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Frequently asked questions

Device licensing

How do I know if I need a license and what type of license I need?
Any weighing or measuring device being used commercially (that is if a price is based upon the reading of the device) in the State of Oregon requires an annual license through the Department of Agriculture.

What do I do if I want to use a scale commercially?
First, you need to contact our office to request a license application for your equipment. Second, you need to complete the license packet (which includes the application and a placed in service report for the equipment) and submit your payment with these forms. After you complete these two steps you can begin using your weighing/measuring equipment. An inspector will stop by when in your area to inspect and approve the equipment.

Can I submit my license application online?
No, we do not have the license applications available in an online form. Contact our office by phone at 503/986-4670 or by email at msd-info@oda.state.or.us to have an application mailed, emailed, or faxed to you right away. The information we need in order to send you an application is as follows:
  • Business mailing address
  • Location address of the weighing or measuring equipment
  • Phone and fax numbers
  • The manufacturers rated capacity of the device
  • How you would like us to deliver the forms to you

Can I call in my credit card number for license payment?
No, we cannot accept a Visa or MasterCard payment without the cardholder's signature.  You may fax your application to 503/986-4746 along with a copy of the credit card number, expiration date and signature on the application.

If there is a change in ownership at a business, do I need a new license?
The Weights and Measures Program licenses the weighing/measuring devices, not the operator. If ownership changes at a business with devices currently licensed by the program, no new license is required. Please notify our office so that we may update our records.

If I am replacing currently licensed equipment, do I need a new license?
No. If you have, for example, two scales, both licensed. One breaks down and you replace it, you do not need to license the new scale. You would still have two valid licenses because you are using two scales. However, you will need to file a new placed in service report for the new or replacement equipment.

When do I need to license my weighing or measuring device?
You must license a weighing or measuring device before using it commercially. If you base a price for goods or services upon the reading on that device (such as by the pound, or gallon), you need to have a license for the device.

If I am selling produce at a Farmer's Market, do I need to have a licensed scale?
Not necessarily. There are some regulations regarding the method of sale for produce that can bypass the need for a scale. If you will be selling by weight, you need a licensed and approved scale. See our Farm market page for more specific informaiton.

What should I do if I am adding more weighing or measuring devices to my business?
First, you need to contact our office to request a license application for your additional equipment. Second, you need to complete the license packet (which includes the application and a placed in service report for the equipment) and submit your payment with these forms. After you complete these two steps you can begin using your weighing/measuring equipment. An inspector will stop by when in your area to inspect and approve the equipment. 

What if I need more information regarding licensing a device?
Please contact the Weights and Measures Program office at:
phone: 503/986-4670
fax: 503/986-4784
email: msd-info@oda.state.or.us

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What is a cord?
Firewood is sold by a measurement called a "cord". A cord must equal 128 cubic feet. To be sure you have a cord, stack the wood neatly by placing the wood in a line or a row, with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other, making sure that the wood is compact and has as few gaps as possible. Then measure the stack. If the width times the height times the length equals 128 cubic feet, you have a cord of firewood. See Method of sale for fireplace and stove wood  for more.

What do I do if I have a complaint regarding firewood?
If you do not think you received the amount of firewood that you paid for, or you are concerned with the quality of the firewood you purchased, you should first contact the seller to resolve the issue. If the seller cannot or will not assist you, you may go the the Oregon Department of Justice website to complete and submit a complaint form.

What if I need more information about firewood?
For more information regarding firewood:

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Licensing renewals

For frequently asked questions related to licensing renewals, please see our Renewal Frequently Asked Questions page.
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Metrology laboratory

What type of calibration services are available at the metrology lab?
  1. Mass
  2. Length
  3. Volume
See more on the Calibration services web page.

