California State Shipping Regulations

California State Shipping Regulations

2021 California state shipping laws, regulations, and limitations for heavy-haul trucking and oversize loads. 

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Maximum legal limits without requiring a permit. 

Maximum legal limits. Standard Metric
Length: 65 feet. 19.8 meters.
Width: 8 feet, 6 inches. 2.6 meters.
Height: 13 feet, 6 inches. 4.1 meters.
Weight: 80,000 pounds. 36,287 kilograms.
Overhang: 4 feet from the rear, 3 feet from the front. 1.21 meters from the rear, 1 meter from the front.
Notes: Always verify any discrepancies with CalTrans prior to movement/transport if you are ever uncertain.

These rules pertain to personal vehicles (towed or otherwise), commercial motor vehicles including semi-tractors, trailers, buses, boats, or anything else on California roads. Some local roads may have additional restrictions. For clarification of any discrepancies consult CalTrans (see contact information below).

California legal maximum limit information in detail.

Routinely issued oversize/overweight permit maximums.

Oversize/overweight transport/trucking permits routinely issued by CALTRANS.

Maximum routine permit limits Standard Metric
Length: 135 feet. 41.1 meters.
Width: 15 feet. 4.5 meters.
Height: 17 feet. 5.1 meters.
Weight: 250,000 pounds. 36,287 kilograms.
Overhang: 4 feet from rear, 3 feet from front. 1.21 meters from rear, 1 meter from front.
Notes: Detailed instructions should be clearly printed on your official permit. Any discrepancies should be discussed with issuing CALTRANS office official prior to movement/transport for clarification.

Routinely issued oversize/overweight permit information in detail.

California overhang in-depth clarification.

California superload information.

Shipments in excess of the following weights/dimensions are classified as superloads in California.

Superload size/weight classification Standard Metric
Length: 135+ feet. 41.1+ meters.
Width: 15 + feet. 4.5+ meters.
Height: 17+ feet. 5.1+ meters.
Weight: 250,000+ pounds. 36,287+ kilograms.
Overhang: 4 + feet. 1.21+ meters from rear, 1+ meters from front.
Notes: Superloads have finely detailed instructions clearly printed on the official permit. Any discrepancies should be discussed with the issuing CALTRANS superload permit office official prior to commencing movement/transport.

California superload information in-depth.

Travel times and restrictions.

Pilot car/escort vehicle requirements.

Required shipment markings, signs, flags and lights.

Additional information.

California DOT locations and contact information.

California DOT (CalTrans) contact information and other helpful links.

Northern region:
California Department of Transportation – CalTrans
PO Box 942874, room 4105
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001
Telephone helpline:
Fax line:
Permit office hours:

Southern region:
California Department of Transportation – CalTrans
464 West 4th Street, MS #618
San Bernadino, CA  92401
Telephone helpline:
Fax line: 909-388-7001
Permit office hours: 8 AM until 5 PM – PACIFIC TIME ZONE

Thanks to all our #Sacramento travelers for remembering to slow down to #55MPH and #BeWorkZoneAlert. Thank you for helping our crews get home safely! 🦺 #FixSac5

@CaltransDist3 @CaltransHQ @CaltransD4 @CaltransDist10

Sunday, May 22 #CleanCA Free Dump Day at the Chalfant Transfer Station. @Caltrans9 @CaltransHQ in partnership with @countyofmono Come early and tarp loads for transport to the dump. No haz waste. 9 tires per trip. #CAForAll #CAComeback @CA_Trans_Agency

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See also:

California heavy haul trucking company directory.
California pilot car company directory.
Order California heavy haul and oversize trucking permits.
CalTrans pilot car maps – Pilot cars look!
CalTrans oversize and overweight shipping manuals.
Loads of contacts at the Caltrans oversize permit offices.
California traffic and road conditions reports.

California state shipping regulations.

California DOT and Caltrans regulations for oversize trucking and heavy haul.

California state flag.

