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California Oversize Permit Regulations

Oversize permits in California, Overweight permits

California Oversize Permits

California Oversize Permits are valid for 7 days.

Operating Time

Travel is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, although the Department of Transportation may grant night and weekend operations depending on the dimensions of the load. Night and weekend travel must be requested at the time of ordering your California Oversize Permit.

Restrictions

No travel for loads over 10′ wide, Monday through Friday in the Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego areas: 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. & 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Los Angeles area: 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. & 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. *San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge: 6:30 – 9:00 a.m. & 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. *Over 11′ wide or over height require highway patrol escort. Over 12′ wide restricted to 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. Holiday travel restrictions usually apply only for larger loads.

Legal Dimensions

The vehicle must have the following characteristics:

  • Width: 8’6″
  • Height: 14′(overheight not permitted on flat-bed, see next section)
  • Length: 75′ (65′ on non-designated highways), 48′ semitrailer. 60′ poles, pipes, machinery, steel beams or other objects of a structural nature do not require a permit.
  • Note: 53′ trailers are not legal unless the kingpin to center of rear axle does not exceed 40′. Longer trailers can be permitted only if they are stretched for a specific load, or it can otherwise be justified by the load.
  • Overhang: 10′, as long as length including overhang does not exceed 75′ overall.
  • Weight: 80,000 Gross Single – 20,000; Tandem – 34,000; Tridem – depends on axle spread

Routine California Oversize Permit Limits

  • Width: 15′
  • Height: Depends on the route. Written route review may be required from the applicant for heights greater than 17′.
  • Length: Generally up to 135′
  • Overhang: When rear overhang puts the tractor/trailer over 80′ total length, California may deny a permit and require the load to be on a stretch trailer.
  • Weight: Steer – 12,500; Single – 20,000; Tandem – 46,000*; Tridem – 58,061 to 60,000*; Spread axle tandems (8’–10’2 spread) can only have 40,000 pounds maximum. Tridems with over 10′ spacing (5’–5′) can only be permitted for 40,000 pounds maximum. Over 15′ wide, 17′ high or 135′ long are considered super loads.

*These vary depending on axle spacing and routes.

Escorts

  • Length: Over 100′ on some routes – 1 escort pilot car, over 120′ – 1 escort pilot car
  • Overhang: Over 25′ front or rear – 1 or more escort pilot cars.
  • Width: Over 12′ – 1 escort pilot car (Some local routes may need escort under 12′), over 13′ on 2-lane – 2 escort pilot cars on some routes, over 14’11” on Interstate and 4-lane – 2 escort pilot cars, over 16′ (over 15′ on 2-lane) also needs CHP escorts (3 CHPs).
  • Height: Over 17′ – 1 escort pilot car, utility clearance, and route survey. CHP escorts may also be required. If an escort is desired for a lower height, it must be stated on the trip permit, or you will be subject to a fine.

Security Measures

Signs and flags are required on vehicles that are over 8’6″ wide, over 80′ long, or have over 10′ overhang. Signs are also required when overweight only. For night travel, amber marker lights are required at front corners of load and one on left outside extreme edge, visible from front and sides, and red at rear corners visible from rear and sides. When a rear overhang is 4′ or greater, it requires at least two lights or rear light bar at night. Rear light bar not needed on long load in daylight unless turn signals and brake lights are hidden by the load.