Why Do I Need a Permit?

A No Fee Permit (NFP) may be issued for IoH, Ag CMVs or 2-vehicle combinations transporting an IoH or an Ag CMV exceed maximum weight and length limits. A No Fee Permit makes vehicles (or vehicle combination) exceeding the limits legal to operate on Wisconsin highways. When a vehicle exceeds size and weight limits, for the highways on which the vehicle is operated, it is not a legal vehicle. A No Fee Permit for an IoH or an Ag CMV makes the vehicle legal. The No Fee Permit must be carried with the vehicle, in either an electronic or print format. If the vehicle is stopped by law enforcement or involved in a crash, the No Fee Permit is used to determine the legal operating weights and length.

2013 Wisconsin Act 377 gave local maintaining authorities options for maximum weight and length limits on their roads. See local options. Maximum weight and length limits for state and US highways were set at based on the IoH/Ag CMV Maximum Weight Table at 92,000 pounds GVW and 23,000 pounds per axle weight. The IoH/Ag CMV weight limits do not apply on Interstate highways except the I 41 corridor.

Who’s Responsible for Getting a No Fee Permit?

The owner of the equipment is responsible for obtaining a No Fee Permit to operate an Implement of Husbandry (IoH or Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicle (Ag CMV) overweight or over length. In the case that you are leasing or borrowing the equipment, you are responsible for that equipment and legally operating it on the highway. If it needs to operate under a permit, then obtaining the permit is your responsibility. No Fee Permits must be obtained prior to operating over the weight or length limits for IoH or Ag CMVs.

You need to submit an application to each maintaining authority for the highways you’ll operate over the weight and length limits. No Fee Permits are available or state and US highways and will be submitted WI Department of Transportation. All other local governments (e.g. town, village, city, county) use the same permit application and this application is submitted to each maintaining authority.

Quick Info

  • No Fee Permit Applications for all Self-Propelled, Towed, or Attached Implements of Husbandry (IoH) and Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicles (Ag CMV) MV2578 is available from the WisDOT website here.
  • MV2578 is a standard permit application used by all maintaining road authorities – state, county, city, village, and town.
  • Each maintaining authority (MA) will issue their own permits and only for roads in their jurisdiction.
  • A NFP may be issued to exceed posted road limits but not to exceed bridge postings.
  • WisDOT is the MA for all bridges that cross over state, US, or interstate highways.
  • Crossing an intersection does not require an additional NFP for the road you are crossing if you are operating under a No Fee Permit or opt-out resolution. [s. 348.27 (19) (c) 8 Wis. Stats.]
  • Some highways have shared jurisdiction (e.g., county or town line highways), be sure to know the correct MA.
  • Check on the requirements of local roads using the IoH/Ag CMV Requirements Map.


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An Example Situation

A red Case tractor with a blade used for packing silage.Packing Tractor

Using an example of a packing tractor that you want to move between farms with the blade on it.  The packing tractor is an IoH Category A. On most roads this tractor needs to apply the IoH/Ag CMV Maximum Weight Table to determine the maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW). The maximum GVW for this vehicle, when the weight table applies to it, is 46,000 pounds, and the axle weight limit is set at 23,000 per axle. There are some municipalities that have opted out of these weight limits for IoH and Ag CMVs so you need to know the local option for the roads that you want to operate on.

Applying IoH/Ag CMV Weight Table

Image of the weight table showing a maximum gross weight of 46,000 pounds for the example vehicleThe packing tractor has two axles with a distance from the center of the front axle to the center of the rear axle of 12 feet 7 inches. The front axle with the blade attached weighs 33,000 pounds and the rear axle weighs 11,000 pounds.

Combining the weight of the two axles the total weight or gross vehicle weight is 44,000 pounds. Using the IoH/Ag CMV Maximum Weight Table, the maximum weight for this packing tractor is 46,000 pounds.

The next step is to apply the maximum axle weight limit of 23,000 pounds. The front axle of the packing tractor is 33,000 pounds so it is over the maximum axle weight limit. A No Fee Permit would be needed for this packing tractor to operate legally on any road in Wisconsin were the maintaining authority hasn’t opted out of weight limits.

No Fee Permit Process

No Fee Permit Applications for All Self-Propelled, Towed or Attached Implements of Husbandry and Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicles (MV2578) are available on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website here.

