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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety
3/4/2024

Article 17. Maximum Vehicle Weights.

§ 46.2-1122. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Single axle" means an assembly of two or more wheels whose centers are in one transverse vertical plane or may be included between two parallel transverse vertical planes forty inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle.

"Tandem axle" means any two or more consecutive axles whose centers are more than forty inches but not more than ninety-six inches apart, and are individually attached to and/or articulated from a common attachment to the vehicle including a connecting mechanism designed to equalize the load between axles.

"Single axle weight" means the total weight transmitted to the highway by all wheels whose centers may be included between two parallel transverse vertical planes forty inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle.

"Tandem axle weight" means the total weight transmitted to the highway by two or more consecutive axles whose centers may be included between parallel transverse vertical planes spaced more than forty inches and not more than ninety-six inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle.

"Group of axles" means any two or more consecutive axles located under a vehicle or combination.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1123. Weight of vehicles and loads.

The maximum gross weight and axle weight to be permitted on the road surface of any highway shall be in accordance with the provisions of this article. Any notice by the Department of Transportation to truckers as to the provisions of this article shall include all limits as provided in this article.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1124. Maximum single axle weight, generally; maximum weight per inch of tire width.

The single axle weight of any vehicle or combination shall not exceed 20,000 pounds, nor shall it exceed 650 pounds per inch, width of tire, measured in contact with the surface of the highway.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1125. Maximum tandem axle weight, generally.

The tandem axle weight of any vehicle or combination shall not exceed 34,000 pounds, and no one axle of such tandem unit shall exceed the weight permitted for a single axle. Furthermore, the weight imposed on the highway by two or more consecutive axles, individually attached to the vehicle and spaced not less than forty inches nor more than ninety-six inches apart, shall not exceed 34,000 pounds and no one axle of such unit shall exceed the weight permitted for a single axle.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1126. Maximum gross weight, generally.

Except as provided in § 46.2-1128, the gross weight imposed on the highway by a vehicle or combination shall not exceed the maximum weight given for the respective distance between the first and last axle of the vehicle or combination, nor shall any two or more consecutive axles exceed the maximum weight given, when measured longitudinally with any fraction of a foot rounded to the next highest as set forth in the following table:

aDistance in feet between the extremes of any group of two or more consecutive axlesor Maximum weight in pounds on any group of axles
b

 

2 axles3 axles4 axles5 axles6 axles7 axles
c434,000

 

 

 

 

 

d534,000

 

 

 

 

 

e634,000

 

 

 

 

 

f734,000

 

 

 

 

 

g834,00034,000

 

 

 

 

h939,00042,500

 

 

 

 

i1040,00043,500

 

 

 

 

j11

 

44,000

 

 

 

 

k12

 

45,00050,000

 

 

 

l13

 

45,00050,500

 

 

 

m14

 

46,50051,500

 

 

 

n15

 

47,00052,000

 

 

 

o16

 

48,00052,50058,000

 

 

p17

 

48,50053,50058,500

 

 

q18

 

49,50054,00059,000

 

 

r19

 

50,00054,50060,000

 

 

s20

 

51,00055,50060,50066,000

 

t21

 

51,50056,00061,00066,500

 

u22

 

52,50056,50061,50067,000

 

v23

 

53,00057,50062,50068,000

 

w24

 

54,00058,00063,00068,50074,000
x25

 

54,50058,50063,50069,00074,500
y26

 

55,50059,50064,00069,50075,000
z27

 

56,00060,00065,00070,00075,500
aa28

 

57,00060,50065,50071,00076,500
ab29

 

57,50061,50066,00071,50077,000
ac30

 

58,50062,00066,50072,00077,500
ad31

 

59,00062,50067,50072,50078,000
ae32

 

60,00063,50068,00073,00078,500
af33

 

 

64,00068,50074,00079,000
ag34

 

 

64,50069,00074,50080,000
ah35

 

 

65,50070,00075,000

 

ai36

 

 

66,00070,50075,500

 

aj37

 

 

66,50071,00076,000

 

ak38

 

 

67,50072,00077,000

 

al39

 

 

68,00072,50077,500

 

am40

 

 

68,50073,00078,000

 

an41

 

 

69,50073,50078,500

 

ao42

 

 

70,00074,00079,000

 

ap43

 

 

70,50075,00080,000

 

aq44

 

 

71,50075,500

 

 

ar45

 

 

72,00076,000

 

 

as46

 

 

72,50076,500

 

 

at47

 

 

73,50077,500

 

 

au48

 

 

74,00078,000

 

 

av49

 

 

74,50078,500

 

 

aw50

 

 

75,50079,000

 

 

ax51

 

 

76,00080,000

 

 

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 456.

