Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspections

All commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that weigh more than 10,000 pounds must undergo annual DOT inspections. A DOT inspection is an inspection conducted by the Department of Transportation to ensure that all the CMV parts and accessories are safe to use, in good condition and working properly.

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There are six primary levels of DOT inspections. These may be conducted anywhere by a qualified DOT inspector or state police officer. The following list of the different levels includes an explanation of the methods used in assessing the vehicle and its drive:



Level I: North American Standard Inspection

In checking the vehicle, the evaluation will look at the following parts and accessories:

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