Regional Truck Permitting Plan

Regional Truck Permitting Plan

In December 2013, the leaders of the seven counties in northeastern Illinois and the City of Chicago convened with their economic development leadership to examine opportunities to collaborate around economic growth initiatives. One of the key issues that emerged from this meeting was the lack of a centralized and uniform system for overweight/oversized truck permits, which the County's leaders identified as an opportunity for regional collaboration.

The Regional Truck Permitting Plan will investigate ways to streamline the multiple truck permit systems that are in place in northeastern Illinois, which is the freight and logistics hub of the nation. Trucking industry leaders have long suggested that improved systems are needed to make goods movement easier in the Chicago region, reduce the cost of doing business, and enable growth of freight and related sectors. A truck carrying an overweight or oversize load from a highway to a delivery site may pass through state, county, township and several municipal jurisdictions, each of which may have its own permitting process and requirements. CMAP has documented 223 truck restriction ordinances, many with separate permit processes. While truckers report that they are willing to pay, the inconvenience of securing multiple permits is time-consuming. Some truckers have been known to take their chances and ignore the permit system. This practice risks damaging roads and bridges and endangering public safety.

The current fragmented system results in a lack of compliance, increased enforcement costs, and adds a burden to the logistics industry. Intergovernmental coordination is at the core of addressing these challenges in freight efficiency. Preliminary research indicates that it may not be realistic to consider establishing a new, single, unified system for the entire region given the numerous governmental jurisdictions involved. Instead, the regional truck permitting plan will examine various alternatives meant to streamline the multiple systems that currently exist and to make permitting easier on trucking companies, keeping in mind that there will not be a "one-size-fits-all" solution. Desired outcomes of a more responsive, user-friendly system include stronger intergovernmental collaboration, improved compliance and permit revenue recovery, reduced administrative costs, and more efficient freight movement throughout the region which results in reduced operational costs for freight companies.

Project Documents

Interim deliverables will be posted to this section of the webpage as they become available.


Ryan Thompto, Senior Analyst (