Commercial motor vehicles must have an annual DOT motor carrier inspection. We can make sure your truck passes all requirements.
Commercial motor vehicles must have an annual DOT motor carrier inspection. We can make sure your truck passes all requirements.

Motor Carrier DOT Inspection

All commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that weigh more than 10,000 pounds must have an annual motor carrier DOT inspection conducted by the Department of Transportation.

The inspection ensures that all the CMV parts and accessories are safe to use, in good condition, and working properly.

We can perform this inspection to make sure your truck passes all requirements.

DOT Motor Carrier Inspections

There are six primary levels of DOT inspections. These may be conducted anywhere by a qualified DOT inspector or state police officer.

Level I: North American Standard Inspection

At this level of inspection, the inspector will be meticulous in checking the driver's documents. The inspector will also look for drugs, alcohol or hazardous materials that the driver may be transporting.

This list includes:

The evaluation will look at the following parts and accessories:

  • Seat belt
  • Brakes
  • Brake lamps
  • Coupling devices
  • Exhaust system
  • Emergency exits and/or electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments (buses)
  • Frame
  • Fuel system
  • Headlamps
  • Lamps on projecting loads
  • Safe loading
  • Securement of cargo
  • Steering mechanism
  • Stop Lamps
  • Suspension
  • Tail lamps
  • Tires
  • Trailer bodies
  • Turn signals
  • Wheels, rims, and hubcaps
  • Windshield wipers

Level II: Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection

This inspection is almost identical to the level 1 evaluation. At Level II, the inspector will not check any of the parts that required under the CMV.

Use the DOT driver vehicle checklist or mobile app to learn what goes into a vehicle safety inspection.

Level III: Driver-Only Inspection

At a level III inspection, you can expect an in-depth examination of the following:

  • Driver’s license
  • Medical card
  • Driver’s daily log
  • Seat belt
  • Driver and Vehicle Inspection Report
  • Driver incident history
  • Hazmat requirements

Level IV: Special Inspection

The level IV special inspection refers to an examination conducted to take a closer look at a particular feature of the vehicle. This is usually done to support or refute a study or suspected trend.

Level V: Vehicle-Only Inspection

A level V inspection can be conducted at any location and includes everything in level I. This inspection happens without a driver present.

Level VI: Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments

CMVs that transport controlled quantities (HRCQ) of radioactive material are required to pass the North American Standard Level VI Inspection.

This inspection includes:

  • Inspecting for radiological shipments
  • Inspection procedures
  • Enhancements to level I
  • Radiological requirements
  • Enhanced out of service criteria

How to Prepare for a DOT Motor Carrier Inspection

Drivers can detect problems well before bigger issues arise. One of the best ways to do this is to perform a simple walk-around inspection before and after every trip the vehicle makes.

Check the tires

Tires rarely blow out, but they do tend to deflate slowly until the vehicle can no longer be driven. Check each tire for air using a digital tire pressure gauge.

Know the rules and regulations in your state about mud flaps. Some states provide specific requirements for mud flaps/splashguards on the rear of the vehicle to keep spray and debris tossed up by the tires from hitting the windshields of following traffic.

Test the lights

Malfunctioning lights, bulbs and electric signals can be a safety hazard. Be sure to check the break lights, headlights, high beams and low beams.

Look for cracks

Any cracks in the windows (even small, tiny chips) can quickly become much worse. Be sure to regularly check for hairline cracks and "stars" caused by flying gravel.