July 1 sees changes to flagging requirements for Virginia oversize loads 

Virginia is changing how oversize loads need to be marked for transport as of July 1, 2023. There are two changes:

  • Non-commercial vehicle: When the load on any vehicle exceeds four feet or more beyond the rear of the bed or body of the vehicle there needs to be a red flag at least 12 inches wide and long attached and clearly visible at all times.
  • Commercial vehicles: any load that overhangs the sides of the vehicle by more than four inches or four feet beyond the end of the vehicle will need to be marked with a red or orange fluorescent warning flag that is both 18 inches long and wide. If the projecting load is two feet wide or less there needs to be at least one flag at the very end of the vehicle. And the flags need to be placed to indicate the maximum widths of any loads that overhang either or the sides or the end of the commercial vehicle.

On any vehicle that that subject to either of the above conditions between sunrise and sunset there needs to be a red light plainly visible in clear weather at least 500 feet to the sides and the rear or the vehicle.

Please note that while permits issued before July 1st will still have the old conditions written on the permit, the new conditions will need to be met.

Overload/Oversize permits for Virginia

So, when do you need to get an oversize/overload permit? Here are some examples as set out by the State of Virginia:

  • Gross weight of the vehicle, including load, exceeds the weight limits per axel (see this chart)
  • Vehicle width, including load, exceeds 8 feet and 6 inches
  • Vehicle height including load, exceeds 13 feet and 6 inches
  • Length of a single unit vehicle exceeds 40 feet
  • Length of manufactured housing unit and tow vehicle exceeds 65 feet
  • Length of tractor trailer combination exceeds 65 feet and will travel on non-designated highways
  • Hauling tree-length logs and the combination of the vehicle and the tree-length logs exceeds 65 feet
  • Hauling or towing a mobile home

If you have any questions about oversize/overload permits you can contact the DMV Hauling Permit Office at (804) 497-7135.

Purchasing Virginia Overload/Oversize permits

There are three options that you can choose from:

  • Single Trip: This permit will cost you $20 and gets you one move between start and finish point. If you are overweight as well an additional 30 cents per mile will be added on.
  • Blanket: This gives you the ability to make multiple moves over a specified period of time. This permit will run you $100 for a year, or $200 for two. Sorry no savings for buying more than one year at a time! If you are overweight as well with this permit, a mileage fee of $40 and a damage fee of $360 will be added.
  • Super-load: This is for any load requirements that need research or analysis. This one costs $30, and an additional 30 cents per mile if overweight or if the vehicle configuration cannot be licensed in Virginia. A $4 fee per structure/bridge research is also additional to the $30. For example interstate only moves count as one structure/bridge. Additional damage fee is added based on the gross weight of the vehicle configuration.

Overweight Permits for Virginia

Overweight permits for Virginia can be issued on a quarterly, annual, or multi-year basis and expire with that vehicles registration. Note: multi-year is not available for vehicles with a gross weight of 55,000 lbs or greater. Instead these vehicles must provide proof of payment for the annual Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT).

The oversize permits are good for vehicles with a gross weight of more than 7,500 lbs and can be issued to vehicles registered in and out of state.

The oversize permit grants an additional 5% weight extension based on axle weights:

  • Single axle weight limit of 20, 000 lbs
  • Tandem axle weight limit of 34,000 lbs
  • Gross weight limit based on axle spacing and number of axles on the vehicle

However, the maximum weight limit is 84,000lbs and this weight cannot be exceeded even with an over size permit.

The cost for the 5% Overload permit is $250 and can be purchased either at the same time as the vehicle is registered, or a later date at a pro-rated fee.

The Department of Motor Vehicles in Virginia has put together a handy-dandy booklet outlining the maximum height, length, and weights for vehicles on both interstate and designated highways, and all other roads as well. You can review that here:

Virginia’s Size, Weights, and Equipment Requirements for trucks, trailers, and towed vehicles.

And as always, if you need help staying on top of your permit renewals for your commercial operations, PSTC can help you out!