Virginia Trucking Resources
Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDLs)
Information on obtaining a commercial driver's license in Virginia is available from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Contact them at 804-497-7100.111
Size and Weight Requirements
The DMV regulates the size and weight of vehicles. See the DMV website for a complete description of requirements.
Overweight and oversized loads need permits to travel legally in Virginia. Hauling permits are available through the DMV. Contact DMV's Hauling Permit Section at 804-497-7135.
If a permit is needed in an emergency, call DMV's Hauling Permit Section at 804-497-7135, or fax a letter explaining the emergency to 804-367-0063.
Office hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If an emergency occurs after hours, contact the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Emergency Operations Center at 800-367-7623.
DMV is responsible for administering Virginia's weigh stations. For more information, contact DMV's Motor Carrier Services Division at 804-249-5130.
The Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) was enacted in 1982 to provide a network of highways allowing access for larger vehicles to the interstate highway system and certain federal-aid primary routes.
Virginia evaluated STAA access on additional routes, resulting in a system of approximately 3,288 miles of designated highways in addition to the interstates.
The STAA system is referred to as “designated highways” in the Code of Virginia, as well as in DMV regulations.
The STAA system in Virginia has three components:
- National Network - includes all interstate highways, as well as 1,478 miles of mostly primary roads
- Virginia Qualifying Highways – includes 902 miles of additional qualifying primary roads
- Virginia Access System – includes 908 miles of routes that provide direct access to terminals
One road mile of access is permissible off the National Network and the Virginia Qualifying Highways to access terminals, fuel, food, rest and repairs, except in incorporated towns and cities, and Henrico and Arlington counties. Permission must be obtained from officials in these localities.
The one road mile of access does not apply to the Virginia Access System.
See the DMV Web site for a description of vehicles required to use the STAA (designated) highways.
Note: Title 23 Part 658 Section 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations was amended in 2008 to allow triple saddlemount combinations up to 97 feet in length on the National Network portion of the STAA system. These combinations not exceeding 75 feet in length may travel the entire STAA system of designated highways.
Additional STAA access routes may be available in incorporated cities and towns, and on secondary roads (routes numbered 600 or higher) in Henrico and Arlington counties. Contact officials in those localities for more information.
A printed map of the Virginia STAA designated highways (including length and through-truck restrictions – see below for details) is available at most safety rest areas and welcome centers. See “Other Resources” below for rest area and welcome center locations.
For a listing of the Non-Interstate portion of the STAA system of routes, click here. The routes referenced on this list, along with interstate highways, comprise the entire STAA system.
Travel on various highways may be restricted to certain vehicles on the basis of vehicle size (length, width or height) or weight, in regard to limitations on the transport of hazardous materials, or due to incidents or construction on the roadway.
Information on vehicle restrictions or limitations that may be encountered on state-maintained roads in Virginia follows below.
For information on restricted routes in incorporated cities and towns and on secondary roads (routes numbered 600 or higher) in Henrico and Arlington counties, contact officials in those localities.
VDOT has length-based restrictions on certain state-maintained highways many of which apply to certain types of vehicles, such as tractor-trailers.
Through Truck Restrictions
VDOT also restricts various through vehicles on certain state-maintained highways, in accordance with the Through Truck Restriction Guidelines (PDF, 68 KB). Many of these restrictions are on the basis of length and often stipulate specific vehicles, such as tractor-trailers.
VDOT also has posted a small number of routes with signage that conveys a recommendation, rather than a requirement, that certain vehicles do not travel those roads, due to limitations on accommodating certain length and types of vehicles. These roads present undesirable conditions which drivers are strongly encouraged to avoid.
Weight, Height and Width Restrictions
VDOT maintains a listing of restricted structures on VDOT-maintained roadways which is available by request by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazardous Material Restrictions
VDOT does not regulate the transport of hazardous materials. That function is with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. VDOT only gets involved if hazardous materials are being transported through one of the six state-owned tunnels. Details >
The Airport Tunnel in the city of Roanoke (Route 118) is restricted to all hazardous materials. A suggested detour is: Hershberger Road (Route 101) to Williamson Road (Route 11), then Peters Creek Road (Route 117).
For information on transporting hazardous materials through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, see http://www.cbbt.com/hazmat.html or call 757-331-2960.
Restrictions by Highway
A map of STAA routes, length and through-truck restrictions and not-recommended routes on state-maintained highways can be accessed at http://vatruckweb.vdot.virginia.gov.
In addition to those restrictions shown on the map, the following also apply:
- Vehicles with more than four tires are prohibited from Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495).
- STAA vehicles are not allowed to travel Interstate 264 West Downtown Tunnel in Portsmouth. Those vehicles may however use the eastbound tunnel.
- Route 52 in Carroll County is restricted to vehicles above eight tons traveling south between the Blue Ridge Parkway and the south intersection of Route 691.
- See the Hampton Roads tunnel restrictions (PDF, 550 KB) for details on height restrictions at those locations.
Click here for a printable listing of routes with restrictions on length, through trucks, and not-recommended routes.
For further information regarding STAA truck routes, length restrictions, through truck restrictions and not recommended routes on state-maintained roads contact:
Virginia Department of Transportation
1401 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Temporary Restrictions and Incidents
For information on current traffic conditions, incidents and temporary restrictions, road closures, etc. go to 511virginia.org or call * 511 toll free. Other travel information is available at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/default.asp.
Several highways in Virginia are federally maintained with various restrictions on commercial access. These routes include the Blue Ridge Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Colonial Parkway and Skyline Drive.
Contact the National Park Service for details.
U.S. DOT Numbers
US DOT numbers may be obtained from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at 800-832-5660.
National Trucking Regulations
Information is available from these divisions of the U. S. Department of Transportation:
Industry Trade Associations
The following associations can help provide information about current issues in the trucking industry:
- Virginia Trucking Association
- Truckload Carriers Association
- Specialized Carriers Rigging Association
- American Trucking Association