Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Overdimension Permits


Red semi-truck features a yellow 'Oversize Load' sign over the grille.

Permits Glossary

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Traveler information including weather-related road conditions, road work, commercial vehicle restrictions (includes a Truckers page), road closures and other travel information via the phone or Internet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Dial 511 from your phone or visit www.511mn.org.

Account number

A unique number the MnDOT Permit office assigns each OSOW permit account to identify that account holder’s permit information.

Agricultural products

Products that are agricultural, horticultural, viticultural, dairy products, livestock, wildlife, poultry, bees, forest products, fish and shellfish, and their products, including processed and manufactured products, and products raised or produced on farms, including processed or manufactured products.

Annual permit

A permit that is valid for one year from the validation date to haul loads that exceed legal size and/or weight within specific guidelines for specific commodities.

Axle groups

A group of axles (or single axle) supporting one section of a vehicle where the groups are separated by 8’ or more.


Bad weather / road condition restrictions

OSOW Movement is not allowed during hazardous weather or road conditions, when visibility is less than 500’, or when winds prevent the vehicle from staying within the travel lane.

Bridge weight class

The load capacity of a bridge structure indicating if a load can cross with the axle spacings and weights they are carrying.


Certified escort

Escort vehicle operator who is certified by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to escort vehicles hauling oversize / overweight loads.

Certified peace officer escort

Escort vehicle operator who is also a Minnesota law enforcement officer and certified by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to escort vehicles hauling oversize / overweight loads.

CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)

A CDL is required to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). Driving a CMV requires a higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities than that required to drive a non-commercial vehicle. See Commercial Driver’s License Program for more details.

Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)

A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:

    1. Has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds; or,
    2. Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds; or,
    3. Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or,
    4. Is of any size and is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR 172, subpart F). (49CFR383)

Continuous travel

Loads that are up to 9’ wide and/or 110’ long can travel 24 hours a day/seven days a week.


Only the military are allowed to move equipment and vehicles without having at least a one-half mile separation between the moves.

County permit offices

Minnesota County permit offices issue OSOW permits for their local county roads. Please see the county weight information website to contact any of Minnesota’s 87 county permit offices.



A district is one of the seven geographical subdivisions of MnDOT.

Divisible load

A load that can be reasonable reduced in size or weight by removing elements or parts of the load. Examples of divisible loads include but are not limited to: sand, top soil, gravel, stone, scrap metal, trash, etc.


Electronic copy

In lieu of a paper copy, an electronic copy of the permit may reside on a portable electronic device as long as it is a complete and legible copy of the issued permit.


This occurs when legislation allows specific commodities to be transported with different regulations than other commodities.



General Provisions (Minnesota)

A list of general conditions that apply to all oversize and overweight movement.

GVW (gross vehicle weight)

The total weight of a fully loaded vehicle or trailer, including all cargo, fluids, passengers, and optional equipment, as measured by a scale.

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

The value specified by the manufacturer as the maximum loaded weight a vehicle is capable of safely hauling.



Hauling unit

An empty, over-legal size combination vehicle may be moved under a single trip permit when warranted.

Hauling unit requirement

The Permittee must ensure that the hauling vehicle is adequate to handle the movement safely and meets federal and state vehicle safety requirements.


Implement of husbandry

A self-propelled or towed vehicle designed or adapted to be used exclusively for agricultural, horticultural, timber-harvesting, or livestock-raising operations.



King pin setting

A measurement taken from the king pin to the center of the rear axle group. In Minnesota the measurement is limited to 43’ or less when the combination is at its shortest length and pertains to trailers that are longer than 48’ and up to 53’.


Legal weight limitations

Minnesota statutes relating to legal weight limitations are included in the following sections: M.S. §169.822, M.S. §169.823, M.S. §169.824, and M.S. §169.87.

Liability for damage

The Permittee is responsible for any damage to the highway or its structures resulting from a willful or negligent act by the Permittee, as set forth in Minnesota Statute §169.88. Damages may be recovered through civil action or other remedial action defined by the department. In addition, the Permittee may be responsible for any personal property damage or injuries caused as a result of the Permittee’s movement.