§ 46.2-1127. Weight limits for vehicles using interstate highways.

No motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall travel on an interstate highway in the Commonwealth with (i) a single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds, or (ii) a tandem axle weight in excess of 34,000 pounds, or (iii) a gross weight, based on axle spacing, greater than that permitted in § 46.2-1126, or (iv) a gross weight, regardless of axle spacing, in excess of 80,000 pounds, unless otherwise permitted by the proper authority. If such weights on interstate highways are increased, the Governor, upon recommendation of the Department of Transportation, may authorize the axle and gross weights set forth in this section to be used on interstate highways in the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1127.1. Weight limit exception for certain emergency vehicles using the interstate highways.

A. For purposes of this section, "emergency vehicle" means a vehicle designed to be used under emergency conditions to (i) transport personnel and equipment and (ii) support the suppression of fires and mitigation of other hazardous situations.

B. An emergency vehicle shall not exceed the following weight limitations when operated on any interstate highway: (i) 24,000 pounds on a single steering axle; (ii) 33,500 pounds on a single drive axle; (iii) 52,000 pounds on a tandem rear drive steer axle; and (iv) 62,000 pounds on a tandem axle that is not a tandem rear drive steer axle. However, the maximum gross weight of such emergency vehicle shall not exceed 86,000 pounds.

2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1128. Extensions of weight limits; fees.

The owner of any motor vehicle may obtain an extension of single axle, tandem axle, and gross weight set forth in this article by purchasing an overload permit for such vehicle. The permit shall extend the single axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, tandem axle weight limit of 34,000 pounds, and gross weight limit based on axle spacing and number of axles on such vehicle by a maximum of five percent. However, no such permit shall authorize the operation of a motor vehicle whose gross weight exceeds 84,000 pounds, nor shall any such permit authorize any extension of the limitations provided in § 46.2-1127 for interstate highways.

Permits under this section shall be valid for one year and the fee shall be $250.

Such fee shall be allocated as follows: (i) $245 deposited into the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1530 to be used to assist in funding needed highway pavement and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation and (ii) a $5 administrative fee paid into the state treasury and set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department.

The Commissioner shall make the permit available to vehicles registered outside the Commonwealth under the same conditions and restrictions which are applicable to vehicles registered within the Commonwealth. The Commissioner may promulgate regulations governing such permits. Except as provided in this section and § 46.2-1129, no weights in excess of those authorized by law shall be tolerated.

Vehicles that are registered as farm use vehicles as provided in § 46.2-698 may operate as authorized under this section without a permit or the payment of any fee; provided, however, that should such vehicle violate the weight limits permitted by this section and § 46.2-1129, such vehicle shall be required to apply for and receive a permit and pay the permit fee to operate as authorized in this section.

1987, c. 695, § 46.1-339.01; 1988, c. 669; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 283; 2002, c. 265; 2006, c. 534; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1129. Further extensions of weight limits for certain vehicles hauling Virginia-grown farm or forest products.

The owner of any motor vehicle used for hauling Virginia-grown forest or farm products, as defined in § 3.2-4709, from the place where they are first produced, cut, harvested, or felled to the location where they are first processed may obtain from the Commissioner an extension for such vehicle of the single axle, tandem axle, and gross weight limits set forth in this title. The permit shall extend the single axle, tandem axle, and gross weight limits set forth in this title. The permit shall extend the single axle, tandem axle, and gross weight limits based on axle spacing and number of axles on such vehicle by five percent, respectively. However, no such permit shall authorize the operation of a motor vehicle whose gross weight exceeds 84,000 pounds.

No permit issued under this section shall permit the operation on an interstate highway of any vehicle with (i) a single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds, or (ii) a tandem axle weight in excess of 34,000 pounds, or (iii) a gross weight, based on axle spacing, greater than that permitted in § 46.2-1126, or (iv) a gross weight, regardless of axle spacing, in excess of 80,000 pounds. The Commissioner may promulgate regulations governing such permits.

Weight extensions provided in this section shall be in addition to those provided in § 46.2-1128, but no weights beyond those permitted by the combination of the extensions provided in this section and § 46.2-1128 shall be tolerated.