Cities we service in California:

The information contained in these pages is research information primarily for use by oversize and overweight trucking company drivers, dispatchers, pilot car companies, and private individuals. While every effort is put into maintaining the accuracy of this information you must absolutely verify this information with the California DOT (CalTrans) Permits office before commencing movement.

Maximum width on interstates, highways, roads. Commercial or private.

What are the maximum legal length, width, height, and weight limits allowed on roads, highways, or Interstates?

The legal maximum length, width, height, and weight permitted to travel, tow, or transport on local roads, highways, or Interstates in the United States and Canada are as follows.

Maximum legal limits Standard Metric
Length: 65 feet. 19.8 meters.
Width: 8 feet, 6 inches. 2.6 meters.
Height: 13 feet, 6 inches. 4.1 meters.
Weight: 80,000 pounds. 36,287 kilograms.
Notes: Always verify state/provincial legal limits prior to movement/transport.

These rules pertain to single personal vehicles (towed or otherwise), commercial motor vehicles including semi-tractors, trailers, and buses. Mirrors and certain safety devices (such as flags, etc.) may be permitted to protrude a “reasonable” distance further. Always obtain official consultation about any protrusion(s) you may have by contacting your state/provincial DOT office prior to any movement. Local city/county roads may vary from the maximum length/width/height/weight limits governed by federal guidelines.


Within the state of Hawaii commercial motor vehicles are permitted the following maximum width on all highways (unless otherwise posted on the road by sign): Standard: 9 feet or 108 inches. Metric: 2.74 meters or 274 centimeters.

These roads usually have signs posted that display the maximum legal width permitted without obtaining a special travel permit. You should always inquire about the maximum widths permitted by the governing body of the particular road prior to traveling on it in order to prevent a fine or worse. In some situations depending on the width of the vehicle or shipment size, a route survey will be required prior to being granted permission to travel.

Maximum width allowed.

Maximum width laws are created to protect motorists and public assets. Know the maximums.

The importance of setting maximum widths for vehicles.

Safety and protection of motorists and public property are the primary reasons regulations have been set for maximum vehicle length/width/height/weight limitations.

A standard was required based on the dimensions of the existing roads that would protect any/all persons operating a motor vehicle on highways, roads, and Interstates. It should be noted public property is placed at risk for damage as well. Should motorists accidentally hit one of the many existing obstructions such as guard rails, signs, traffic signal poles, etc. liability while ultimately is the motorists, if it is not reported the state is required to repair damages which then is passed on to the taxpayers in both the USA and Canada. So maximum widths were created to protect both human lives but public property as well.

Maximum width allowed

Maximum vehicle width permitted on highways. Image credit FHWA.

Noteworthy information:

“Federal width limits do not apply to special mobile equipment, which consists of self-propelled vehicles not designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or property and only incidentally moved over the highways. Special mobile equipment includes the following, when moving under their own power: military or farm equipment; instruments of husbandry; road construction or maintenance machinery; and emergency apparatus, including police and fire emergency equipment. Federal rules do not require States to issue overwidth permits before allowing the operation of special mobile equipment. However, if States wish to allow other vehicles more than 102 inches wide (i.e. non-special mobile equipment) to operate on the NN, then States must issue special overwidth permits.” Reference Credit: FHWA website.


“The Federal Government first enacted size regulations for CMVs with the passage of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. This Act provided a maximum vehicle width of 96 inches (2.44 meters) on the Interstate highway system. Subsequently, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976 increased the allowable width for buses to 102 inches (2.6 meters). The Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) of 1982 extended the same width requirement of 102 inches to commercial trucks. At the same time, the STAA expanded the highway network on which the Federal width provision applied from the Interstate to the National Network (NN) of highways.” Reference Credit: FHWA website.


Related links:

See regulations for maximum load limitations.
Learn what a route survey is.
The maximum length allowed on roads, highways, and interstates.
Maximum legal load sizes.
Multi-state and regional permits.