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Washington Oversize/Overweight Permit (6-WA-a)

Information current as of 2020
In Washington, a person (developer) may need an Oversize/Overweight Permit (Permit) from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to transport loads that exceed the maximum dimensions or weight limit allowed on public roads. WSDOT regulates oversized and overweight loads pursuant to Washington – Rev. Code Wash. §§ 46.44 et seq., Size, Weight, Load, and Washington – Wash. Admin. Code §§ 468-38 et seq., Vehicle Size and Weight – Highway Restrictions – Equipment.

Oversize/Overweight Permit Process

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

The developer must obtain a Permit if the project will require operation or transport of loads of a size or weight that exceeds the maximum standards. General legal dimensions are:

  • 8’6’’ in width, 14’ in height, 53’ in length for trailers;
  • 40’ in length for a single unit vehicle; and
  • 75’ in total length for a truck and trailer.
  • WSDOT allows 3’ of overhang on the front of the vehicle and 15’ of overhang on the back of the vehicle.

WSDOT How Do I Get a Permit? Webpage.

General weight limits can be found in WSDOT’s Legal Weight Table.

More specific dimensional and weight requirements can be found in Wash. Rev. Code § 46.44 and Wash. Admin. Code § 468-38.

If none of the dimensional or weight requirements are exceeded, then no Permit is required.

The developer should contact WSDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Services to determine or confirm whether the vehicle or load exceeds the State dimensional or weight requirements.

6-WA-a.3 – Determine Which Permit is Needed

A developer must determine what kind of Permit is needed. Examples of Permits include, but are not limited to:

  • Single trip Oversize/Overweight Permits;
  • Monthly or annual Oversize/Overweight Permits;
  • Special Oversize/Overweight Permits;
  • Sealed container permits; and
  • Temporary fuel use permits.

WSDOT’s Permit Types and Information Webpage contains information on each type of Permit offered. The website includes situations where a Permit would be needed, links to applications for each Permit, and samples of completed Permits.

WSDOT also issues Permits for Superloads. In Washington, a Superload is defined as a non-divisible load exceeding 16’ in width, 16’ in height, 125’ in load length, or a load that exceeds 200,000 pounds. Wash. Admin. Code § 468-38-405. Developers that are attempting to move a load that does not meet the weight criteria for a Superload but does meet the dimensional criteria must submit their application at least seven (7) calendar days before the proposed move. Developers attempting to move loads in excess of two hundred thousand (200,000) pounds must submit their application at least 30 calendar days in advance of the proposed move. Wash. Rev. Code § 46.44.091;Wash. Admin. Code § 468-38-405. A developer attempting to obtain a Superload Permit must contact WSDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Services directly and request the appropriate form (Form 560-022). More information about how WSDOT regulates Superloads can be found on WSDOT’s Superload Requirements Webpage.

6-WA-a.4 – Application for an Oversize/Overweight Permit

Once the developer determines which Permit or Permits are needed, they should complete the Permit forms provided on the Permit Types and Information Webpage and submit them to WSDOT.

6-WA-a.5 to 6-WA-a.6– Review Application for Completeness

WSDOT reviews the application for administrative and technical completeness and to verify all information.

6-WA-a.7 to 6-WA-a.8 – Does WSDOT Approve the Application?

WSDOT is authorized to issue or withhold an Permit at its discretion. If WSDOT decides to issue a Permit, it may:

  • Limit the number of trips;
  • Establish seasonal or other time limitations within which the vehicle may be operated on the public highways;
  • Limit or prescribe conditions of operation of the vehicle when necessary to assure against undue damage to the road foundation, surfaces, or structures;
  • Limit or prescribe conditions of operation of the vehicle when necessary to ensure the safety of traffic; or
  • Require such undertaking or other security as may be deemed necessary to compensate for injury to any roadway or road structure.

Wash. Rev. Code § 46.44.093.

If WSDOT approves the application, WSDOT issues a Permit for the specified use. The developer can then use the vehicles to transport the desired cargo, subject to certain restrictions (location, holidays, weather, etc.) found on the Oversize and Overweight Permits Website.

6-WA-a.9 – Appeal Decision (If Applicable)

If WSDOT does not approve the application, the developer has 30 days from the date of the decision to file an application for an adjudicative proceeding by certified mail, registered mail, or personal service to the Office of the Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation, located at 3D25 Transportation Building, Olympia, WA 98504-7316. The appeal must be in writing, signed by the developer and specify the issue or issues the developer wishes to be adjudicated.

Wash. Admin. Code § 468-10-430.

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