Vehicles that are registered as farm use vehicles as provided in § 46.2-698 may operate as authorized under this section; provided, however, that should such vehicle violate the weight limits permitted by this section and § 46.2-1128, such vehicle shall no longer be permitted to operate as authorized in this section.

1988, c. 669, § 46.1-339.02; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 283; 2006, c. 534; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1129.1. Further extension of weight limits for certain vehicles utilizing an auxiliary power unit or other idle reduction technology.

Any motor vehicle that utilizes an auxiliary power unit or other idle reduction technology in order to promote reduction of fuel use and emissions due to engine idling shall be allowed up to an additional 550 pounds total in gross, single axle, tandem axle, or bridge formula weight limits.

To be eligible for this exception, the operator of the vehicle must be able to prove (i) by written certification, the weight of the auxiliary power unit or other idle reduction technology unit and (ii) by demonstration or written certification, that such idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times.

Certification of the weight of the auxiliary power unit must be available to law-enforcement officials if the vehicle is found in violation of applicable weight laws. The additional weight allowed cannot exceed 550 pounds or the weight certified, whichever is less.

For purposes of this section, "auxiliary power unit" means a mechanical or electrical device affixed to a motor vehicle that is designed to be used to generate an alternative source of power for any of the motor vehicle's systems other than the primary propulsion engine, and "idle reduction technology" refers to a technology that allows engine operators to refrain from long-duration idling of the main propulsion engine by using an alternative technology.

2009, c. 92; 2013, c. 118.

§ 46.2-1129.2. Further extension of weight limits for vehicles fueled by natural gas or powered by means of electric battery power.

A. On any highway other than an interstate highway, any motor vehicle that is fueled, wholly or partially, by natural gas or powered primarily by means of electric battery power shall be allowed up to an additional 2,000 pounds total in gross, single axle, tandem axle, or bridge formula weight limits, provided that such weight is on the power unit.

To be eligible for this exception, the operator of the vehicle must be able to demonstrate that the vehicle is a natural gas vehicle, a bi-fuel vehicle using natural gas, a vehicle that has been converted to a natural gas vehicle, or a vehicle that is powered primarily by means of electric battery power.

B. On an interstate highway, any motor vehicle that is fueled primarily by natural gas or powered primarily by means of electric battery power may exceed the weight limits provided in § 46.2-1127 by up to an additional 2,000 pounds, provided that such weight is on the power unit. However, the gross weight of such vehicle shall not exceed 82,000 pounds.

2014, c. 64; 2017, c. 554; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 133.

§ 46.2-1130. Crossing bridge or culvert by vehicle heavier than allowed; where weight signs to be erected.

No vehicle shall cross any bridge or culvert in the Commonwealth if the gross weight of such vehicle is greater than the amount posted for the bridge or culvert as its carrying capacity.

Signs stating the carrying capacity shall be erected and maintained near each end of the bridge or culvert on the approaches to such bridge or culvert. Whenever the weight capacity of any structure on the interstate or primary system is reduced below the weight limit permitted on the road of which it is a part, a sign indicating that there is a restricted structure shall be placed in advance of the last alternate route on the road upon which there is a restricted structure. Whenever the weight capacity of any structure is reduced below the weight limit permitted on the road of which it is a part, a sign indicating that there is a restricted structure, shall be placed in advance of the last alternate route on the road upon which there is a restricted structure.

Code 1950, § 46-335; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-340; 1974, c. 347; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1130.1. Overweight permits granted to cross bridges and culverts by certain emergency response vehicles responding to an emergency call.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-1104 and 46.2-1130, emergency response vehicles, including fire and emergency medical apparatus responding to and returning from an emergency call, may be permitted to exceed the gross weight limit posted on a bridge or culvert, except those maintained by a railroad, provided that a determination has been made by a licensed professional engineer, qualified in the appropriate discipline, that the emergency response vehicle can safely cross that bridge or culvert and that determination has been documented by the issuance of a written permit or letter of authorization by the agency or entity responsible for the maintenance of that bridge or culvert.

The permitting agency or entity shall not be held liable for any damage or injury caused as a result of an emergency response vehicle crossing a bridge or culvert while responding to or returning from an emergency call under the conditions specified in the overweight permit pursuant to this section.

2007, cc. 177, 540.

§ 46.2-1131. Penalty for violation of weight limits.

