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Washington Oversize / Overweight Regulations

What is considered as "Oversized Load" in Washington?

Dimensions: Width: 8' 6" (8' Local roads) Height: 14' Semi-trailer: 53'

What is considered as "Overweight Load" in Washington?

Weights: Single Axle: 20,000 lb. Tandem axle: 34,000 lb. Tridem: 42,000 lb. Gross Weight: 80,000 lb.

Washington Oversize / Overweight Permits

Washington Permit Department Contact Information


Fax: 360-704-6350

7:00 AM - 5:00 PM Pacific

Washington Pilot Cars / Escorts

Washington's pilot car requirements are extensive and detailed.

Over-dimension         Number /Placement           Comments

       Exceeds                                     of Pilot Car(s)         

  11 ft. wide                   2 - 1 Front/1 Rear               2-lane Rd.

  14 ft wide                     1 Rear                                  Multi-lane Rd

  20 ft wide                      2 - 1 Front/1 Rear             Multi-lane Rd

  105 ft. long                    1 Rear

  125 ft long                     1 Rear

   20 ft Front Overhang   1 Front                               2-lane Rd.

   14 ft  6. in  High            1 Front with measuring pole

Regulations include detailed discussion of escort training and certification (required) and escort operator duties, as well as pre-trip procedures including two-way communications with load operators.

Washington Axle Regulations

Maximum Legal Weight Allowed

Axle Group                  Maximum

Single                           20,000 lb.

Tandem                        34,000 lb.

Two Tire Axle               500 lb. per inch width

Steer Axle                    600 lb. per inch width

Gross Vehicle Weight  105,500 lb.

Maximum Permit Weight Allowed

Permits may be issued if the load cannot reasonably be reduced and if WSDOT determines that the structures and roads over which the load is to travel can sustain the weight without undue stress.

Permits for heavy loads are not to exceed weight limits as follows:

  • 600 lb. per inch of tire width;
  • 22,000 lb. on a single axle;
  • 43,000 lb. on a tandem axle.

The weight allowed on any series of axles can be computed by the following formula:

Distance in Feet Between First and Last Axles in the Group           Weight Allowed

(In Lb.)

7 feet to less than 10 feet, multiply                                              (Feet) x 6,500 lb.

10 feet to less than 30 feet                                                           (Feet plus 20) x 2,200 lb.

30 feet or greater                                                                          (Feet plus 40) x 1,600 lb.

• Bridge restrictions may limit single axle capacities to 21,500 lb. or less on selected highways.

The lesser of any of these calculations will govern the capacity of any series of axles.

The weight on a single axle (at 600 lb. per inch tire width) may be up to 45,000 lb. if the equipment being moved has single pneumatic tires having a rim width of 20 inches or more and rim diameter of 24 inches or more, or dual pneumatic tires having a rim width of 16 inches or more and rim diameter of 24 inches or more. Specially designed vehicles manufactured and certified for special permits prior to July 1, 1975, may also be allowed.

Over Axle Permit (Overweight)

An over axle permit is for a load that falls within the legal gross weight, but axle(s) is over the legal weight limit. Over axle weight on an axle would be weight exceeding 20,000 lb. on a single axle and 34,000 lb. on a set of tandems. Tridem weight would depend on the measurement between the three axles. After determining the distance, check the vehicle weight table to see what the legal capacity would be. The price of the permit is calculated with the amount of weight over the legal axle weight and the number of miles to be traveled.

Washington Trip and Fuel (IRP / IFTA) Permits

Temporary Trip Permit

This permit provides temporary vehicle Washington State Licensing for three consecutive days to a vehicle in lieu of regular licensing. The permit grants legal capacity up to 40,000 lb. for a single vehicle and up to 80,000 lb. for combination vehicles. $25.00 

Temporary Fuel Use Permit

A fuel permit is required upon entering the State of Washington when a commercial vehicle (equipped with two axles with a GVW exceeding 26,000 lb. or a three-axle vehicle regardless of GVW) is powered, by special fuel, including but not limited to diesel or propane, and does not pay fuel tax under the International Fuel Tax agreement (IFTA). $30.00

Washington Overweight / Oversize Fines

Overweight Fines: First Offense, basic penalty of not less than fifty dollars; a Second Offense, a basic penalty of not less than seventy-five dollars, and a Third or Subsequent Offense, a basic penalty of not less than one hundred dollars. (2) In addition to the basic penalties, thousand lb. overweight.

WEIGHT                    FINE

1 – 4,000 lb.              $.03 per lb. overweight

4,001 – 10,000 lb.    $120 + $.12 per lb. overweight

10,001 – 15,000lb.   $840 + $.16 per lb. overweight

15,001 – 20,000 lb.  $1640 + $.20 per lb. overweight

20,001 and over        $2640 + $.30 per lb. overweight

$150 minimum and additionally upon a second violation within a twelve month period involving the same power unit, and suspended the registration for not less than 30 days. Fines are calculated based on permit weight. Permit is void if violated. Operators may be fined for either an over axle or over gross violation, whichever produces the greater fine. Drivers may not shift load to avoid an over axle citation.


Running Hours and Holiday Restrictions

Warning Lights

When night movement is allowed, loads projecting beyond the sides of the vehicle must have amber lights visible from the front and side at the outermost extremities. Rearmost edge(s) of the projecting load must be marked with a red lamp visible from the rear and side.

"Oversize Load" Banners

“Oversize Load” signs are required for all oversized loads at the front of the tractor at a height of 5 ft. from ground level (or as high as practicable on the vehicle or load if it cannot accommodate the 5 ft. height), and at the rear of the vehicle. Signs must be ft. long and 18 in. high with black lettering at least 10 inches high on a yellow background. 

