Which States Require Rental Trucks to Stop at Weigh Stations: A Handy Guide

Moving can be stressful, and nothing adds to the stress like unexpected stops at weigh stations. You’re not alone in wondering if you need to pull over while driving a rental truck. Eight states require rental trucks to stop at some or all weigh stations, while others have different rules. Curious about which states you need to worry about? Keep reading and find out how to make your move smoother!

Understanding Weigh Stations

Weigh stations play a vital role in ensuring vehicle safety by checking the weight of trucks traveling on interstates. If you rent a moving truck, you may need to stop at these stations depending on the state’s rules and the weight of your vehicle.

Function and Importance of Weigh Stations

Weigh stations are designed to monitor the weight of vehicles on the road. They use scales to measure each truck’s weight and ensure it does not exceed safe limits. Overloading can damage roads and create safety hazards.

By stopping at weigh stations, trucks help maintain safe road conditions. These stations also check for compliance with weight regulations, which helps protect infrastructure and ensure that trucks are operating within legal limits.

Weigh Station Requirements for Rental Trucks

If you rent a moving truck, you may wonder if you need to stop at weigh stations. The requirements vary by state. Some states require all large vehicles, including rental trucks, to stop, especially if they exceed a certain weight.

For instance, rented trucks must stop at weigh stations in states like Virginia if they weigh over 7,500 pounds. In South Dakota, trucks must stop if they weigh more than 8,000 pounds. Knowing the specific rules for your route can save you from needless stops and potential fines.

States With Mandatory Weigh Station Stops

Different states have different rules for rental trucks and weigh station stops. In states like Alabama, Idaho, and Montana, trucks over 26,000 pounds must stop.

Other states such as Iowa require stops for trucks over 10,000 pounds. Be sure to review the guidelines for the states on your route. This helps ensure compliance and avoid penalties. Reviewing state-specific information before your trip can make your move smoother and more hassle-free.

State-Specific Regulations

Different states have specific rules regarding whether rental trucks need to stop at weigh stations. Knowing the requirements for Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio can help you avoid fines and stay compliant with state laws.


In Indiana, rental trucks carrying personal property generally don’t need to stop at weigh stations. However, it’s important to check the weight of your truck. If your rental truck exceeds 10,000 pounds, it should stop at a weigh station. Pay attention to the signs posted along highways to know when and where to stop. By following these guidelines, you can avoid potential penalties during your move.


Illinois has straightforward rules for rental trucks. If you’re driving a rental truck with non-commercial goods, you typically don’t need to stop at weigh stations. Commercial vehicles, however, must stop regardless of their weight. That said, if your rental truck is loaded heavily and looks commercial, it’s better to stop at weigh stations to avoid being pulled over for an inspection. Staying compliant with these guidelines ensures a smooth journey through Illinois.


Kentucky requires rental trucks carrying personal goods to stop at weigh stations if they exceed 10,000 pounds. This is especially important to remember because enforcement can be strict. Kentucky’s weigh stations are equipped to check your truck’s compliance with state laws regarding weight and safety. Failing to stop can result in hefty fines. Always be aware of the weight limits to ensure you are adhering to the rules in Kentucky.


In Michigan, the rules for stopping at weigh stations are similar to those in other states. Rental trucks carrying personal property generally don’t have to stop. However, if your truck’s weight exceeds 10,000 pounds, you should stop at the weigh stations. Paying attention to those weight limits and signs along the highways can save you from receiving fines. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and follow the posted guidelines.


Ohio’s rules for rental trucks are quite clear. Rental trucks, especially those transporting personal household goods, usually do not need to stop at weigh stations. But if your vehicle’s weight surpasses 10,000 pounds, you should pull into the weigh stations when required. Ohio’s weigh stations are mostly automated, meaning you can be flagged if you don’t comply. Keeping an eye on your truck’s weight and stopping as necessary will help you avoid any issues on the road.

