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Online Permits

A Moving Permit is required when the weight or dimension of a vehicle exceeds the normal limits permitted by the County of Essex. If you wish to operate or transport oversized/overweight vehicles and loads, the County currently offers four types of Moving Permit applications online:

Permit holders are responsible for following all permit conditions to ensure their vehicle(s) operate safely on all roads within Essex County.

Moving permits are issued by the Transportation Services Department for oversize vehicles or loads if they cannot be reduced in size or would:

  • Be unable to perform the function for which they were intended.
  • Be unusable for their intended purpose.
  • Require more than eight work hours to dismantle using appropriate resources and equipment.

Regulations, policies and conditions

There are a number of rules, regulations, conditions and policies that apply to Moving Permits issued by the Transportation Services Department in the Count of Essex. 

What are the General Conditions related to Moving Permits?

County of Essex Moving Permits must meet the following General Conditions:

  1. It is the operator's responsibility to ensure the project or move complies with any zoning by-law requirements.
  2. It is the operator's responsibility to ensure that any approvals required by external agencies such as Conservation Authority or police are sought and obtained prior to the permit being issued.
  3. The County of Essex, Transportation Services Department must review and approve all documentation before it issues a permit.
  4. A moving permit does not allow oversize or overweight vehicles to use roads that have axle load restrictions, roads posted as "No Truck Routes" or roads labelled as "Class B Road". These separate regulations take priority over a Moving Permit.
  5. A copy of the Moving Permit must be kept in all vehicles conducting the move, and be surrendered to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), or local municipal police services upon demand.
  6. A per-move route survey must be conducted by the Applicant to ensure that vertical and horizontal clearances on the proposed move route are adequate. The County of Essex cannot be held responsible for the Applicant not conducting a pre-move route survey.
  7. All loads must have red protecting flags displayed on all four (4) corners during daylight hours.
  8. All loads must have an over dimensional banner displayed on the front and rear bumper of combination.
  9. All loads must have illuminated red lights on all corners of the overhanging load 30 minutes hour before dusk and 30 minutes after dawn.
  10. All loads / cargo must be secured in accordance with the Cargo Securement regulations outlined in the HTA.
  11. Permits are only valid for the carrier named on the front of the Permit.
  12. Moving permits are not valid during adverse weather, poor visibility or poor road conditions.
  13. The County of Essex, Transportation Services Department must be notified if conditions applying to the Permit change through the term of the Permit (ie. Liability Insurance or CVOR).
  14. It is the responsibility of the Applicant to attain all necessary Permits by other road jurisdiction authorities (ie. Provincial or Municipal Permits).
  15. The County of Essex does not provide the Applicant notice of upcoming Permit expiry. The Applicant is to contact the County of Essex, Transportation Services Department to arrange for obtaining their new Permit.
  16. Permit holders accept responsibility for any and all damage that may be caused to overhead wires, structures, highways, encroachments or railway right of ways.
  17. County of Essex issued permits may be terminated at the discretion of County for the breach of permit conditions.
  18. Permit is valid between date of issuance and date of expiry. Any changes required after permit has been issued will result in addition permit fees.
  19. Understand that the permit is only valid for travel on roads under the County of Essex jurisdiction.
  20. All documentation will be subjected to review and approval by the County of Essex prior to the issuance of permits. Consideration will only be given to the move if it can be satisfactorily proven to be absolutely necessary.
  21. Understand that permit application, including proposed route, requires approval by the County of Essex, Transportation Services Department before the permit is valid.

 What is the Load Limit policy?

There are some County roads that restrict axle loading to a maximum of 5 tonnes per axle to protect them from damage. The load restrictions apply only when the signs are displayed during the Load Restriction period including, but not restricted to, the period from March 1 to April 30 of each year. View the County Roads with Load Restrictions to plan your route. 

Oversized loads

There are specific requirements and conditions related to Moving Permits issued for oversized loads. 

 What is considered an oversized load?

 An oversized load is a load that, when combined with the transport vehicle, exceeds the following:
  • Wider than 2.6 m (8.5 ft.)
  • Longer than 12.5 m (41 ft.) for Single Vehicles
  • Longer than 14.65 m (48 ft.) for Semi-Trailers
  • Higher than 4.15 m (13.5 ft.) 

