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Virginia State Shipping Regulations

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2022 Virginia State Shipping Regulations. DOT Permit Limitations, Rules, and Laws for Trucking. Oversize and OverWeight (Heavy Haul) Loads on the Roads and Highways

Oversize and overweight trucking permit limitations as well as legal load information.
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Legal Load Limits in Virginia 


Length: The trailer length maximum is 48’.
Width: 8’ 6” wide.
Height: 13’ 6” tall.
Weight: 80,000 lbs. gross maximum.
Overhang: 4′ in the rear and 3′ in the front.

Routine Trucking Permits in Virginia

Routine over-weight, oversize shipping, trucking, and transport permits:

Length: Up to 150′ in length.
Width: 15′ 11″ wide.
Height: 15′ is pretty much it on routine.
Weight: Depends on routing.  Contact them at the number above.
Overhang: Depends on your overall length.  Contact them at the number above with route ideas included.

Legal Travel Times in Virginia

Travel times and restrictions:

One-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset rule applies to Virginia state shipping regulations. Overall shipments that are under 12′ wide 14′ in height and under 115,000 pounds gross weight may travel on Saturday but only until 12 noon.  No travel is permitted on Sundays as per Virginia state shipping regulations.  If a shipment is overweight only then you may travel 24/7.  The cities that are largely populated do not allow oversize travel during the peak hours of 7 am – 9 am and 4 pm – 6 pm except for shipments that are overweight or over height.  Travel is not permitted on the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

The permit office is closed on these holidays as well.

When Pilot Cars Are Required in Virginia

Pilot Car and Escort vehicle information:

Length: If a shipment is over 105′ in length combined on a 2-load road you will be required to have 1 rear pilot car (escort).  If the overall combination is over 125′ long on multiple-lane roads you will be required to have 1 rear pilot car (escort).
Width: On 2-lane highways for shipments over 11′ wide 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort) is required.  On multiple-lane highways if over 14′ wide you will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort).
Height: Any shipment that exceeds 14′ 6″ in height will require 1 front pilot car (escort) equipped with a height pole.  Manufactured homes are required to have 1 front pilot car with a height pole if the height exceeds 15′ tall.  Virginia state shipping regulations department does NOT guarantee height clearances and suggests you choose by your own volition to use a pilot car with a height pole where height may be in question.
Weight: If routinely permitted you will more than likely NOT be required to have an escort.
Overhang: If the rear overhang exceeds 1/3 of the trailer length 1 escort is required on 2-lane highways.  If rear overhang exceeds 20′ of a single unit vehicle it requires 1 rear escort on 2-lane highways as per Virginia state shipping regulations.

Required Shipment Markings in Virginia

Tractor/trailer signs flags and lighting:

Virginia state shipping regulations state that headlights must remain on at all times when in transit.  All shipments that exceed 60′ in length, 10′ in width, and/or with over 10′ of overhang must display warning signs/banners in the front and rear of the overall shipment and be marked “OVERSIZE LOAD”, WIDE LOAD, or LONG LOAD – whichever is the most appropriate as per Virginia state shipping regulations.  The sign must be no less than 7′ in length and 18″ in height with 1 1/2″ thick black lines with a yellow background and a 1″ black border all around the outside edge of the sign/banner placed no less than 18″ above the pavement.  Whenever a load is a WIDE LOAD and a LONG LOAD the WIDE LOAD sign/banner should be displayed.  1 strobe/flashing amber light will be required to display on top of the tractor cab.  This amber light must be visible from a minimum of 500 feet from 360 degrees.  A flashing/strobe amber light must also be placed on the rear of the shipment placed in the uppermost top, rear position.  Emergency colored red, yellow or orange flags of no less than 18″ in either direction must be placed at all 4 corners of the overall shipment.

Pilot Car Certifications in Virginia

Pilot car and escort vehicle requirement:

PILOT CAR DRIVERS IN THE STATE OF VIRGINIA MUST BE CERTIFIED BY VIRGINIA. Virginia state shipping regulations state pilot car drivers must take a test at a DMV office in order to work in this state if escorting a load over 12′ in width.  The Virginia state shipping regulations certification is valid for 5 years.  Testing locations and information can be obtained by calling 804-828-2023 or the DMV at 866-368-5463.  One flashing or strobe amber light must be horizontally mounted above the top (roof) of pilot cars (escort vehicles) and must be visible from a 360-degree angle from a minimum of 500 feet.  The minimum strobe or flash height from the top of the roof must be 4″.  All pilot car/escort vehicles must be equipped with a CB radio or 2-way communication devices.  All pilot cars/escort vehicles must display a bumper or roof mounted “OVERSIZE LOAD”, “WIDE LOAD” or “LONG LOAD” sign visible from both the front and rear of the vehicle.   Sign must be at least 5′ long and 12″ in height, yellow in color with black letters no less than 10″ tall and 1 1/2″ in width.  You must have a hand help sign with the word “STOP” on one side and “SLOW” on the other with dimensions of no less than 18″ in diameter with a minimum of 6″ letters to be used in controlling traffic. Also, a safety-colored (red, orange, yellow, or lime green) vest, jacket, or shirt is to be worn while directing traffic and is required to be worn anytime the shipment will encroach traffic in ANY manner.

Virginia DOT & Helpful Information

Physical address: Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles PO Box 27412 Richmond, VA  23269
Email: If you get a good e-mail address please leave it below for others.  Thank you!
Help telephone line: Permits: 804-786-3495 or Requirements: 804-249-5130
Fax: 804-786-5722
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:o0 pm (closed for lunch hour until 1:30 pm) Eastern Time Zone

MORE USEFUL RESOURCES 

Virginia Road Closures

Virginia oversize and overweight hauling permits
Virginia State road & highway conditions

Virginia state shipping regulations permit limitations and regulations for shipping oversize and overweight in Virginia.
Virginia state flag.

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

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