U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 28, 2023

§ 396.9 - Inspection of motor vehicles and intermodal equipment in operation.

(a) Personnel authorized to perform inspections. Every special agent of the FMCSA (as defined in appendix B to this subchapter) is authorized to enter upon and perform inspections of a motor carrier's vehicles in operation and intermodal equipment in operation.

(b) Prescribed inspection report. The Driver Vehicle Examination Report shall be used to record results of motor vehicle inspections and results of intermodal equipment inspections conducted by authorized FMCSA personnel.

(c) Motor vehicles and intermodal equipment declared “out-of-service.” (1) Authorized personnel shall declare and mark “out-of-service” any motor vehicle or intermodal equipment which by reason of its mechanical condition or loading would likely cause an accident or a breakdown. An “Out-of-Service Vehicle” sticker shall be used to mark vehicles and intermodal equipment “out-of-service.”

(2) No motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider shall require or permit any person to operate nor shall any person operate any motor vehicle or intermodal equipment declared and marked “out-of-service” until all repairs required by the “out-of-service notice” have been satisfactorily completed. The term operate as used in this section shall include towing the vehicle or intermodal equipment, except that vehicles or intermodal equipment marked “out-of-service” may be towed away by means of a vehicle using a crane or hoist. A vehicle combination consisting of an emergency towing vehicle and an “out-of-service” vehicle shall not be operated unless such combination meets the performance requirements of this subchapter except for those conditions noted on the Driver Vehicle Examination Report.

(3) No person shall remove the “Out-of-Service Vehicle” sticker from any motor vehicle or intermodal equipment prior to completion of all repairs required by the “out-of-service notice.”

(d) Motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider disposition. (1) The driver of any motor vehicle, including a motor vehicle transporting intermodal equipment, who receives an inspection report shall deliver a copy to both the motor carrier operating the vehicle and the intermodal equipment provider upon his/her arrival at the next terminal or facility. If the driver is not scheduled to arrive at a terminal or facility of the motor carrier operating the vehicle or at a facility of the intermodal equipment provider within 24 hours, the driver shall immediately mail, fax, or otherwise transmit the report to the motor carrier and intermodal equipment provider.

(2) Motor carriers and intermodal equipment providers shall examine the report. Violations or defects noted thereon shall be corrected in accordance with § 396.11(a)(3). Repairs of items of intermodal equipment placed out-of-service are also to be documented in the maintenance records for such equipment.

(3) Within 15 days following the date of the inspection, the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider shall—

(i) Certify that all violations noted have been corrected by completing the “Signature of Carrier/Intermodal Equipment Provider Official, Title, and Date Signed” portions of the form; and

(ii) Return the completed roadside inspection form to the issuing agency at the address indicated on the form and retain a copy at the motor carrier's principal place of business, at the intermodal equipment provider's principal place of business, or where the vehicle is housed for 12 months from the date of the inspection.

[73 FR 76824, Dec. 17, 2008, as amended at 75 FR 17252, Apr. 5, 2010; 77 FR 28451, May 14, 2012; 78 FR 58485, Sept. 24, 2013; 81 FR 47731, July 22, 2016]