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Tennessee Oversize/Overweight Permit (6-TN-a)

Information current as of 2020
In Tennessee, a person (developer) may need an Oversize/Overweight Permit (“Permit”) from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (“TDOT”) to transport vehicles and loads that exceed the state’s size and weight restrictions. TDOT regulates the size and weight of vehicles pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §55-7.

Oversize/Overweight Permit Process

6-TN-a.1 to 6-TN-a.2 – Does the Movement Exceed Applicable Size or Weight Regulations?

Tennessee has several specific size and weight restrictions for certain circumstances, but generally a Permit is needed if the vehicle and/or load exceeds:

  • 80,000 pounds in gross weight;
  • 8½ feet in width;
  • 13½ feet in height; or
  • 75 feet in total length.

For complete size and weight restrictions, a developer should refer to Tenn. Code Ann. §55-7-2, Tenn. Comp. R .& Regs. §1680-7-1 and TDOT Oversize/Overweight FAQs.

If the movement does not exceed any applicable size or weight regulations, no Permit is needed.

6-TN-a.3 to 6-TN-a.4 – Does the Developer Use an Authorized Permit Agency?

TDOT provides developers the option to obtain a single trip (not annual) Permit through an Authorized Permit Agency. Tenn. Comp. R .& Regs. § 1680-7-1-.24(7)(a). In order to do so, the developer only needs to contact the Authorized Permit Agency and provide all information requested by the Authorized Permit Agency. The Authorized Permit Agency then faxes or emails the developer a single Trip Permit. This is the fastest way for a developer to obtain a single trip Permit, since a developer can only obtain a Permit from TDOT’s Permit Office by mail or by picking up the Permit at TDOT’s Permit Office. TDOT Oversize/Overweight Permit Instructions. The names of Authorized Permit Agencies and their contact information can be found on TDOT’s Authorized Permit Agency List.

Note: If the vehicle and load exceed a certain weight or size, the developer may not be able to obtain a Permit from an Authorized Permit Agency

6-TN-a.5 – Single Trip Permit Request Form

If the developer chooses to not use an Authorized Permit Agency, the developer must submit a Single Trip Permit Request Form (“Application”) to TDOT’s Permit Office. The Application must contain the developer’s name and contact information, as well as information on the proposed load and the vehicle proposed to move it.

The developer must also obtain a Certificate of Liability Insurance that names TDOT as the certificate holder, and provide this along with the Application. Lastly, the developer must submit the appropriate fee charged for a single trip. The fee depends on the size and weight of the vehicle and load. The fees are determined in T.C.R.R. §1680-7-1-.24.

6-TN-a.6 to 6-TN-a.7 – Do the Vehicle and Load Exceed 15 Feet in Height?

If the developer’s vehicle and/or load exceed 15 feet in height, the developer must also submit a Route Survey Form with the Application. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. §1680-7-1-.10(2)(a); TDOT Oversize/Overweight Permit Instructions.

6-TN-a.8 to 6-TN-a.9 – Do the Vehicle and Load Exceed 16 Feet in Width?

If the developer’s vehicle and/or load exceed 16 feet in width, the developer must also submit a Letter of Necessity or Shippers Letter along with the Application that establishes the movement is in the interest of the public welfare, safety, health or defense. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. §1680-7-1-.08; TDOT Oversize/Overweight Permit Instructions.

6-TN-a.10 to 6-TN-a.11 – Do the Vehicle and Load Exceed 150,000 Pounds in Weight?

If the developer’s movement exceeds 150,000 pounds, the TDOT Structures Division must also approve the movement before a Permit can be issued. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. §1680-7-1-.09(2).

6-TN-a.12 to 6-TN-a.14 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

After receiving an Application and additional forms (if necessary), TDOT reviews the Application materials for administrative and technical completeness. If the Application is not complete, TDOT denies the Application and sends the Application back to the developer. Once the Application is complete, TDOT generally takes between three (3) and ten (10) business days, depending on the complexity of the load and/or route, to issue or deny a Permit. TDOT Oversize/Overweight Permit Instructions.

TDOT will not issue a Permit if TDOT deems the movement unsafe or detrimental to the traveling public, or if the highway cannot accommodate the move. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. §1680-7-1-.02.

6-TN-a.15 to 6-TN-a.16 – Oversize/Overweight Permit

If TDOT approves the Application, TDOT mails a Permit to the developer. The driver of the vehicle must have possession of the Permit at all times during the permitted move. Depending on the specifications of the movement, TDOT adds additional travel restrictions to the developer’s Permit. There are several general conditions that typically apply to a Permit, and these conditions include, but are not limited to:

If TDOT does not approve the Permit, the developer should consider alternative routes or modes of transportation in order to move the materials.

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