Container Weight Exemption
Following is a selective paraphrase of the California Vehicle Code (CVC). It is not guaranteed and may be subject to change.
Per CVC Section 35700.5(a) The Department of Transportation may issue a special permit for a vehicle on:
- the 2.82-mile portion of State Route 47 and State Route 103 known as the Terminal Island Freeway, between 20th Street in the City of Long Beach and Terminal Island in the City of Long Beach and the City of Los Angeles, and
- Note: the CVC specifies a 3.66-mile portion that does not take into account a section of state highway (103) that was relinquished to the City of Long Beach in 2001.
- the 2.4-mile portion of State Highway Route 1 that is between Sanford Avenue in the City of Los Angeles and Harbor Avenue in the City of Long Beach, if the vehicle meets all of these criteria:
(1) The vehicle is used to transport intermodal cargo containers that are moving international commerce.
(2) The vehicle, in combination with its load, does not exceed 95,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
(3) (A) The vehicle conforms to the axle weight limits in Section 35550 (single axle and wheel weights).
(B) The vehicle conforms to the axle weight limits in Section 35551 (axle group weights), except as specified in subparagraph (C).
(C) Vehicles that impose more than 80,000 pounds total gross weight on the highway by any group of two or more consecutive axles, exceed 60 feet in length between the extremes of any group of two or more consecutive axles, or have more than six axles shall conform to weight limits that shall be determined by the Department of Transportation.
(b) A permit issued by the Department of Transportation shall be required. The permit shall not authorize the movement of hazardous materials or wastes.
The following criteria shall be included in the application for the permit:
(1) A description of the loads and vehicles to be operated under the permit.
(2) An agreement that each applicant is responsible for all injuries and damage to the state and others. The applicant shall agree to hold harmless the state for all costs caused by the movement of vehicles.
(3) The applicant shall provide proof of financial responsibility that covers the movement of the shipment. The insurance shall meet the minimum legal requirements.
(4) An agreement to carry a copy of the permit in the vehicle at all times and furnish the copy upon request to the Department of the California Highway Patrol or the Department of Transportation.
(5) An agreement to place an indicia, developed by the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Department of the California Highway Patrol, upon the vehicle identifying it as a vehicle possibly operating under this section. The indicia shall be displayed in the lower right area of the front windshield of the power unit. The Department of Transportation may charge a fee to cover the cost of producing and issuing this indicia.
(c) The permit shall be valid for one year. The permit may be canceled by the Department of Transportation for any of the following reasons: (1) The failure to maintain the conditions. (2) The failure to maintain a satisfactory rating, as required by Section 34501.12. (3) A determination by the Department of Transportation that the vehicle would jeopardize the safety of motorists or result in undue damage to the highways.
(d) This section does not authorize an applicant or holder of a special permit under subdivision (a) to operate a vehicle or combination of vehicles in excess of the maximum gross weight limit of vehicles and loads specified in this chapter outside of the designated corridors identified in subdivision (a). A violation of this subdivision shall result in the revocation of the permit.
(e) The Department of Transportation may charge a fee to cover the cost of issuing a permit.
Accessibility Assistance: Caltrans makes every attempt to ensure our documents are accessible. Due to variances between assistive technologies, there may be portions of this document which are not accessible. Where documents cannot be made accessible, we are committed to providing alternative access to the content. Should you need additional assistance, please contact us at (916) 654-2852 or visit https://dot.ca.gov/request-ada-compliant-documents.
Transportation Permits Links
- Transportation Permits - Home
- Route Clearing Database - CalRoute
- Application Forms & Accompaniments
- Interactive Application Instructions
- Transportation Permits Manual
- Extralegal Weight Charts
- Single Trip Pilot Car Maps
- Annual Pilot Car Maps
- Red Route Summary Table (PDF)
Permits Issuance Branch
1823 14th St., Sacramento, CA 95811-7119
Main Phone: (916) 322-1297
Single Trip Fax: (916) 322-4966
Annual/Repetitive Fax: (916) 445-0469
Variance Fax: (916) 322-1505
Office Hours: 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri
(Closed on State Holidays)
Walk-In Hours: 8am-3pm, Mon-Fri
(Closed on State Holidays)
Special Conditions for Holiday Travel (PDF)
2021 Office Holiday Info (PDF)
After-Hours Permit Emergencies:
Emergency Permit Procedures
Transportation Permits Training