Difference Between Interstate and Intrastate

Main Difference – Interstate and Intrastate

The terms Interstate and Intrastate are mostly related to transportation and business. Also, these concepts are applied to countries like the USA, where there are several different states. Interstate refers to activities that happen among two or more states, outside their boundary levels. Intrastate, in contrast, applies to activities that take place inside a state boundary and these do not have connections with other states. This is the main difference between interstate and intrastate. This article explores,

1. What does Interstate Mean?
     – Meaning, Usage, Examples

2. What does Intrastate Mean?
     – Meaning, Usage, Examples

3. What is the difference between Interstate and Intrastate?Difference Between Interstate and Intrastate - Comparison Summary

Interstate – Meaning and Usage

Interstate means anything that combines two or more states together. As mentioned above, this word is mostly used in regard to transportation and business activities. In interstate transportation, the vehicle should get permission not only from its own state but also from the other state(s) that is involved. Furthermore, the driver should be aware of the rules and regulations of the particular state before entering the boundary. These transport operations may start in one state, move to another state or two or more and then return to its own state at the end of the trip. However, when accidents are concerned, it is usually not state laws that apply to the victims but the laws implemented by Department of Transportation. The concept of interstate commerce is also the same.

In case of businesses, a business venture has its limits over more than one state. Here, the business may offer its services to the customers not only from its own state but from other states as well. These interstate companies are required to obtain a valid certification of authority to carry on their business activities in other states, based on their law and tax systems.

Difference Between Interstate and Intrastate

Interstate highways in blue & intrastate highways in red

Intrastate – Meaning and Usage

Intrastate refers to activities that happen inside state boundaries; these do not cross the borderlines. So, the intrastate activities originate and end in the same state without moving or extending to another state. Interstate transportation follows the state law system and all the rules and, regulations pertaining to that particular state may apply to these.

In intrastate business projects, both business dealer and customer are from the same state. There is no foreign intervention. In case of any discrepancy, it is the regional law or intrastate law that applies.

Main Difference - Interstate vs Intrastate

Difference Between Interstate and Intrastate


Interstate: Interstate is any business or transport activity that involves more than one state.

Intrastate: Intrastate is a business or transport activity happening within the state borders.

Laws and Regulations

Interstate: Agents involved in interstate activities should get authorization from all states that are involved.

Intrastate: Agents may be only aware of the laws and regulations of the particular state.


Interstate: Interstate business projects cater to a wide area and a large number of customers.

Intrastate: Intrastate business projects only serves the residents of the particular state.

Image Courtesy:

“Interstate 180 Pennsylvania” By User: Ruhrfisch – Photo taken by self (GFDL) via Commons Wikimedia

“Intrastate Interstate Highways” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Chathu

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