Louisiana/AMS Launch Electronic Truck Permitting System

Louisiana's Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) can now issue permits to oversize and commercial trucks over the Internet in a move that will streamline what was a time-consuming approval process.

American Management Systems Inc. said earlier this week that it had launched the new Permitting Electronic Routing Bridge Analysis (PERBA) system, which will enable DOTD to issue more than 235,000 permits a year.

"Everything's working and seems to be going fine," said Jim Norman, the enforcement and vehicle permits administrator at DOTD. "Now we're trying to educate our customers to the advantages of this system over the old one."

The old approach had agency staff members handling permit requests over the phone and manually entering the data into a mainframe system.

PERBA uses a World Wide Web-based permitting system that allows DOTD customers to request and receive real-time oversize/overweight carrier permits over the Internet. The permits are granted based on the size and weight of the loads and only after several criteria are taken into account, including highway conditions and geometry, and the day and time of travel.

All permits are going through the new system, with about 20 percent, or 150 to 200 permits a day, being issued via the Internet, Norman said. Eventually, DOTD hopes to issue up to 40 percent of the 1,100 daily permits through the system.

Eventually, PERBA will be able to provide routing directions and bridge analyses throughout the state for the truck loads as well -- a much-anticipated feature that should be available by the end of the year, Norman said. "That will be one of the greatest benefits of the system when it's done," he said. "The customer will be able to do it all --- routing, pricing and permits -- and talk to no one."

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