Any person violating any weight limit as provided in this chapter or any permit issued by the Department or its designee or by local authorities pursuant to this article shall be subject to a civil penalty of $25 and a processing fee of $20 in addition to any liquidated damages and weighing fees imposed by this article. Upon collection by the Department, except as provided in § 46.2-1138, civil penalties shall be paid to the Literary Fund, but processing fees shall be paid to the state treasury and, beginning July 1, 1990, shall be set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition, liquidated damages and weighing fees shall be distributed as provided in §§ 46.2-1135 and 46.2-1137, respectively, except as provided in § 46.2-1138.

The penalties, damages, and fees specified in this section shall be in addition to any other liability which may be legally fixed against the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation for damage to a highway or bridge attributable to such weight violation.

Code 1950, § 46-335.1; 1956, c. 215; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-341; 1972, c. 439; 1978, cc. 294, 605; 1986, c. 588; 1987, c. 372; 1988, c. 11; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 418; 2003, c. 314.

§ 46.2-1132. Service of process in weight violation cases.

Any person, whether resident or nonresident, who permits the operation of a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth by his agent or employee shall be deemed to have appointed the operator of such motor vehicle his statutory agent for the purpose of service of process in any proceeding against such person growing out of any weight violation involving such motor vehicle. Acceptance by a nonresident of the rights and privileges conferred by §§ 46.2-655 through 46.2-661 shall have the same effect under this section as operation of such motor vehicle by such nonresident, his agent, or his employee.

1986, c. 588, § 46.1-341.01; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1133. Special processing provisions for overweight violations.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all violations of any weight limit as provided in this article or any permit issued by either the Department or its designee or by local authorities pursuant to this chapter shall be processed in the following manner:

1. The officer or size and weight compliance agent charging the violation shall serve a citation on the operator of the overweight vehicle. The citation shall be directed to the owner, operator, or other person responsible for the overweight violation as determined by the officer or size and weight compliance agent. Service of the citation on the vehicle operator shall constitute service of process upon the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation as provided in § 46.2-1136.

2. The officer or size and weight compliance agent charging the violation shall cause the citation to be delivered or mailed by first-class mail to the Department within 24 hours after it is served.

3. The owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation shall, within 21 days after the citation is served upon the vehicle operator, either make full payment to the Department of the civil penalty, liquidated damages, weighing fee, and processing fee as stated on the citation, or deliver to the Department a written notice of his election to contest the overweight charge in court.

4. Failure of the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation to timely deliver to the Department either payment in full of the uncontested civil penalty, liquidated damages, weighing fee, and processing fee or a notice of contest of the weight violation shall cause the Department to issue an administrative order of assessment against such person. A copy of the order shall be sent by first-class mail to the person charged with the weight violation. Any such administrative order shall have the same effect as a judgment for liquidated damages entered by a general district court.

5. Upon timely receipt of a notice of contest of an overweight charge, the Department shall:

a. Forward the citation to the general district court named in the citation, and

b. Send by first-class mail to the person charged with the weight violation, and to the officer or size and weight compliance agent who issued the citation, confirmation that the citation has been forwarded to the court for trial.

6. Notices and pleadings may be served by first-class mail sent to the address shown on the citation as the address of the person charged with the weight violation or, if none is shown, to the address of record for the person to whom the vehicle is registered.

7. An alleged weight violation which is contested shall be tried as a civil case. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The disposition of the case shall be recorded in an appropriate order, a copy of which shall be sent to the Department in lieu of any record which may be otherwise required by § 46.2-383. If judgment is for the Commonwealth, payment shall be made to the Department.

8. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, any and all citations and notices required by this section to be provided to the person charged with a violation or received from the person charged with a violation, with the exclusion of the citation as set out in subdivision 1, may be served or provided in an electronic manner if the Department and the person charged with the violation have agreed to utilize electronic notification.

1986, c. 588, § 46.1-341.02; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 314; 2011, cc. 62, 73.

§ 46.2-1134. Special overweight seizure provisions; penalty.

Any officer or size and weight compliance agent authorized to serve process or weigh vehicles under the provisions of this chapter may hold an overweight vehicle without an attachment summons or court order, but only for such time as is reasonably necessary to promptly petition for an attachment summons to attach the vehicle.

After finding reasonable cause for the issuance of an attachment summons, the judicial officer conducting the hearing shall inform the operator of the vehicle of his option to either pay the liquidated damages, civil penalty, weighing fee, and processing fee, or contest the charge through the attachment proceeding. If the operator chooses to make payment, he shall do so to the judicial officer who shall transmit the citation, liquidated damages, civil penalty, weighing fee, and processing fee to the Department for distribution in accordance with § 46.2-1131.

