Maryland State DOT Trucking Weight Regulations


In its efforts to ensure that the highways and byways within its jurisdiction are as safe as possible, the Maryland legislature has charged the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) with regulation of tractor trailer traffic. Through its Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and the State Highway Administration (SHA), MDOT ensures that the weight of tractor trailers falls within acceptable ranges.

Commercial Motor Vehicles

  • According to Title 11 (Department of Transportation) of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), the MDOT only has authority to regulate the weight of motor vehicles that are legally defined as commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). FMCSR defines two classes of CMVs: regular CMVs that operate in commerce (mainly tractor trailers) and smaller CMVs (mainly recreational vehicles, passenger buses, rental trucks moving private property and multipurpose vehicles).

    Regular CMVs must have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of at least 26,001 lb. If the regular CMV is being operated in combination with a trailer, the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) must exceed 26,001 lb. with the GVWR of the trailer exceeding 10,001 lb. Smaller CMVs must have either a GVWR, or a GCWR, of at least 10,001 lb.

    The manufacturer's GVWR is usually found on a sticker located on the edge of the driver's door or the door frame of the CMV. The GCWR is usually located on the door frame of the trailer. Any driver with a CMV, or a CMV/trailer combination, that falls within the regulated GVWR/GCWR ranges must register such with the SHA. The driver must also obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) from the MVA.

Weigh Stations

  • Both registered regular CMVs that operate in commerce and registered smaller CMVs must stop at all open Truck Weigh and Inspection Stations (TWIS) while traveling throughout Maryland. Both classes of CMVs are weighed at the weigh station; however, only regular CMVs are subject to safety inspections to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state motor carrier safety rules, regulations and standards.

    A growing number of regular CMVs participate in the FMCSR Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN)--a technology-based system that allows regular CMVs to bypass TWISs because they are equipped with CVISN electronic devices that send a signal to the TWISs with all the necessary information. This process is known as "weigh-in-motion" operation.

Preventive Maintenance Program

  • Whenever the driver registers, or renews registration, of a CMV, he is required to certify personal possession of a working knowledge of all applicable federal and state motor carrier safety rules, regulations and standards, and participation in the Preventive Maintenance (PM) Program. The PM Program stipulates that either every 12 months or 25,000 miles (whichever comes first) a CMV must receive a thorough safety inspection and any needed preventative maintenance. A copy of a Preventive Maintenance Report indicating compliance must be kept in the CMV at all times.


  • Any regular CMV that has a GVWR/GCWR in excess of 73,000 lb. requires a special overweight hauling permit, and can travel only the shortest available route on numbered state highways and on the federal interstate system when transporting their loads. These routes are referred to as designated truck routes.

    Any regular CMV with a GVWR/GCWR in excess of 55,000 lb. is subject to the Federal Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT). These CMWs are required to show MVA/SHA officers at the TWIS proof of payment of the HVUT.


  • Photo Credit line of trucks 1 image by Aaron Kohr from
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • DOT Weight Regulations

    DOT Weight Regulations. The national Vehicle Size and Weight Team of the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration is responsible...

  • What are the Different Classes of a CDL?

    A CDL, or Commercial Driver's License, is required in the United States to legally drive certain types of large commercial vehicles, particularly...

  • DOT Weigh Station Regulations

    DOT Weigh Station Regulations. Tractor trailers are among the most heavily regulated and controlled vehicles on the road, with axle weight and...

  • Pennsylvania DOT Truck Regulations

    Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or PennDOT issues regulations and guidelines for fleet operations within the state of Pennsylvania. These standards apply to...

  • Commercial Truck Weight Laws

    The Interstate Highway System has placed a maximum on weight and length for all commercial vehicles. Each state may add to the...

  • Dot Trucking Regulations in Georgia

    Trucks are one of the iconic emblems of the American South. In the state of Georgia, these trucks, along with other commercial...

  • Kentucky Truck Weight Law

    For the purposes of increasing the safety of truckers and other drivers on the road, Kentucky regulates the maximum weight of trucks....

  • Georgia DOT Regulations

    Georgia DOT Regulations. The Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) provides regulations that help keep drivers safe and roads maintained in Georgia...

Related Searches

Read Article

10 Most Needed Jobs in the Future

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!