Abnormal Loads

There is a permit system for the movement of abnormal loads. A new streamlined system for issuing special permits for the movement of long wide loads was introduced in May 2009.

Any operator who wants to transport a vehicle or load that falls outside of the limits allowed by the Road Traffic (Construction Equipment & Use of Vehicles) Regulations 2003, S.I. 5 of 2003  must obtain a permit for its movement

The Guidelines on Maximum Weight and Dimensions of Mechanically Propelled Vehicles (PDF) outline all the weight and dimension limits.

If your load is outside the limits, there are two permit schemes for which you can apply.

1. Permit Scheme administered by An Garda Síochána

An Garda Síochána run a scheme for the movement of vehicles and loads that do not exceed 27.4 metres in length and 4.3 metres in width on designated roads including to Cork, Ringaskiddy and Rosslare ports.

Note that vehicles and loads exceeding our 4.65 metre national height limit are not covered under this scheme and require a Local Authority Permit instead.

The designated road list is often updated with additional routes.  An up to date list will always be available on RSA.ie and the Garda website.

There is no charge for this permit.

To apply for this scheme, fill out the application form.

This scheme is outlined under the

2. Permit Scheme administered by Local Authorities

Local Authorities operate a permit system for all roads, vehicles and loads not covered under the Garda permit scheme

If any of the following are true, you must apply for a permit through the relevant local authorities:

All or part of your journey is not on the routes the Garda scheme covers.  For example, if you are transporting a load from Longford to Westport, you must apply for 2 separate permits: 1) to An Garda Síochána for the part of the journey on the N5 between Longford and Castlebar (a designated road) and 2) to the Local Authorities for the part of the journey from Castlebar to Westport (not a designated road).

  • The weight of the vehicle or load exceeds the limits outlined in SI 5 of 2003.
  • The height of the vehicle or load exceeds the limits outlined in the Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) Regulations, SI 366 of 2008.
  • The dimensions of the vehicle or load exceed those allowed under the Garda scheme: 27.4 metres in length or 4.3 metres in width.

To apply for this scheme, you must send an application to the local authority through whose jurisdiction your vehicle or load will travel.

Keep in mind that requirements and charges for this scheme may vary from one local authority to another, so you should contact the relevant local authority before you apply.


This scheme is outlined under the Road Traffic Specialised Permits for Particular Vehicles) Regulations 2007, SI 283 of 2007