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Local Permit Database

According to the 2010 census, there are 102 counties, 1,365 incorporated municipalities, and 1,432 townships in the State of Illinois.  That is 2,899 divisions of local government…each with highway maintenance authority and the potential to create unique ordinances.  In the world of truck enforcement, each of these units of governments has the ability to enact their own oversize/overweight (OS/OW) permit programs.  This is an incredible amount of information.

The reality is many local governments do not have their own OS/OW program.  Many times the trucking industry incorrectly assumes that the Illinois Department of Transportation is the supreme OS/OW permit authority governing every highway in Illinois…a very expensive mistake to learn.  IDOT does have many other regulatory authorities over local roads, but OS/OW permits is not one of them.  Another common misconception is IDOT  issues OS/OW permits for the Illinois Tollway Authority.  The ITA is a separate department of the State of Illinois and manages their own OS/OW permit system.

The ITEA is proud of a professional and growing relationship with the IDOT permit office.  Even though IDOT cannot regulate local OS/OW permits, the sheer volume of their influence, permit quantity, and highway mileage does make them the leader in OS/OW permits.  Many times local police officers run into problems with trucks operating on IDOT highways under IDOT permit authority.  The ITEA trains and certifies police officers to respect and acknowledge the rules and regulations set up by IDOT, even if they disagree with them.

When the ITEA began, the founding members agreed the ITEA should champion the cause to provide the trucking industry a one-stop location for  information on local permits.  In many conversations with IDOT, this issue was one of their major complaints.  Trucking companies would call and ask for permission or information on local road authority, but IDOT had no great place to refer the customer.  IDOT asked if the ITEA had a solution…and the ITEA answered.

Beginning in mid-2010, the ITEA began the local permit database by creating free web-pages for municipalities, townships, or counties to post their local OS/OW permit information.  This is a voluntary program and each participating agency can select the level of information to have posted.  Some simply list a contact name, email, or link to their own website.  Others have their fees, maps, and provisions posted.  A few even use their page to allow the trucking industry to apply for local OS/OW permits online.  A list of local units of government who have certified their agency does not require permits is also available.

This is the right thing to do.  With nearly 3,000 local units of government, it is next to impossible for every trucking company to collate all that information themselves. IDOT is not staffed or financed to handle this volume of information.  Big permit customers learn the in’s & out’s of locales in which they routinely operate, but what about the out-of-state company or the new heavy hauler?  Many times one load will travel though several (if not in the teens and twenties) of jurisdictions requiring their own OS/OW permits.  By providing a growing list of information on local permits, the ITEA is hoping to ease that burden for the trucking industry.

Many have opted to participate, but the list is far from complete.  If you are a local highway official or police officer reading this article, would you please consider having your OS/OW permit info posted in the database?  If you are a trucking industry professional, will you help the cause by contacting your local permit officials and asking them to share their info?  Cooperation is the name of the game in safety and compliance…let’s all do our part.

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