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Tractor Trailers and Heavy Trucks

DMV is the place to visit for a driver's license or decals, but many people don't realize DMV also provides unique services for the trucking industry. DMV issues hauling permits, monitors moving companies and administers Virginia's weigh station program.

Weigh Stations

Weigh stations, also called Motor Carrier Service Centers, make sure that trucks comply with state and federal rules. Virginia's weigh station program is ranked number two in the United States for the number of trucks weighed. About 18 million trucks are weighed per year in Virginia, and approximately 140,000 overweight violations are detected annually. There are 13 weigh stations and 12 mobile crews in Virginia. The state's busiest weigh stations are located in Dumfries on Interstate 95 and Stephens City on Interstate 81. Both weigh an average of 300,000 trucks per month.

Virginia's weigh stations have a traffic detection system that prevents trucks from backing up on the highways. The station will automatically close intermittently when sensors on the ramp detect a build up of trucks.

Hauling Permits

A hauling permit authorizes overweight and/or over-dimensional trucks to travel on the highways when their loads cannot be reduced. Each permit contains the truck's route information, travel regulations and safety requirements. For example, when trucks haul construction equipment, manufactured homes or large boats a permit may be needed. Maximum height, weight and length limitations are detailed in DMV's Size, Weight and Equipment Requirements Manual.

Fuels Tax Refunds

Gasoline and diesel fuels are taxed in Virginia at 17 cents per gallon. If the fuel is used for certain purposes such as in a boat, the owner may be eligible for a refund of the fuels tax that was paid. The uses that are refundable include recreational pleasure boats, commercial watercraft, agricultural or horticultural equipment, non-highway equipment, refrigerator units, generators and lawn equipment.

Limousines

Limousine services in Virginia must be properly licensed and insured, and should meet certain safety criteria. You can find registered and insured limousine companies operating in your locality by searching DMV's database of Licensed Transportation Providers. Potential limousine customers are encouraged to read DMV's Seven Steps to Choosing a Limo Service.

DMV's Virginia Highway Safety Office partners with the Virginia Limousine Association each spring to promote teen safety and zero tolerance for teen alcohol use during high school prom and graduation seasons.

Moving Companies

Moving companies in Virginia are required to have $750,000 in bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. This coverage protects the moving company if injury to people or property occurs as the result of an accident. They are also required to have $50,000 of cargo coverage for any damage to the shipment they are transporting.

Prior to licensing a moving company, DMV evaluates its fitness to provide service to the public. This evaluation examines financial fitness, and involves criminal background and Better Business Bureau checks. Moving companies are also required to keep their schedule of rates and charges on file with the DMV. The Better Business Bureau receives consumer complaints about moving companies.

You can find a moving company operating in your locality by searching DMV's database of Licensed Transportation Providers.

Tow Trucks

Tow truck companies operating in Virginia are required to obtain a permit and "for-hire" license plates with DMV, and have $750,000 of insurance. Tow truck companies are also required to be licensed through the Virginia Board of Towing and Recovery Operators, which takes complaints regarding tow truck companies at (804) 367-0712.

Mobile Homes

Mobile or manufactured homes are not required to be registered or titled in Virginia after they are converted to real estate. They may be transported after the owner obtains a hauling permit.

International Registration Plan

The International Registration Plan (IRP) is a method of registering fleets of heavy vehicles that travel in two or more states. IRP fees are collected and calculated according to the miles that drivers travel, and other variables. All fees are paid to the driver's home state, which then distributes them to other appropriate states.

International Fuels Tax Agreement

The International Fuels Tax Agreement (IFTA) is an agreement between particular states and provinces in Canada that allows a truck driver to register and pay motor fuel road tax in their home or base state. Drivers must apply for IFTA licensing if they operate certain vehicles in Virginia and at least one other jurisdiction. Drivers must maintain detailed mileage and fuel records for each vehicle they register under IFTA.

WebCAT

WebCAT is a web-based service that provides the trucking industry with a way to conduct transactions with DMV electronically. Using a personal computer and the Internet, truckers can apply and receive vehicle titles, International Registration Plan and International Fuels Tax Agreement (IFTA) credentials, and make IFTA tax filings.

Coal Calibrations

DMV provides calibrations for trucks hauling coal each December at three locations in the southwest region of the state. DMV staff conducts the calibration calculations, fills out paperwork and issues the necessary permits. Staff also measures the truck, verifies the vehicle identification number and issues new decals. The staff at each location typically calibrates an average of 15 trucks during each calibration day and 75 trucks per month. It takes about 15 minutes to perform a truck calibration.

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