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Virginia Districtwide Permit (3-VA-d)

In Virginia, a utility (developer) may need a Districtwide Permit (Permit) from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to “install and maintain service connections to…existing main line facilities (i.e., transmission or distribution lines).” tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-30(C). A “utility” is defined as “privately, publically or cooperatively owned line, facility, or system for producing, transmitting, or distributing…electricity.” tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-10. The VDOT regulates Districtwide Permits pursuant to Virginia – tit. 24 Va. Admin Code et seq., Transportation and Motor Vehicles; Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Application for Districtwide Permit


Districtwide Permit Process

3-VA-d.1 – Application for Districtwide Permit

A developer must submit a complete Application for a Districtwide Permit (Permit Application) to the VDOT central office permit manager. The Permit Application must include, at minimum:

  • The name of the applicant (developer);
  • The developer’s tax ID number or driver’s license number;
  • The developer’s address;
  • The developer’s signature and title
  • Surety Bond in the amount of $10,000 per county;
  • Power of Attorney Authorization;
  • Land Use Permit Resolution, applies only for locality;
  • W-9 Form, is needed if cash/check is posted;
  • Site plans, sketches, and design requirements for proposed installations within the right-of-way;
  • Studies necessary for approval; and
  • Required certifications for staff performing or supervising the work.

tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-340; tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-720(B); Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Application for Districtwide Permit. Note: Work under a Districtwide Permit may be consolidated into a single Permit Application. A developer does not need to apply for and obtain a separate permit for each installation required to maintain an existing utility facility. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-40(B).

3-VA-d.2 to 3-VA-d.5 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

Upon receipt of a Permit Application, the appropriate VDOT Central Office Permit Manager reviews the Permit Application for technical and administrative completeness. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-300; Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process. Following a completeness review, the VDOT Central Office Permit Manager logs the Permit Application information into the Land Use Permit System. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process. After logging the Permit Application, the Central Office Permit Manager coordinates with VDOT district office(s) reviews and comments on the proposed work, including the location, timing, and length of permitted activity only for new utility installations project. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process.

3-VA-d.6 – Coordinate with Other VDOT Offices and Impacted Municipalities

The VDOT district office coordinates with other appropriate VDOT offices and impacted municipalities to secure any additional VDOT approvals. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process.

3-VA-d.7 to 3-VA-d.8 – Calculate Appropriate Fees

The VDOT Central Office Permit Manager calculates the appropriate fees, surety and communicate said fees to the developer. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process. ‘’’Note:’’’ the public rights-of-way use fee is imposed on all “renewable generators that occupy and use public rights-of way in order to (i) supply electricity generated at its renewable energy facility to the electric distribution grid, (ii) distribute steam generated at its renewable energy facility to customers, or (iii) supply landfill gas to customers or to a natural gas distribution or transmission pipeline.” tit. 67 Va. Admin Code 11-67-11-03(A). Further, this fee is charged in lieu of “any and all fees of general application with the exception for zoning, subdivision, site plan, and comprehensive plan fees of general application, otherwise chargeable to a renewable generator by the Department of Transportation or a locality in connection with a permit for such occupation and use.” tit. 67 Va. Admin Code 11-67-11-03 (A).

3-VA-d.9 – Pay Required Fees

The developer must submit required Permit Application fees to the VDOT Central Office Permit Manager to cover the cost of permit processing, plan review and inspection, and to provide surety to guarantee the satisfactory performance of the work under the permit. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-700.

3-VA-d.10 – Secure Insurance

The developer must secure and maintain insurance prior to initiating construction to protect against liability for personal injury and property damage that arise from construction activities. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Application for Districtwide Permit.

3-VA-d.11 to 3-VA-d.12 – Does the VDOT Require Insurance Verification?

VDOT may require a developer to establish proof of required insurance to protect against liability for personal injury and property damage that may arise from the work performed under the authority of a land use permit. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-40(F). Upon request, the insurance agent or agency must submit a valid certificate or letter of insurance to VDOT prior to VDOT issuing the developer a Permit. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-40(F).

3-VA-d.13 to 3-VA-d.14 – Review Application for Approval

In determining whether to grant a Districtwide Permit, VDOT considers whether granting a Districtwide Permit adequately ensures the safety, use, or maintenance of a highway right-of-way.

3-VA-d.15 – Districtwide Permit

A Districtwide Permit is valid for a period of two (2) years. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-710(B). The developer must comply with all fee and surety requirements. In compliance with Districtwide Permit requirements, the developer must pay a biennial fee of $750 (exceptions possible under tit. 67 Va. Admin Code 67-11-03). tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-710(B).

3-VA-d.16 – Appeal Decision to VDOT District Administrator (Optional)

If the VDOT Central Office Permit Manager denies the Permit Application, the developer may file a request for appeal stating the grounds for the appeal and any unresolved issues with the VDOT Central Office – Director Office of Land Use within 30 days of the district permit office issuing a decision on the Permit Application. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100.

3-VA-d.17 to 3-VA-d.18 – Review Application Materials on Appeal

Upon receipt of the appeal, the VDOT Central Office – Director’s Office of Land Use must review the information on appeal and issue a decision to the developer within 60 calendar days. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100.

3-VA-d.19 to 3-VA-d.20 – Submit Copy of Decision to VDOT Central Office Permit Manager

The VDOT Central Office – Director Office of Land Use must submit a copy of its decision to the Central Office Permit Manager. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100.

3-VA-d.21 – Appeal Decision to VDOT Commissioner of Highways (Optional)

The developer may further appeal the VDOT Central Office – Director’s Office of Land Use decision to the VDOT Commissioner of Highways. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100. If the developer appeals to the VDOT Commissioner of Highways, the developer should include in the petition to appeal all prior correspondence with VDOT regarding the issues on appeal. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100.


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Edit Virginia Department of Transportation
Director Office of Land Use 804-786-0780 Visit Website