Are You Aware of the 6 levels of DOT inspection?

The Department of Transportation, mostly referred as DOT has made it mandatory for Commercial vehicle owners owning vehicles with more than 10,001 pounds to undergo inspection annually. This inspection is carried out to ensure that the vehicles are in working condition and the drivers follow the safety measures. The DOT inspectors also make sure that the parts and accessories are properly maintained. It is obvious, as a commercial truck driver you must be aware of the six levels of safety analysis conducted by the DOT inspectors. However, to help you brush your knowledge and make your next inspection a smooth one read below to learn the six levels of DOT inspection.

Level 1: North American Standard Inspection

This step involves the inspection of essential documents such as the driver license, medical certificate, waiver, and total hours of driving. Additionally, the DOT inspector will also inspect the seat belt, tail lamps, steering wheel, exhaust system, and all the major aspects required for driving safely.

Level 2: Inspect the Vehicle and Driver

Here, the DOT examiner conducts a thorough inspection of each of the items listed in Level 1. However, the compulsory inspections involved at this stage are examining the driver’s license, medical certificate, and waiver. If required, the DOT inspector will inspect the seat belt, brakes, exhaust system, tires, emergency exists, etc.  It is considered that the inspection is this level is done without getting under the vehicle physically.

Level 3: Inspect the Driver

At this stage, the Department of Transportation inspector will do a detailed examination of the driver’s license, medical certificates, and waiver. Besides this, inspection might also be carried on examining the driver’s records, hours of service, HM requirements, etc. if applicable.

Level 4: Special Inspection

As the name suggests, these inspections are carried out one-time on specified items. Moreover, this inspection is mainly conducted to declare a previous claim invalid made in regards to the vehicle.

Level 5: Inspect Only the Vehicle

This section is almost similar to the inspection carried out on Level 1 but, the only difference is that the inspection is carried out without the driver being there.

Level 6: NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments

This inspection is carried out on specific radiological shipments, which involves inspection processes, improvement to the level 1 inspection, and much more.

Understanding the 6 levels of DOT inspection will help commercial drivers do a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle and ensure the vehicle is in smooth running condition. Like paying taxes, clearing DOT inspection is also essential and to help you prepare I will be providing useful tips on the same soon. However, for smooth tax filing of form 2290, is your gateway, having updated features to add to your comfort and convenience. For more information send an Email to and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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