Is the metrology laboratory in Oregon nationally accredited?
In order to meet their audit requirements, many laboratory customers regularly require information on the traceability of Oregon´s measurements. Oregon´s traceability is recognized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Weights and Measures Division (NIST-WMD) and is accredited by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Laboratory Voluntary Accreditation Program (NIST-NVLAP). The measurement parameters can be found on the NIST-WMD recognition certificate and on the NIST-NVLAP website .

What if I have more questions about the Oregon metrology laboratory?
For more information:

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Motor fuel quality

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Nat'l type evaluation program

What is NTEP?
The National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) is an evaluation program administered by the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM).

Type evaluation is the process whereby weighing and measuring devices are examined to determine if the performance, operating characteristics, features and options of a particular device complies with the applicable requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 44.

When was NTEP established?
NCWM, in conjunction with industry and weights and measures officials, established a Task Force to develop NTEP in 1976. NTEP was later established in 1984 and is a cooperative program among manufacturers, users, and weights and measures officials.

Why was NTEP established?
The purpose of NTEP was to establish a uniform set of criteria and test procedures for the evaluation of commercial weighing and measuring devices. Before the adoption of NTEP there were 16 different type approval agencies in the United States. With the establishment of NTEP, a single evaluation can satisfy all states. In addition to promoting uniformity it
  • reduces cost and time in getting a device to market.
  • reduces the burden on state type approval programs.
  • reduces costly mistakes to device users.
  • enables tests to be conducted prior to the device being sold for commercial use.

An NTEP evaluation is the one time that a device is subjected to testing that includes maximum capacities and all features specified by the manufacturer. Presently, 44 of the 50 states are NTEP states. That means they require an NTEP Certificate of Conformance (CC) for any device used commercially in their state.

Is Oregon an NTEP state?
Yes. This means that device manufacturers must submit their devices for an NTEP evaluation prior to the devices being sold for commercial use. The user and scale company must purchase and sell only devices with an NTEP CC if the device is to be used commercially (unless it meets the exceptions of OAR 603-027-0640(2)(d). The weights and measures officials must verify that the specific model of the device is covered by the NTEP CC and is set up consistent with the CC.

Why do I need to know Oregon is an NTEP state?
All devices put into commercial use in the state of Oregon after August 1990 must have a CC, or meet the exceptions of OAR 603-027-0640(2)(d).

Where can I find NTEP CC's?
All CC's are available on the NCWM website at http://www.ncwm.net/certificates. The manufacturer of a device should also be able to provide you with NTEP information concerning their device.

What if I have more questions on NTEP?
Please see our NTEP page for more info.

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Placed in service reports

What is placed in service?
"Placed in service" means to install or repair following official rejection of any weighing or measuring device used commercially or intended to be used commercially.

What is a placed in service report?
The placed in service report is available from the Weights and Measures Program. It must be completed and returned to the Program when new and/or used devices are newly installed or restored to service after official rejection by the Weights and Measures Program. Properly completed rejection tag(s) shall suffice in lieu of a placed in service report for device(s) restored to service following official rejection.

Where do I get a placed in service report?
You may call our office or download the placed in service reports from our PISR page.

How do I submit a placed in service report?
You may turn in the form to us by one of the following methods:
email:  msd-info@oda.state.or.us
fax:  503-986-4784
mail:  Oregon Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures, 635 Capitol St NE, Salem, OR, 97301

What if I have more questions about placed in service reports?
Please see our PISR page for more info.

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Public records requests

How do I request copies of public records?
You must make the request in writing by e-mail, fax, or regular mail. Requests should include your contact information including name, address, e-mail, phone, and fax number. Your request should be as specific as possible including the type of record requested, the subject matter, approximate date(s), names of business and/or people involved, and the date you hope to obtain the records.
Send your requests to msd-info@oda.state.or.us, or fax to 503-986-4784, or mail to Oregon Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Program, 635 Capitol St NE, Salem, OR, 97301.

