Illinois Harvest Permit Q&A
Information for Illinois farmers
The following information is applicable during Fall harvest season. The Illinois Harvest Permit (IHP) allows heavier truck weights on specified routes to accommodate more efficient transportation of commodities. The three common forms of weight restriction—gross, axle and registered—are all addressed.
1. When is the IHP available?
From September 1 through December 31 annually.
2. Where can I use this permit?
The permit shall be available to vehicles used in private or for-hire movement of agricultural commodities during the declared time period.
3. Do bridge and road postings for lower weights still apply?
Yes. Having this permit does not authorize you to exceed weight limit postings along roadways or on bridges.
4. Where do you go to get the IHP overweight permit?
Just as with any other overweight permit, you go to the highway jurisdiction on whose roads you intend to operate. Where your route crosses several road jurisdictions, you’ll need several permits—one for each jurisdiction.
- State routes – IDOT
- County routes – county engineer
- Road district roads – highway commissioner
- Municipal streets – street department
Local jurisdictions (not IDOT) have the option of waiving the requirement for a (written) permit. If locals choose to, they may simply allow truckers to run on the roads they designate, without the need for a written permit.
5. For how many days is the IHP permit valid?
Permits are available beginning September 1 and are available until December 31 every year.
The IHP permit issued by IDOT must accompanied by a route authorization that is valid for only two weeks at a time. At the end of those 14 days, the carrier must obtain a new “14-day route authorization” for the permit.
This periodic renewal is intended to account for any change in capacity of a road or bridge along the permitted route over that span of time. Local jurisdictions’ permits might or might not require a periodic route reauthorization.
6. How much extra weight would be allowed?
All three common forms of weight restriction—gross, axle and registered—are addressed. In each case, the permit can allow up to a maximum of 10 percent over the standard weight restriction.
For example, a single axle is typically allowed up to 20,000 pounds. The IHP could allow up to 22,000 pounds on that axle. If the truck is registered (license plated) to carry 80,000 pounds, then the permit could allow it to be operated at up to 88,000 pounds.
The 10 percent limit is the maximum jurisdiction may offer. Any jurisdiction could also issue a permit for an overweight less than 10 percent above the standard limit.
7. What paperwork will I need to carry?
You’ll need to have two documents with you when operating under the IHP:
- The permit (printed or electronic) along with its 14-day route authorization
- A copy of form OPER 993
The permit and bi-weekly route authorization may be carried electronically on a smart phone or tablet.
8. What makes this permit so special?
The IHP has two provisions not normally applied to other overweight permits:
- It allows gross weight overages for a divisible load; and,
- It allows the vehicle’s weight to exceed its registered (license plate) weight.
9. Does the law allow for-hire carriers to use the IHP, too?
10. Does the permit guarantee me use of the permitted route?
No. Before IDOT’s permit with its 14-day route authorization is issued, the route is checked to ensure there are no restrictions. But, during that two-week period, things can change; the pavement or bridge might be posted for a reduced limit.
Truckers are encouraged to check in frequently during those two weeks at IDOT’s online Illinois Transportation Automated Permits (ITAP) system to verify there have been no changes in route size or weight tolerances.
That same posting restriction applies to local permits, too.
11. Can I apply for a IHP from the State using a paper form?
The ITAP system is usable via computer or your smart phone, 24/7.
12. What information will I need to use the ITAP system?
You will need at least the following. Have it ready before you log into the ITAP system:
- Truck registration
- GVWR of truck (and trailer if applicable)
- Axle spacings on truck (& trailer)
- Dimensions of truck (& trailer)
- Origin and destination of planned trip. (Address, latitude/longitude, or select from ITAP map.)
- Credit card ($10 fee)
13. Is additional lighting and marking required?
Yes. All permitted overweight loads are required to have a flashing, rotating, or oscillating amber light visible from 500 feet.
There are no additional marking requirements for overweight loads. (Over-dimension loads do have additional lighting and marking requirements and are generally limited to daylight hours).
Please see form OPER 993 to view detailed permit provisions.