DOT Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspection Requirements

In the past, the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration accepted Oklahoma’s 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



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Oklahoma LP Gas Research, Marketing and Safety Commission
6412 N Santa Fe Ave, Suite C
Oklahoma City, OK 73116-9111
405-879-9828 :: fax 405-879-0304