DDOT ensures that commercial vehicles traveling in the District move efficiently and safely while mitigating community impacts and preserving transportation infrastructure. Commercial vehicles are essential to the District of Columbia, providing goods and services to thousands of District residents and businesses every day.
The distinct urban environment and mixed land uses inform the District’s regulatory framework for trucks and commercial vehicles. The information provided here is for educational purposes only; please refer to the official District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) for the most current rules and regulations governing trucks and commercial vehicles.
Commercial Vehicle Definition
A Commercial Vehicle is any four-wheeled vehicle that is longer than twenty-two (22) feet; or used for transporting commercial loads or property; or described as a commercial vehicle on its certificate of title; or has an irremovable commercial advertisement or insignia.
Commercial Vehicle Routes & Restrictions
The District of Columbia designated citywide truck and bus routes, which should be used as long as possible until reaching their final destination. These maps also identify where bus travel is restricted and where through truck travel is restricted. Few streets in the District of Columbia are completely restricted to trucks. Except for a few locations near sensitive federal structures, a truck restriction means that the street is closed to through truck traffic, but open to trucks making local deliveries.
Truck Route Trip Planner Tool
DDOT also offers a truck route trip planner tool to map out the best routes for oversized/overweight and simply large vehicles traveling through the District. Click the Route Planner link below, then customize the dimensions and weight of your vehicle by selecting the truck icon in the upper right corner and enter your details. Then select your “Boundary Location” as your origin by clicking the stacked-line menu icon in the upper right corner of the origin field and choosing your point of entry into the District. To add your route destination, click the same menu icon in the destination field to enter a street address or coordinates, or click on the map. Then press “Generate” for your route.
Commercial Vehicle Restrictions approaching Washington DC
No trucks are permitted on the Roosevelt Bridge entering/exiting Washington DC and Virginia.
Please note that trucks are prohibited on I-66 east of I-495. Contact the Virginia Department of Transportation for details about truck restrictions on Virginia roadways.
The National Park Service (NPS) also manages several parkways in the vicinity of Washington DC with varying restrictions for commercial vehicles. Please contact the NPS directly for details about the following parkways:
Oversized / Overweight Vehicle Permits
The District of Columbia has size and weight restrictions for vehicles traveling on roadways within its boundaries; any vehicles larger than the dimensions and weights listed below will require an Oversize/ Overweight permit to operate within the District.
Unless otherwise posted, the maximum as-of-right dimensions for vehicles :
- Width: 8 feet, or 8 feet 6 inches for 15+ passenger buses
- Height: 13 feet 6 inches
- Length: 40 feet for all single-unit vehicles; 60 feet for all buses; 55 feet for all semi-trailers and other combinations of vehicles
Unless otherwise posted, the maximum as-of-right weight for vehicles:
- Weight on any one axle: 21,000 pounds
- Weight on any two consecutive axles less than 10 feet apart: 34,000 pounds
Any vehicles exceeding these restrictions require an oversized/overweight vehicle permit to travel within the District of Columbia.
- For an OSOW permit, please apply online through DDOT’s Transportation Online Permitting System, TOPS.
- Oversized / Overweight Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions
Current Freight Projects and Studies
Positive Truck Route Signage Study
The District of Columbia currently uses an advisory designated truck and bus route network, which encourages, but does not require heavy vehicles to travel along designated routes. The District does restrict buses and trucks (local deliveries excepted) on select residential streets, which are signed and enforced by the Metropolitan Police Department. DDOT's Positive Truck/Bus Signage Study will:
a) estimate the costs and benefits of installing truck/bus route signs in support of a mandatory truck/bus route framework,
b) analyze the current truck route network and propose additional route connections, if necessary,
c) develop a transition plan, and
d) design conceptual signage plans.
The study held a public meeting to share preliminary study findings on July 20th. The presentation slides can be found here, and a recording of the meeting can be found here. The study is scheduled to be complete in Fall 2023. For more information, please contact [email protected].
District Freight Plan Update
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), passed on November 6, 2021, requires each State receiving funding under the National Highway Freight Program to develop a State Freight Plan that defines the immediate and long-range planning activities and investments of the State with respect to freight. This consultant-led update of the District Freight Plan will include in-depth data analysis and community outreach and is scheduled to be complete in December 2023. DDOT held a virtual public meeting May 31, 2023. You can review the slides here or watch the recording here. The complete update is due in December 2023. For more information, please contact [email protected].
Delivery Microhub Feasibility Study
DDOT is studying sustainable delivery modes and systems that minimize the use of internal combustion engine vehicles for last-mile deliveries. Through this project, DDOT would like to better understand how delivery microhubs can support bicycle, e-cargo bicycle, and/or foot modes for last-mile deliveries in the District of Columbia. This project will conduct case studies on the use of delivery microhubs, identify critical microhub criteria, and identify delivery zone characteristics and District neighborhoods that meet those characteristics. This feasibility study will be published in the summer of 2023. For more information, please contact [email protected].
Curbside Regulations & Programs
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 permit during off-peak hours
- Parking in a commercial vehicle loading 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
Commercial loading zones are signed, on-street metered loading zones exclusively for commercial vehicles. These zones aim to support the delivery needs of District businesses and reduce the traffic impacts of loading/unloading. Typical commercial vehicle loading zones operate 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM Monday-Saturday with up to a 2-hour time limit. (Where rush-hour restrictions are in effect, zones operate 9:30 AM to 4 PM.) As hours and days of operation vary by location, please check signs at each zone. Commercial vehicles need to pay by permit or phone for the use of commercial loading zones; annual and daily loading zone permits are available through DDOT’s Transportation Online Permitting System TOPS. For a map of commercial loading zones, please visit goDCgo's Truck and Bus Map.
To request a commercial loading zone assessment (such as to add, remove, or adjust a zone), please contact [email protected].
Pick-Up Drop-Off (PUDO) Zones are signed, curbside locations exclusively for passenger pick-up and drop-off, and commercial loading 24 hours a day. These curbsides are dedicated full-time to pick-up/drop-off activities to enable passenger and commercial loading directly at the curb, and out of travel lanes. Parking will not be allowed at these locations at any time of the day.
Tractor-trailer parking outside of commercial vehicle loading zones is extremely limited within the District of Columbia. As per DCMR 2405.5 and 2405.6, a trailer may not park on any public thoroughfare adjacent to any private dwelling or apartment, house of worship, school, playground, or hospital when not engaged in work at such place; or adjacent to any public park. One of the few private lots that may accommodate tractor-trailers is the Union Station Parking Garage. Please plan accordingly.
Address-specific commercial parking or equipment storage, including moving truck loading/unloading, can be accommodated via DDOT’s Transportation Online Permitting System. Please visit TOPS to learn about Parking / Occupancy Permits.
- Parking Tickets: The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for the adjudication and payment of parking tickets.
- Towed Vehicles: The Department of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for towing vehicles that are in violation of parking regulations. For more information on locating a towed vehicle, call 311.
- Moving Violations: The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is responsible for enforcing restricted truck and bus routes as well as truck size/weight regulations within the District of Columbia.
- Interactive Map of Truck Routes, Restrictions, and Loading Zones
- Truck Route Trip Planner
- Oversize and Overweight Vehicle Permit FAQs
- Transportation Online Permitting System
- International Registration Plan (IRP)
- Freight Rail Information
- Bridge and Tunnel Vehicle Clearances Map
- PDF Map of Truck Routes, Restrictions, and Loading Zones
- Draft District Freight Plan Update