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Annual Vehicle Inspections

The DOT requires that all vehicles be inspected at least once each year. The inspection must cover the 13 areas shown on Form 7-2, “Record of Annual Inspection” and form Form 7-2B, “Record of Annual Inspection (Bus)”, and must be signed by the person inspecting the vehicle.

A copy of the inspection, or decal, must be carried on the vehicle, in addition to being kept on file, for both company and owner-operator units.

The Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 required the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe standards for annual (or more frequent) inspection of CMV’s. In late 1988, FHWA published a final rule requiring CMV’s operated in interstate commerce to be inspected annually (Annual Inspection required by §396.17), but allowed for states to set their own periodic inspection (PI) requirements, provided that they were “comparable to, or as effective as” the Federal standards.Many states have done exactly that, and consequently, carriers participating in those states’ programs, or in states where the State’s program is mandatory, need not do a (separate) Federal annual inspection (ref. §396.23), provided that the last (state) inspection was performed within the previous 12 months. Below are the states that (at the time of printing) have programs that FMCSA has determined are comparable to, or as effective as, the Federal PI requirements:

Alabama Maryland Pennsylvania
California Massachusetts Rhode Island
Connecticut Michigan Texas
District of Columbia Minnesota Utah
Hawaii New Hampshire Vermont
Illinois New Jersey Virginia
Louisiana New York West Virginia
Maine Ohio Wisconsin
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