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Freight Management

Trucks and Deliveries in the District

NAVIGATE THE DISTRICT

The District of Columbia has designated truck and bus routes, which should be used as long as possible until reaching a final destination. DC also identifies where bus travel is restricted and where through truck travel is restricted. A truck restriction means that while the street is closed to through truck traffic, it is still open to local deliveries.

Click here to be taken to a PDF DC Truck & Bus Map.

QUICK RESOURCE CENTER

  • Permits

    For information on permits and loading requirements for development in the District, visit the Transportation Online Permitting System.

  • Enforcement

    For information on commercial vehicle enforcement, contact the District Metropolitan Police Department at 311 or at mpd.dc.gov.

  • Licensing & Registration

    To learn the District’s regulations for commercial vehicle licensing and registration, contact the District Department of Motor Vehicles.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LOADING ZONES

All curbside commercial vehicle loading zones are metered. Here’s how it works:

DOWNLOAD INFORMATIONAL POSTCARD PRINT THIS INFORMATION

To park in a loading zone, a commercial vehicle operator will need to either buy and display a permit on their vehicle or make a mobile payment immediately after parking.

  • ANNUAL PERMIT

    $323

    • 2-hour parking at loading zones during designated hours
    • Parking at metered spaces between 10am—2pm (off-hours), or when meter enforcement is not in effect
    • Valid for one calendar year (expires in January) and requires one week for processing

    BUY A PERMIT
  • DAILY PERMIT

    $25

    • Parking at metered spaces between 10am—2pm (off-hours), or when meter enforcement is not in effect
    • 2-hour parking at loading zones during designated hours
    • Valid for 24 hours and can be printed out immediately

    BUY A PERMIT
  • MOBILE PAYMENT

    $2/hr

    • Parking at loading zones during designated hours
    • Pay for a space through ParkMobile by indicating the zone number on the loading zone sign

    PAY FOR SPACE

  1. Explore the Truck and Bus Map to see all District loading zones and truck routes and restrictions
  2. Visit http://tops.ddot.dc.gov/ and buy a Commercial Vehicle Annual or One-Day Permit
  3. Place your annual permit on the lower, rear exterior portion of the cab’s passenger side or your day pass on the passenger side dashboard.
    • Don’t park for longer than the indicated time limit, or for more than two hours otherwise
  4. Use mobile payment for time needed to load/unload if you do not have an annual or day permit

Vehicles will be ticketed if:

  • Permit is expired or not properly displayed ($50 ticket)
  • No permit is displayed and mobile payment was not made ($100 ticket)
  • Vehicle stays longer than the posted time limit or longer than two hours if no time limit is posted ($50 ticket)
  • Unauthorized vehicle is parked in a loading zone ($100 ticket)

DC FREIGHT PLAN

The District’s Freight Plan outlines transportation strategies and steps to facilitate future economic growth while balancing the needs between communities and various industries in the District.

Read the moveDC ‘Freight Element’ chapter

VIEW THE DISTRICT FREIGHT PLAN

OVERSIZE & OVERWEIGHT VEHICLES

The District of Columbia has size and weight restrictions that limit the size of the vehicles that can legally operate on District roadways. For more information about OSOW vehicles in the District, visit the Trucks webpage in the DDOT Compendium.

Unless otherwise posted the maximum dimensional restrictions for vehicles and combinations are as follows:

References after each item below may be found in subdivisions of section 18-25 of the D.C. Municipal regulations.

Maximum Vehicle Dimensions
 Width
  • 8 feet [18-2501.1]
  • 8 feet 6 inches for buses having a carrying capacity of more than 15 passengers [18-2501.2]
 Height
  • 13 feet 6 inches for all vehicles [18-2501.5]
 Length
  • 40 feet for all single unit vehicles [18-2502.1]
  • 60 feet for all buses [18-2502.7]
  • 55 feet for all semi-trailers and other combinations of vehicles [18-2501.2]*

*Note: Combination vehicles will be subject to federal size limitations on interstate highways.

Unless otherwise posted the maximum weight limits for vehicles and combinations are as follows:

Maximum Vehicle Weights*
Weight on any one axle 21,000 pounds [18-2505.1]
Weight on any two consecutive axles less than 10 feet apart 34,000 pounds 34,000 pounds [18-2505.5]

*Note: Combination vehicles will be subject to federal size limitations on interstate highways. You can also find more a more detailed vehicle weight chart in DCMR 18-2505

Oversized/overweight vehicles require a permit to travel within the District of Columbia. The DDOT Online Permitting System, TOPS, allows users to apply for permits to operate oversize and overweight vehicles in the District, including annual tags and single haul permits.

Please note that there are certain limitations that will determine the type of permit available to operators based on the size of the vehicle and/or the load.

  • To obtain a permit for your oversized/overweight vehicle please click here to visit TOPS, the DDOT Online Permitting System.
  • To view a pdf list of frequently asked questions about the permitting process, please click here.
  • You can also reach the Permitting Office at 202.442.4670 between 8:30am and 4pm, most days of the week (Thursdays 9:30am to 4pm).

The District Department of Transportation operates one vehicle weigh station:

  • I-295 Blue Plains SE

In the District of Columbia, a 53 foot trailer may be operated on the National Network comprised of the following:

  • I-295 from the District of Columbia – Maryland line to the Interchange with I-695 in the vicinity of 11th and L Streets, SE;
  • I-695 from the interchange with I-295 in the vicinity of 11th and L Streets, SE, to the interchange with I-395 in the vicinity of 2nd and E Streets, SW;
  • I-395 from the Virginia – DC line to the interchange with I-695 in the vicinity of 2nd and E Streets, SW;
  • The Anacostia Freeway from the 11th Street Bridge (I-295) to East Capitol Street; and
  • Kenilworth Avenue, NE from East Capitol Street to the DC – Maryland line.

RULES & REGULATIONS

TRAFFIC RULES

TRAFFIC RULES

Be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists, and follow all posted traffic regulations. District rules are governed by Title 18 of the D.C. Municipal Regulations and strictly enforced by the Metropolitan Police Department.

Commercial vehicles can be ticketed for:

  • Double parking
  • Parking in a residential neighborhood if the vehicle seats more than 15 passengers, is longer than 22 feet or wider than 8 feet, and/or is designed to haul trash or debris
  • Parking at meters – unless displaying a commercial loading zone permit within off-peak hours
  • Parking in a commercial vehicle zone for longer than the posted time limit
  • Idling longer than three minutes – or longer than five minutes if the temperature is 32°F or below.

DC DRIVING 101
Before driving around the District, read this list of driving tips and road rules.

IDLING REDUCTION

IDLING REDUCTION

The District has strict anti-idling laws: Commercial vehicles may idle for up to three minutes in the District of Columbia, and may idle for up to five minutes if the temperature is 32°F or below. Learn more.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Watch a short video on the idling laws in DC.

LICENSING & REGISTRATION

LICENSING & REGISTRATION

To learn the District’s regulations for commercial vehicle licensing and registration, contact the District Department of Motor Vehicles at dmv.dc.gov.

  • Meet the team

    DDOT’s Freight Program works to ensure efficient and safe mobility of commercial vehicles traveling in the District of Columbia while mitigating community impacts and preserving transportation infrastructure.

    ddot.freight@dc.gov

    202.671.4090

    Laura MacNeil

    Freight & Urban Deliveries Planner

LEARN MORE

For more information about truck and commercial vehicles in the District of Columbia, please visit https://ddot.dc.gov/service/commercial-vehicles or contact Freight Planning at ddot.freight@dc.gov or (202) 671-4090.

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