OS/OW Permit FAQs

All frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to Oversize/Overweight permits have been organized into seven categories: General Questions, General Permit Processing, Single Trip Permits, Annaul Permits, Superloads, THP, and TNTRIPS.

Select the tab below for the desired FAQ category.

    Gross Weight       80,000 pounds
    Single Axle            20,000 pounds
    Tandem Axle        34,000 pounds

    Width                 8’6”
    Height               13’6”
        Straight Truck                              45’
        Straight Truck with Trailer        65’
        Truck Tractor & Semi Trailer    50’ from kingpin to rear of trailer

*however, if the length from the kingpin to the rear of the trailer does not exceed 48’ then the length from the kingpin to the rearmost axle or midway point between the two rear axles may not exceed 41’ in length

*except if transporting livestock, automobiles, and/or motor vehicles            52’

*if transporting poles, logs, or timber in single length pieces                               75’

        Truck Tractor & Twin Trailer Combo     28’6” either towed vehicle

Trailer 10’ or less:                  
            Single Axle                                                       23,000 pounds
            Tandem Axel                                                   46,000 pounds
            Three Axle Group                                          60,000 pounds

Trailer width greater than 10’:
             Single Axle                                                       20,000 pounds
             Tandem Axle                                                   40,000 pounds

 Weights in excess of 165,000 pounds must be approved by the Structures Division before the permit may be issued.

Companies and Corporations must submit proof of insurance on the ACORD form.  An example of this form may be found on our website under Resources.  

Private individuals must provide proof of insurance, but the ACORD form is not required.  

Any person, firm, company, corporation, or other who undertakes the movement of any overweight and/or over dimensional article and/or commodity on the highways of the State of Tennessee shall hold the State of Tennessee, its officers, and employees, harmless from any claims for damages resulting from the exercise of any of the privileges granted under the special permit so issued for such overweight and/or over dimensional movement, and to this end, shall carry liability insurance with an insurer, acceptable to the TDOT Permit Office, and shall furnish a certificate of insurance to the TDOT Permit Office, in the amount of not less than three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) for each claimant injured and one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence.           

Additionally, the certificate of insurance (COI) shall provide that the insurer shall give, to the TDOT Permit Office, written notice of intention to terminate said required insurance by certified mail, said termination to become effective thirty (30) days after receipt of said notice from the insurer by the TDOT Permits Office.

The TDOT Permit Office does not require IRP or IFTA to move, however a valid license plate for the vehicle is required.  If you are traveling across state lines but do not have IRP or IFTA you may obtain a Trip & Fuel Permit through the Office of Motor Carrier.

Trip and Fuel Permits are issued by the Office of Motor Carrier.  Permits may be obtained through 3rd party permit services.  There is a listing of the services eligible to issues Trip and Fuel Permits on the Motor Carrier webpage under the section ’72-Hour Trip Permit’.

Contact the Permit Office at TDOT.PermitOffice@tn.gov with your account number and the requested changes.  Your account will be updated within 48 hours.  You may reprint existing permits through the TNTRIPS application for a copy of your permit which shows the changes.Complicated situations like business mergers may require additional steps to resolve, please contact the Permit Office for guidance.

Diagrams of required lighting and markings are available here.

Loads which are over the legal width and/or legal length parameters:
    From 30 minutes before sunset and until 30 minutes after sunrise –
    On each side of the projecting load, one red side marker lamp, visible from the side, located to indicate     maximum overhang
    On the rear of the projecting load:
            Two red lamps, visible from the rear, one at each side
            Two red reflectors, visible from the rear, one at each side, located to indicate maximum width.

All Loads exceeding 10’ in width and/or 75’ in length must have the “Oversize Load” banner on front and rear of    the movement.
     Banners must be:
            7’ Long
            18” High
            Yellow Background w/ Black Lettering
            Letters must be a minimum of 10” high with a 1 5/8” stroke
            Must be in good condition, clean, and legible

Additional Requirements for Overwidth Movements:
    Red flags shall be fastened to the load (front and rear) at the top and bottom of each side which is widest. Flags     shall extend from the load so that they will be visible to traffict approaching both the front and rear.
    If the widest part of the load is between the top and the bottom, flags shall be placed at this point both front     and rear.

Additional Requirements for Overlength Movements:
    Red flags shall be conspicuously displayed at the extreme rear end of overlength loads.
    All warning flags shall be of solid red color and at least eighteen (18) inches square.

10’1” – 12’6”                         Front escort required on two lane routes where pavement width is less than 24 ‘
12’7” – 13’6”                         Front escort required on two lane routes, Rear escort required on interstate and 4 lane routes
13’7” and greater               Front and Rear escort required                     

15’1” and greater               Front escort with height pole required

90’1” – 120’                          Rear escort required
120’1” and greater            Front and Rear escort required

**At the discretion of the permit office, additional escorts may be required for complex or very large loads**


    10’1” – 12’6”        Front escort required on two lane routes where pavement width is less than 24 ‘
    12’7” – 13’6”        Front escort required on two lane routes, Rear escort required on interstate and 4 lane routes
    13’7” - 16'            Front and Rear escort required on all highways
                                  Movements allowed Monday - Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, or Saturday or Sunday from Sunrise to Sunset
    16'1" - 17'            Front and Rear escort required on all highways, Route Survey Required
                                  Movements allowed Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.  Permit only valid for three (3) of any said week days.
    17'1" - 18'            3 escorts required at all times. (2 front escorts and 1 rear escort)
                                  Movements allowed Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.  Permit only valid for three (3) of any said week days.

