The Road Commission issues permits  which are required to put in a driveway, erect a sign, install a pipeline, put  in a utility line and to move an overweight or over-width load on the  right-of-way. The use of permits came about for safety and also to protect the  roads. Any county with heavy logging or oil well traffic will usually have a  permit system to protect against damage to the roads. The charge for the permit  in most cases is to help defray the cost of someone going out to check on the  permit and for damage to the roads.

Moving permits are issued for loads  that are overweight, over-width or over-length. Generally Otsego County enforces  the same restrictions as are established on the State Highways. In general, any  load over 8-1/2 feet wide or over 65 feet long requires a permit. Mobile homes  are allowed to move on County Roads with an approved permit. The load limits in  Michigan depend on axle weight and on the tire size as well as how far apart the  axles are. Trucker's maps are available from the State Department of  Transportation that have charts giving the maximum loads per axle. Annual  "Extended Transportation Permits" are available but are not valid during the  Spring Frost Laws.

If driveways are put too close together, too close to  an intersection or too high in relation to the road, they can cause a hazard. A  driveway put in on a hill generally must have a culvert for proper drainage. If  you were to pave your driveway and make it higher than the shoulder of the road,  we could hit it with a plow and damage the plow or worse - have an accident.  These are all reasons for us to require driveway permits and why we want to go  out and check each one.

If you have a business and wish to put a sign in  the right-of-way, Building and Zoning requires that you get a permit from  them...you are also required to get one from the Road Commission. There are many  reasons for us to require a permit for signs; the main reason is for safety.  Some hazards are: signs that block the view from a driveway or road, signs that  are in the way when snowplowing and signs that detract from a driver's  attention.

Seismic lines, overhead power and telephone lines, buried  cable, buried pipes and tree clearing on the right-of-way all require permits.  In general, if you want to do something in the right-of-way, it is advisable to  give us a call as it may prevent problems later. Moving and seismic permits are  issued during our regular office hours. All other permits are approved by the  Board at their regular meetings after being reviewed by our permit  department.