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Iowa Oversize/Overweight Permit (6-IA-a)

Information current as of 2020
In Iowa, a person (developer) may need an Oversize or Overweight Permit (Permit) from the Iowa Department of Transportation (IowaDOT) to travel on state or interstate highways if the developer’s vehicle or load exceeds the state’s legal size and weight restrictions. Iowa Code §321.452 through §321.463, Iowa Code §321E, Iowa Admin. Code §761.511, and the IowaDOT Truck Information Guide.

Oversize/Overweight Permit Process

6-IA-a.1 to 6-IA-a.2 – Does the Vehicle and Load Exceed Iowa’s Size and Weight Restrictions?

Generally, a developer needs a Permit if the vehicle and load exceed:

  • 8 ½ feet in width;
  • 13 ½ feet in height;
  • 70 feet in length; or
  • 80,000 pounds in gross weight.

For complete size and weight restrictions in Iowa, the developer should refer to Iowa Code §321.452 - §321.463, Iowa Code §321E, Iowa Admin. Code §761.511, and the IowaDOT Truck Information Guide.

6-IA-a.3 – Check IowaDOT Construction and Restriction Information (Optional)

Before applying for a Permit, a developer may check IowaDOT’s Construction and Restriction Information to determine the best route. This may expedite the permitting process.

6-IA-a.4 – Oversize/Overweight Permit Application

There are several ways a developer may apply for and obtain a Permit recognized by IowaDOT. The developer may submit a Permit Application (Application) by mail, in person at the IowaDOT office in Ankeny, or online on IowaDOT’s Automated Permitting System. The developer must include relevant information in the Application, such as the proposed route and a description (including dimensions and weight) of the vehicle and load. The developer must also submit a Permit fee with the Application. The fee for a single trip Permit is $35, and other fee amounts can be found in Iowa Code §321E.14 and Iowa Admin. Code §761.511.5.

Additionally, the developer may obtain a Permit from a Commercial Permit Service recognized by IowaDOT. IowaDOT provides a list of Commercial Permit Services a developer may utilize on its Applying for an Oversize/Overweight Permit Information Webpage. Commercial Permit Services may charge an additional service fee in addition to the required Permit fee.

6-IA-a.5 to 6-IA-a.6 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

After the developer submits an Application, IowaDOT, IowaDOT’s Automated Permit System, or the Commercial Permit Service reviews the Application for administrative and technical completeness. If the Application is incomplete, the developer must provide the additional necessary information.

6-IA-a.7 to 6-IA-a.9 – Review Application for Approval

If the Application is complete, the Permit-issuing authority reviews the Application to determine if the Permit-issuing authority should issue a Permit to the developer. In determining whether to approve or deny the Application, the Permit-issuing authority considers if the maximum height, width, length, and weight of vehicles and loads operating under the Permit is limited to the maximum physical limitations and clearances of the roadway and infrastructure of the intended route of travel. The Permit-issuing authority will not authorize a Permit if the proposed movement will cause undue stress or damage to highway pavement, bridges, or other highway infrastructure.

In addition to the dimension and weight limitations of an intended route, the Permit-issuing authority also considers the interests of public safety. The Permit-issuing authority may deny the Application if the proposed movement of the vehicle or load poses a potential risk to the public. Iowa Code §321E.9(1). Depending on the specifications and circumstances of the proposed movement, the Permit-issuing authority may assess additional criteria provided in Iowa Admin. Code §761.511.

If the Permit-issuing authority denies the Permit, the developer should consider alternate routes and methods of transportation.

6-IA-a.10 – Oversize/Overweight Permit

If the Permit-issuing authority approves the Permit, the Permit-issuing authority issues a Permit to the developer. The developer must carry the Permit or a copy of the Permit in the oversized or overweight vehicle at all times for the duration of the move. IowaDOT Truck Information Guide. A single trip Permit is valid for five (5) days after issuance. Iowa Admin. Code §761.511.4(3)(b). The developer must comply with the IowaDOT General Provisions for Oversize Load Permits, and depending on the vehicle and load, may be required to comply with additional restrictions, including restrictions on time of day and weather conditions. Iowa Admin. Code §761.511.3. The developer may also be required to obtain escort vehicles for the movement. Iowa Admin. Code §761.511.15.

Note: The Permit only authorizes the developer to travel with the vehicle and load on state and interstate highways. The developer must obtain appropriate authorizations from local municipalities to travel with an oversize or overweight load on local roads. Exceptions may be made if the local authority has authorized IowaDOT to issue Permits for local roads in that municipality. Iowa Code §321E.3.

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Contact Information

Edit Iowa Department of Transportation
Transportation Safety, Utilities, and Access Management - Supervisor (515) 239-1267 Visit Website

Edit Iowa Department of Transportation
Transportation Safety, Utilities, and Access Management - Utility Relocation Coordinator (515) 239-1373 Visit Website