Non-divisible load

A load that consists of a single piece or item which cannot be separated to lighten the load. Examples of non-divisible loads include, but are not limited to: columns, wood or metal trusses, buildings, or service trucks.


Overweight fee

A damage assessment fee set by legislation for all axle weights that exceed legal weights.


Permit account number

A unique number the MnDOT Permit office assigns each OSOW permit account to identify that account holder’s permit information.

Permit services

Privately owned services that help trucking companies and individuals obtain permits for many states and providences.

Permit status

Status of a permit application that you submitted to the MnDOT Permit office. The following terms describe the different permit statuses: 

    • Working – We have received your application, but we still need to review it.
    • Bridge – We have sent your application to the Bridge office for a bridge review of the route you applied for.
    • Issued – We have issued your permit. Your payment transaction is complete and we have sent your permit to you by fax or email.
    • Approved – Your permit has been issued, but your payment transaction has not been completed.
    • Update – Your application is on hold because we need additional information from you. Look in the application notes to find out what information we need from you.
    • District – The local MnDOT District where you will be hauling in is reviewing your application.
    • Multiple – Your application is currently in more than one of the above statuses.

Pilot / escort driver certification

Minn. Rules 7455 requiring the drivers of pilot cars and escort vehicles to hold current Minnesota Certification.

Pre-trip route survey

A physical survey of the complete proposed route for your OSOW load to make sure your load can safely maneuver the route with the required clearance and without causing unreasonable disruption of traffic. If your load exceeds 16’ high, 20’ wide or in some cases is excessive in length, you must perform a pre-trip route survey and submit the form to MnDOT before a permit will be issued.



Responsibility during movement

When MnDOT agrees to allow an alteration of state property, it must be noted on the permit. When a Permittee alters any portion of a roadway, bridge, signage, or right-of-way during a permit move, the Permittee is responsible for returning the roadway and right-of-way to the same condition, or better, than it was prior to the move. All alteration materials or supplies must be removed from the highway and right-of-way immediately after the move.

Route Builder

MnDOT’s online permit routing system.


Seasonal Load Limits (SLL)

Axle weight restrictions or increases which are enforced during specific times of the year when pavement strength is affected by the climate conditions. See Seasonal Load Limits for details.

Side overhang

Although centered loading is preferred, offset loading is permissible. When offset loading is necessary, the majority of the overhang should be on the right side (shoulder side) of the vehicle, as much as practical.


Signs must be legible. Between sunset and sunrise, signs must be lighted or of reflective material. If sign material is flexible, it must be pulled taut or mounted to a flat surface.

  • Permitted vehicle requirements – when loaded width exceeds 12' or when vehicle combination length exceeds 95', “Oversize Load” signs and warning lights must be displayed on the front and rear of the permitted vehicle, with lights at least 20" above the ground. Signs must have 10” series C black 1-3/8” letters on a yellow background and measure at least 18” high x 72” long.
  • Escort vehicle requirements – when escort vehicles are required, the vehicle must display either a “Long Load” or “Wide Load” sign mounted on top of the escort vehicle. These signs must have 8” series C 1-1/8” black lettering on a yellow background and measure at least 12” high x 60” long. Signs cannot extend beyond the fender line on the driver’s side or more than six inches beyond the fender line on the passenger side of the vehicle.


Tire limit

Under permit, tire weights cannot exceed 600 pounds per inch of tire width, or the manufacturer’s recommended tire load; whichever is less.

Trip log

Logbook of movement for an oversize / overweight load on an annual permit.

Tire weight limits

Total weight allowed on any vehicle wheel while operating on Minnesota streets and highways. See Minnesota Statutes 169.823.

Trunnion or dual lane loading

Eight tires on one axle.


USDOT number

A unique identification number that the United States Department of Transportation assigns to companies that operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce.


Vehicle breakdown

In the event of a vehicle breakdown, the vehicle must be moved as far off the roadway as practical. Warning devices shall be placed around the vehicle as required by law to notify other motorists of a hazard.



Online process that allows commercial carriers applying for oversize / overweight permits in both Minnesota and Wisconsin to fill out one application and receive a permit from each state. The appropriate application data is sent to each individual state for processing as if the carrier made a separate application with both Minnesota and Wisconsin. This reduces the carrier’s time spent applying for permits.