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Frequently Asked Questions - Citations and Enforcement

Does the Oregon DOT get to keep the fines from citations issued?


No, the Oregon Department of Transportation does not receive any of the fines from traffic citations.

As specified in ORS 153.630, the fines collected are distributed in various ways depending on (1) which court collects the fine -- circuit court, justice court, or municipal court -- and (2) which enforcement officer issued the citation -- State Police, city police, sheriff, deputy sheriff, county weighmaster, or motor carrier enforcement officers.
 
The state funds some law enforcement officers and courts. All counties have law enforcement officers (sheriffs); some have their own courts that handle traffic citations (justice courts). Cities have police officers and some have their own courts that handle traffic citations (municipal courts). For example, if a State Police trooper cites a driver to state circuit court, the entire fine goes to the state because the state funds both the State Police and the state circuit courts. If the trooper cites a driver to justice court, the fine is split between the state and the county.

State law makes a few exceptions to this rule. For example, all fines collected when a State Police trooper cites a driver for refusing to take a breath test go to a State Police account for enforcing laws against driving under the influence of intoxicants. Those fines are not split.

In addition to fines, state law adds other money sanctions called costs and assessments:

Unitary assessment, ORS 137.290, all of which goes to the state Department of Revenue.

County assessment, most of which goes to the county treasury, part to a state account for court security, and part to the state Law Enforcement Medical Liability Account.

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Why is an overweight citation issued to the truck driver?


graphic of officer issuing citationAn overweight citation is issued to the driver of the overweight truck, but the owner or lessee of the truck (if that's someone other than the driver) also bears responsibility.

ORS 818.020 specifies that a person commits the offense of violating maximum weight limits if the person drives or moves on a highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles that exceed the weight limits established under ORS 818.010 or owns a vehicle or combination of vehicles and causes or permits the vehicle or combination to be driven or moved on a highway when the vehicle or combination exceeds weight limits. Operation of any vehicle or combination of vehicles in violation is prima facie evidence that the owner of the vehicle or combination caused or permitted it to be so operated and the owner shall be liable for any penalties imposed as a result of the operation.

If a truck driver does not appear in court or pay the citation within 15 days of the appearance date, the court could dismiss the charges against the driver and determine the company is responsible for the citation.

ORS 810.350 specifies that a court or judicial officer shall make the owner or lessee of the vehicle a codefendant if appearance has not been made by the driver within 15 days of the date the driver was cited to appear in court. A court or judicial officer may dismiss the charges against the driver if the court finds (a) that the owner or lessee of the vehicle caused or permitted the driver to operate the vehicle or combination of vehicles in violation, and (b) that the owner or lessee is guilty of violating maximum weight limits.

Unfortunately, if a company or driver does not pay an overweight citation, the court usually suspends the driver's CDL in Oregon. That's why trucking companies should establish policies so that drivers know who will pay overweight citations and under which circumstances. Each company should make it clear when it will consider a driver responsible for an overweight truck. But before a company determines that its drivers will be responsible for overweight loads, it should consider the following questions:
  • When drivers assume their loads, do they have control of the weight loaded on their vehicle combination?
  • Do drivers have a scale available to weigh the combination before they leave the yard?
  • If a driver determines that a truck is overweight, is the driver allowed to have the load legalized before leaving the yard?

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Are there penalties, other than the citation itself, for multiple overweight citations issued to a single driver in a set period of time?

The Oregon Driver Motor Vehicle Division (DMV) does not post overweight citations to Oregon driving records and therefore does not impose any action on a license for multiple overweight citations. However, if a carrier has a record of their fleet being issued an inordinate amount of overweight citations, civil penalties may be levied against the carrier.
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Why do many out-of-state IFTA-registered carriers get citations?

When travel originates in Oregon, carriers must obtain tax and registration credentials prior to operating.

When entering Oregon, carriers must obtain tax and registration credentials prior to entry EXCEPT: 
     Entering Oregon on I-5 at OR/WA Border and go directly to Portland Bridge Office at Jantzen Beach
     and purchase credentials. Open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Closed all state
     observed holidays.

WARNING: Drivers who enter Oregon without a valid tax credential (ORS 825.450, ORS 825.470) or if the carrier's Motor Carrier account is suspended (ORS 825.100) are subject to citation and a minimum presumptive fine of $435. Carrier suspended account violations are written to the driver (ORS 825.100) but are considered owner responsibility citations (ORS 825.304).  

Note: Oregon administers an IFTA program as a service to Oregon-based companies who operate in other states that do charge a fuel tax. The IFTA program is necessary because except by purchasing single-trip permits, these companies have no other way to discharge their fuel tax liability. They cannot individually file quarterly fuel tax reports and make payments to states and provinces.

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Why is there a $435 presumptive fine for No Oregon Weight Receipt?


The fine for failure to have a valid Oregon tax credential (Weight Receipt and Tax Identifier or a 10 Day Temporary Pass) as required by ORS 825.450 and ORS 825.470, is a set fee established in Oregon law.