Rental Trucks and Legal Compliance

Understanding the legal requirements for rental trucks is crucial to avoid fines and ensure safety. Key factors include how the truck is classified, its weight, and whether you are traveling within a state or across state lines.

Commercial Vehicle Classification

Rental trucks, such as U-Haul, are sometimes considered commercial vehicles. However, this varies by state. Some states make distinctions based on truck use. If you are moving personal belongings, you might not need to stop at weigh stations.

Commercial vehicles are often subject to different rules than regular passenger vehicles. The Department of Transportation (DOT) sets many of these regulations. Understanding whether your rental truck falls under commercial truck regulations can affect your compliance requirements.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) Regulations

Rental trucks must adhere to Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) regulations. The GVW includes the truck’s weight plus the weight of any cargo. Typically, if your truck exceeds 10,000 pounds, you may need to stop at weigh stations in states like Iowa and South Dakota.

For instance, a 26-foot truck can weigh up to 26,000 pounds, requiring compliance with stricter rules. Knowing your truck’s GVW and the thresholds can help you navigate this aspect of truck rental compliance.

Interstate vs. Intrastate Regulations

Regulations vary depending on whether you are driving a moving truck within one state (intrastate) or across multiple states (interstate). Traveling interstate often requires more strict adherence to weigh station requirements.

For example, states like Alabama and Montana may require stops for trucks over a specific weight. Yet, other states like Kansas and Oklahoma do not require rental trucks to stop at all.

When planning your move, check the rules for each state you will pass through. This will help you avoid potential fines and ensure a smoother moving experience.

Preparing for Weigh Stations

When getting ready for your trip with a rental truck, it’s important to know the weight of your vehicle and understand the rules about weigh stations in different states. Here’s how you can stay prepared and avoid any surprises on the road.

Checking Vehicle and Load Weight

Before hitting the road, make sure to check your moving truck’s weight. You can do this by:

  • Finding a public weigh station: These are usually located near highways. They can give you an accurate measurement of your truck’s weight.
  • Using a portable scale: While less common, these can be useful for a quick check if you have one available.
  • Reading the truck’s manual: The manual often includes the weight of an empty truck. Add the estimated weight of your belongings to this number.

If your rental truck weighs over certain limits (like 10,000 pounds in many states), you may need to stop at weigh stations. Knowing your truck’s weight in advance can save you from fines and delays.

Understanding Rental Truck Weight Limits

States have different rules about when a rental truck must stop at a weigh station. Typically:

  • 10,000 pounds: Many states set this as the maximum weight for not stopping. If your truck exceeds this, you need to stop.
  • Special cases: Some states like Virginia and South Dakota have lower limits (7,500 and 8,000 pounds, respectively).

Always check the specific weight limits for the states you will be driving through. This can help avoid any hassles during your move.

Identifying Nearby Weigh Stations

Knowing where weigh stations are along your route helps in planning stops:

  • Check online maps: Websites and mapping services often list weigh station locations.
  • Use GPS apps: Many GPS navigation apps have features to locate weigh stations along your route.
  • Check with the rental company: Sometimes rental companies provide maps or lists of weigh station locations.

Preparing by knowing where weigh stations are can help you avoid last-minute lane changes or missed stops, making your move smoother and less stressful.

Nationwide Weigh Station Directory

Different states have unique regulations for rental trucks at weigh stations. Understanding these requirements helps you avoid fines and stay compliant while moving.

Alabama to Missouri

In Alabama, rental trucks must stop at weigh stations, especially if they exceed 26,000 pounds. Idaho follows a similar rule for trucks over that weight, while Montana also has the same requirement. In South Dakota, rental trucks exceeding 8,000 pounds must stop. Virginia mandates rental trucks stop at weigh stations if they weigh more than 7,500 pounds. For those traveling through Missouri, there are no specific requirements listed for rental trucks to stop.

