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New Mexico Special Permit for Excessive Size or Weight (6-NM-a)

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety (NMDPS) has the authority to grant permits for vehicles and loads that exceed the statutory limits outlined in NMSA 66-7-401-416 and codified in NMAC 18.19.8

Special Permit for Excessive Size or Weight Process

6-NM-a.1 to 6-NM-a.2 - Does the Load Exceed the Applicable Size or Weight Regulations?

The developer must obtain a Special Permit for Excessive Size and Weight if the project will require operation or transport of loads of a size or weight that exceeds the maximum dimensions established by NMSA 66-7-409-410. The following load dimensions require a special permit:

  • Combinations or loads in excess of fourteen feet (14’) from the roadbed;
  • Single units or objects of a length exceeding forty feet (40’); and
  • A combination of units or objects of a length exceeding sixty five feet (65’).
  • Pipe of a length in excess of eighty feet (80’)


In addition, regardless of height and length dimension, the following load weights require a special permit:

  • Where the gross weight imposed on the highway by the wheels of any one axle of a vehicle exceeds twenty-one thousand six hundred (21,600) pounds or where one wheel carries a load in excess of eleven thousand (11,000) pounds; or
  • Where a wheel equipped with pneumatic, solid rubber or cushion tires carries a load in excess of six hundred (600) pounds for each inch of tire width.

NMSA 66-7-410

Finally, a special permit is required where the gross weight (including the load and vehicle) is in excess of certain limits, depending on the length between wheel axles. NMSA 66-7-410

For more information, consult the SCRA Oversize/Overweight Permit Manual

6-NM-a.3 to 6-NM-a.4 - Application for a Special Permit for Excessive Size or Weight

The developer (owner or licensee of the vehicle) is required to submit the application to the NMDOT in a form similar to the sample provided. The application must detail the load specifications and routes of travel. In some cases the NMDOT may require a developer to conduct a feasibility study of the proposed movement or engineering analysis of the highway or route. NMAC All applicants must demonstrate proof of insurance for both bodily injury and property damage in the required amounts. [NMAC]. The developer may apply for a single-trip or a multiple-trip permit. NMAC 18.19.80-82 Santa Fe Oversize/Overweight Permit Application

For more information, including county maps indicating bridge locations and relative dimensions, consult NMDOT Trucking Restrictions.

6-NM-a.5 - Does the NMDOT Approve the Application?

The NMDOT will only issue special permits for irreducible loads. Irreducible loads are loads which a developer cannot reasonably reduce to legal limits. Generally, the NMDOT will issue a special permit if the move:

  • Is determined to be feasible;
  • Will not adversely affect the overall motoring public; and
  • Will not create any undue hazards to public or private property.


NMDOT will also determine whether the movement requires an escort. In many cases the developer must furnish the escort vehicles and drivers, adhering to the requirements in NMAC

6-NM-a.6 to 6-NM-a.7 - Special Permit for Excessive Size or Weight

If issued, the NMDOT will return the special permit application to the developer and may attach conditions thereon. The permit operates as a binding legal agreement once the developer commences movement under the permit. At a minimum, the permitted vehicle must be properly flagged and equipped with the proper signage. NMAC A Special permit is non-transferrable and must be carried in the vehicle to which it applies during the movement. []. Movement is generally restricted to the daylight hours and non-holidays of weekdays and Saturdays. A developer must otherwise apply for movement outside those general bounds and in such cases the NMDOT will consider additional factors outlined in NMAC 18.19.34-35.

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