Is there a cost for requesting public records?
If a request does not exceed 15 minutes of staff time then we will absorb the costs of fulfilling the request. This assumes that staff time is available and no additional review of materials is needed to remove any information exempt from public disclosure.
If the request requires more than 15 minutes of staff time, the staff person will make an estimate of the time and cost and will get back to you for confirmation before fulfilling the request.

What are the fees for fullfilling records requests?
Oregon Administrative Rule 603-001-0145 outlines the fees for fulfilling public records requests. Some of the common charges include:
  • Staff time at $30.00 per hour, minimum charge of $15.00
  • Copies at $0.15 per page
  • Electronic records search at $50.00 per hour
  • Express mailing, actual cost with minimum $9.00 charge
  • Document certification at $2.50 per certificate
  • Other: If the request requires services for which no fee has been established (computer time, travel, shipping, etc.) the actual cost shall be determined or estimated).

Where do I get more information?
For more information about our public records request procedures, fees, and what to expect, please see our public records request page.
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Transaction verification

What is it?
Transaction verification is a program of the Weights and Measures Program used to prevent consumer fraud and ensure fair competition by verifying that scales are properly functioning and scale users are correctly operating their scales. This program is carried out in a number of different ways. This includes but is not limited to, test purchases of bulk food commodities, audit testing, net contents testing, etc.

What does it accomplish?
  • It verifies that scales are in proper working order and are properly functioning.
  • It verifies that scale users are correctly operating their scales.
  • It ensures proper usage of scales when an inspector is not present.
  • It verifies the application of correct tare weights.
  • It protects consumers.
  • It maintains a level playing field.

What does it include?
  • Test purchases
  • Method of sale
  • Audit testing
  • Package testing
  • Package labeling

What if I have more questions about the transaction verification program?

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Weighing and measuring devices

Where can I buy a scale or meter?
You can look up scales/meters in your local phone book for companies in your area. You may find a service company in your area by searching the online database (The state does not endorse or sponsor products, services or information provided by this link). Make sure that you purchase a legal for trade scale. You can contact our office for a list of service companies within Oregon, although we do not make recommendations.

Where can I find a repair person for my scale or meter?
You can look up service companies for scales/meters in your local phone book. You can also contact our office for a list of service companies within Oregon, although we do not make recommendations.

What do I do if I feel that I have been shorted at a gas station?
We commonly receive complaints from consumers because they believe that a gas station wrongfully charged them for more fuel than they actually received. While this may be the case, there is often a misunderstanding of the amount of fuel that can be dispensed into their vehicle, or a fuel can. Please visit our Understanding fuel tank capacity page for more information regarding possible reasons for variations in fuel tank capacity. You may contact the Weights and Measures Program to speak to someone and have a complaint form mailed to you, or you may submit a motor fuel complaint form online.

My device was tagged by a state inspector, what do I do now?
A blue or red tag means that your device is not operating within the state specifications. You must make the repairs, or hire a repair person to make the repairs. The person making the repairs should complete the back side of the tag and send it back to our office. Once our office receives the tag, it will be forwarded to the inspector for verification.

What if I have more questions regarding devices?
For more Measurement Standards resources regarding weighing and measuring devices:

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Wholesale terminal meters

What is the requirement for temperature determination at wholesale terminal meters?
Refined petroleum wholesale loading terminal meters are required to have a means to determine the temperature of the liquid product, commonly known as a thermometer well, either:
  • in the liquid chamber of the meter, or
  • immediately adjacent to the meter in the meter inlet or discharge line.

If I have a temperature probe at the meter, is a thermometer well still required?
Yes. The thermometer well is used when testing the meter as a means to verify the temperature recorded from the probe.

How long do I have to come into compliance with this requirement?
To help accommodate businesses to comply with this requirement, the Weights and Measures Program will allow until July 1, 2006 to upgrade refined petroleum wholesale terminal meters.

What will happen if my wholesale terminal meter is not upgraded by the deadline?
If a wholesale meter system does not comply with this requirement following July 1, 2006, it will not be tested and will be rejected.

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