  • There now is only one permit application form for IoH and Ag CMVs needing a permit to exceed weight or length limits.
  • This permit application is used to make an application for a permit to any maintaining road authority.
  • Information needed to complete the No Fee Permit application includes:
    • Routes of operation. There are two ways to determine weight and length limits on local ( village, town, city or county) roads.
    • Identify permit type needed – No Fee Permit application can only be used for IoH and Ag CMVs that exceed length and weight limits. It can also be used for a 2- vehicle combination that is transporting these vehicles. If a permit is needed to exceed height or width restrictions you need to contact the WisDOT State Permit office.
    • Detailed vehicle information including make, model number, description, number of axles for power unit plus any towed or attached IoH.
    • Details of vehicle overall length (applications to exceed length limits) and weight measurements including gross vehicle weights, weight per axle and axle measurements, axle gauge; and
    • Trip frequency and use information – For each month of the year, you will be asked to provide trips per week and estimated weeks of operation for that month.
  • Completed applications are submitted to the maintaining road authority for the roads that you plan to travel with an overlength or overweight IoH or AgCMV.
    • For state and US highways submit application to Department of Transportation.
  • For local maintaining authorities submit application to each county or local road authority.

You’ve completed your No Fee Permit Application. Now what? The completed application is submitted to maintaining authorities for approval. Once the maintaining authority has received the No Fee Permit application an approval timeline starts.

Upon receipt of application for a No Fee Permit:
  • The maintaining authority provides a decision of approval an issues the permit or notifies you that the application has been denied within 21 calendar days. If your permit application is denied, see Denials.
  • If the maintaining authority fails to approve or deny the application within 21 calendar days, the application is considered approved until you receive a permit or denial notification for another 21 days. This means 42 calendar days or 6 weeks from receipt of application for that calendar year.
  • If the maintaining authorities fails to approve or deny within 42 calendar days or 6 weeks of receipt, application is approved for that calendar year. You will use your completed permit application as your permit. If you have a receipt from the maintaining authority, it would be best to keep the receipt with your completed application.

Maintaining Authorities may issue consecutive month or annual permits. Or they may issue for a longer time period.

WisDOT Permit Department will send a renewal state permit on an annual basis if there are no changes to state roads or bridge conditions on a route.

Reminder that a No Fee Permit needs to be in the vehicle for which it was issued when operating on the highway. Permit may be carried in an electronic or print format.

If you need to amend a permit, see Amendments.

An amendment to a No Fee Permit (NFP) may be applied for at any time due to an applicant’s change in circumstances, information, or routes.

  • An amendment to an NFP is not required for a replacement IoH or AgCMV of equal or lesser GVW and/or axle weight or length. The permittee can operate or transport the replacement vehicle under the original permit for the remainder of the valid period of the permit.
  • If the replacement IoH or Ag CMV is of greater weight or length, a new NFP must be submitted for current operating year.

Upon receipt of application for an amendment to a NFP, the maintaining authority:

  • Must provide a decision within 5 business days.
  • If MA fails to approve or deny within 5 business days, No Fee Permit Application is considered approved until applicant receives a denial or 10 business days from receipt of application.
  • If within 10 business days, MA fails to approve or deny – amended application is approved for that calendar year.
  • Denials must be provided in writing and give a reasonable structurally based explanation as to why the road or section of road cannot be used.
  • IoH Category B and Ag CMV Category 1 being operated or transported must be provided an approved routed by MA. Approved route may be different from the route requested by the applicant. Any alternate route traveling into another jurisdiction needs approval of MA for those roads. However, prior approval from other jurisdictions is not required if those vehicles can be legally operated or transported without a permit or as authorized by those other jurisdictions.
  • The applicant may appeal a denial through an administrative review process to that MA’s governmental unit. For example, a town’s road authority denies an application; the applicant would appeal to the town board. When an applicant appeals an adverse determination, the appeals process (except in court proceedings for judicial review) is not subject to open records law and shall be convened in a closed session.

Applicants may bypass the administrative review process and directly file an action in circuit court challenging the adverse decision.

Wisconsin DOT Contact Information

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 7980
Madison WI 53707-7980

Email –
Phone – (608) 266-7320
Fax – (608) 264-7751