Missouri Oversize Permits

Missouri requires special permits for vehicles and loads that exceed the state’s legal size and weight limits. These oversize and overweight permits are crucial for ensuring the safe and efficient movement of large loads on public highways. The regulations are in place to protect the infrastructure and ensure the safety of other road users. In this article, you will learn about Missouri Oversize Permits.

Missouri Oversize Permits

Legal Limits

In Missouri, the legal limits for vehicles without a permit are 80,000 pounds for gross vehicle weight, 53 feet in length, 13.5 feet in height, and 8.5 feet in width. Vehicles exceeding these dimensions or weights require an oversize or overweight permit. Single axles are limited to 20,000 pounds, tandem axles to 46,000 pounds, and tridem axles to 60,000 pounds.

Routine Permit Limits

Routine permits in Missouri allow for loads up to 150 feet in length, 16 feet in width, and 16 feet in height. These permits are issued for vehicles that fall within these dimensions and weight limits without the need for additional review or route surveys. Loads that exceed these limits are considered superloads and require more detailed analysis and special handling.


Superloads are defined as loads that exceed 160,000 pounds or the routine permit limits for length, width, and height. These loads require a more thorough permitting process, including route surveys and possibly even modifications to the infrastructure to accommodate the load. Superloads also require higher levels of insurance and additional safety measures.

Application Process

The application process for oversize and overweight permits in Missouri is managed through the MoDOT Carrier Express online system. Applicants need to provide detailed information about their vehicle and load, including dimensions, weight, and intended route. The system will then generate a permit if the load falls within the allowable limits. For superloads, additional documentation and approvals are required.

Permit Validity and Fees

Permits for oversize and overweight loads in Missouri are typically valid for a seven-day period. This allows ample time for the load to be transported within the state without the need for frequent reapplication. The fees for these permits vary based on the size and weight of the load, as well as the duration of the permit.

Validity Period

The standard validity period for oversize and overweight permits in Missouri is seven days. This period can be extended in certain circumstances, but additional fees may apply. It is important for carriers to plan their routes and schedules carefully to ensure that they can complete their journey within the permit validity period.

Cost Structure

The cost of obtaining an oversize or overweight permit in Missouri depends on several factors, including the size and weight of the load, the number of axles, and the distance to be traveled. A single trip permit for a routine oversize load typically costs $15, but fees can increase significantly for superloads or permits requiring special considerations.

Escort and Safety Requirements

To maintain safety on the roads, Missouri imposes specific escort and safety requirements for oversize and overweight loads. These requirements help manage the risk associated with transporting large loads and protect both the carrier and the public.

Escort Vehicle Requirements

Escort vehicles are required for loads that exceed certain dimensions. For example, loads over 12 feet 4 inches wide need at least one escort vehicle, while those over 14 feet wide may require two escorts, especially on undivided highways. The escort vehicles must be equipped with appropriate signage and communication equipment to ensure safe travel.

Signage and Flagging

Oversize loads must display “Oversize Load” signs on both the front and rear of the vehicle. These signs must be clearly visible and meet specific size and color requirements. Additionally, red or orange fluorescent flags must be mounted at the extremities of the load to enhance visibility and alert other road users to the presence of the oversize load.

Lighting Requirements

Proper lighting is essential for the safe transport of oversize loads, especially during low-light conditions. Missouri regulations require that oversize loads be equipped with appropriate lighting to ensure visibility. This includes amber lights on the escort vehicles and the load itself, as well as reflective materials to enhance visibility.

Travel Restrictions

To minimize disruptions and enhance safety, Missouri imposes specific travel restrictions on oversize and overweight loads. These restrictions include limitations on travel times, holidays, and specific routes.

Time Restrictions

Travel for oversize loads is typically restricted to daylight hours, from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. This restriction helps ensure that the load is visible to other road users and reduces the risk of accidents. In addition, some metropolitan areas may have further restrictions during peak traffic times to minimize congestion.

Holiday Restrictions

Movement of oversize loads is generally prohibited on major holidays such as New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. These restrictions help reduce the risk of accidents and ensure that emergency services are not overburdened during busy travel periods.

Route Planning

Careful route planning is essential for the safe and efficient transport of oversize loads. Missouri requires that carriers plan their routes to avoid areas with low bridges, narrow roads, and other obstacles that could impede the movement of the load. Some routes may require additional permits or special considerations, particularly for superloads.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the general requirements, there are several other considerations that carriers must take into account when transporting oversize and overweight loads in Missouri.

Insurance Requirements

Carriers transporting oversize loads in Missouri are required to have a minimum level of insurance to cover any potential damage or accidents. For superloads, this typically includes a minimum of $2 million in single-limit combined liability insurance. This helps protect both the carrier and the public in case of an incident.

Special Provisions for Superloads

Superloads, due to their size and weight, require additional provisions and safety measures. This may include route surveys, modifications to the infrastructure, and additional escort vehicles. The permitting process for superloads is more complex and requires more detailed documentation and approvals.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with Missouri’s oversize and overweight permit regulations can result in significant penalties. This includes fines for exceeding weight limits, operating without a permit, or violating travel restrictions. Penalties can also include additional fines for logbook violations and other infractions.

Useful Resources

For more detailed information on obtaining oversize and overweight permits in Missouri, carriers can consult the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Motor Carrier Services. There are also third-party services available that can assist with the application process and provide route planning assistance. These resources can help carriers navigate the complexities of transporting oversize loads and ensure compliance with state regulations.

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Motor Carrier Services

MoDOT Motor Carrier Services is the primary resource for obtaining oversize and overweight permits in Missouri. They provide detailed information on the application process, permit requirements, and travel restrictions. Carriers can access the MoDOT Carrier Express online system to apply for permits and manage their transport operations.

Third-Party Permit Services

Several third-party companies offer permit services to assist carriers with obtaining oversize and overweight permits. These services can help streamline the application process, provide route planning assistance, and ensure that all necessary documentation is in order. Using a third-party service can save time and reduce the risk of non-compliance.

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