The Commonwealth shall not be required to post bond in order to attach a vehicle pursuant to this section. The officer or size and weight compliance agent authorized to hold the overweight vehicle pending a hearing on the attachment petition shall also be empowered to execute the attachment summons if issued. Any bond for the retention of the vehicle or for release of the attachment shall be given in accordance with § 8.01-553 except that the bond shall be taken by a judicial officer. The judicial officer shall return the bond to the clerk of the appropriate court in place of the officer serving the attachment as otherwise provided in § 8.01-554.

In the event the civil penalty, liquidated damages, weighing fee, and processing fee are not paid in full, or no bond is given by or for the person charged with the weight violation, the vehicle involved in the weight violation shall be stored in a secure place, as may be designated by the owner or operator of the vehicle. If no place is designated, the officer or size and weight compliance agent executing the attachment summons shall designate the place of storage. The owner or operator shall be afforded the right of unloading and removing the cargo from the vehicle. The risk and cost of the storage shall be borne by the owner or operator of the vehicle.

Whenever an attachment summons is issued for a weight violation, the court shall forward to the Department both a copy of the order disposing of the case and the weight violation citation prepared by the officer or size and weight compliance agent but not served.

Upon notification of the judgment or administrative order entered for such weight violation and notification of the failure of such person to satisfy the judgment or order, the Department or the Department of State Police or any law-enforcement officer or size and weight compliance agent shall thereafter deny the offending person the right to operate a motor vehicle or vehicles upon the highways of the Commonwealth until the judgment or order has been satisfied and a reinstatement fee of $50 has been paid to the Department. Reinstatement fees collected under the provisions of this section shall be paid by the Commissioner into the state treasury and shall be set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department.

When informed that the right to operate the motor vehicle has been denied, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle to a nearby location off the public highways and not move it or permit it to be moved until such judgment or order has been satisfied. Failure by the driver to comply with this provision shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.

All costs incurred by the Commonwealth and all judgments, if any, against the Commonwealth due to action taken pursuant to this section shall be paid from the fund into which liquidated damages are paid.

Police officers of the Department of State Police and all other law-enforcement officers are vested with the same powers with respect to the enforcement of this chapter as they have with respect to the enforcement of the criminal laws of the Commonwealth.

1986, c. 588, § 46.1-341.03; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 2011, cc. 62, 73.

§ 46.2-1135. (Contingent expiration date -- see note*) Liquidated damages for violation of weight limits.

A. Any person violating any weight limit as provided in this chapter or in any permit issued pursuant to Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of this chapter by the Department or its designee or by local authorities pursuant to this chapter shall be assessed liquidated damages. The amount of those damages shall be:

aExcess weight over the prescribed or permitted axle weight limitsAssessed amount per poundExcess weight over the prescribed gross weight limitAssessed amount per pound
b2,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound2,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound
c2,001 to 4,000 pounds3¢ per pound2,001 to 4,000 pounds3¢ per pound
d4,001 to 8,000 pounds12¢ per pound4,001 to 8,000 pounds7¢ per pound
e8,001 to 12,000 pounds22¢ per pound8,001 to 12,000 pounds12¢ per pound
f12,001 pounds or more35¢ per pound12,001 pounds or more20¢ per pound

All gross permit violations shall be assessed $.20 per pound over the permitted weight limit.

In addition to all damages assessed herein, for every violation of any weight limit as provided in this chapter or in any permit issued pursuant to Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of this chapter, there shall be assessed additional liquidated damages of $20.

If a person has no prior violations under the motor vehicle weight laws, and the excess weight does not exceed 1,500 pounds, the general district court may waive the liquidated damages against such person. Except as provided by § 46.2-1138, such assessment shall be entered by the court or by the Department as a judgment for the Commonwealth, the entry of which shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicle. Except as provided by § 46.2-1138, such sums shall be paid to the Department or collected by the attorney for the Commonwealth and forwarded to the State Treasurer and allocated to the fund appropriated for the construction and maintenance of state highways.

B. If the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds lawful limits by at least 25 percent but no more than 50 percent, the amount of the liquidated damages shall be two times the amount provided for in the foregoing provisions of this section; if the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds lawful limits by more than 50 percent, the amount of the liquidated damages shall be three times the amount provided for in the foregoing provisions of this section. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to pickup or panel trucks.