Florida requires all rental trucks to stop, while Georgia mandates stops for trucks over 10,000 pounds. Hawaii also sets a 10,000-pound limit for stops. States like Iowa and Nebraska have weigh station rules based on the weight of the vehicle, with Iowa’s limit at 10,000 pounds. For trips through Kansas and Oklahoma, rental trucks typically don’t need to stop.

Montana to Wyoming

Montana requires rental trucks over 26,000 pounds to stop at weigh stations. Nevada and New Hampshire enforce the same weight limit rule. In New Jersey, all rental trucks must stop. New York requires stops for trucks larger than 18,000 pounds.

North Dakota and Oklahoma generally do not require rental trucks to stop. Oregon and Pennsylvania have stricter rules, requiring stops for trucks over 10,000 pounds. South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas each have specific requirements, usually based on the weight of the truck.

In Utah, rental trucks over 10,000 pounds must stop. States like Vermont and Washington have similar rules. West Virginia and Wisconsin enforce stops for trucks within specific weight limits, while Wyoming typically requires rental trucks to stop based on weight regulations.

Additional Considerations for Movers

When planning your move, especially over long distances, there are several factors to keep in mind. Key points include deciding if your goods are personal or commercial, picking the right truck, and understanding the impact of weigh stations.

Personal Property vs. Commercial Goods

Make sure you know what type of items you are transporting. For movers carrying their own household items, weigh station rules can be more lenient. States like Alabama, Idaho, and Montana might require you to stop with rental trucks if they exceed 26,000 pounds.

However, if you are moving commercial goods, you’ll need to check regulations more cautiously. Commercial vehicles usually have stricter requirements. Always differentiate whether your rental truck is for personal or commercial use as different rules apply.

Choosing the Right Rental Truck for Your Move

Selecting the right rental truck is crucial. Companies like Penske, Budget, Enterprise, and Ryder offer a range of sizes. Make sure you pick a truck that’s big enough for all your household goods but not too large to avoid unnecessary hassle.

Think about the weight of your items. If your rental truck is over 10,000 pounds, some states like Iowa may require you to stop at weigh stations. It’s best to talk to the rental company about the total weight and any specific state regulations that might apply to your move.

Impact of Weigh Stations on Moving Plans

Weigh stations can affect your travel plans. If you have a long-distance move, stopping at weigh stations could add time to your trip. Plan your route in advance. Some states like South Dakota and Nebraska require rental trucks to stop, while others don’t.

Being aware of where you need to stop can help avoid delays and fines. Checkpoints on highways can be busy, so factor in the extra time. Knowledge of state-specific rules saves you from unwanted surprises.

Make sure to prepare properly for your move, knowing weigh stations can affect your budget and timetable. This proactive approach helps ensure a smooth and efficient move.


When driving a rental truck, knowing which states require you to stop at weigh stations helps you avoid fines and delays.

In some states like Virginia and South Dakota, you need to stop if your truck weighs more than a certain amount. For example, in Virginia, the limit is 7,500 pounds.

In other states, the threshold can be higher. For instance, if your truck is over 10,000 pounds, you must stop in Iowa and several other states.

Here’s a quick look at some state requirements:

  • Virginia: Stop if over 7,500 pounds
  • South Dakota: Stop if over 8,000 pounds
  • Iowa: Stop if over 10,000 pounds
  • Alabama, Idaho, Montana: Stop if over 26,000 pounds

Most states have signs before weigh stations telling you if you need to stop. Always pay attention to these signs while traveling.

It’s important to know the weight of your rental truck. You can usually find this information on the rental agreement or the truck itself.

Remember to research the rules for each state you will drive through. This makes your trip smoother and helps you comply with the law.

Safe travels and happy moving!

  • Joshua Smith

    I am Joshua Smith, a seasoned expert in car rentals, with a wealth of experience and knowledge spanning over ten years. My passion is to share insider tips, savvy tricks, and in-depth reviews to guide you effortlessly through the intricacies of vehicle leasing.

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