A list of escort services is available here.  This is not a comprehensive list of companies, nor is it reflective of any endorsement of any escort service.

Loads which do not require escorts are allowed continuous travel.

Escorted loads must abide by the county curfews during rush hour.

Restrictions are Monday through Friday from 7:00 am – 9:00 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm in the following counties:
                                    Davidson County – Nashville Area
                                    Rutherford County – Murfreesboro Area
                                    Knox County – Knoxville Area
                                    Shelby County – Memphis Area
                                    Hamilton County – Chattanooga Area

Holiday restrictions also apply to escorted loads and can be found here.

Movements for Superloads, Houseboats, and Mobile Homes are restricted to daylight hours only.

Site Built House movements are restricted to daylight hours only unless nighttime movement has been stipulated by local authorities.

Regular single trip and annual permits may take up to 3 days to process.

Superload permit approximate processing times:
                        165,000 pounds and under                                 3 days
                        165,001 – 250,000 pounds                                   5 days
                        250,001 – 500,000 pounds                                  15 days
                        Greater than 500,000 pounds                            30 days

Permits may take more or less time depending on the complexity of the movement.

We do not accept orders by phone or email.  All applications must be submitted electronically through the TNTRIPS application.  Customers who are unable to submit applications online are encouraged to contact a 3rd part permit service.  A list of current permit services may be obtained here.

Each permit is vehicle specific so individual applications will need to be submitted for each permitted vehicle.

There are a number of load codes existing in the system.  When possible please select one of these codes.  We do not allow broad terms like “general freight” or “non-divisible load”.  You must be more specific, for example, Construction Equipment, Steel Beams, etc.  If your load code is not covered by one of the existing load codes, you may select other and fill in the description field.  

Fixed loads are self-propelled vehicles which are not designed to carry or move freight.  Fixed loads are vehicles such as cranes and drill rigs.

Fixed loads require a permit when over legal dimensions or the steer axle is in excess of 20,000 pounds and/or the drive axles are in excess of 17,000 pounds or when the total gross vehicle weight is in excess of 80,000 pounds.

The maximum permitted weight for a fixed load to travel under its own power is 150,000 pounds.  The maximum axle weight allowed for fixed loads traveling under its own power is 24,000 pounds.

Fixed loads do require either county fixed load license plates (for vehicles registered in Tennessee) or trip and fuel permits to move.

Single trip and annual permits may be amended one time.  If it is within 72 hours of ordering a single trip permit you may amend the dimensions or vehicle through the TNTRIPS application.

Amendments to annual permits or amendments to routes or load descriptions, or amendments after the first 72 hours, must be submitted to the permit office.  You must complete the amendment form and return to TDOT.permitoffice@tn.gov.  Amendments may take up to 24 hours to process.  

Yes, this would fall under the one allowed amendment.  If it has been less than 72 hours since the permit was issued you may amend through the TNTRIPS application.  If it has been more than 72 hours since issuance, please complete the amendment form and return to TDOT.permitoffice@tn.gov.

Our office does not issue refunds for permits.  Permits may be amended one time should you need to make a change to the permit.

We do not issue extensions on permits.


We accept payment by credit card, escrow account, or check.

Checks should be mailed to:

TDOT OS/OW Permit Office
James K Polk Building, Suite 800
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243

To apply for an escrow account, please complete the State of Tennessee Permitting System Contract.  Replace all sections on the contract marked in red with the company applying for an account's information.   

Once this is completed, email the completed contract to the TDOT.PermitOffice@tn.gov.  The permit office will then be in touch with next steps.  It takes several weeks to complete the process for an escrow account.  The minimum balance to open an escrow account is $1,000.00.

No, only state and federal roads are covered by the permit.  However, we do require the full route (including local roads) to better evaluate the route.  Additionally, as a curtesy, we do check bridge height/weight restrictions on local routes.

Currently only the City of Memphis requires a permit for local roads.

Restrictions are listed on each permit after the fee section, typically on page two of the permit.  Restrictions are specific to the given permit and the load and route listed on the permit.  Restrictions will be different from one permit to another.

Single trip permits are valid for 10 days.

Single trip mobile home permits are valid for 6 days.

Yes, due to the large number of construction projects and rapid changes to the roadways all permits will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

The permit office is unable to advise customers on routing.  There are many pre-defined routes programmed into the TNTRIPS application which may be used.  Customers may also check the restrictions page and SmartWay to check the route they have requested does not have any restrictions.

Customers with specific questions about a route/section of a route may call for clarification.

Pre-defined routes are routes which have already been evaluated up to certain parameters by the Structures Division.  When possible, you should select these routes for the fastest processing time.