C. The increases in the liquidated damages under subsection A pursuant to enactments of the 2007 Session of the General Assembly shall not be applicable to any motor vehicle hauling forest or farm products from the place where such products are first produced, cut, harvested, or felled to the location where they are first processed. The amount of liquidated damages assessed against such motor vehicles shall be:

aExcess weight over the prescribed or permitted axle weight limitsAssessed amount per poundExcess weight over the prescribed gross weight limitAssessed amount per pound
b4,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound4,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound
c4,001 to 8,000 pounds10¢ per pound4,001 to 8,000 pounds5¢ per pound
d8,001 to 12,000 pounds20¢ per pound8,001 to 12,000 pounds10¢ per pound
e12,001 pounds or more30¢ per pound12,001 pounds or more15¢ per pound

Code 1950, § 46-338.2; 1956, c. 215; 1958, cc. 541, 612, § 46.1-342; 1968, c. 184; 1974, c. 331; 1977, c. 644; 1981, c. 187; 1986, c. 588; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 922; 1997, c. 479; 2001, cc. 411, 433; 2003, c. 314; 2007, c. 896.

§ 46.2-1135. (Contingent effective date -- see note*) Liquidated damages for violation of weight limits.

A. Any person violating any weight limit as provided in this chapter or in any permit issued pursuant to Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of this chapter by the Department or its designee or by local authorities pursuant to this chapter shall be assessed liquidated damages. The amount of those damages shall be:

aExcess weight over the prescribed or permitted axle weight limitsAssessed amount per poundExcess weight over the prescribed gross weight limitAssessed amount per pound
b4,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound4,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound
c4,001 to 8,000 pounds10¢ per pound4,001 to 8,000 pounds5¢ per pound
d8,001 to 12,000 pounds20¢ per pound8,001 to 12,000 pounds10¢ per pound
e12,001 pounds or more30¢ per pound12,001 pounds or more15¢ per pound

All gross permit violations shall be assessed $.20 per pound over the permitted weight limit.

If a person has no prior violations under the motor vehicle weight laws, and the excess weight does not exceed 2,500 pounds, the general district court may waive the liquidated damages against such person. Except as provided by § 46.2-1138, such assessment shall be entered by the court or by the Department as a judgment for the Commonwealth, the entry of which shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicle. Except as provided by § 46.2-1138, such sums shall be paid to the Department or collected by the attorney for the Commonwealth and forwarded to the State Treasurer and allocated to the fund appropriated for the construction and maintenance of state highways.

B. If the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds lawful limits by at least 25 percent but no more than 50 percent, the amount of the liquidated damages shall be two times the amount provided for in the foregoing provisions of this section; if the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds lawful limits by more than 50 percent, the amount of the liquidated damages shall be three times the amount provided for in the foregoing provisions of this section. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to pickup or panel trucks.

Code 1950, § 46-338.2; 1956, c. 215; 1958, cc. 541, 612, § 46.1-342; 1968, c. 184; 1974, c. 331; 1977, c. 644; 1981, c. 187; 1986, c. 588; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 922; 1997, c. 479; 2001, cc. 411, 433; 2003, c. 314; 2007, c. 896.

*This section is set out twice because the 22nd enactment of Chapter 896 of the Acts of Assembly of 2007 states: "That the provisions of this act which generate additional revenue for the Transportation Trust Fund, established under § 33.1-23.03:1 of the Code of Virginia, or the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund shall expire on December 31 of any year in which the General Assembly appropriates any of the revenues designated under general law to the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund or the Transportation Trust Fund for any non-transportation related purpose."
§ 46.2-1136. Procedures for issuing and serving process in overweight vehicle cases.

Any officer or size and weight compliance agent authorized to enforce overweight vehicle laws may issue a citation for a violation of such laws. Such officer may also serve an attachment summons issued by a judge or magistrate in connection with a weight violation.

Service of any such citation shall be made upon the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the violation. Such service on the driver shall have the same legal force and validity as if served within the Commonwealth personally upon the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation, whether such owner, operator, or other person charged is a resident or nonresident.

1986, c. 588, § 46.1-179.02; 1989, c. 727; 2011, cc. 62, 73.

§ 46.2-1137. Weighing vehicles; procedure; shifting loads; unloading excess load; weighing fee; certificate as to accuracy of scales admissible in evidence; penalties.

A. For the purposes of this section, a permanent weighing station includes any location equipped with fixed, permanent scales for weighing motor vehicles.

