Encroachment Permit FAQs
An encroachment permit issued by Caltrans is permissive authority for the permittee to enter state highway right-of-way to construct approved facilities or conduct specified activities. An encroachment permit is a valid contract when accepted by the permittee. Acceptance is acknowledged when any of the specified acts or work is performed under the conditions of the permit.
Encroachment permits are issued for a wide variety of activities, ranging from litter removal under the Adopt-A-Highway program to construction of new freeway ramps. Individuals, contractors, corporations, utilities, cities, counties, and other government agencies proposing to conduct any activity within, under, or over the state highway right-of-way need an encroachment permit. All entities, other than those listed below, must obtain an encroachment permit before conducting any activity within, under, or over the state highway right-of-way:
- Caltrans‘ forces under a state highway construction contract with Caltrans and operating within their contract limits
- Consultants under Caltrans contract
- Local agency forces with a delegation of a maintenance agreement operating within their jurisdictional boundaries and within the scope of their maintenance responsibilities
Do I need a permit for transporting extralegal loads, both oversized and/or overweight loads, on the State highway system?
Yes. A transportation permit is required for transporting extralegal loads on the State Highway system. These types of permits are called transportation permits and are issued by the Transportation Permits Office, not the Encroachment Permit Office. The Transportation Permits Office has two offices to serve the state. Permits for Northern California are issued from a Sacramento office; permits for Southern California are issued from a San Bernardino office. Telephone numbers and jurisdictional boundaries can be obtained online at the following location: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/permits/.
A permit application must be filled out completely, signed and submitted to the Caltrans Office of Permits along with a fee deposit and any reports, plans, and supporting documentation that can assist in the review of the proposed work or activity. Once the review is completed, the permit will be issued, more information will be requested, or the permit will be denied. The office address is:
Caltrans – District 6 Permits
1352 West Olive Avenue
Fresno, CA 93728
Permit fees are calculated based on the time spent reviewing the application and inspecting the work. The more complex the project, the more expensive the permit. Review and inspection time is billed at $82 per hour. Many routine permits (time extensions, double permits, some film permits, etc.) are charged a set fee according to a fee schedule. The charge is generally $82 or $164 for set fee permits. Local agencies are exempt from paying fees for permit review, but not for field inspection. Special events sponsored by non-profit organizations are not exempt from fees.
The statutes require Caltrans to issue or deny a permit within 60 calendar days of receipt of a fully completed application. For many types of permits, it can take less than two weeks to receive the permit. For large projects, it can take the full 60 days after submittal of a completed permit application. The key is to submit a complete application. With larger projects, there are generally one or more iterations of plan review and other documents and studies that are required before the application is considered complete. In these cases, a letter is sent requesting additional information from the applicant.
A perspective applicant can call the Permits office directly at (559) 488-4058 in Fresno or (661) 391-4776 in Kern County to speak to a Permits staff person or be mailed or faxed a permit application and information package. In addition, permit applications are available online at the following location:
For general encroachments permit information online: