From hours-of-service rules to roadside inspections, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented many measures aimed at making the roads safe for the driving public. Among those measures is the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR).
Regular inspections are crucial to ensuring that commercial motor vehicles (CMV) are free of safety-critical defects before they take to the road, decreasing the chance of truck-car accidents, which have a higher risk of fatalities for passenger car drivers.
Inspections also aid carriers in finding and correcting potential safety issues before they become major problems, helping to keep their trucks in service and protecting their CSA scores.
In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about Driver Vehicle Inspection Report rules and how using electronic DVIRs can simplify the process.
What is a DVIR?
A DVIR is a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report, a formal confirmation that a driver has performed daily pre- and post-trip inspections of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), as required by Federal Law 49 CFR 396.11 and 396.13. DVIRs help ensure potential vehicle safety issues are identified and fixed.
Who Has to Complete DVIRs?
Drivers of CMVs weighing 10,001 pounds or more, as well as drivers of for-hire passenger CMVs, are required to inspect their vehicles at the end of their shift.
Drivers of passenger-carrying CMVs must complete and submit a DVIR whether or not any defects are found. For all other CMVs, such as tractor-trailers, drivers must complete and submit a DVIR only if a defect affecting the safe operation of the vehicle is found.
The FMCSA also requires that CMV drivers perform a pre-trip inspection before operating a vehicle. For this inspection, the driver must ensure that the vehicle is safe to operate. At this time, the driver must also review and sign off acknowledging that any defects identified in the previous DVIR have been repaired.
What Does an Inspection Include?
At a minimum, per the FMCSA, the following parts and accessories must be included in the vehicle inspection:
- Service brakes, including trailer brake connections
- Parking brake
- Steering mechanism
- Lighting devices and reflectors
- Windshield wipers
- Rear-vision mirrors
- Coupling devices
- Wheels and rims
- Emergency equipment
There is no specified format for the DVIR, but the FMCSA does require the following information:
- The motor carrier’s name and USDOT number
- The date and time the report was made
- Any damage, defect or deficiencies that would affect the safe operation of the truck or result in it breaking down on the road
- The driver’s signature
What Happens if a Defect Is Found?
Any defect found during an inspection must be repaired before the vehicle is dispatched again. And, as mentioned above, the driver must sign off on the repairs before starting a new trip.
How Long Must Carriers Keep DVIRs?
The FMCSA requires carriers to keep the original DVIR, along with certification of repairs and certification of the drivers’ review of the repairs for three months from the initial inspection report.
What Are the Penalties for Noncompliance?
Carriers who fail to maintain required records face financial penalties. Recordkeeping violations can result in fines of $1,307 per day up to a total of $13,072. Falsifying or destroying records can carry a maximum $13,072 fine.
Also, trucks that aren’t properly inspected may be at higher risk of being put out of service during a roadside inspection, leading to:
- Potential fines
- damage to CSA scores
- Expensive roadside maintenance or towaway services
- Unhappy customers
- Lost revenue
Free download: How to improve fleet safety with electronic DVIRs
What Are Electronic DVIRs?
Electronic DVIRs are paperless, digital inspection reports that greatly streamline the DVIR process and reduce the chances that important information missed or misplaced.
EROAD’s Inspect DVIR, for example, allows drivers to complete and sign their pre- and post-trip DVIRs on the in-cab electronic logging device. If a defect is found, the report records it, along with the name of the driver, the vehicle and the trailer. Carriers can then easily track defects and repairs in EROAD’s web app.
EROAD delivers accurate, consistent data to drive your business. Solution features a reliable tethered in-cab device and top-rated ELD. Functions include DVIR, live tracking, activity reporting, fuel tax management, and tools to streamline maintenance and control fuel costs. Get more capabilities with EROAD’s driver workflow app, dashcam and trailer tracking.
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Luke is a writer, editor and journalist with more than 15 years of experience. His constant goal is to provide valuable content that helps people understand complex concepts, solve problems and make informed decisions.