Are there any conditions related to moving oversized loads?

The following conditions apply if a permit is issued for an oversized load:

  1. If a permit is issued for the movement of a load that is over height, the load must not be made up of articles loaded or mounted one on top of the other in a manner that will create additional height.
  2. If a permit is issued for the movement of a load that is over width, the load must not be made up of articles loaded or mounted side by side or crosswise in a manner that will create additional width.
  3. If a permit is issued for the movement of a load that is over length, the load must not be made up of articles loaded or mounted one behind the other that will create additional length, and any overhang to the rear must not exceed 4.65 m from the center of the rearmost axle. 

Overweight loads

There are specific requirements and conditions related to Moving Permits issued for overweight loads. 

 What is considered an Overweight Load?

An overweight load is a load that:

  • Exceeds the maximum allowable unit weight (36, 364 kg or 80,000 lbs.)

 What are Super Loads?

Any loads weighing more than 120,000 kg (264,000 lbs.) in gross vehicle weight, and/or 6 m in width, and/or 45.75 m in length, are considered to be "Super Loads". Super Loads require additional time for Moving Permit processing and are subject to thorough review by a variety of County of Essex personnel. Please note that you may be required to provide additional information upon request. 

Are there any conditions related to moving overweight loads?

The following conditions apply if a permit is issued for an overweight load:

  1. The load must not be made up of more than one article.
  2. When crossing bridges, vehicles over 45,000 kg gross weight must be operated at the lowest practicable speed.
  3. Bridge postings and load restrictions pursuant to Part VII of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) apply.
  4. Conditions contained on all overweight permits must be strictly adhered to. The permit may be terminated for breach of any condition and the permit holder may be subject to prosecution.
  5. Loads being moved under an overweight permit must be firmly bound, or otherwise secured or loaded, in such a manner that no portion of the load may become dislodged or fall from the motor vehicle or trailer on which they are being transported. Regulation 614 under the HTA governs the security of loads and sets out the requirements for various types of loads.

Application process

The following information will help you apply for a Moving Permit in the County of Essex. If you need help, feel free to contact us:

County of Essex
Transportation Services Department
360 Fairview Avenue West, Suite 201
Essex, Ontario N8M 1Y6
Phone: 519-776-6441 ext. 1317

What do I need to complete a Moving Permit application?

The following information must be supplied to the County when applying for any moving permit:

  1. A copy of the Applicant's Liability Insurance.
  2. Complete description of the product being moved, including any applicable GHS or MSD Sheets.
  3. The overall dimensions of the load (including vehicle).
  4. The exact route the applicant proposes to take and the final destination.
  5. The date of the move (minimum 3-day notice required or expedited fees will apply).
  6. An Axle Spacing and Load Sketch if the load exceeds the maximum allowable weight.

What is an Axle Spacing and Load Sketch?

An Axle Spacing and Load sketch requires the following information:

  • The number of axles
  • Number of tires per axle
  • Tire size (width in millimetres)
  • Tire rating (in kilograms)
  • Axle spacing (in meters)
  • Axle weight (in kilograms) required per axle to transport the freight

Who will review my application?  

The Transportation Services Department receives, reviews and approves, denies or requests additional information regarding a Moving Permit application. Applicants must provide accurate and detailed information where requested in order to ensure the permit application process can continue as quickly as possible.

I have all of the documents I need to apply, now what? 

The Moving Permit application must be completed in full along with detailed information regarding the route to be taken. Your application and route information must be approved before moving forward with the rest of the application process. 

What happens after my application and route information is approved?

Once the permit application and route information has been approved by the County of Essex, Transportation Services Department, the application form will be sent back to the applicant with instructions and requirements to complete the following:

  1. Insurance certificate with the Corporation of the County of Essex listed as an additional insured, which states a minimum of $5,000,000.00 auto and general liability coverage, includes a Cross Liability Clause and a 30-day cancellation notice. This insurance certificate must be approved by County of Essex Administration. In order to expedite the insurance approval process, it is advised to submit the insurance certificate as soon as possible.
  2. Any additional approvals or escorts as required from the application and route approval process.
  3. A permit fee, as per the County of Essex's fee schedule, must be paid online with the permit application. Or the permit application must be printed out and brought to the County of Essex, Transportation Services Department front desk and can be paid in cash, by cheque or credit card.  

