Auto, Boat, & Camper Transporters Exemptions
NOTE: This exemption is for commercial haulers. If you are towing an oversize boat for personal use, you will need to obtain an oversize permit from the Caltrans Transportation Permits Office.
Per California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 35401.3, transporters of motor vehicles, boats, and camper units have length exemptions. Following are selective paraphrases of the CVC, and text copied from the Federal Code of Regulations. It is not guaranteed and may be subject to change.
35401.3. (a) A combination of vehicles designed and used to transport motor vehicles, camper units, or boats, which consists of a motortruck and stinger-steered semitrailer, shall be allowed a length of up to:
(a) 70 feet if the kingpin is at least 3 feet behind the rear drive axle of the motortruck.
(b) 75 feet if all of the following conditions are maintained:
(1) The distance from the steering axle to the rear drive axle of the motortruck does not exceed 24 feet.
(2) The kingpin is at least 5 feet behind the rear drive axle of the motortruck.
(3) The distance from the kingpin to the rear axle of the semitrailer does not exceed:
34 feet, or 36 feet if on a triple axle semitrailer.
35401.3. (a) and (b) These combinations shall not be subject to subdivision (a) of Section 35411 (which requires that the vehicle plus load cannot exceed 75 feet), but the load upon the rear vehicle of either of these combinations shall not extend more than 6 feet 6 inches beyond the allowable length of the vehicle.
35402. (b) Extensions up to 18 inches in length on each end of a vehicle or combination of vehicles used exclusively to transport vehicles shall not be included in measuring the length of a vehicle or combination of vehicles when the vehicles are loaded. (This exemption not allowed on STAA vehicles per CVC Section 35401.5(b) -- see discussion below.)
Sliding Fifth Wheel up to 2'6" at 35 Mph Off Freeways
35402. (e) A truck semitrailer combination may use a sliding fifth wheel to extend the length of the combination by not more than 2 feet 6 inches while traveling 35 miles per hour or less on any highway, except a freeway. The sliding fifth wheel when extended shall not be included in measuring the overall length of the combination of vehicles if:
- the pivot point of the semitrailer connection is more than two feet to the rear of the center of the rearmost axle of the motortruck, or
- if the distance from the pivot point to the center of the rearmost axle of the semitrailer does not exceed 34 feet.
(This exemption not allowed on STAA vehicles per CVC Section 35401.5(b) -- see discussion below.)
Auto, Boat, & Camper Transporters
on the STAA Network
Per CVC 35401.5.(a), a truck tractor and semitrailer may have unlimited length on the STAA Network (which includes the National Network and Terminal Access routes) if the length of the semitrailer either (1) does not exceed 48 feet, or (2) does not exceed 53 feet and has a KPRA* of 38 feet maximum on a single-axle semitrailer or 40 feet maximum on a two-or-more-axle semitrailer.
*KPRA = kingpin-to-rear-axle distance
Auto, Camper, & Boat Transporters can be STAA Vehicles
Per CVC 35401.5.(a), for the purposes of this section, a motortruck used in combination with a semitrailer, when that combination of vehicles is engaged solely in the transportation of motor vehicles, camper units, or boats, is considered to be a truck tractor.
Auto, Camper, & Boat Transporters Lose Two Exemptions as STAA Vehicles
CVC 35401.5(b) disallows the exemptions of Section 35402 (b) and (e) (see those sections above -- "Load-Carrying Extensions" and "Sliding Fifth Wheel...") on combinations of vehicles operated subject to the exemptions provided by this section (STAA).
Contacts: For Permit Loads, Oversize or Overweight Permits, Contact the Permits Staff.
Legal Truck Access
- Legal Truck Access Homepage
- 45' Buses & Motorhomes
- Getting to Eureka
- Truck Lane Use
- Chain Requirements
- Encroachment Permits
- Exit Number Signs
- Toll Operations
- Truck-Only Lanes
- Truck Stops (CA, AZ, NV, OR)
- Transportation Permits
- Permit Services List (PDF)
- Permits Contact List
- Road Conditions
- Legal Truck Access
1120 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95815
- Main Phone: (916) 654-5741
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- District Truck Staff