DOT Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspection Requirements
In the past, the Department of Transportation Federal Highway
Administration accepted Oklahomas mandatory annual state vehicle
inspection in lieu of a federal inspection. Since Oklahoma no longer
requires a vehicle inspection, this obviously is no longer the case.
The DOT has determined that it is the motor carrier who is responsible
for ensuring that each vehicle has been inspected annually.
Today, a motor carrier has two options to meet DOT inspection
requirements. First, the motor carrier may perform his or her own
inspection. However, if a motor carrier self inspects, the motor
carrier must have a qualified person in-house who is certified as
per 49 CFR 396.19. Second, a motor carrier may choose to have a
commercial garage, fleet leasing company, truck stop, or other similar
commercial business perform the inspection as its agent, provided
that business operates and maintains facilities appropriate for
commercial vehicle inspections and it employs qualified inspectors,
as required by 49 CFR 396.19.
Either way, the original or a copy of the inspection report must
be retained by the motor carrier or other entity who is responsible
for the inspection for a period of 14 months from the date of the
inspection. The original or a copy of the inspection report must
be retained where the vehicle is either housed or maintained. Finally,
the original or a copy of the inspection report must be available
for inspection upon demand by an authorized federal, state, or local
official. In other words, a copy must also be retained in the vehicle.
DOT does not require a specific inspection report form, but they
do require that the inspector include particular information in
the report, as required by 49 CFR 396.21.
Vehicle inspection forms are available from this agency without
cost. To receive a form, contact this office by telephone, fax,
or through e-mail. A copy of the vehicle inspection regulations
will be included or you may receive them by logging onto the DOT
website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.