ORS 825.990 specifies that "every person who violates or procures, aids or abets violation of this chapter and any person who refuses or fails to obey any order, decision or rule, made under or pursuant to this chapter commits a Class A traffic violation." Class A traffic violations are subject to a presumptive fine of $435.

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How many weigh stations does Oregon have?

Oregon has more than 80 permanent fixed scales in addition to numerous permanent, signed portable sites, and many roadside sites used for portable weighings.

We use Intercomp and Haenni portable scales at our portable scale sites.

We have 1 truck inspection building at each of our 6 Port of Entry locations.

We check log books, medical waivers and Commercial Driver Licenses at all of our scale locations, both portable and fixed, and at all truck inspection buildings.

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How often are the scales at the weigh stations certified and calibrated?

Our ODOT scales are certified annually by the Oregon Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Unit, to a plus or minus 50 pounds.

 

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Is it a violation if a truck weighs heavy because of snow or ice?


Oregon motor carrier enforcement officers follow a policy of issuing citations for weight violations exceeding 1,000 pounds. But an exception to this is excessive weight due to weather condictions, such as a build-up of snow or ice. If a driver is granted a weather condition exception, a written warning is issued.

Whenever possible, drivers are given the chance to remove excess weight caused by snow and ice build-up. Then the truck can be reweighed.

If a driver or motor carrier has repeated violations of more than 1,000 pounds due to weather conditions, policy calls for a citation to be issued because the previous warnings did not achieve the intended purpose of stopping future violations from occurring. If a citation is issued it will be noted on the citation that the overweight was probably due to snow and ice build-up.

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Do I have to carry and/or install snow chains/cables/devices on super single tires when winter driving restrictions are issued and posted?

Yes. Consult ODOT's Trip Check website to learn Oregon's minimum chain requirement. You must carry/install a super single chain for each tire/axle on the power unit/trailer locations that are required for your specific vehicle combination. 
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What are "Drag" chains?

A "drag" chain is just a slang word for chains that are installed on commercial trailers. In Oregon, on a semi-trailer, two "drag" chains are required to be carried or installed on the semi-trailer during severe weather conditions in snow zones. 

Check our website TripCheck, it describes it as the following:
"Tandem-drive axle commercial vehicles towing a semi-trailer must have chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle; or if both axles of the vehicle are powered by the drive line, one tire on each side of each drive axle. Chains must also be placed on two tires, one on each side, of any axle on the semi-trailer."

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What are the rules for triples driving in snow zones?

Attachment 74A (that is required with all Triples permits) states the following:
It is the driver's responsibility to determine if local road conditions are hazardous, unless the Department of Transportation has closed or posted signs on the highway displaying restrictions due to weather/road conditions in the area. In such cases the permitted vehicle must leave the highway at the next available exit, truck stop, rest area, or next available safe parking place and shall not proceed until the hazardous condition abates.

Triples Combinations are NOT ALLOWED when road surfaces are other than bare or wet pavement such as those having frost, ice, sleet, or snow on the roadway. Motor Carrier Salem staff are not prepared to advise carriers when conditions are "hazardous" or not, or what road surfaces are not bare or wet pavement.

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How do I get access to my fleet's scale crossing report?

To gain access to this report and 80+ other carrier account functions, you may apply for a Trucking Online account at http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/Pages/TOL.aspx.
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We are moving and will be traveling on the Oregon Interstate System and on State Highways, do we have to stop and weigh at truck scales?

By Motor Carrier Transportation Division Policy, commercial vehicles and vehicle combinations exceeding 20,000 pounds must stop and weight at an OPEN scale when there is a sign posted prior tot he scale that reads "All Trucks Over 20,000 GVW Next Right". At outlying scales without the posted sign, all commercial vehicles and vehicle combinations with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or greater must stop and weigh at the OPEN scale.

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Can I carry electronic copies rather than paper copies of my tax credentials, vehicle registration, variance permits including attachments and route maps in my vehicle?

By policy, Motor Carrier Transportation Division (MCTD) allows drivers to carry and present their documents electronically. Be advised though that this may not be the case for other enforcement jurisdictions such as the Oregon State Police or the Portland Police Bureau. For MCTD, you must be able to open the document in PDF or other legible form. We will not accept a temporary pass number enclosed in an email. MCTD requires that Route Maps be carried in the vehicle only in paper form. MCTD does not think that route maps in an electronic form are legible for a quick and accurate referral.
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After entering Oregon, can I obtain tax credentials, vehicle registration, or variance permit at the first scale or Port of Entry I come to?

No, when entering Oregon, carriers must plan ahead and obtain tax and registration credentials and variance permits prior to entry except:

Enter Oregon on I-5 at OR/WA Border and go directly to Portland Bridge Office at Jantzen Beach (12348 N Center Avenue, Portland OR 97217) and purchase credentials. Open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Closed ALL state observed holidays.

