Here you will find the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding permits. If you have a question that is not listed below, please ask us here!
- What is a Divisible or Non-divisible Load?
A non-divisible load is any vehicle or combination of vehicles that exceeds length or weight limits that can't be separated into smaller loads or vehicles as it would ruin the integrity of the vehicle or the load itself.
A divisible load is any vehicle or combination of vehicles carrying a load of legal dimensions that can be separated into smaller loads or vehicles without ruining the integrity of the load.
- What are the Federal Restrictions on loads?
The governing body, that oversees the various legal weights and dimensions, is called the Federal Highway Administration; or FHWA for short. The FHWA sets the various legal dimensions for vehicles on the federal highways, as well as what limitations states can impose on their highways. The following is a list of those guidelines:
There is no federal overall vehicle length limit for most truck tractor-semitrailers. However, a combination vehicle (which is a truck tractor plus a semitrailer or trailer) that is used exclusively for transporting automobiles or boats, may not exceed a maximum overall length of 65 feet or 75 feet; depending on the type of connection between the tractor and the trailer. In regards to trailer length, no state is allowed to have a limit of less than 48 feet on a semitrailer operating in any truck tractor-semitrailer combination.
The federal width limitation is 102 inches or 8 1/2 feet. Any safety devices on the truck are not calculated into the overall width.
There is no federal vehicle height limit, and states tend to set their own limits on average between 13 ft 6 and 14 ft 6.
The FHWA states that 80,000 pounds is the gross vehicle weight for a semi-tractor and trailer. In addition there are weight limits that apply the axle weight. The limits are 20,000 pounds for a single axle weight and 34,000 tandem axle weight. There are different weight limits for other vehicle types as well.
There are also special restrictions that apply to bridges. The government enacted the Bridge Formula to limit the weight-to-length ratio of a vehicle crossing a bridge. This is accomplished either by spreading weight over additional axles or by increasing the distance between the axles. To determine whether a vehicle complies with the set weight limits, the formula W=500(LN/N-1 + 12N + 36) is used. In this formula, W refers to the overall weight on any group of 2 or more consecutive axles, L is the distance in feet between any group of two axles, and N is the number of axles in the group. You can find more information on the federal bridge formula HERE
- Does the federal government issue permits?
The Federal government does not issue permits for oversize or overweight vehicles. State governments do.
- What is a Superload Permit?
When an oversized or overweight load exceeds certain dimensions, they are classified as superloads. The dimensions for superload permits vary from state to state, and carry separate restrictions that go along with its specifications. Escorts, either civilian or police will be required for the loads. Some states will also require route surveys to make sure that the superload can travel the route without being a hazard to itself or other travelers on the route. Additional fees and permits come with the classification as well.
- What is Temporary Vehicle Registration?
Vehicle registration refers to the actual legal registration of a tractor for a particular state for a set amount of time. There are two types of vehicle registration.
IRP (International Registration Plan) Tag
This permit contains all the states that your truck is registered for, and the weights that they are registered for in that particular state.
A base plate is for your base state only if you want to travel to another state and you have an IRP tag. As long as that state is listed you can travel into that state without obtaining any permit; however if you don’t have that state listed you can obtain a temporary IRP permit. If you have a base plate you must obtain a temporary IRP permit to travel to that state. A temporary IRP permit will legalize a driver for a specific period of time in the state that he or she is traveling. If a driver is traveling to multiple states, more than one vehicle registration will be required; if they don’t have it listed. The driver will need to obtain registration in every state that he travels with the load that is not listed.
- What is Temporary Fuel Tax?
The temporary fuel tax is similar to a temporary vehicle registration, with the exception of how they are identified. Fuel tax is done by an IFTA sticker that is placed on the side of the truck. If one does not have the IFTA sticker, they will need to apply for a temporary fuel tax permit for the states that they are planning on traveling. If you have the IFTA sticker you must file for Fuel Tax.
- Is State Permits associated with the State of Ohio
State Permits serves as an agent for issuing Ohio IRP and IFTA permits; aside from that, however, we have no affiliation with the state. For any questions not relating directly to oversize/overweight permits or IRP/IFTA permits please contact either the Ohio DOT or the Ohio BMV.
- Where can I find more information?
For more information on the federal restrictions you can locate them at the FHWA website found HERE.