Commercial and oversized vehicles

People driving commercial and oversized vehicles onto Washington State Ferries must take special precautions due to numerous variables associated with traveling on marine highways. Variables include:

Anyone planning to drive a vehicle aboard a ferry that has any of the following criteria must complete WSF’s Oversized/Overweight Vehicle Travel Request form (pdf 96 kb) and fax it to 206-515-3773:

  • Gross vehicle weight (GVW) more than 80,000 pounds
  • More than 8 feet, 6 inches wide
  • Ground clearance of less than 14 inches
  • More than 13 feet, 4 inches tall

Allow two business days for processing. For status updates on requests, call 206-464-6400 or 1-888-808-7977. Drivers transporting a modular home must also fill out and fax a Modular Home Measurement Diagram (pdf 17 kb). 

Reservations and fares

WSF offers vehicle reservations only for the Anacortes/San Juan Islands, Sidney, British Columbia and Port Townsend/Coupeville routes. 

Fares are charged based on vehicle length. Any vehicle more than 8 feet, 6 inches wide will be charged double the applicable length-based fare.

Commercial vehicle load postings (weight restrictions)

Evaluations of special hauling vehicles at specific terminals have resulted in the need for load postings at these terminals and routes. These special hauling vehicles are single-unit vehicles and concrete mixer trucks. They do not include semi-trailers or truck trailers. The following postings for vehicle GVW have been applied at the following routes:

San Juan Islands
(Controlling Terminal: Anacortes Terminal):

Single Unit Vehicles

  • 4-Axle Vehicles: 25 Tons
  • 5-Axle Vehicles: 27 Tons
  • 6-Axle Vehicles: 30 Tons
  • 7-Axle Vehicles: 34 Tons

Edmonds/Kingston
(Controlling Terminal: Edmonds Terminal):

Single Unit Vehicles

  • 4-Axle Vehicles: 23 Tons
  • 5-Axle Vehicles: 25 Tons
  • 6-Axle Vehicles: 27 Tons
  • 7-Axle Vehicles: 30 Tons

Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth
(Controlling Terminal: Vashon Terminal):

Single Unit Vehicles

  • 5-Axle Vehicles: 29 Tons
  • 6-Axle Vehicles: 31 Tons
  • 7-Axle Vehicles: 33 Tons

Point Defiance/Tahlequah
(Controlling Terminal: Vashon Terminal):

Single Unit Vehicles

  • 5-Axle Vehicles: 29 Tons
  • 6-Axle Vehicles: 31 Tons
  • 7-Axle Vehicles: 33 Tons

These restrictions apply for either direction of travel on each route. Vehicles that exceed these weights will not be permitted to travel. The route restriction is controlled by the specific terminal listed. Routes not listed have no load restriction. For additional information, call 1-888-808-7977.

Vessel clearance

Height clearances vary by vessel. Clearances range from 13 feet, 6 inches on Tillikum to 16 feet on Kwa-di Tabil and Olympic vessel classes.

To find out which vessel is assigned to a particular sailing, check the schedule pages. On the right side of timetable(s) web page for each route is a legend identifying which vessel is assigned to each sailing. Auto deck clearance can be found by clicking on the name of the vessel within the legend. This information is updated daily.

Tides

Tidal currents cause cancellations on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route on a regular basis. Affected dates and sailing times are released in advance. 

Extreme low tides create a steep slope on vehicle loading ramps, causing trouble for some vehicles to load or disembark a ferry on Vashon Island. People driving longer trucks, vehicles with low ground clearance or long rear overhangs are asked to avoid the Fauntleory/Vashon, Southworth/Vashon and 
PointDefiance/Tahlequah routes during the affected dates and times.

Peak traffic times

All routes have a high volume of commuter traffic, generally eastbound from the islands and peninsulas in the morning, then westbound in the afternoon and evening. WSF encourages truck traffic to travel outside of these times as vessels may not be able to handle oversize loads during peak traffic times.

WSDOT publishes a Commercial Vehicle Guide (pdf 2.5 mb) and lists curfews on highways for oversized rigs. These are also in effect for WSF. For more information, visit WSDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Services.