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Rhode Island Oversize / Overweight Regulations

What is considered as "Oversized Load" in Rhode Island?

Dimensions: Width: 8' 6" (8' on other roads) Height: 13' 6" Semi Trailer Length: 56' Maximum Length: 80' Overhang: Rear 6'

What is considered as "Overweight Load" in Rhode Island?

Weights: Single Axle: 20,000 lb. Tandem axle: 34,000 lb. Tridem: 45,200 lb. Max Gross Weight: 80,000 lb.

Rhode Island Oversize / Overweight Permits

Rhode Island Permit Department Contact Information


Fax: 401-462-5791

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Eastern

Rhode Island Pilot Cars / Escorts

Escort vehicles will be at least the size of a compact size car or larger. The drivers of escort vehicles will maintain visual and two-way radio contact with the permitted vehicle at all times.

When Escort Vehicles are Required:

When one escort is required, it shall precede a load on undivided highways and follow the load on divided highways.


One escort vehicle is required for overall width of between 12 feet and 14 feet, 6 inches.
Two escort vehicles are required for widths over 14 feet, 6 inches.


One escort is required for overlength between 80 feet and 90 feet.
Two escort vehicles are required for over 90 feet.


One escort vehicle is required if the overhang is 15 feet or more.
There may be some special circumstances where a second escort vehicle will be required for overhangs due to safety reasons, but such occurrences are anticipated to be infrequent.


Two escorts are required with police escort from each city or town where move will travel.


Two escorts are required for intrastate moves of width 12 and over.

Rhode Island Axle Regulations

Maximum Legal Weight

The Gross Vehicle Weight 80,000 pounds maximum.
The Gross Weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of any one axle of a vehicle shall not exceed 22,400 pounds.

Maximum Axle Weight Carried by Multiple Axle Vehicle

Axle Group                   Maximum

Single                         22,400 pounds

Tandem                       32,000 pounds (if the front and rear axles less than 6 feet apart)                              36,000 pounds (less than 12 feet apart)

Tridem                         40,000 pounds (if the front and rear axles less than 16 feet apart)
44,000 pounds (less than 20 feet)
46,000 pounds (less than 22 feet)
50,000 pounds (less than 27 feet)

Gross Vehicle Weight  80,000 pounds

Maximum Weight and Tandem Axles

With respect to all public highways, the overall gross weight on a group of two or more consecutive axles of a vehicle or combination of vehicles, shall be determined by the following bridge gross weight formula:

W=500 ((LN/(N-1))+12N+36),


W = the overall gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles to the nearest 500 pounds;

L = the distance in feet between the extremes of any group of two or more consecutive axles; and
N = the number of axles in the group under consideration.

Such overall gross weight of any vehicle or combination of vehicles may not exceed 80,000 lb.

Maximum Permit Weight Allowed Divisible Load Permits

Three or more axle vehicle – 76,650 pounds maximum

Three axle tractor - semi-trailer – 62,000 pounds maximum

Four-axle tractor –semi-trailer – 87,000 pounds maximum

Four or more axle tractor –semi-trailer – 104,800 pounds maximum

Rhode Island Trip and Fuel (IRP / IFTA) Permits

This online service will allow you to purchase an IRP permit.

Rhode Island’s Online Temporary IRP Permits Service will allow you to apply for and purchase an IRP Temporary 72 Hour Trip Permit from the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. For specification on a particular trip, please contact the DMV Permit Division at 401-946-0090.

You will need:

A valid US DOT number

A credit card and billing address

A printer in order to print your receipt

Who Is Required To Register for Rhode Island IFTA?

A qualified motor vehicle is a motor vehicle used, designed, or maintained for transportation of persons or property having:

Two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms; or

Having three or more axles regardless of weight; or

Is used in combination, when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms gross vehicle or registered gross vehicle weight.