 How long does it take to get a Moving Permit?

 A moving permit normally takes 5 to 7 business days to process.

What if I need a Moving Permit in less than 5 days?

For those who require an expedited permit we offer a package that will allow you to receive a permit within 3 business days, provided all information and documentation is correct. Contact us for more information about Expedited Moving Permits. 

What considerations are made by the County when issuing a Moving Permit? 

A permit issuer must examine many factors before granting Moving Permit, including:

  1. Is the permit application complete and accurate?
  2. What is the effect of the move on the safety and convenience of other highway users?
  3. What are the physical characteristics of the proposed route(s)?
  4. Are there any bridge restrictions?
  5. What are the traffic conditions likely to be?
  6. Are there any special events that may affect traffic?
  7. What time of year is the proposed move?
  8. What are the potential weather conditions?
  9. What is the distance to be travelled?

10. How long will it take to complete the move?

11. Where is the move to take place?

12. Can the move be reasonably carried out using alternative means of transportation?

13. Can the load be reduced in size or weight?

14. Is there a Traffic Management Plan in place for exceptional moves?

The permit issuer (County of Essex) may limit the time and particular highway(s) that may be used and may specify certain special conditions or provisions that are considered necessary to protect the safety and integrity of the highways and other road users.

The Ministry may require that a bond, or other security, sufficient to cover the cost of repairing possible damage to the highway be posted before issuing the permit. 

 Are there any other special consideration or declarations related to Moving Permits?

In consideration of the granting of this permission, the Applicant hereby covets and agrees to save harmless and indemnify the Corporation of the County of Essex from and against all losses or damages and from all actions or claims which may be brought or made against the County by reason of such work being done or resulting there is anyway.

Where the moving of any building along County roads shall require the arrangements of any wire or cable along the said roads, the Applicant shall serve written notice to the Authorities controlling such services forty-eight (48) hours in advance of such requirements as to make arrangements and shall assume payments of such cost in connection therewith as may be agreed upon by the Applicant and the said Authority.

The Applicant further covets and agrees to do all the work and everything incidental thereto in accordance with the instructions of the County Engineer or designate with all possible diligence and dispatch.

The Applicant further agrees that upon failure to comply with the above provision, the permission granted may be withdrawn or canceled without notice by the Corporation.

The Applicant certifies that the information contained in this application is true and acknowledges and accepts the responsibilities imposed by law on the applicant in relation to the operation of a commercial motor vehicle under the authority of the permit(s) issued to this applicant.

The Applicant understands that under the provision of subsection 110(5) of the Highway Traffic Act, the owner operator or mover of a heavy vehicle, load, object or structure in respect of which a permit is granted under this section who has obtained a permit is nevertheless responsible for all damages that may be caused to the County roadway by reason of the driving, operating or moving of any such heavy vehicle load, object or structure.

Escort requirements

Some Moving Permits will include a condition for private escorts. 

 When is a private escort required?

Moving Permits may require a private escort condition if load width is:

  • From 4 m to 4.99 m (1 escort vehicle required on multi-lane highways)
  • From 4 m to 4.59 m (1 escort vehicle required on two-lane highways)
  • From 4.6 m to 4.99 m (2 escort vehicles required on two-lane highways)

One private escort warning vehicle is required to accompany the movement of the authorized load. The private escort warning vehicle shall be required to precede the load on two lane highways or follow the load on multi-lane highways.

A second private escort warning vehicle is required to follow the load authorized by this permit while travelling on two lane highways.

Escorts are also required if the load length is:

  • From 36.75 m to 45.74 m (1 escort vehicle required)
  • Rear overhang greater than 4.65 m (1 escort vehicle required)
Escorts are also required if the load height is 4.87 m and greater (1 escort vehicle - pole car required).

What other requirements apply when a Moving Permit includes a condition for Private Escort Warning Vehicles?

