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North Carolina Pilot Cars / Escort Vechicle Requirements

When Escort Vehicles are Required: 

All escort vehicle operators are required to obtain an approved escort certification prior to performing the duties of an oversize/overweight load escort vehicle operator in North Carolina. 

  • Front escort for permitted loads more than 12 feet wide on two-lane/two-way traffic highways and a rear escort on multi-lane highways or as determined and stated on the permit document by issuing agent. 
  • Rear escort required for permitted loads exceeding 110 feet in length. 
  • Escort vehicle requirements for 16-foot-wide mobile/modular homes are different from those for other escort vehicles. Refer to Publication MH-2.
  • No driver or passenger other than a certified escort vehicle operator is allowed to travel in the escort vehicle. 
  • Front and rear escort required for overall length 150 feet or greater. 
  • Front escort required for weight greater than 149,999 pounds. 
  • Front and rear escort for permitted loads exceeding 14 feet in width on two-lane/ two-way roads. 
  • Front pole car escort equipped with height pole indicator for permitted loads exceeding 14 feet 5 inches in height. 
  • Additional escorts may be required for any vehicle or vehicle combination with individual consideration of weight, width, length, height, weather, geographical location or route of travel as determined by issuing agent. Vehicle Size (weight) A truck of not less than a one-quarter-ton rated load capacity but not more than 17,000 pounds GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) or a passenger vehicle of not less than 2,000 pounds gross weight.


Non-compliance of the requirement for escort(s) or incorrect placement of escort(s) as stated on the permit will result in the assessment of a civil penalty. 


Placards or identification signs measuring at least 8 inches by 12 inches providing name and telephone number of the registered owner of the vehicle (company or individual) must be displayed on the right and left side of the vehicle. 

Source of information: 

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