FMCSR §396.3 states that a carrier must have a program to “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control.” This applies to all companies whether they have 1 truck or 100,000 trucks.

Unsafe Operations – § 396.7

Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must not be operated in such a condition as to likely cause an accident or a breakdown of the vehicle.

Roadside Inspection Reports – § 396.9

Any driver who receives a roadside inspection report must deliver it to his/her employing motor carrier. The motor carrier official must examine the roadside inspection report. Within 15 days after the inspection, the motor carrier must sign the report to certify that all violations have been corrected and return it to the address indicated. A copy must be retained on file by the motor carrier for 12 months from the date of the inspection.

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports – § 396.11

  • -Drivers are required to complete a daily written post-trip inspection report at the end of each driving day.
    -The inspection report must identify the vehicle and list any defects or deficiencies discovered by or reported to the driver, which could affect the safety of operation of the vehicle or result in a mechanical breakdown.
    -The motor carrier or its agent must certify that any listed defect or deficiency has been repaired or that immediate repair is unnecessary.
    -The motor carrier must maintain the original copy for 3 months.
    Section 396.11 does not apply to a non-business PMCP or to a motor carrier operating only one vehicle.
    -Prior to requiring or permitting a driver to operate a vehicle, every motor carrier or its agent shall repair any defect or deficiency listed on the driver vehicle inspection report which would be likely to affect the safe operation of the vehicle.

Annual Inspection – §396.17

Every commercial vehicle, including each segment of a combination vehicle requires periodic inspection that must be performed at least once every 12 months. At a minimum, inspections must include all items enumerated in the Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards, Appendix G to Subchapter B of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Motor carriers may perform required annual inspection themselves. The original or a copy of the periodic inspection report must be retained by the motor carrier for 14 months from the report date.

Inspector Qualifications

  • Inspectors Must Understand Part 393 and Appendix G – Motor carriers must ensure that persons performing annual inspections are qualified. Inspectors must understand the inspection standards of Part 393 and Appendix G and be able to identify defective components. They also must have knowledge and proficiency in methods, procedures, and tools.
    Brake inspector qualification – The motor carrier is responsible for ensuring that all inspections, maintenance, repairs, and service to brakes of commercial motor vehicles comply with these regulations. The carrier must ensure that the employees responsible for brake inspection, maintenance, service, or repairs meet minimum brake inspector qualifications.
    Qualifying Brake Training or Experience – Qualifying brake training or experience includes successful completion of a State, Canadian province, Federal agency/union training program, a State-approved training program, training that led to attainment of a State or Canadian Province qualifying certificate to perform assigned brake service or inspection tasks, including passage of CDL air brake test in the case of a brake inspection/one year of brake-related training, experience, or combination of both.
    Maintaining Evidence of Brake Inspector Qualifications – Motor carriers must maintain evidence of brake inspector qualification at the principal place of business or the location where the inspector works. Evidence must be retained for the period during which the brake inspector is employed in that capacity and for one year thereafter.


FMCSAFETY assists clients in developing and implementing a comprehensive vehicle maintenance program. Clients receive all resources, documents, and files to meet the FMCSA requirements listed above and more. Examples include the Annual Inspector Qualification Form per FMCSA Regulation §396.19, Annual Brake Inspector Qualification Form per FMCSA Regulation §396.25, and our one-of-a-kind, customized Pre- and Post-Trip Inspection Reports. FMCSAFETY’s Pre- and Post-Trip Inspection Reports are designed for each individual client based on their specific needs. FMCSAFETY will customize your inspection reports to include the equipment you want to be inspected that may not be listed on a standard DVIR. If your company delivers to fast food restaurants, you likely will require your driver to inspect that strip curtains are existing and intact in order to maintain the correct temperature of the trailer during deliveries. Our flatbed clients often want drivers to thoroughly inspect the trailer straps during each pre-trip inspection to ensure there aren’t tears or frayed edges. Any equipment you want drivers to take notice of, we will include it in your customized pre- and post-trip inspection reports.