In an effort to improve the clearance request process, BNSF Railway implemented a Pay-for-Proposal model within its dimensional clearance request process. This Pay-for-Proposal model includes a $1,000 fee for every over-dimensional load request submitted. This fee is completely refundable on all proposals that become actual loads on BNSF.

When you submit your request via and are a credit customer with BNSF, you now have two options for payment: "Continue with BNSF Credit" or "Continue with Credit Card". If you "Continue with BNSF Credit," you will receive a miscellaneous bill for the clearance. If you choose "Continue with Credit Card" you will be prompted to enter your credit card information for immediate payment.

Credit Customers

Upon completion of the clearance request, credit customers who choose to receive a miscellaneous bill will be prompted to select their patron code. After selecting the appropriate patron code and submitting the request, BNSF will issue a miscellaneous bill for the charges. Customers with credit will also have the option of immediate payment via credit card. Simply choose "Continue with Credit Card" and follow screen prompts for credit card entry.

With each request, a confirmation e-mail will be sent acknowledging receipt of request, regardless of whether you choose miscellaneous bill or credit card option.

Non-Credit Customers

Non-credit customers will be required to pay for the clearance upon submission with a valid credit card (Visa or MasterCard only). Non-credit customers will not see an option to "Continue with BNSF Credit" and will only see the "Continue with Credit Card" option.

If you are interested in becoming a BNSF customer, please contact our Sales team (Chrome browser recommended), and select the "I'm ready to begin shipping or receiving freight" option to get started.

Receiving Your Refund

You are eligible to receive a refund on the Pay-for-Proposal fee if all of the following occurs:

  • You requested a proposal and received a pre-clearance by the BNSF High/Wide Clearance team.
  • The commodity requested must be transported by BNSF within the original requested lane (origin/destination) within one year of the approved pre-clearance.
  • The BNSF proposal number provided must be included in the billing either through an EDI 404 Bill of Lading or through the BNSF Shipping Instructions application.
  • You request a refund within 90 days from the waybill date.
  • You use the eCash application available through You will need the proposal number, as well as the waybill number and date, of the lead railcar used in the move.

Here's the two-step process for requesting your refund:

Step 1 - Prior to the shipment, include your pre-clearance proposal number with your waybill -- either through the EDI 404 Bill of Lading or the BNSF Shipping Instructions application.

You will receive a Proposal Number once your proposal has been reviewed and pre-cleared by BNSF. When this load is ready to be transported and you submit the billing for the move, you must include the Proposal Number with the waybill. This part of the process is a key factor in you being eligible to receive a refund of the proposal fee.

Please note: Your Proposal Number must be submitted in the format of the following example: 734150-0009-09 (hyphens included). If multiple waybills are submitted, please use the same proposal number.

  • If you use EDI, you will need to include the Proposal Number with the EDI 404 Bill of Lading. In the N9*02 segment, enter the Proposal Number as a Reference Identification with a N9*01 = '39' Reference Identification Qualifier.
  • If you use our Shipping Instructions application via, upon opening the "Shipping Instructions" screen:
    • At the top left is a drop down for "Available Options"
    • Select "Reference Numbers"
    • In the qualifier drop down box, select "High/Wide Proposal File Number"
    • Enter the proposal number in the "Reference Number" box in the format noted above.

Step 2 - Within 90 days of submitting your waybill, initiate your refund request using BNSF's eCash tool.

Refund processing will be executed through the use of the eCash tool, which is accessible through our online customer portal. If you're unfamiliar with our eCash tool, please refer to our step-by-step tutorial overview.

BNSF will validate the railcar and waybill information to the proposal and actual move. If a successful match occurs and a proposal number is validated for that railcar, then a refund will be processed. The refund will be provided either through direct deposit into your company's bank account or by hard-copy check via U.S. mail. Refunds will not be credited back to the credit card used to secure the clearance. Refunds will be processed within 15 days of the request. If a match does not occur, you will be notified.

If you have questions on how to submit the proposal number with your billing or how to use eCash, call our eBusiness Help Desk at 1-888-428-2673.

Additional Changes

Ever wonder what the status of your submitted clearance request is? Now you can get access to real-time updates on your request, regardless of what stage it's in - having just been submitted or in final review by the clearance team.

Also, we're implementing new limitations on changes to previously submitted requests. Once a proposal moves to the "Worked" status, only the measurements can be adjusted. That means you can only submit two separate revisions of measurements. While the proposal is still in the "Submitted" status, you can make as many changes as you wish except for the Origin and Destination. If the Origin and Destination needs to change, then the request should be canceled and a new request should be submitted. The "Estimated Ship Date" field must also be populated before submitting the request.

For more information, see our FAQ document. Details of this program are also being published in BNSF Rules Book 6100.

For additional questions, including questions regarding the Pay-for-Proposal process, please contact your BNSF marketing representative. Waybill submission and eCash questions should be directed to the eBusiness Help Desk at 1-888-428-2673.