’t I pump my own gas in Oregon?

Why can't I pump my own gas in Oregon?

In Oregon there are self-serve and full-serve counties.  The more urbanized counties require an attendant serve you with gasoline.

(NOTE: If you operate a business in Oregon and want the ability to have commercial vehicles use a 24-7 card lock location here are the rules for getting a Pacific Pride or CFN cardlock card for self serve gasoline.) 

Oregon is one of only 2 states that has laws against people pumping their own gas (New Jersey is the other). Oregon first put these rules into place back in 1951. At this time, lawmakers decided that only trained service station workers should be able to pump their own gas. (More info here) This made more sense at that time, since most states had similar rules. Gas station pumps didn’t have all of the safety features they do today. Pumps were also more complicated than an average person was prepared to use. For context, if you were dialing long-distance on your phone during this time you would speak to an operator and someone would physically connect you.

Red Highlighted Counties are Full Serve and Green Counties allow Self Serve Gasoline in Oregon. 

Since 2015, some counties have allowed Oregonians to pump their own gas.

In 2015, Oregon relaxed some of the laws in 15 rural counties; those with less than 40,000 residents. From 6pm to 6am they allow self-serve at some fuel providers.  This allows these stations to stay open 24 hours a day.

In January 2018, this expanded to 24 hours a day for those locations that didn’t have a market or convenience store attached. (See list of counties here) The green areas in this map show where you can pump your own gas in Oregon. Although the coastal counties are limited to the 6pm to 6am times.

Covid-19 changed laws temporarily

On March 28th, 2020 to May 23rd, 2020 self-serve laws were temporarily changed. (source)  This change was to help stations with sick employees or ones that were worried about becoming sick.  Some stations opened up self-serve across the board, others allowed self-serve with attendants regularly cleaning contact surfaces between customers.  Most sites reduced hours of operation to cover the shortage of employees and reduced need for gas.

What is the punishment for pumping your own gas?

The Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is responsible for enforcing this rule and they can fine the gas stations that violate this up to $500. There is nothing in the Oregon State Statues that imposes a fine on customers that pump their own gas.

The likely consequences for someone self-pumping at a retail station, would result in a customer being trespassed from the premises.

With only 2 states still requiring a pump attendant the question remains: Why does Oregon not allow customers to pump their own gas?

There are officially 17 reasons that Oregon requires a pump attendant.  Read this article for more detail. These reasons can be condensed down to 3.

  1. Safety – As a class 1 flammable liquid, some basic safety procedures should be followed. Since a cashier can’t watch all the pumps all the time, trained attendants are there. This also allows people to reduce personal injury or exposure to the fumes. In addition, attendants are likely to notice safety issues on a vehicle such as a low tire or faulty windshield wipers and such report to the driver to keep them safe. The law specifically mentions the weather we have in Oregon as a safety reason: the risk of slipping in the rain. Supposedly, all these benefits reduces insurance liability to the service stations.
  2. Equable Treatment of Seniors & Disabled – A senior or a disabled person my find it harder to get out of their vehicle and perform the functions of pumping their gas. Because of this they would be forced to go to a full service station and pay a premium for this service, which isn’t equitable.
  3. Jobs – This is the most commonly cited reason for continuing to employ service station attendants and is part of the statue. The cost that an attendant incurs per gallon wasn’t considered to be excessive especially since Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax. As minimum wages increase, this may change.

It should also be noted that a large percentage of Oregonians enjoy having someone else pump their gas.

There are still ways in Oregon that residents in all counties can pump their own fuel.


Why a Star Oilco Pacific Pride RV Card?Diesel-Only Customers

Some retail stations allow customers to use the diesel pumps on their own. This can be spotty though.  If you would like a more consistent ability to fuel your own diesel vehicle you can apply for a fuel cards at CFN or Pacific Pride cardlock locations. Customers can use one of these locations with a card and pump their own fuel. These cards are diesel-only and require no minimum purchase per year.

Fueling at a CFN or Pacific Pride Card lock location is a great option if you’re fueling vehicles such as a diesel powered Recreational Vehicle (RV), motor home, or you’re driving a truck pulling a boat or trailer.

The larger lanes and less crowded locations can save a lot of time and potential accidents. Many cardlock locations even include bulk DEF. These stations are used by commercial vehicles with larger tanks and the fuel tends to be used faster.  As a result the fuel tends to be fresher at these locations as it cycles through more often.  Retail stations with low diesel volumes can see issues with fuel when it isn’t used as quickly.

Many cardlock locations also provide choice of fuel B20 (B20 stands for 20% biofuel) to the standard B5 that Oregon requires.  In addition, as renewable diesel begins to show up in Oregon the first fueling stations to likely see this fuel will be cardlocks.

Oregon has recently had legislation introduced that could change the type of diesel sold in Oregon.  For updates on this we suggest you visit this page:  Oregon Legislature proposes an end to petroleum diesel


Business Owners and Commercial Use Fuel

Get out of line - Use Pacific Pride and CFNThe primary way to access a commercial cardlock is if you’re a business owner. You also have to agree to can use 900 gallons of fuel in a year. You are eligible for a Pacific Pride and CFN commercial/corporate card that can include gasoline.

Some of the ways to prove you are a business owner are:

  • Federal ID #
  • Business License
  • Contractor’s License
  • Landscaping License
  • City Business License
  • Federal Income Tax Schedule C or F
  • Or any equivalent

For most locations the savings at the cardlock pump (you’re only paying your employee to pump gas, not the service stations employee) plus the time savings make these very attractive to small business owners and big business owners alike.

In addition, to the convenience that these company fuel cards bring, is that owners and managers can control how the cards are used and even when they can be used. (For more information click here).

For better or worse, Oregon continues to be one of the few places where most people aren’t allowed to pump their own gas. As technology advances and employees become more expensive things may change. But this is Oregon… who knows?

For more information or if you are curious about using a Pacific Pride or CFN cardlock location, feel free to let us know with a message below.

CardLock Landing Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.