Oversize Load Escorts (Beta)






New Mexico Motor Transportation Division Permit Office
P.O. Box 1028
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1028
Phone: (505) 827-0376; Fax: (505) 827-0071 or 0384 or 0385
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time


New Mexico is a member of the “WASHTO” Agreement.
See “WASHTO” AGREEMENT for details



Weight: Interstate - Single - 23,000 Lbs; Tandem - 46,000 Lbs; Tridum - 60,000 Lbs; Quad - 68,000 Lbs; All Other Roads – Depend on spacing, 20,000/18,000 Lbs. Gross Weight: 5 Axles -105,000 Lbs; 6 Axles -119,000 Lbs; 7 Axles -127,000 Lbs; 8 Axles -150,000 Lbs with single axles in back, and special approval. Loads that are over 20' wide, 16-18' high, 190' long, 200,000 lbs are considered Super Loads. For load 20' wide a police escort is needed.



FLAGS: A permitted vehicle or load must be properly flagged at all times. "Properly flagged" means red, florescent red or orange flags which are no less than 12" on any side affixed to the vehicle or load.

SIGNS: Oversize load signs must be properly affixed on both the front and the rear of the permitted vehicle. The "OVERWIDTH", "OVERHEIGHT",

"OVERLENGTH" or "OVERSIZE" signs must be at least 5' wide 12" high. An "OVERSIZE LOAD" sign may be used to designate over-width, over-length or over-height loads. The lettering must be black, 1" wide by 10" high. The background must be bright yellow.



Escorts are required for movement of all widths exceeding 14', and may be required for widths of less than 14' depending on routes to be travel. Escorts are required for loads exceeding 14'6" on any of the restricted highways, see Escort Vehicle map developed by the State Highway Dept. The Dept. will furnish the Escort Vehicle Map on request. Overlength vehicles - An Escort or Escorts may be required of any vehicle combination or load which exceeds 90' front to rear. Loads over 110' require two (2) cars (front & rear). Loads with a width over 20' wide require a Police Escort and Flagman. Loads with a Height of 16' & over require a Person over 18 yrs of age for Flagman and/or Escort car with height pole. If an Escort is required, the type of Escort will be stipulated on the permit. State police Escort is required if the load is excessively heavy or large. If a state police Escort is stipulated on the permit, the permittee must contact the New Mexico State Police at least 48 hours prior to the move. Escort required for certain overheight vehicles, combinations or loads: An escort or a person other than the driver may be required to accompany the movement of a vehicle, combination or load which exceeds a height of 16' measured from the roadway to the uppermost part of the vehicle, combination or load.



Escorts shall be either private or police. If a private Escort is used, the Escort vehicle must be properly certified and must comply with all equipment and safety requirements imposed by the department. Private Escorts include for-hire Escorts and permittee Escorts. An intrastate movement requiring an Escort which is made by a for-hire carrier must use a for-hire Escort with State Corporation Commission authority. If the movement requiring the Escort is interstate, a for-hire carrier which has been granted current authority by the New Mexico State

Corporation Commission may use its own Escort. A for-hire carrier without current State Corporation Commission authority must use a for-hire Escort service which has current State Corporation Commission authority. It is the responsibility of the permittee to assure that the for-hire Escort used in the move has current operating authority from the State Corporation Commission. A private carrier may furnish its own Escort vehicles and drivers for both intrastate and interstate movements. Permittee Escorts must be approved by the department and must comply with all of the requirements set forth in department regulations.



Flag persons may not be used in lieu of an Escort vehicle, but an Escort vehicle may be used in lieu of a flag person. They shall be at least 18 years of age and be equipped with the proper flagging equipment. A private escort vehicle must be inspected by the dept. on an annual basis. The dept. shall issue a certificate of acceptance for the vehicle upon the satisfactory evaluation of the vehicle for a period of one year or until insurance coverage of the vehicle expires, whichever first occurs. The wheelbase of the vehicle must be at least 100". Escort vehicles must not exceed a "ton & one-half capacity". The escort vehicle must be equipped with two (2) red or florescent orange flags when escorting a load no less than 12" on any side. The Escort Must display two (2) rotating amber rotating, flashing or strobe lights atop vehicle at the vehicle width or at a width not to exceed 8'. All exterior vehicle lights must be turned on during escort operations. In addition, a yellow sign at least 12" x 5' reading "OVERSIZE LOAD" with black letters at least 10" high and 1" wide must be displayed on the escort vehicle when escorting any oversize or overweight vehicle. The required flags and signs must be mounted on the front bumper of the front escort vehicle on the rear bumper of a rear escort vehicle, or on the roof of the front or rear escort vehicle, whichever position provides the most visibility for the motoring public. Escort vehicle and the vehicle hauling the oversize load must be equipped with two-way radios. They must also be equipped with at least one fire extinguisher of minimum size, 2-1/2 lbs carbon dioxide (C02) extinguisher or dry-chemical type, or extinguishers of other types having equivalent or better extinguishing capacities. They must have on board at all times the safety equipment specified in Section 66-3-849 relating to flares or other warning devices and the equipment required for use by flagmen under 18 NMAC When theEscort vehicle is operated by a for-hire escort service, the vehicle must display the name, address and State Corporation Commission or Public Regulation Commission authority number on both sides of the vehicle. Escort vehicles shall not display any sign, insignia, device or emblem that is similar in size, shape or color to any police insignia or badge. Liability insurance must be at least 50/100/25. Make sure you have your proper insurance policy for your Escort vehicle with the coverage amounts on the policy and the issue and expiration date of the policy. You will have to show this at the port of entry in order to obtain your Escort Vehicle Inspection Certification. Escort vehicle in operation must not tow any trailer or vehicle, be loaded in a manner to obstruct the driver's vision to the front, side or rear or be loaded with any items.




At the port of entry for your Escort vehicle inspection certification you will be asked to display this equipment for inspection:

1.            Amber lights (2 flashing or rotary or strobe).

2.            Oversize Escort signs.

3.            TWO Fluorescent orange or red flags (12" or larger).

4.         Orange/red safety jacket or vest (matching hard hat or cap       recommended).

5.         Two outside rearview mirrors.

6.         Two-way radio.

7.         3 red flares/reflectors.

8.         Condition of tires.

9.         Fire extinguisher (2 1/2 lb. dry or carbon dioxide).

10.       Insurance - Proof Public Liability and Property Damage insurance in the amount of 25-5010 must be in vehicle.

11.       Vehicle size minimum: wheel base at lease 100". Vehicle capacity maximum: not to exceed 11/2 ton manufacturers load capacity.

Certification is valid for 12 months from date of issue.



Travel permitted Sunrise to Sunset. Monday - Saturday. No Sunday travel. Travel is prohibited on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. When any of these holidays falls on or is observed on a day other than a Monday or Saturday, movement restrictions shall run from sunset of the day preceding such holiday to sunrise of the day following such holiday. When the holiday falls on or is observed on a Monday, movement is prohibited after sunset of the preceding Saturday until sunrise on the following Tuesday unless otherwise permitted in writing by the dept. or unless otherwise specified on special permit. When the holiday falls on Saturday, movement is prohibited after sunset the preceding Friday until sunrise on the following Monday unless otherwise permitted in writing by the dept. or unless otherwise specified on the special. Other holiday travel depends on traffic. The state will decide if deemed necessary to issue a permit. CURFEW: Movement prohibited 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. in Albuquerque, Espanola & Santa Fee (also 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. in Santa Fe).

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