B. Any officer or size and weight compliance agent authorized to enforce the law under this title, having reason to believe that the weight of a vehicle and load is unlawful, is authorized to weigh the load and the vehicle. If the place where the vehicle is stopped is 10 road miles or less from a permanent weighing station, the officer may, and upon demand of the driver shall, require the vehicle to proceed to such station. If the distance to the nearest permanent weighing station is more than 10 road miles such vehicle may be weighed by wheel load weighers. Any driver who fails or unreasonably refuses to drive his vehicle to such permanent weighing station or such scales or wheel load weighers upon the request and direction of the officer to do so is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The penalty for such violation shall be in addition to any other penalties prescribed for exceeding the maximum weight permitted or for any other violation.

C. Any person operating a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight or registered gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds shall drive into a permanent weighing station for inspection when directed to do so by highway signs. Any person who fails or refuses to comply with this subsection is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor, which shall be in addition to any other penalties prescribed for exceeding the maximum weight permitted or for any other violation.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection C, a person instructed by a bypass system to bypass a permanent weighing station may do so unless directed to drive onto the scales for weight inspection by an officer or size and weight compliance agent pursuant to the provisions of subsection B. For purposes of this subsection, a "bypass system" means any system approved by the Commissioner that (i) communicates information about a vehicle to a permanent weighing station, (ii) is capable of receiving return communications from the permanent weighing station indicating whether the driver may bypass the weighing station or must drive onto the scales, and (iii) is capable of instructing the driver in accordance with the communication received.

E. In the event the operator of a vehicle fails or unreasonably refuses to submit a vehicle required to be inspected for an inspection, where the officer has reason to believe the vehicle is overweight, the officer may use whatever reasonable means are available to have the vehicle weighed, including the employment of a tow truck to move the vehicle to the weighing area. He may also use whatever means are necessary to reload the vehicle if the load is intentionally dumped. In such a case, any expenses incurred in having the vehicle weighed may be taxed as costs to be imposed upon the operator who failed or unreasonably refused to submit his vehicle for inspection, when he has been convicted of such failure or refusal and an overweight violation. In all cases where such failure or refusal or overweight charges are dismissed or the defendant acquitted, payment shall be made from highway funds.

F. Should the officer or size and weight compliance agent find that the weight of any vehicle and its load is greater than that permitted by this title or that the weight of the load carried in or on such vehicle is greater than that which the vehicle is licensed to carry under the provisions of this title, he may require the driver to unload, at the nearest place where the property unloaded may be stored or transferred to another vehicle, such portion of the load as may be necessary to decrease the gross weight of the vehicle to the maximum therefor permitted by this title. Any property so unloaded shall be stored or cared for by the owner or operator of the overweight vehicle at the risk of such owner or operator.

G. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-1122 through 46.2-1127, should the officer or size and weight compliance agent find that the gross weight of the vehicle and its load is within limits permitted under this title and does not exceed the limit for which the vehicle is registered, but that the axle weight of any axle or axles of the vehicle exceeds that permitted under this title, the driver shall be allowed one hour to shift his load within or on that same vehicle in order to bring the axle weight or axle weights within proper limits. However, liquidated damages shall be assessed under § 46.2-1135 based on the weight prior to shifting the load, unless the load can be successfully shifted to bring the vehicle's axle weight within limits permitted under this title by (i) sliding the axle or axles of the semitrailer or the fifth wheel of the tractor truck, (ii) repositioning the load if the motor vehicle is transporting off-the-road mobile construction equipment, or (iii) adjusting the load if the vehicle is operating on non-interstate highways and qualifies for weight extensions pursuant to § 46.2-1129. Such load shifting shall be performed at the site where the vehicle was weighed and found to exceed allowable axle weight limits. No such load shifting shall be allowed if such load is required to be placarded as defined in § 10.1-1450 and consists of hazardous material as defined in § 10.1-1400.

H. If the driver of an overloaded vehicle is convicted, forfeits bail, or purchases an increased license as a result of such weighing, the court in addition to all other penalties shall assess and collect a weighing fee of two dollars from the owner or operator of the vehicle and shall forward such fee to the State Treasurer. Upon receipt of the fee, the State Treasurer shall allocate the same to the fund appropriated for the administration and maintenance of the Department of State Police.

I. In any court or legal proceedings in which any question arises as to the calibration or accuracy of any such scales at permanent weighing stations or wheel load weighers, a certificate, executed and signed under oath by the inspector calibrating or testing such device as to its accuracy as well as to the accuracy of the test weights used in such test, and stating the date of such test, type of test and results of testing, shall be admissible when attested by one such inspector who executed and signed it as evidence of the facts therein stated and the results of such testing.