Rhode Island Overweight / Oversize Fines

Rhode Island enforces all maximum truck weight laws through fines. There are no laws in any of this state that explicitly provide prison terms for maximum weight violations. Rhode Island levies fines $65 for every pound over the legal weight up to 10,000 lb. overweight, and fines of $125 for every pound above 10,000 lb. overweight. The overweight penalty for vehicles being operated in excess of 104,800 lb. gross vehicle weight shall be $1,025 in addition to the penalties enumerated above.

WEIGHT                                   FINE

Less than 10,000 lb.                $65 per pound overweight

Greater than 10,000 lb.           $125 per pound overweight

Running Hours and Holiday Restrictions

Warning Lights: Color and Placement

No special lighting is required on load vehicles, however, load vehicles will travel with low beam headlights on at all times.

"Oversized Load" Banner Regulations and Requirements

All over width loads will have an "OVERSIZE LOAD" banner on the front and rear of the vehicle or load.

Size: Not less than 7 in., 18 in. high Letters: Black, 10 ln. high, 1.25 in. brush stroke

Background: Yellow

Flag Requirements

All over-width loads require 1 in. square red or orange fluorescent flags.

At least two and up to six flags to be attaches the extremities of the load.

Overhang of more than 4 ft. to be marked with one or two flags (two if wider than 2ft.)

Flags, Lights and Banners

Running Hours and Holiday Restrictions

No moves are authorized unless otherwise noted from sunset on Friday to sunrise on Monday or the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Victory Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. 

If a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday is also restricted as a holiday; and if the holiday falls on Saturday, the previous Friday is restricted as a holiday after 12:00 noon.

If a holiday falls during the week, travel is allowed up to 12:00 noon on the day before the holiday.

Rhode Island Tire Regulations

It is permissible to use tires with flat-headed studs projecting one-sixteenth inch ( 1/16") or less beyond the tread of the traction surface from the fifteenth day of November to the first day of April;

It is permissible to use tire chains of reasonable proportions upon any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.

The minimum tread depth is 2/32 of an inch. The administrator of the division of motor vehicles isauthorized to remove from a highway any vehicle not conforming to this requirement and shall suspend the registration of the motor vehicle until it is made to conform to the requirements of this section.

Rhode Island Annual Permits

Dimensions: Depends on the route

Cost: $100

Time, it takes to receive: 1 week

Mailing method: mail

Commodity specific? Truck specific

Need to obtain a route? No

Rhode Island Road Conditions

Be alert around work zone crews - Although there are usually plenty of brightly colored signs and even workers on a construction zone to give you an indication that it is appropriate to slow down

In Rhode Island, traffic fines are doubled in a work zone when there are signs posted, even if there are no workers present.

Many individuals are already familiar with the concept of driving carefully and minimizing their speed when moving through these areas. Even though slowing down might seem inconvenient, it can dramatically reduce the chances that you’ll be involved in a serious car collision in Rhode Island.

  • Always comply with the posted speed limit and slow down even further if weather conditions or other issues indicate this will be a good idea.
  • Always merge into the proper lane as you come towards a work zone. It is much easier to do this far in advance from a lane closure location.
  • Never tailgate when in a work zone. Keep a safe distance between you and another vehicle.

Rhode Island Manufactured Houses and Mobile homes

Legal Width 8'6"

Legal Length 60'

Mobile or Modular Homes

Legal Height 13'6"

Over the above dimensions require a special permit.

Rhode Island is a member of the multistate permit agreement with Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Multi-state permits may be obtained only for vehicles and loads falling within the size envelope limits as follows: 

Weight 108,000 on 5 axles — 120,000 lbs. (six or more axles); 

Length — 90 ft. 

Height — 13ft. 6 in. 

Width — 14ft. (additional 6 in. of overhang for eaves on mobile and modular home components only is permissible). 

For vehicles exceeding these limits, individual state permits must be obtained from each state permit office. 

Permits are valid for 5 days. Travel is limited to times listed on permit. 

Oversize / Overweight Regulations By State