No website can substitute for legal advice given in an interactive discussion. As a convenience, some of the laws that truck drivers and owners should know are posted here. Please note that laws evolve and that when a question arises, you should contact an attorney
For quick reference, this site contains certain laws that you should know if you are involved in the ownership or operation of a truck.
(Note this information was originally published by the government and is reproduced here for easy reference.)
Various governments regulate diesel engines. (Please note that New York requires a special diesel inspection in addition to the regular inspection). This information from the NYC government may be of interest.
NYC has truck routes. If you are traveling outside a designated truck route and are not making a local delivery, pick-up or service (and have the requisite written proof) a summons can be issued.
The Department of Transportation has created numerous regulations regarding trucks and other commercial vehicles. These rules including the detailed description of the truck routes can be found here:
Numerous construction companies work on the local highways.
One place to look for updated information is nyc.gov/trucks, some parts of which, have been reproduced below:
Please refer to the official New York City Traffic Rules and Regulations for the most current rules governing trucks and commercial vehicles.
New York City has unique definitions for commercial vehicles and trucks that differ from New York State Department of Motor Vehicles classifications. Find out how your vehicle is classified so you know what rules and regulations apply to you.
Because of the height of large trucks, it can be difficult for truck drivers to see what is happening directly in front of their vehicles. This has contributed to a significant number of pedestrian deaths in New York City.
Starting January 13, 2012, Cross over mirrors must be installed on all trucks that
- qualify as Commercial Vehicles,
- are registered in New York State, and
- operate in New York City (except for expressways).
Installing cross over mirrors in front of the cab of a truck is a simple way of eliminating a truck driver’s front “blind spot” and allowing the driver to see any person at least three feet tall and passing one foot in front of the vehicle. School buses have long been required to have cross over mirrors. The mirrors are relatively inexpensive and manufacturers typically offer them below list price, and provide bulk discounts.
Read the law
Download a flyer about cross over mirrors
What you need to know about parking your truck or commercial vehicle in New York City.
Trucks and commercial vehicles both cause and suffer from congestion on New York City’s streets. Because of this congestion, deliveries made during the business day cost us all – as stores pass on the expenses of wasted time, lost revenue, missed deliveries and parking tickets. In order to combat congestion, help businesses control costs and improve air quality, DOT worked with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a group of stakeholders and research partners to implement an Off-Hour Truck Delivery Pilot program, funded by USDOT, which ran from late 2009 through 2010.
Learn more about the pilot
Sign up to participate in off-hour delivery
With nearly 1,000 miles of designated roadway, New York City has one of the most complex truck route systems in the nation.
Learn more about different types of truck routes
DOT publishes a full color, double-sided map featuring the City’s comprehensive Truck Route Network overlaid on top of the entire arterial street network, making it easier for drivers to locate specific streets and intersections. The map also contains helpful information on truck route signage, weight limits and dimensions, overweight/overdimensional permitting and truck related violations as well as City, regional and state truck-related resources.
Download the 2011-2012 New York City Truck Route Map (pdf)
Order copies through the mail or by calling 311 (call 212-NEW-YORK from outside the City).
The 2011-2012 map includes several updates and new features including:
- Updated local truck routes on Grand and Flushing Avenues in Queens
- New diagram showing how to unload trucks near curbside bike lanes
- New contact information for Commercial Vehicle Resources in Nassau and Suffolk Counties
- More detail on truck access to the Lincoln Tunnel
Truck Route Geodata
DOT has been actively engaged in addressing community concerns about truck traffic on City streets and improving the overall management of trucks and commercial vehicles.
Learn more about the study.
The allowed gross vehicle weight in New York City is 80,000 pounds.
Read the full weight and size limits
Vehicles that exceed New York City’s size and weight limits must obtainoverdimensional permits.
Trucks and commercial vehicles cannot travel on most parkways in New York City.
Read a complete list of parkways where trucks and commercial vehicles are prohibited
Download a brochure from DOT and NYSDOT about parkways regulations in the New York area.
There are several hundred low vertical clearance structures in New York City, including elevated rail lines, tunnels, bridges, highway ramps, buildings over highways and other obstructions. DOT has prepared maps of low vertical clearances on the limited access highway system.
Citywide map, Manhattan map Bronx map, Brooklyn map, Queens map, Staten Island map
Download citywide low bridges data in KML format
DOT issues Express Lane Permits that enable ambulettes, commuter vans and shuttles and other mass transit fleets to use the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes leading to the Queens-Midtown and Brooklyn-Battery Tunnels.
The New York City Traffic Rules and Regulations are contained in Chapter 4 of Title 34 of the Rules of the City of New York. It includes rules on traffic signals; pedestrians; restrictions on turns; speed restrictions; other restrictions on movement; rules for parking, stopping, and standing; rules for buses, taxis and for-hire vehicles; truck routes; rules pertaining to parkways and parks; limitations on dimensions and weight of vehicles; and other information.
The New York City Traffic Rules require that commercial vehicles display the registrant’s name and address on both sides of the vehicle. This is described in Section 4.08 of the Traffic Rules.
The New York State Department of Transportation assigns vehicle identification numbers to commercial vehicles. This is not a responsibility of New York City DOT. For information, contact New York State DOT at 1-866-881-2630 for travel within New York State or 1-800-832-5660 for travel between states.
Highway Use Tax (HUT) numbers are administered by the New York State Department of Tax and Finance. For information call 1-800-980-5437 or (in New York State) 518-388-5245, or visit OSCAR.
Local Law 77, which was signed into law in 2003, requires the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel and “best available technology” for reducing emissions from non-road equipment used on City construction projects.
See the Verified Technologies List of all the diesel retrofit technologies that the US Environmental Protection Agency has approved for use in engine retrofit programs. See the summary of verified diesel emission control strategies by the California Air Resources Board.