Code 1950, § 46-342; 1954, c. 312; 1956, c. 698; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-347; 1972, c. 292; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 681; 1983, c. 577; 1986, c. 589; 1989, c. 727; 1996, c. 422; 2001, cc. 411, 433; 2002, cc. 99, 431; 2011, cc. 62, 73; 2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1138. County ordinances fixing weight limits on roads that have been withdrawn from secondary system.

A. The governing bodies of Arlington and Henrico Counties may adopt ordinances providing weight limits in accordance with the weight limits established by §§ 46.2-1123 through 46.2-1127 for any vehicle or combination of vehicles passing over any such highway under the county's jurisdiction. Any such ordinance shall provide for the assessment of liquidated damages as to overweight vehicles at rates and amounts not exceeding those applicable to the liquidated damages under § 46.2-1135.

B. Such ordinances may also provide that:

1. Upon a finding of a violation of any weight limit prescribed therein, the court shall assess the owner, operator, or other person causing the operation of such overweight vehicle at such rate and amount as is provided in the ordinance;

2. The assessment shall be entered by the court as a judgment for such county;

3. The entry of such judgment shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicles;

4. Such sums shall be paid into the treasury of such county, and allocated to the fund appropriated by such county for the construction and maintenance of such roads under its jurisdiction.

C. Such ordinances may include additional provisions relating to payment of such assessment and enforcement powers applicable to such county and corresponding to the provisions of §§ 46.2-1131, 46.2-1133, 46.2-1134, and 46.2-1135, except that civil penalties, liquidated damages, and the weighing fees collected pursuant to such ordinances shall be paid to the county, and the county attorney or his designee shall represent the county in any court proceeding.

1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1138.1. City ordinances fixing weight limits on certain roads.

The governing body of any city may adopt ordinances providing weight limits in accordance with the weight limits established by §§ 46.2-1123 through 46.2-1127 for any vehicle or combination of vehicles passing over any such roads under the jurisdiction of such city, and providing further for the assessment of liquidated damages as to overweight vehicles at rates and amounts not exceeding those applicable to the liquidated damages under § 46.2-1135. Such ordinances may provide:

Upon a finding of a violation of any weight limit prescribed therein, the court shall assess the owner, operator or other person causing the operation of such overweight vehicle at such rate and amount as may be provided in such ordinance;

The assessment shall be entered by the court as a judgment for such city;

The entry of such judgment shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicles;

Such sums shall be paid into the treasury of such city, and allocated to the fund appropriated by such city for the construction and maintenance of such roads under its jurisdiction.

Such ordinances may include additional provisions relating to payment of such assessment and enforcement powers applicable to such city and corresponding to the provisions of §§ 46.2-1131, 46.2-1133, 46.2-1134 and 46.2-1135, except that civil penalties, liquidated damages and weighing fees collected pursuant to such ordinances shall be paid to the city, and the city attorney or his designee shall represent the city in any court proceeding.

1960, c. 218, § 46.1-342.1; 1986, c. 588; 1987, c. 372; 1989, cc. 685, 727.

§ 46.2-1138.2. Town ordinances concerning weight limits on certain roads.

A. The governing body of any town that provided, on January 1, 1993, town-owned and -maintained weight scales for the purpose of enforcing the weight limits established by §§ 46.2-1123 through 46.2-1127 for any vehicle or combination of vehicles passing over any roads in the town may adopt ordinances for the assessment of liquidated damages as to overweight vehicles in accordance with the liquidated damages under § 46.2-1135. Such ordinances may provide that:

1. Upon a finding of a violation of any weight limit prescribed therein, the court shall assess the owner, operator or other person causing the operation of such overweight vehicle at such rate and amount as may be provided in such ordinance;

2. The assessment shall be entered by the court as a judgment for such town;

3. The entry of such judgment shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicle; and

4. Such sum shall be paid into the treasury of the town and allocated to the fund appropriated by the town for the construction and maintenance of roads under its jurisdiction.

B. Such ordinances may include additional provisions relating to the payment of such assessment and the enforcement powers applicable to such town and corresponding to the provisions of §§ 46.2-1131, 46.2-1133, 46.2-1134 and 46.2-1135, except that civil penalties, liquidated damages and weighing fees collected pursuant to such ordinances shall be paid to the town, and the town attorney or his designee shall represent the town in any court proceeding.

1993, c. 511.