The following requirements apply when a permit is issued on the condition that the permit holder provides a Private Escort Operator, Warning Vehicle and Equipment:

  1. The escort vehicle shall be operated by a person eighteen years of age or older, with at least two years of driving experience and is in possession of a valid driver's license equivalent to at least an Ontario Class G2.
  2. The escort vehicle shall not have more than 2 axles and a wheelbase length of not less than 2.65 m and shall be equipped with flashing amber warning lights located on the roof of the escort vehicle.
  3. Lighting shall consist of either a rectangular bar positioned perpendicular to the length of the escort vehicle or at least one amber lamp conforming to standard SAE J845 or J1318 Class 1 or 2.
  4. All lights shall be visible on a 360 degree basis from the vehicle. The lens must be kept in good and clean condition as to not diminish the effectiveness of the lamp.
  5. Either a "D" or an "OVERSIZED LOAD" sign shall be used (see "D" sign for further detail). If using an "OVERSIZED LOAD" sign, the letters shall be in black on a yellow background. The sign shall be mounted on the front and rear or on the roof of the escort vehicle. The sign shall not obstruct warning lights or other safety devices. If mounted on the roof, the sign shall be perpendicular to the length of the escort vehicle and shall be made of durable rigid material and must not interfere with the view of the light bar or warning light and the sign must be printed on both sides of the panel. The sign shall be removed or covered when not in use.
  6. A pilot escort vehicle equipped with a height pole 8 cm higher than the load must precede the load to ensure proper vertical clearances and communicates any obstructions to the driver of the permitted vehicle.
  7. The escort vehicle(s) and towing vehicle(s) shall be equipped with a working two way radio communication device permitting direct communication between the vehicles.
  8. The escort vehicle(s) shall be equipped with a fire extinguisher in effective working order, six - 45 cm (18 in.) traffic cones and/or portable reflectors approved by the County of Essex and extra bulbs to maintain al lights required by this schedule.
  9. All units, including the escort vehicle(s), will be operated with headlights on when travelling on a County Road and shall maintain a distance of 60 m to 150 m from the load being escorted.

Please note:  Escort vehicles do not have traffic control authority. The escort driver must obey all traffic laws and regulations.

The permit holder is also responsible for all horizontal and vertical clearances along the route and must ensure that proper clearance(s) exist.

When are police escorts required? 

The permit holder must arrange for two police escorts when loads are:

  • 5 m or greater in width
  • 45.75 m and greater in length

Police escorts may also be required upon weight and load engineer's request.

If a police escort is required, it is the carrier's responsibility to make all arrangements for the escort through the Traffic Supervisor at the originating OPP District Headquarters.

Flags, signs and lighting requirements

Vehicles and/or loads in excess of HTA legal dimensions require special flags and signs. When travelling at night, requirements for clearly visible markings must also be met.

What type of flags do I need to move oversized/overweight loads?

Vehicles and/or loads in excess of dimensions prescribed under Section 109 of the HTA shall be marked with bright red or orange warning flags of not less than 40 cm square and shall be mounted to the extremities of the vehicle or load. The flag(s) must be kept in good and clean condition so as to not diminish their effectiveness.

What type of sign do I need to move oversized/overweight loads?

In addition to flags described above, vehicles and/or loads must display on the front of the vehicle and the rear of the load, in a clearly visible position, a sign visible for a distance of at least 150 m bearing the words "OVERSIZE LOAD" in black letters at least 200 mm high with lines forming the letters at least 30 mm wide on a yellow background, or a "D" sign as illustrated below.

When moving loads at night, the sign shall be made of Level 1, high intensity retro-reflective material (CGSB 62-GP-11M). The sign shall be positioned as to not obstruct lights and other safety devices and removed or covered when not in use.

The signs must be removed or covered when not required. 

What type of lighting do I need to move oversized/overweight loads?

Conspicuity requirements must be met during a night move, in order to ensure clear visibility. These requirements are over and above the lighting requirements set out in the HTA and consist of the extremities being marked with a solid amber lamp(s) visible in the front and rear conforming to SAE Code P2 or P3 with markings to appear on lamp(s).

When travelling under a Night Move, a retro-reflective "D" sign described above must be present.