Permits For Over-Size Or Overweight Vehicles
Definition (TRC 623.001):
In this chapter, "department" means the Texas Department of Transportation.
Permit for Excess Axle or Gross Weight (TRC 623.011):
- The department may issue a permit that authorizes the operation of a commercial motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or combination of those vehicles, or a truck-tractor or combination of a truck-tractor and one or more other vehicles:
- at an axle weight that is not heavier than the weight equal to the maximum allowable axle weight for the vehicle or combination plus a tolerance allowance of 10 percent of that allowable weight; and
- at a gross weight that is not heavier than the weight equal to the maximum allowable gross weight for the vehicle or combination plus a tolerance allowance of five percent.
- To qualify for a permit under this section:
- the vehicle must be registered under Chapter 502 for the maximum gross weight applicable to the vehicle under Section 621.101, not to exceed 80,000 pounds;
- the security requirement of Section 623.012 must be satisfied; and
- a base permit fee of $75, any additional fee required by Section 623.0111, and any additional fee set by the department under Section 623.0112 must be paid.
- A permit issued under this section:
- is valid for one year;
- must be carried in the vehicle for which it is issued; and
- does not authorize the operation on the national system of interstate and defense highways in this state of vehicles with a weight greater than authorized by federal law.
- A vehicle operating under a permit issued under this section may exceed the maximum allowable gross weight tolerance allowance by not more than five percent, regardless of the weight of any one axle or tandem axle, if no axle or tandem axle exceeds the tolerance permitted by Subsection (a).
Additional Fee for Operation of Vehicle under Permit (TRC 623.0111):
- When a person applies for a permit under Section 623.011, the person must:
- designate in the application each county in which the vehicle will be operated; and
- pay in addition to other fees an annual fee in an amount determined according to the following table:
Number of Counties Designated Fee
1 - 20 $125
21 – 40 $345
41 – 60 $565
61 – 80 $785
81 – 100 $1,005
101 – 254 $2,000
- A permit issued under Section 623.011 does not authorize the operation of the vehicle in a county that is not designated in the application.
Transfer of Permit (TRC 623.014):
- A permit issued under Section 623.011 may not be transferred.
- If the vehicle for which a permit was issued is destroyed or permanently inoperable, a person may apply to the department for a credit for the remainder of the permit period.
- The department shall issue the prorated credit if the person:
- pays the fee adopted by the department; and
- provides the department with:
- the original permit; or
- if the original permit does not exist, written evidence in a form approved by the department that the vehicle has been destroyed or is permanently inoperable.
- The fee adopted by the department under Subsection (c)(1) may not exceed the cost of issuing credit.
- A credit issued under Subsection C may be used only toward the payment of a permit fee under this subchapter.
Liability for Damage (TRC 623.015):
- The liability of a holder of a permit issued under Section 623.011 for damage to a state road or highway or a county road is not limited to the amount of the bond or letter of credit required for the issuance of the permit.
- The holder of a permit issued under Section 623.011 who has filed the bond or letter of credit required for the permit and who has filed the notice required by Section 623.013 is liable to the county only for the actual damage to a county road, bridge, or culvert with a load limitation established under Subchapter B of Chapter 621 or Section 621.301 caused by the operation of the vehicle in excess of the limitation. If a county judge,, county commissioner, county road supervisor, or county traffic officer re-quires the vehicle to travel over a designated route, it is presumed that the designated route, including a bridge or culvert on the route, is of sufficient strength and design to carry and withstand the weight of the vehicle traveling over the designated route.
County Permit (TRC 623.018):
- The commissioners court of a county, through the county judge, may issue a permit for;
- the transportation over highways of that county, other than state highways and public roads in the territory of a municipality, of an overweight, oversize, or overlength commodity that cannot be reasonably dismantled; or
- the operation over a highway of that county other than a state highway or public road in the territory of a municipality of:
- superheavy or oversize equipment for the transportation of an overweight, oversize, or overlength commodity that cannot be reasonably dismantled; or
- vehicles or combinations of vehicles that exceed the weights authorized under Subchapter B, Chapter 621, or Section 621.301.
- A permit under Subsection (a) may not be issued for longer than 90 days.
- The commissioners court of a county, through the county judge, may issue an annual permit to a dealer in implements of husbandry to allow the dealer to use vehicles that exceed the width limitations provided by this chapter to transport an implement on a highway. The county judge may exercise authority under this subsection independently of the commissioners court until the commissioners court takes action on the request.
- If a vehicle has a permit issued under Section 623.011, a commissioners court may not:
- issue a permit under this section or charge an additional fee for or otherwise regulate or restrict the operation of the vehicle because of weight; or
- require the owner or operator to execute or comply with a road use agreement or indemnity agreement, to make a filing or application, or to provide a bond or letter of credit other than the bond or letter of credit prescribed by Section 623.012.
- The commissioners court my require a bond to be executed by an applicant in an amount sufficient to guarantee the payment of any damage to a road or bridge sustained as a consequence of the transportation authorized by the permit.
Violations of Subchapter: Offenses (TRC 623.019):
- A person who holds a permit issued under Section 623.011 commits an offense if:
- the person:
- operates or directs the operation of the vehicle for which the permit was issued on a public highway or road; and
- criminally negligent with regard to the operation of the vehicle at a weight heavier than the weight limit authorized by Section 623.011; or
- the person operates or directs the operation of the vehicle for which the permit was issued:
- in a county not designated in the person's application under Section 623.0111; and
- at a weight heavier than a weight limit established under:
- Subchapter E, Chapter 251;
- Chapter 621 or 622; or
- this chapter.
- Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d), an offense under Subsection (a) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $150.
- An offense under Subsection (a) is a misdemeanor and, except as provided by Subsection
- is punishable by a fine of:
- not less than $300 or more than $500 if the offense involves a vehicle having a gross weight that is heavier than 5,000 but not heavier than 10,000 pounds over the vehicle's allowable gross weight; or
- not less than $500 or more than $1,000 if the offense involves a vehicle having a gross weight that is at least 10,000 pounds heavier than the vehicle's allowable gross weight.
- On conviction before the first anniversary of the date of a previous conviction under Subsection (a), an offense is punishable by a fine in an amount that is twice the amount specified by Subsection (c).
- A governmental entity collecting a fine under Subsection (c) shall send an amount equal to 50 per-cent of the fine to the comptroller.
- A justice of the peace has jurisdiction of any offense under this section. A municipal court has jurisdiction of an offense under this section in which the fine does not exceed $500.
- A justice or judge who renders a conviction under this section shall report the conviction to the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety shall keep a record of each conviction reported under this subsection.
Contracts For Crossing Roads
Contract allowing Oversize or Overweight Vehicle to Cross Road; Surety Bond (TRC 623.051):
- A person may operate a vehicle that cannot comply with one or more of the restrictions of Subchapter C of Chapter 621 or Section 621.101 to cross the width of any road or highway under the jurisdiction of the department, other than a controlled access highway as defined by Section 203.001, from private property to other private property if the person contracts with the commission to indemnify the de-partment for the cost of maintenance and repair of the part of the highway crossed by the vehicle.
- The commission shall adopt rules relating to the forms and procedures to be used under this section and other matters that the commission considers necessary to carry out this section.
- To protect the safety of the traveling public, minimize any delays and inconveniences to the operators of vehicles in regular operation, and assure payment for the added wear on the highways in proportion to the reduction of service life, the commission, in adopting rules under this section, shall consider:
- the safety and convenience of the general traveling public;
- the suitability of the roadway and subgrade on the road or highway to be crossed, variation in soil grade prevalent in the different regions of the state, and the seasonal effects on highway load capacity, the highway shoulder design, and other highway geometrics; and
- the state's investment in its highway system.
- Before exercising any right under a contract under this section, a person must execute with a corporate surety authorized to do business in this state a surety bond in an amount determined by the commission to compensate for the cost of maintenance and repairs as provided by this section. The bond must be approved by the comptroller and the attorney general and must be conditioned on the person fulfilling the obligations of the contract.
Contract Allowing Overweight Vehicle with Commodities or Products to Cross Highway; Surety Bond (TRC 623.052):
- A person may operate a vehicle that exceeds the overall gross weight limits provided by Section 621.101 to cross the width of a highway from private property to other private property if:
- the vehicle is transporting grain, sand, or another commodity or product and the vehicle's overall gross weight is not heavier than 110,000 pounds; or
- the vehicle is an unlicensed vehicle that is transporting sand, gravel, stones, rock, caliche, or a similar commodity.
- Before a person may operate a vehicle under this section, the person must:
- contract with the department to indemnify the department for the cost of the maintenance and repair for damage caused by a vehicle crossing that part of the highway; and
- execute an adequate surety bond to compensate for the cost of maintenance and repair, approved by the comptroller and the attorney general, with a corporate surety authorized to do business in this state, conditioned on the person fulfilling each obligation of the agreement.
Permit to Move Certain Heavy Equipment (TRC 623.071):
- The department may issue a permit to a person to operate over a state highway superheavy or oversize equipment that:
- is used to transport cylindrically shaped bales of hay or a commodity that cannot reasonably be dismantled; and
- has a gross weight or size that exceeds the limits allowed by law to be transported over a state highway.
- The department may issue a permit to a person to operate over a farm to market or ranch to market road superheavy or oversize equipment that:
- is used to transport oilfield drill pipe or drill collars stored in a pipe box; and
- as a gross weight or size that exceeds the limits allowed by law to be transported over a state highway.
- The department may issue an annual permit to allow the operation on a state highway of equipment that exceeds weight and size limits provided by law for the movement of:
- an implement of husbandry by a dealer;
- water well drilling machinery and equipment or harvesting equipment being moved as part of an agricultural operation; or
- superheavy or oversize equipment that:
- cannot reasonably be dismantled that:
- does not exceed:
- 12 feet in width;
- 14 feet in height;
- 110 feet in length; or
- 120,000 pounds gross weight.
- The department may not issue a permit under this section unless the equipment may be operated without material damage to the highway.
- In this section, "pipe box" means a container specifically constructed to safely transport and handle oilfield drill pipe and drill collars.
- A single trip permit that increases the height or width limits established in Subsection (c)(3)(B)(i) or (ii) may be issued by the department and used in conjunction with an annual permit issued under Subsec-tion (c).
- The department shall submit to the lieutenant governor and speaker of the house of representatives by December 1 of each even numbered year a report describing the cumulative effects on the state highway system, including county roads, of permits issued under Subsection (c)(3) during the previous two year period.
Designated Route in Municipality (TRC 623.072):
- municipality having a state highway in its territory shall designate to the department the route in the municipality to be used by equipment described by Section 623.071 operating over the state highway. The department shall show the designated route on each map routing the equipment.
- If a municipality does not designate a route, the department shall determine the route of the equipment and the commodity on each state highway in the municipality.
- A municipality may not require a fee, permit, or license for movement of superheavy or oversize equipment on the route of a state highway designated by the municipality or department