Flag Requirements

Flags must be displayed on all four corners of all overwidth loads, and at the extreme ends of all protrusions, projections, or overhangs

Flags, Lights and Banners

One half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, including Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, vehicle/loads not exceeding 12 ft. wide, 14ft. 6 in.″ high and 105 ft. long, including legal overhangs, may run at night with proper lighting Monday through Friday time/width curfew restrictions for the vicinity of Seattle-Everett, Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver and Kelso are listed on the Commuter Curfew Hours sheet which accompanies permits. Movement on state highways is restricted on the holidays of New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and commencing at noon of the day preceding said holidays.

Washington Tire Regulations

On the following routes all vehicles and combinations of vehicles over 10,000 pounds shall carry sufficient tire chains to meet the requirements from November 1 to April 1 of each year or at other times when chains are required for such vehicles:

I-90 between North Bend (MP 32) and Ellensburg (MP 101)

I-82 between Ellensburg Exit 3 (MP 3.00) and Selah Exit 26 (MP 26.00)

SR-97 between (MP 145) and Junction

SR-2 between Dryden (MP 108) and Index (MP 36)

SR-12 between Packwood (MP 135) and Naches (MP 187)

SR-97 between junction SR-14 (MP 4) Columbia River and Toppenish (MP 59)

SR-410 from Enumclaw to Naches

SR-20 between Tonasket (MP 262) and Kettle Falls (MP 342)

SR-155 between Omak (MP 79) and Nespelem (MP 45)

SR-970 between (MP 0) and (MP 10)

SR-14 (MP 18) to Junction 97 (MP 102)

SR-542 Mt Baker Highway between (MP 22.91) and (MP 57.26)

Vehicles making local deliveries as indicated on bills of lading and not crossing the mountain pass are exempt from this requirement if operating outside of chain required area.

The Washington State Department of Transportation or Washington State Patrol may prohibit any vehicle from entering a chain/approved traction tire control area when it is determined that the vehicle will experience difficulty in safely traveling the area.

Oversize Load Movements

Movement by permit on mountain passes is prohibited where any of the following signs are displayed:

Traction Advisory/Oversized Vehicles Prohibited.

Vehicles over 10,000 GVWR, Chains Required.

Chains required on all vehicles except all-wheel drive.


Washington Frost Laws

WSDOT may impose load and speed restrictions when freeze-thaw or other conditions may subject the roadway to damage from normal traffic.

• Emergency Load Restrictions - Applied to any road when the untreated pavement layers (base course and sub‑grade) are supersaturated and unstable.

• Severe Emergency Load Restrictions - Applied only to a roadway whose surfacing depth is insufficient to resist subgrade swell pressure or is surfaced with a thin bituminous treatment. When restrictions must be imposed: post the road with appropriate signs, notify Commercial Vehicle Services, and provide courtesy notices to principal road users as circumstances allow.

Washington Annual Permits

Maximum Limits: 

  • Length: 125′ trailer and load
  • Width: 14’
  • Height: 15′


Collection Truck - 2 or 3 axle single unit permit for limited excess weight (annual) 2 axle $252.00 or 3 axle $336.00

Empty Apple Bins - Permits height up to but not to exceed 15 ft. (30 day periods up to one year) $20 per month / $240.00 per year 

Hay Bales - Permits height up to but not to exceed 15 ft. (30 day periods up to one  year) $20 per month / $240.00 per year 

Double Trailer - Allows for divisible loads to be carried on a set of double trailers up to 68  ft. (30 day periods to one year) $10.00 per month / $100.00 per year 

Log Tolerance - Permits weights in excess of federal bridge formula for 3-axle log truck  pulling 2-axle pole trailer (quarterly periods up to one year) 

Tow Truck - Permit allows for excess weight on the axles of the towing vehicle as well as  the towed vehicle. Depending on the method of tow and class of tow truck. $75.00 Class B / $150.00 Class C (Annual) 

Tarping System - Permits divisible load width up to 9 ft. This permit is for loaded vehicles  that are equipped with a tarping system. $20.00 per month / $240.00 per year

Temporary Additional Tonnage - Temporarily increases licensed weight of single units or  combinations. This permit is for legal weights only. Minimum of 5 day periods ($14.00 per  ton) 


Time, it takes to receive: 1 business day

Mailing method: online

Commodity specific? Truck specific

Washington Road Conditions

Work zones are there because workers are improving road conditions and expanding roads. In the work zone, drivers will typically see cones, barrels, barriers, pavement markings and work trucks. Follow the work zone signs and other directions to get safely through.

Drivers generally don’t think they are at risk in work zones but…

Washington averages almost 850 highway work zone injuries each year.

96 percent of the people injured or killed in work zone collisions are drivers and their passengers.

The top three causes of work zone crashes are distracted/inattentive driving, following too close and speeding.

Distracted/inattentive drivers are not prepared for sudden slow downs and last minute lane changes in work zones.

Work zone survival tips:

  • Slow Down – drive the posted speeds, they're there for your safety
  • Be Kind – our workers are out there helping to keep you safe and improve the roadways
  • Pay Attention – both to workers directing you and surrounding traffic; put your phone down when behind the wheel
  • Stay Calm – expect delays, leave early or take an alternate route if possible; no meeting or appointment is worth risking someone's life
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Merge as soon as possible
  • Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says "END ROAD WORK"

Washington Manufactured Houses and Mobile homes

Manufactured Housing Monthly/Annual Permit

Maximum Limits: 15 ft. high, 15 ft. wide (include a 12 inch eave) and trailer length not to exceed 75 ft., including tongue length 

Valid for: 30 day period up to one year

Fees: $30.00 per month /$360.00 per year

Manufactured Housing Monthly Permit is a self-issue permit type.

Need to obtain a route? No

Oversize / Overweight Regulations By State