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The latest information on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is available on

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Massachusetts Special Permit Waiver 4/21/2020


Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Highway Division



Charles D. Baker, Governor

Karyn E. Polito, Lieutenant Governor

Stephanie Pollack, Secretary & CEO

Jonathan L. Gulliver, Highway Administrator




On March 10, 2020 Governor Charles Baker, acting pursuant to the powers provided by Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950 and Section 2A of Chapter 17 of the General Laws, declared that there now exists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a state of emergency due to the outbreak of the 2019 novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”).

This exemption applies to certain motor carriers engaged in operations necessary to respond to the emergency declared by the Governor. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation issues this waiver of the regulatory vehicle weight and permitting requirements for certain motor carriers and covered operations on Massachusetts Department of Transportation roadways, subject to the special conditions below.


  1. The vehicle weight and permitting requirements of 700 CMR 7.00 and 700 CMR 8.00 (relating to Oversize and Overweight Loads and Vehicles) are hereby waived for motor carriers utilizing combination vehicles with divisible load limits that are providing direct assistance in transporting goods and materials necessary to respond to the COVID-19 emergency, for Covered Operations. In order to expedite the transport of emergency relief supplies and equipment, motor carriers carrying divisible loads will be allowed to receive an Oversize/Overweight permit up to the following weight limits for the given axle configuration:


Type of Vehicle

Maximum Vehicle Weight

Vehicle or vehicle combination

with three axles


73,000 lbs.

Vehicle or vehicle combination

with four axles


87,000 lbs.

Vehicle or vehicle combination with five or more axles


99,000 lbs.


  1. Covered Operations are Commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for: (1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (2) supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants; (3) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores; (4) immediate precursor raw materials- such as paper, plastic or alcohol-that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3); (5) fuel; and, (6) equipment and supplies necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19. Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of the above referenced goods and materials to obtain the benefits of this Exemption.
  1. No motor carrier operating under the terms of this Exemption shall operate a commercial motor vehicle which combined with its load, exceed posted bridge, tunnel, overpass or underpass weights limits.
  2. No motor carrier operating under the terms of this Exemption shall operate a commercial motor vehicle which exceeds posted bridge, tunnel, overpass or underpass height and width limits, without proper escort vehicle(s).
  3. The scope of this Exemption is limited to roadways, bridges and tunnels that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
  4. This Exemption does not apply to alter vehicle height, width or length restrictions contained in M.G.L. c. 85, §30, M.G.L. c. 85 §30A, M.G.L. c. 90 §19, M.G.L. c. 90§19A, 700 CMR 7.00, 700 CMR 8.00, or any other applicable law or regulation.
  5. No commercial vehicles may operate on any roadways where commercial vehicles are prohibited under applicable law or regulation.
  6. Drivers must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s April 9, 2020 Expanded Emergency Declaration Under 49 CFR § 390.23, No. 2020-002, any future amendment to that Declaration, or any further Exemption or Order issue by the Governor or the Secretary as allowed by law.
  7. Nothing in this Exemption relieves compliance with all other applicable laws or regulations, unless otherwise waived or exempted by the governmental entity with jurisdiction to effect such an exemption or waiver.
  8. In accordance with the Governor’s Order Suspending State Permitting Deadlines and Extending the Validity of State Permits – COVID-19 Order No. 17, and subject to the restrictions therein, a permit issued to motor carriers carrying divisible loads for Covered Operations, that was valid as of March 10, 2020, shall not lapse or otherwise expire during the state of emergency and the expiration date of the approval shall toll during the state of emergency.
  9. This waiver shall be effective immediately and shall remain in effect until amended or the State of Emergency is terminated by the Governor.




DATED: April 21, 2020




Jonathan Gulliver, Highway Administrator Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Last updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2020