Secure Your Load

Cartoon image of a truck with a secure load. Secure your load for safer roads, it's the law!

Secure Your Load

Washington law requires motorists secure their loads (RCW 46.61.655) to prevent cargo from breaking free. Since 1994, Island County Code (13.02A.095) has required an unsecured load fee to be charged for vehicles arriving at transfer stations that do not have secured loads.

  • $3 Cars (with passenger license plates)
  • $5 trucks with loads up to one ton
  • $10 trucks with loads more than one ton

Tips for Securing Your Load

  • Secure your load with tarps, netting, rope, bungee cords and/or straps. Tie large items directly to your vehicle.
  • Put lighter items at the bottom of the load to weigh them down so they don't blow out.
  • Don't overload, keep material level with the truck bed or trailer if at all possible.
  • Always double-check to make sure your load is secured. Loads can move and settle during transport allowing restraints to loosen, it’s a good idea to stop after a few miles to check if your tarp or tie-downs have loosened.

Ask Yourself

  • Is there any chance of debris falling or blowing out of my vehicle?
  • Would I feel safe if I were driving behind my vehicle?
  • Would I want my loaded vehicle driving through my neighborhood?
  • What would happen to my load if I had to brake suddenly or if I hit a bump?
  • Do I need to drive slower than I normally do?
  • Is my load secured at the back and on the sides AND top?
  • Did I double-check my load to make sure it is secured?

Secure Your Load Videos