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Intermodal Shipping Container Port Permit

container shipTxDMV issues an annual permit for the transport of intermodal shipping containers, transported in Texas within 30 miles of select port authorities or ports of entry that are located in a county contiguous to the Gulf of Mexico or a bay or inlet opening into the gulf. The permit is an annual permit that expires one year from the effective date.

Ports currently available:

  • Port of Freeport
  • Port of Houston – Barbours Cut
  • Port of Houston – IH610

The truck-tractor and semitrailer combination must have six axles or seven axles with the following axle distances:

Six Axles:

  • Approx. 647 inches between the front axle of the truck-tractor and the last axle of the semitrailer,
  • 51 to 52 inches between the axles in the truck-tractor two-axle group, and
  • 60 inches between the axles in the semi-trailer three-axle group

Seven Axles:

  • Approx. 612 inches between the front axle of the truck-tractor and the last axle of the semitrailer,
  • 51 to 52 inches between the axles in the truck-tractor three-axle group, and
  • 60 inches between the axles in the semi-trailer three-axle group

The gross weight and axle weights allowed are based on the number of total axles. Maximum gross and axle weight limits are:

Six Axles:

  • Gross weight – 93,000 pounds
  • Truck-tractor single axle – 13,000 pounds
  • Truck-tractor two-axle group – 18,500 pounds per axle
  • Semitrailer three-axle group – 16,400 pounds per axle

Seven Axles:

  • Gross weight – 100,000 pounds
  • Truck-tractor single axle – 15,000 pounds
  • Truck-tractor three-axle group – 14,900 pounds per axle
  • Semitrailer three-axle group – 15,400 pounds per axle

An intermodal shipping container is an enclosed, standardized, reusable container used to pack, ship, move, or transport cargo. The container must be transferred to/from a ship, vessel, or a rail system for international transportation without unloading or reloading the cargo.

Note: A vehicle moving with this permit may operate on a state, county, or municipal road approved by the Texas Department of Transportation if the vehicle displays the permit windshield sticker, has the required axle numbers and distances and does not exceed the maximum gross weight or axle weight limits. Permit applicant must select ports, counties, and municipalities in which travel will occur at time of application.

Texas Size and Weight Limits


How to Apply

txprosApply online
through TxPROS


This permit may only be self-issued through TxPROS.

Payment information must be provided with the permit application.

TxPROS Information and Tutorials


Operating Authority

There are no operating authority requirements for issuance of this permit type.

Fees & Payment


The annual permit fee is $6,000.

Fees are payable by:

  • MasterCard, VISA, Discover or American Express (a processing fee will be charged)
  • Funds deposited in a pre-established escrow account
  • Permit Account Card (PAC) or FirstPay Account established through Frost Bank San Antonio (
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) – Electronic Check (only accepted when ordering online through TxPROS)
  • Cash – No checks, cashier’s checks or money orders (MUST be delivered to a TxDMV Regional Service Center)

A permit fee will not be refunded after the permit number has been issued unless such refund is necessary to correct an error made by the TxDMV

Escrow Accounts

FirstPay Accounts

Additional Requirements

  • Container must be continuously sealed from the point of origin to the point of destination with a seal that is required by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or federal law or regulation.
  • The vehicle combination must be equipped with a roll stability support safety system and blind spot support systems.
  • You may not operate your vehicle on the interstate highway system nor on a load-posted road or bridge if the gross weight of the vehicle combination and load, or the axles and wheel loads, are greater than the established and posted limits.
  • You are responsible for routing and obtaining current restrictions prior to movement. Active time permit holders may use TxPROS to generate free routes for loads moving under their time permit.

TxPROS Information and Tutorials

More Information

  • Permit may not be amended.
  • This permit does not authorize the transport of a material designated as of Jan. 1, 2017, as a hazardous material by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation under 49 U.S.C. Section 5103(a).
  • Review your permit for specific curfews and conditions that apply to your load and movement.

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