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If a Tow Truck makes a move that requires a Single Trip Permit, are they still able to call on the next business day to obtain the permit with the exact weight?

Yes, provided there was no opportunity to get the Over-Dimension Permit ahead of time.

734-076-0075(6)(b) A Single Trip Permit (STP) must be obtained prior to operations when weight exceeds 98,000 pounds GVW and does not exceed permit weight table 4 group axle weights or when the size exceeds the dimensions authorized for the load operating under an oversize permit.

(6)(c) Except when directed by law enforcement, the road authority, or the operator of the vehicle after normal business hours to remove a disabled unit from the initial roadside location, a transportation permit, Continuous Trip Permit (CTP) or STP must be obtained no later than the next business day. To qualify for the STP the operator of the two vehicle must be in possession of a current CTP.

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Who do I contact to keep the increased truck traffic off my road?

Many county roads are open to through truck traffic and may see traffic increase or fluctuate as business ebbs and flows. Unless the road is posted "No Through Trucks: or otherwise restricted, the presence of trucks is an inconvenience but not necessarily illegal.

To address the increased truck traffic, you may address your concerns to your local county administration or local county Sheriff's Office patrol section.

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Which trailer devices/appurtenances, that do not extend more than 3 inches out on each side of the trailer are excluded from width measurement?

The 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) - 658.16 is provided below:

658.16 Exclusions from length and width determinations.
(a) Vehicle components not excluded by law or regulation shall be included in the measurement of the length and width of commercial motor vehicles.
(b) The following shall be excluded from either the measured length or width of commercial motor vehicles, as applicable:
(1) Rear view mirrors, turn signal lamps, handholds for cab entry/egress, splash and spray suppressant devices, load induced tire bulge;

Additional examples of appurtenances excluded from width measurement which extend no more than 3" on each side (list is not all inclusive):

  • Corner caps.
  • Rear and side door hinges and protective hardware.
  • Rain gutters.
  • Side marker lights.
  • Lift pads for piggyback trailers.
  • Hazardous material placards.
  • Tarp and tarp hardware or tarp assemblies.
  • Tie down assembly on platform trailers.
  • Wall variation from true flat (not lead errors).
  • Weevil pins.
  • Sockets on lowboy trailers.
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Who can motor carriers contact with questions about enforcement?


Motor carriers with questions about citations or size and weight enforcement may contact Field Services Technical Analyst Dana Freeman, in Salem at 503-378-6070 or by e-mail to Dana.M.Freeman@odot.state.or.us.

Other contacts available to help include Field Services Manager Ed Scrivner, in Salem at 503-378-6071 or by e-mail to W.E.Scrivner@odot.state.or.us.

Also, carriers may contact a Port of Entry or District Manager: 

Siskiyou Region
Regional Manager - Leslie Elbon
Ashland Port of Entry
NB I-5, California border, PO Box 666, Ashland OR 97520-0023
Phone: 541-776-6004  ~  FAX: 541-776-6009


Columbia River Region
Regional Manager - Susan Hopkins-Gibson
Cascade Locks Port of Entry
EB I-84, east of Portland, 500 SE Frontage Road, Cascade Locks OR 97014-9801
Phone: 541-374-8980  ~  FAX: 541-374-2240

Snake River Region
Regional Manager - Alice Burley
Farewell Bend Port of Entry
WB I-84, Idaho border, 5920 Highway 30, Huntington OR 97907-9707
Note: Farewell Bend is in the Mountain Time Zone --
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time is 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Time.
Phone: 541-869-2474  ~  FAX: 541-869-2021

Eastern Cascades Region
Regional Manager - Phil Grant
Klamath Falls Port of Entry
NB US97, California border, 4647 Highway 97 N, Klamath Falls OR 97601-9387
Phone: 541-883-5701  ~  FAX: 541-883-5564

Blue Mountain Region
Regional Manager - Lloyd Pratt
Umatilla Port of Entry
SB I-82, Washington border, 1801 SW Highway 730 E, Umatilla OR 97882-0770
Phone: 541-922-5183   ~   FAX: 541-922-2979

Willamette Valley Region
Regional Manager - Gail Levario
Woodburn Port of Entry
SB I-5, south of Washington border, PO Box 244, Woodburn OR 97071-0244
Phone: 503-982-0804   ~  FAX: 503-982-7201

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FAQs -- Other Subjects

 
graphic of question markThe Motor Carrier Transportation Division has created a number of pages like this with frequently asked questions about other subjects.

FAQ by subject -- a page listing all FAQs

Individual Pages
Authority
Farm Trucks
Green Light 
Household Goods Moving 
Insurance 
Over-Dimension Trucks 
Registration
Safety
Taxes and Fees
Trucking Online


Still need an answer to a question?
Complete the Ask ODOT online form or call 1-888-ASK-ODOT (1-888-275-6368).

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