Oversize Permits: When, Why, And How To Apply

Have you ever been driving down the road and come across a massive truck carrying something like a large piece of machinery? Those are called "oversize loads" and require special permits.

But what exactly is an oversize permit, when do you need one, and how do you apply for one? Keep reading to find out.

What Is an Oversize Permit?

An oversize permit is a document issued by state governments that allows vehicles transporting oversized loads to travel on public roads. The permit authorizes vehicles that exceed maximum legal size or weight limits to operate on highways under certain conditions. These conditions are usually determined by the state, such as what routes can be used and when they must be traveled.

Depending on the state, these permits can be issued for a single trip or for multiple trips within a set time period. You can also get permits to cover multiple states if your load is traveling through different jurisdictions.

When Do You Need an Oversize Permit?

There are three main situations when you need to apply for an oversize permit. The first is if your vehicle exceeds legal limits for width — generally 8.5 inches — and length — which ranges from 48 feet in some states up to 53 feet in others.

The second is if your vehicle has an axle weight greater than the legal limit set by each state (for instance, 46,000 pounds per axle). Finally, you'll need an oversize permit if your load needs special routing due to size or weight. This could include a bridge or street that needs to be avoided due to the load's size.

How Do You Apply for an Oversize Permit?

Applying for an oversized permit typically involves filling out paperwork either online or in person at the permitting office of your state's transportation department. In most cases, you'll need to provide information such as the dimensions and weight of your load as well as details about where and when you plan on driving it.

Once all this information is submitted, it's usually just a matter of waiting for approval from the permitting agency before moving ahead with transport plans. You need to ensure you have the proper permit before transporting an oversized load, or you risk being fined and even having your vehicle impounded.

If you're planning on transporting something that exceeds standard dimensions or weight limits, you'll need to apply for an oversized permit from your local Department of Transportation office. While applying may seem like a hassle at first glance, it's usually a relatively straightforward process requiring only basic information about your load and transport plans.

Be sure to check with local regulations before hitting the road so you can travel safely and legally.