Weights and Measures

Placing a scale into service

A commercial scale is placed into service when the following actions are completed: 

  • The scale is evaluated for conformance to the specifications and tolerances found in NIST Handbook 44 
  • A completed placed in service report is filed with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Weights and Measures Program ​
You may begin using the scale once the placed in service report is complete. Next, an ODA investigator will receive notice of the new scale and will schedule an inspection to verify that it meets all requirements of a legal for trade scale. The investigator will provide instructions for licensing the scale. Continued use of the scale is contingent on maintaining a current license with ODA.​

Using a scale 

You are responsible for ensuring that your commercial scale meets the following criteria: 

  • Used in the manner intended by the manufacturer
  • Suitable for each transaction
  • Installed appropriately to ensure consistent and reliable weighing
  • In good repair​
  • Accurate
  • Displayed so the customer can accurately read the scale from a reasonable position without intervention by the scale operator

Additional requirements can be found in NIST Handbook 44 under user requirements.

ODA's principle goal is to make certain that the scale is reliable, accurate, and does not facilitate fraud so that the operator is paid for what is sold and the buyer receives what was paid for.

See the five points to remember and retailer scale users documents for more information.

Rejected scales

Rejected scales are issued a rejection tag requiring the scale owner to correct the problem before returning the scale to commercial service. A rejected scale may not be legally used in commerce until the repair is completed. ODA tracks the repair tag to ensure that the problem was remediated in an acceptable manner. 

You may use the scale once you have done the following:

  • Completed the repair yourself or hired a service company
  • Filled out and returned the rejection tag to ODA, indicating service was completed
​If the repair tag is lost, you may complete and return a placed in service report (PISR) in lieu of returning the rejection tag. You should indicate which repair was performed on the PISR so that the repair can be cleared from our system. The investigator then will be notified and may return to verify that the repair was completed, as stated.

Service companies

ODA does not recommend any service companies, but a list is maintained for your reference. Service companies are able to help you with the following:

  • Purchase an NTEP approved legal for trade weighing or measuring device
  • Place a commercial device into service
  • Calibrate and seal a commercial weighing or measuring device
  • Service your commercial weighing or measuring device

Packaging and tare

As an operator of a commercial scale, it is your responsibility to accurately account for any packaging material when weighing product. Tare must be taken so that the customer pays only for the weight of the product sold, not for the weight of the container. Many scales provide automatic tare functions for certain products. You can verify that the proper tare is taken by first placing the empty container onto the scale and verifying that the scale reads zero before filling the container.

Legal requirements for packaging and labeling of products can be found in NIST Handbook 130 under uniform packaging and labeling regulation.



Five points to remember

For owners and operators of commercial weighing and measuring equipment Document

Oregon farmer's market guide: Recommended method of sale for fresh fruits and vegetables


Placed in service large capacity scales


Placed in service report information booklet

A question and answer format for information on Placed in Service Reports as well as their requirements in Oregon Administrative Rule. Document

Placed in service small scale

Scales 0-1,160 lb Document

Service firm list




Main Office
Weights and Measures
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-4670
Fax: 503-986-4784