USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Temporary Suspension of Vehicle Regulations if Transporting Essentials during Winter Storm



WHEREAS, due to the approach and potential impacts of upcoming winter storms, vehicles bearing equipment and supplies for utility restoration and debris removal, carrying essentials such as food and medicine, transporting livestock and poultry and feed for livestock and poultry need to be moved on the highways of North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, I have declared that a state of emergency as defined in N.C.G.S. §§ 166A-19.3(6) and 166A-19.3(19) exists in North Carolina due to the likely impact of these winter storms; and

WHEREAS, the prompt restoration of utility services and uninterrupted supply of electricity, gasoline and other essentials in commerce to citizens of North Carolina is essential to their safety and well-being; and

WHEREAS, under the provisions of N.C.G.S. § 166A-19.30(b)(3) the Governor, with the concurrence of the Council of State, may regulate and control the flow of vehicular traffic and the operation of transportation services; and

WHEREAS, with the concurrence of the Council of State, I have found that vehicles bearing equipment and supplies for utility restoration, carrying essentials and for debris removal must adhere to the registration requirements of N.C.G.S. § 20-86.1 and 20-382, fuel tax requirements of N.C.G.S. § 105-449.47, and the size and weight requirements of N.C.G.S. §§ 20-116, 20-118, and 20-119. I have further found that citizens in this state may suffer imminent widespread damage within the meaning of N.C.G.S § 166A-19.3(3) and N.C.G.S. § 166A-19.21(b); and

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 166A-19.70(g) on the recommendation of the Commissioner of Agriculture, upon a finding that there is an imminent threat of severe economic loss of livestock or poultry, the Governor shall direct the Department of Public Safety to temporarily suspend weighing those vehicles used to transport livestock and poultry and feed for livestock and poultry; and

WHEREAS, 49 CFR § 390.23 allows the Governor of a state to suspend the rules and regulations under 49 CFR Parts 390-399 for up to 30 days if the Governor determines that an emergency condition exists; and

WHEREAS, under N.C.G.S. § 166A-19.70, the Governor may declare that the health, safety, or economic well-being of persons or property requires that the maximum hours of service for drivers prescribed by N.C.G.S. § 20-381 should be waived for persons transporting essential fuels, food, water, medical supplies, debris removal, feed for livestock and poultry, transporting livestock and poultry and for vehicles used in the restoration of utility services.

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me as Governor by the Constitution and the laws of the State of North Carolina, IT IS ORDERED:

Section 1.
The Department of Public Safety in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Transportation shall waive the maximum hours of service for drivers prescribed by the Department of Public Safety pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 20-381.

Section 2.
The Department of Public Safety in conjunction with the Department of Transportation shall waive certain size and weight restrictions and penalties arising under N.C.G.S. §§ 20-116, 20-118, and 20-119. This order also waives certain registration requirements and penalties arising under N.C.G.S. §§ 20-86.1, 20-382, 105-449.47, and 105-449.49 for vehicles transporting equipment and supplies for the restoration of utility services, carrying essentials, and for equipment for any debris removal. The Department of Public Safety shall suspend weighing pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 20-118.1 vehicles used to transport livestock and poultry and carrying livestock and poultry feed in the emergency area.

Section 3.
Notwithstanding the waivers set forth above, size and weight restrictions and penalties have not been waived under the following conditions:

  1. When the vehicle weight exceeds the maximum gross weight criteria established by the manufacturer (GVWR) or 90,000 pounds gross weight, whichever is less.
  2. When the tandem axle weight exceeds 42,000 pounds and the single axle weight exceeds 22,000 pounds.
  3. When a vehicle and vehicle combination exceeds 12 feet in width and a 'total overall vehicle combination length of 75 feet from bumper to bumper.
  4. Vehicles and vehicle combinations subject to exemptions or permits by authority of this Executive Order shall not be exempt from the requirement of having a yellow banner on the front and rear measuring a total length of 7 feet by 18 inches bearing the legend "Oversized Load" in 10 inch black letters 1.5 inches wide and red flags measuring 18 inches square to be displayed on all sides at the widest point of the load. In addition, when operating between sunset and sunrise, a certified escort shall be required for loads exceeding 8 feet 6 inches in width.

Section 4.
Vehicles referenced under Sections 2 and 3 shall be exempt from the following registration requirements:

  1. The $50.00 fee listed in N.C.G.S. § 105-449.49 for a temporary trip permit is waived for the vehicles described above. No quarterly fuel tax is required because the exception in N.C.G.S. §105-449.45(a)(l) applies.
  2. The registration requirements under N.C.G.S. § 20-382.1 concerning intrastate and interstate for-hire authority is waived; however, vehicles shall maintain the required limits of insurance as required.
  3. Non-participants in North Carolina's International Registration Plan will be permitted into North Carolina in accordance with the exemptions identified by this Executive Order.

Section 5.
The size and weight exemption for vehicles will be allowed on all routes designated by the North
Carolina Department of Transportation, except those routes designated as light traffic roads under N.C.G.S. § 20-118. This order shall not be in effect on bridges posted pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 136-72.

Section 6.
The waiver of regulations under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Regulations) does not apply to the CDL and Insurance Requirements. This waiver shall be in effect for 30 days or the duration of the emergency, whichever is less.

Section 7.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol shall enforce the conditions set forth in Sections 1 through 6 of this Executive Order in a manner which will implement these provisions without endangering motorists in North Carolina.

Section 8.
Upon request by law enforcement officers, exempted vehicles must produce documentation sufficient to establish their loads are being used for bearing equipment and supplies for utility restoration, debris removal, carrying essentials in commerce, carrying feed for livestock and poultry, or transporting livestock and poultry in the State of North Carolina.

Section 9.
This Executive Order does not prohibit or restrict lawfully possessed firearms or ammunition or impose any limitation on the consumption, transportation, sale or purchase of alcoholic beverages as provided in N.C.G.S. § 166A-19.30(c).

Section 10.
Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 166A-19.23, this declaration triggers the prohibition against excessive pricing as provided in N.C.G.S. §§ 75-37 and 75-38 in the declared emergency area.

Section 11.
This Executive Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect for thirty (30) days or the duration of the emergency, whichever is less.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and affixed the Great Seal of the
State of North Carolina at the Capitol in the City of Raleigh, this twentieth day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty.


Pat McCrory

DOT is committed to ensuring that information is available in appropriate alternative formats to meet the requirements of persons who have a disability. If you require an alternative version of files provided on this page, please contact
Last updated: Thursday, January 21, 2016