If there is not a pre-defined route which will work for you, you may select Enter Route. This option allows you to enter the origin and destination and then the requested route.  The route will then be reviewed by a permit agent.

When entering a route only enter a state abbreviation or city name in the origin and destination fields.  Enter only the sections of the route which occur within Tennessee in the via route box.  If you are delivering or picking up within Tennessee please include the full street address in the via route box.

If the height of the load exceeds 15’6” and/or the width exceeds 16’ a route survey will be required.  You may download a copy of the route survey form here.  Surveys must be submitted on the correct form to be evaluated.  Height poles should be set at 6” greater than the height of the load for surveys.

Bridge analysis is required based on total weight, axle weight, and axle spacing.  If weights per axle are very high or maxed out, with short spacings, bridge analysis by the  Structures Division will likely be necessary.  If weights are padded, reducing the weight will sometimes allow the application to be evaluated without undergoing bridge analysis.

Annual permits may be supplemented for dimensions, not weight.  If your weight will be covered by your annual permit you may order a single trip permit to cover your additional dimensions.  You may supplement a single trip permit using only an annual permit with weight.  If your weight exceeds that of your annual permit you may not use it to supplement a single trip permit.  

  • Over Dimensional
  • Over Weight (these permits can also be over dimensional)
  • Cotton Seed Module
  • Mobile Homes – 14’ width or 16’ width
  • Non-Commercial Boat
  • Ocean Going Container
  • Roof Trusses
  • Tow Truck

Annual permits issued after June 1, 2018 will not use the gold seal.  New permits will have a barcode and a watermark.  This change means that an electronic copy of the permit is valid so long as the barcode is scannable.

Annual permit renewals are processed through the TNTRIPS application.  To renew a permit, use the permit number and the “Copy From” feature to auto populate all of the fields, then submit the application.  Be sure to verify all of the information copied is still accurate before submitting.

The best resource for restrictions is the TDOT SmartWay application.  You may also check the restrictions page for a listing of restrictions and known detours.  A document with low bridges is included with each annual permit.

This decal should be displayed in the lower right corner of the windshield on the passenger’s side such that it is visible at all times.  This is so that the Tennessee Highway Patrol can easily identify if you have a permit.  Both the permit and decal are required if your Tow Truck exceeds the limits outlined in TCA 55-7-205.

Gross Vehicle Weight in excess of 165,000 pounds
Width in excess of 16’
Height in excess of 15’6”

Applications which fail the bridge analysis are returned to the customer with a listing of the bridges which were failed and a ratio at which they failed.  In order to pass a bridge the ration must be 1.00.  The farther from this value, the more weight must be reduced from the load in order to safely pass the bridge.

The carrier has the option to reduce the weight and try again on the same route or to submit a new route.  To try the same route, proof of accurate axle weights is required.  This may be in the form of a scale ticket (preferred) or images of scalable axles with a listing of which axle is which.

To assist carriers with finding usable routes, a listing of known weak bridges is available on the Maps, Bridges, & Restrictions page.  Many of these bridges have detour routes  listed.

Each resubmission must be evaluated by the engineering division.


When the width of the load exceeds 18’ or the height exceeds 18’ THP escorts are required.  Especially complex movements may also require THP escorts. THP escorts are in addition to other required escorts.

The THP Request Form will be required.  Once the Permit Office has approved the movement it will be forwarded to THP who will then contact the carrier to schedule the move.

THP moves require a minimum of two (2) officers for a minimum of four (4) hours at a rate of $65.00 per hour + $.13/mile.

When the width of the load exceeds 18’ or the height exceeds 18’ THP escorts are required.  Especially complex movements may also require THP escorts.

THP escorts are in addition to other required escorts. The THP Request Form will be required.  Once the Permit Office has approved the movement it will be forwarded to THP who will then contact the carrier to schedule the move.

THP moves require a minimum of two (2) officers for a minimum of four (4) hours at a rate of $65.00 per hour + $.13/mile.

Loads which exceed 18' in width and/or 18' in height will require THP escorts.  To process these applications the following documents are required:

Route Survey /Traffic Control Plan  *the pull offs/layovers section must be completed for THP review*

THP Request Form

A minimum of two (2) escorts is required.  Escorts are $65.00/hour/officer + $.13/mile.

A minimum of four (4) hours will be charged for each THP escort.

If you are logged into the system you may change your password at any time by navigating to Services, Enterprise, User, Change Password.

If you are unable to log in you may try to recover your password.  If you are unable to recover the password, please contact TDOT.permitoffice@tn.gov with your user ID and your password will be reset.

Yes, send an email to TDOT.permitoffice@tn.gov with your account number, the names of your users, and their email addresses.  Each will be issued a unique user ID and
password for the system.

TNTRIPS does not allow multiple users to use the same login so each user will need their own.

If you receive this message, please contact the permit office at TDOT.permitoffice@tn.gov with your account number and application number.

To prevent this in the future, be sure to click proceed on the payment page after confirming the payment.   

Upcoming Holiday Restrictions

Our office will be closed on the State Holidays listed (Click Calendar to the side).  Everyday travel is allowed with a permit except for Site-built houses and Houseboats.