Title 31
Motor and Other Vehicles

Chapter 25
Size, Weight, and Load Limits

R.I. Gen. Laws 31-25-21



 31-25-21.  Power to permit excess size or weight of loads.


(a) The department of transportation, with respect to highways under its jurisdiction, may, in its discretion, upon application in writing and good cause being shown for it, approve the issuance of a special permit in writing by the division of motor vehicles authorizing the applicant to operate or move a vehicle, or combination of vehicles, of a size or weight of vehicle or load exceeding eighty thousand pounds (80,000 lbs.) or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of chapters 1 — 27 of this title upon any highway under the jurisdiction of the party granting the permit and for the maintenance of which the party is responsible. Permits that have been issued for a full year shall not be required to be renewed for the period of time for which payment has been made and the application and other required documentation has been completed and filed. Provided, that neither the department of transportation nor the local authorities may approve the issuance of permits for divisible loads weighing in excess of one hundred four thousand-eight hundred pounds (104,800 lbs.), gross vehicle weight, for five-axle (5) vehicles and seventy-six thousand six hundred fifty pounds (76,650 lbs.), gross vehicle weight, for three-axle (3) vehicles.

(1) Provided, however, that for milk products, any vehicle carrying fluid milk products shall be considered a load that cannot be easily dismantled or divided.

(b) The director of the department of transportation may enter into agreements with other states, the District of Columbia, and Canadian provinces providing for the reciprocal enforcement of the overweight or over-dimensional vehicle permit laws of those jurisdictions entering into the agreement.

(c) Trip permit fee.  A fee of forty dollars ($40.00) shall be paid to the division of motor vehicles for the issuance of each non-reducible vehicle or load permit; provided, however, applicants seeking a permit for a non-divisible load exceeding one hundred thirty thousand pounds (130,000 lbs.) shall pay a fee of three hundred dollars ($300.00) to the division of motor vehicles for consideration of a special trip permit approved by the department of transportation pursuant to subsection (e).

(d) Annual fee.  An annual fee of four hundred dollars ($400) paid to the division of motor vehicles shall exempt the payor from the necessity of paying trip permit fees for non-divisible loads of less than one hundred thirty thousand pounds (130,000 lbs.) as found in subsection (c). However, payment of the fee shall not be deemed to authorize non-compliance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the department of transportation entitled "State of Rhode Island Manual for Overweight and Oversize Vehicle Permits."

(e) Blanket construction equipment permits may be issued, as determined by the department of transportation, for intrastate movement of non-reducible loads upon payment of the fee set forth in subsection (d). The duration of the blanket permit may not exceed one year, and the construction equipment permit load shall be limited to a minimum overall length of fifty-five feet (55′), a maximum overall length of eighty feet (80′), and a maximum width of twelve feet four inches (12′ 4″), provided that neither the division of motor vehicles nor local authorities may issue blanket permits for non-divisible loads weighing in excess of one hundred thirty thousand pounds (130,000 lbs.) on less than six (6) axles, with individual axle weights exceeding twenty-five thousand pounds (25,000 lbs.); provided, further, that the department of transportation, with respect to highways under its jurisdiction, may, in its discretion and upon application and for good cause shown, approve the issuance of a special trip permit authorizing the applicant to exceed one hundred thirty thousand pounds (130,000 lbs.) for non-divisible loads. A flashing amber light shall be in operation above the highest point of the vehicle and shall be visible from both the front and rear of the vehicle; and signs and red warning flags shall be affixed to all extremities. All blanket permits issued in accordance with this section shall be effective during daylight and night-time hours for all over-dimensional moves made and travel shall be allowed on state highways. The following restrictions on travel times shall apply to:

(1) Freeways — in general.  No travel will be allowed between the hours of 7:00 am and 9:00 am or between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm on any day of the week.

(2) Arterial roadways.  No travel will be allowed between the hours of 7:00 am and 9:00 am or between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

(3) Holidays.  Memorial Day, Victory Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day — No Saturday, Sunday, or Monday day or night travel.
Thanksgiving Day — No Wednesday night or Thursday day or night travel. No travel on Wednesday through Sunday of Thanksgiving week in any calendar year.
Independence Day, Veterans Day, Christmas Day — No day or night travel and no travel the previous night.
Easter Sunday. No Saturday night or Sunday travel.

(f) Construction equipment blanket permits shall not be granted for travel over the following bridges:
Blackstone River Viaduct 750 carrying I-295 northbound and southbound over the Blackstone River;
Kingston Road Bridge No. 403 carrying I-95 northbound and southbound over Kingston Road.

(g) Travel of blanket permitted construction equipment through zones with reductions in lane width such as construction zones will not be allowed. Prior to travel, blanket permit holders are responsible to verify the location of construction zones and lane width reductions. Locations of lane width reduction zones are available through the state department of transportation's construction office.

History of Section.
P.L. 1950, ch. 2595, art. 35, 11; G.L. 1956, 31-25-21; P.L. 1983, ch. 213, 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 456, 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 138, art. 85, 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 346, 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 98, 22; P.L. 2008, ch. 145, 22; P.L. 2008, ch. 230, 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 410, 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 39, 2; P.L. 2018, ch. 45, 2; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 8, 1.