Chapter 2. Width of California Vehicle Code >> Division 15. >> Chapter 2.
(a) The total outside width of any vehicle or its load shall
not exceed 102 inches, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, safety devices
which the Secretary of Transportation determines to be necessary for
the safe and efficient operation of motor vehicles shall not be
included in the calculation of width as specified in subdivision (a).
(c) Any city or county may, by ordinance, prohibit a combination
of vehicles of a total width in excess of 96 inches upon highways
under its jurisdiction. The ordinance shall not be effective until
appropriate signs are erected indicating the streets affected.
For purposes of subdivision (a) of Section 35100, the
(a) The metric equivalent of 102 inches, 2.6 meters, meets the
requirement of Section 35100.
(b) The width measurement of any vehicle with side walls shall be
made from the outside wall of the two opposite sides of the vehicle.
The total outside width of a cotton module mover operated
on the highways pursuant to Section 35555 and the load thereon shall
not exceed 130 inches in width. However, a county board of
supervisors, with respect to any or all county highways within its
jurisdiction or any portion thereof, may by resolution prohibit or
limit the operation of cotton module movers exceeding the maximum
width specified in Section 35100.
When any vehicle is equipped with pneumatic tires, the
maximum width from the outside of one wheel and tire to the outside
of the opposite outer wheel and tire shall not exceed 108 inches, but
the outside width of the body of the vehicle or the load thereon
shall not exceed 102 inches.
Vehicles manufactured, reconstructed, or modified after the
effective date of amendments to this section enacted during the 1983
portion of the 1983-84 Regular Session of the Legislature, to utilize
the 102 inch maximum width dimension, shall be equipped with axles,
tires, and wheels of sufficient width to adequately and safely
stabilize the vehicle. The Department of the California Highway
Patrol shall conduct tests relating to the dynamic stability of
vehicles utilizing body widths over 96 inches, up to and including
102 inches, to determine the necessity for establishing performance
standards under the authority of Section 34500. Such standards if
established shall be consistent with width standards established by
or under the authority of the United States Department of
When any vehicle carries a load of loosely piled
agricultural products such as hay, straw, or leguminous plants in
bulk but not crated, baled, boxed, or sacked, such load of loosely
piled material and any loading racks retaining the same shall not
exceed 120 inches in width.
(a) A vehicle used for recreational purposes may exceed the
maximum width established under Section 35100 if the excess width is
attributable to an appurtenance, excluding a safety device, that does
not exceed six inches beyond either sidewall of the vehicle.
(b) For the purposes of subdivision (a), an appurtenance is an
integral part of a vehicle and includes, but is not limited to,
awnings, grab handles, lighting equipment, cameras, and vents. An
appurtenance may not be used as a load carrying device.
The limitations as to width do not apply to the following
vehicles except that these vehicles shall not exceed a width of 120
(a) Special mobile equipment.
(b) Special construction or highway maintenance equipment.
(c) Motor vehicles designed for, and used exclusively to, haul
feed for livestock that are exempted from registration by subdivision
(c) of Section 36102, except when operated on a highway during
Any city organized under a freeholders' charter may by
ordinance permit a total outside width of vehicle and load in excess
of the limits set forth in Sections 35100, 35101, 35102, 35104, and
35106 when the vehicle is used exclusively within the boundary limits
of the city.
(a) Motor coaches or buses may have a maximum width not
exceeding 102 inches.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), motor coaches or buses
operated under the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission in
urban or suburban service may have a maximum outside width not
exceeding 104 inches, when approved by order of the Public Utilities
Commission for use on routes designated by it. Motor coaches or buses
operated by common carriers of passengers for hire in urban or
suburban service and not under the jurisdiction of the Public
Utilities Commission may have a maximum outside width not exceeding
"Urban and suburban service" means a service performed in
urban or suburban areas, or between municipalities in close
proximity, except that:
(a) The one-way route mileage of the service shall not be more
than 50 miles.
(b) Designated motor coach routes over state highways outside
limits of incorporated cities where the one-way route mileage is over
25 miles, but does not exceed 50 miles, shall be approved by the
Department of Transportation.
Lights, mirrors, or devices which are required to be mounted
upon a vehicle under this code may extend beyond the permissible
width of the vehicle to a distance not exceeding 10 inches on each
side of the vehicle.
(a) Door handles, hinges, cable cinchers, chain binders,
aerodynamic devices, holders for the display of placards warning of
hazardous materials, and a tarping system and all nonproperty
carrying devices or components thereof, may extend three inches on
each side of the vehicle.
(b) For purposes of this section, "aerodynamic device" means a
device that uses technologies that minimize drag and improve airflow
over an entire tractor-trailer vehicle. These include gap fairings
that reduce turbulence between the tractor and trailer, side skirts
that minimize wind under the trailer, and rear fairings that reduce
turbulence and pressure drop at the rear of the trailer, provided
that these devices shall not adversely impact the vehicle's swept
width and turning characteristics and that the primary purpose of the
device is not for advertising.
(c) (1) For purposes of this section, "a tarping system" means a
movable device used to enclose the cargo area of flatbed semitrailers
(2) Subdivision (a) applies to all component parts of a tarping
system, including the following:
(A) The transverse structure at the front of the vehicle to which
the sliding walls and roof of the tarp mechanism are attached,
provided the structure is not also intended or designed to comply
with Section 393.106 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
The transverse structure may be up to 108 inches wide if properly
centered so that neither side extends more than three inches beyond
the structural edge of the vehicle.
(B) The side rails running the length of the vehicle.
(C) The rear doors, provided the only function of the rear doors
is to seal the cargo area and anchor the sliding walls and roof.
(D) The "wings" designed to close the gap between a headerboard
designed to comply with Section 393.106 of Title 49 of the Code of
Federal Regulations and the movable walls and roof of a tarping
system, provided they are add-on pieces designed to bear only the
load of the tarping system itself and are not integral parts of the
load-bearing headerboard structure.
(d) For purposes of this section, a "headerboard designed to
comply with Section 393.106 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal
Regulations" is load bearing and does not exceed 102 inches in width.
No passenger vehicle shall be operated on any highway with
any load carried thereon extending beyond the line of the fenders on
its left side or more than six inches beyond the line of the fenders
on its right side.