Extraordinary Loads

Extraordinary loads may require special authorizations, approvals and/or permits from CVSE, local authorities and utilities. Allow appropriate time to obtain your permit.

Before you apply for a permit

If you have determined you need an Extraordinary Load Approval:

  • Complete a CVSE1052 form for each district you will travel through if your load is over 6 m wide or over 4.88 m high (5.33 m in the Peace Region). You may need signatures from utility companies, RCMP and district offices.
  • Route Maps

What is an Extraordinary Load?

The Commercial Transport Program is responsible for providing special authorizations, approvals or permits for vehicles and/or loads that:

  • Exceed 64 000 kg on non-approved overload routes (load must be stripped or fully reduced in order to obtain an approval)
  • Exceed 85 000 kg
  • Do not comply with policy limits specified in the Commercial Transport Procedures Manual (i.e., loads that are larger or heavier than allowed by regular permits)
  • Is an oversize non-reducible load travelling more than 110 km
  • Exceed 4.4 m wide, except on pre-approved routes described in these forms:
  • Exceed 4.88 m high (5.33 m in the Peace River Region), or exceed any policy height limit
  • Exceed 40 m in overall length (except Lower Mainland)

How do I know if I need to apply for a special approval?

Review the requirements in the Commercial Transport Procedures Manual. In B.C., there are three ‘levels’ of permits for heavier and/or larger than legal weights and dimensions:

  • term permits
  • single trip permits and
  • permits requiring extraordinary load approvals


Still not sure?

Turnaround Time for Extraordinary Load Approvals

The complexity of your request determines the amount of time we require to process your application.

Be clear on the distance, number of structures that need to be crossed,  proposed route, temporary obstructions,  type of configurations,  weight and safety as they are all factors that are taken into consideration prior to your approval or non-approval.

  • Oversize approval is completed at the Commercial Transport Advisor level: standard turnaround is 48 hours.
  • Identical overload approval: standard turnaround is 1 to 3 business days.
  • Bridge approval: standard turnaround is 11 calendar days. 95% of approvals are turned around in 19 calendar days. This does not include loads for which applicants are required to undertake their own bridge engineering.
  • Vehicle engineer: standard turnaround is a maximum 7 business days
  • Other engineer approvals i.e. federal: standard turnaround is 7 business days

Identical Loads

Identifying a previous overload number can help your application be processed faster if your load is identical to the previous overload number, meaning:

  • Same truck configuration, including axle groups and spacing
  • All axle weights are the same or less than the previous approval
  • Same roads being travelled in the same direction
  • Same start and end locations
  • Provide previous Bridge Approval (Overload) number i.e. OL1111
  • Approval within the last 5 years

Similar Loads

This type of request can actually slow the approval process down if you are not clear in your submission, as we will need to contact you for clarification.

If you say your load is similar, please clarify what you mean, i.e. the route is the same, weight is less and configuration is different.  If your weight is higher, you need to submit a new request.  

Note: The turnaround time of 1 to 3 days for an identical approval does not apply to similar requests; however, information about similar approvals may still help speed analysis of your request and assist the program as a whole.

90-day Approval Process

Approvals are valid for 90 days. This does not mean your approval is valid for additional loads. Each new load must go through the approval process.  

Multiple Loads on One Request

You may include multiple identical loads on one request. Add the number of identical loads you are making and include information about your proposed timeline to complete the moves.

If the commodities, vehicle configurations or routes are different, please provide specific information for each trip.

Note: If you are returning empty, request approval on your original request.


You can make a request as the sub-contractor, however the most efficient process is for the main contractor to submit the request with your company included. If approved either company can obtain the permit.

Note: If you are making the request as the sub-contractor you are doing this independently, do not cross-reference with the main contractor as each request is treated as a separate request.

Voice Messages and Extraordinary Loads

You can leave a voice message on the phone line, however this may delay your permit.

In order to provide more service, we operate out of different locations across the province. A phone message left on one phone will not be picked up in another location, so your call may not be returned promptly.

The electronic system is the quickest, most efficient and most reliable way to obtain a permit.

The Permit Centre uses a team approach to processing your requests. Up to 5 people review the inbox and can respond to your emails daily.

When we receive your request, we create a file with your company name and the commodity you are moving. Everything we receive or send to you is kept in this file, so that if you are making an enquiry a response can be provided and you don’t have to wait for a specific staff person to return your call.