DVIR Regulation Q&A

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DVIR Regulation Q&A


The FMCSA has set out clear regulation for DVIR – Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports.  Fleets are now looking to electronic DVIR for efficiencies.  Here are some questions and answers to help you ensure your fleet is compliant.

The regulations text of the section can be found on the eCFR website. To view the regulation, use the link below.
View regulations for Part 396

Question 1: Does §396.11 require the DVIR to be turned in each day by a driver dispatched on a trip of more than one day’s duration?

Guidance: A driver must prepare a DVIR at the completion of each day’s work and shall submit those reports to the motor carrier upon his/her return to the home terminal. This does not relieve the motor carrier from the responsibility of effecting repairs and certification of any items listed on the DVIR, prepared at the end of each day’s work, that would be likely to affect the safety of the operation of the motor vehicle.

Question 2: Does §396.11 require that the power unit and the trailer be inspected?

Guidance: Yes. A driver must be satisfied that both the power unit and the trailer are in safe operating condition before operating the combination.

Question 3: May more than one power unit be included on the DVIR if two or more power units were used by a driver during one day’s work?

Guidance: No. A separate DVIR must be prepared for each power unit operated during the day’s work.

Question 4: Does §396.11 require a motor carrier to use a specific type of DVIR?

Guidance: A motor carrier may use any type of DVIR as long as the report contains the information and signatures required.

Question 5: Does §396.11 require a separate DVIR for each vehicle and a combination of vehicles or is one report adequate to cover the entire combination?

Guidance: One vehicle inspection report may be used for any combination, provided the defects or deficiencies, if any, are identified for each vehicle and the driver signs the report.

Question 6: Does §396.11(c) require a motor carrier to effect repairs of all items listed on a DVIR prepared by a driver before the vehicle is subsequently driven?

Guidance: The motor carrier must effect repairs of defective or missing parts and accessories listed in Appendix G to the FMCSRs before allowing the vehicle to be driven.

Question 7: What constitutes a “certification” as required by §396.11(c)(1) and (2)?

Guidance: A motor carrier or its agent must state, in writing, that certain defects or deficiencies have been corrected or that correction was unnecessary. The declaration must be immediately followed by the signature of the person making it.

Question 8: Who must certify under §396.11(c) that repairs have been made when a motor vehicle is repaired en route by the driver or a commercial repair facility?

Guidance: Either the driver or the commercial repair facility.

Question 9: Must certification for trailer repairs be made?

Guidance: Yes. Certification must be made that all reported defects or deficiencies have been corrected or that correction was unnecessary. The certification need only appear on the carrier’s copy of the report if the trailer is separated from the tractor.

Question 10: What responsibility does a vehicle leasing company, engaged in the daily rental of CMVs, have regarding the placement of the DVIR in the power unit?

Guidance: A leasing company has no responsibility to comply with §396.11 unless it is the carrier. It is the responsibility of a motor carrier to comply with part 396 regardless of whether the vehicles are owned or leased.

Question 11: Which carrier is to be provided the original of the DVIR in a trip lease arrangement?

Guidance: The motor carrier controlling the vehicle during the term of the lease (i.e. the lessee) must be given the original of the DVIR. The controlling motor carrier is also responsible for obtaining and retaining records relating to repairs.

Question 12: Must the motor carrier’s certification be shown on all copies of the DVIR?

Guidance: Yes.

Question 13: Must a DVIR carried on a power unit during operation cover both the power unit and trailer being operated at the time?

Guidance: No. The DVIR must cover the power unit being operated at the time. The trailer identified on there port may represent one pulled on the preceding trip.

Question 14: In instances where the DVIR has not been prepared or cannot be located, is it permissible under §396.11 for a driver to prepare a DVIR based on a pretrip inspection and a short drive of a motor vehicle?

Guidance: Yes. §396.11 of the FMCSRs places the responsibility on the motor carrier to require its drivers to prepare and submit the DVIR. If, in unusual circumstances, the DVIR has not been prepared or cannot be located the motor carrier may cause a road test and inspection to be performed for safety of operation and the DVIR to be prepared.

Question 15: Is it permissible to use the back of a record of duty status (daily log) as a DVIR?

Guidance: Yes, but the retention requirements of §396.11 and §395.8 must be met.

Question 16: Does §396.11 require that specific parts and accessories that are inspected be identified on the DVIR?

Guidance: No.

Question 17: Is the Ontario pretrip/posttrip inspection report acceptable as a DVIR under §396.11?

Guidance: Yes, provided the report from the preceding trip is carried on board the motor vehicle while in operation and all entries required by §396.11 and 396.13 are contained on the reports.

Question 18: Where must DVIRs be maintained?

Guidance: Since §396.11 is not specific, the DVIRs may be kept at either the motor carrier’s principal place of business or the location where the vehicle is housed or maintained.

Question 19: Who is responsible for retaining DVIRs for leased vehicles including those of owner-operators?

Guidance: The motor carrier is responsible for retaining the original copy of each DVIR and the certification of repairs for at least 3 months from the date the report was prepared.

Question 20: Is a multi-day DVIR acceptable under §396.11 and 396.13?

Guidance: Yes, provided all information and certifications required by §§396.11 and 396.13 are contained on the report.

Question 21: Is a DVIR required by a motor carrier operating only one tractor trailer combination?

Guidance: No. One tractor semitrailer/full trailer combination is considered one motor vehicle. However, a carrier operating a single truck tractor and multiple semitrailers, which are not capable of being operated as one combination unit, would be required to prepare DVIRs.

Question 22: Are motor carriers required to retain the “legible copy” of the last vehicle inspection report (referenced in §396.11(c)(3)) which is carried on the power unit?

Guidance: No. The record retention requirement refers only to the original copy retained by the motor carrier.

Question 23: Does the record retention requirement of §396.11(c)(2) apply to all DVIRs, or only those reports on which defects or deficiencies have been noted?

Guidance: The record retention requirement applies to all DVIRs.

Question 24: How would the DVIR requirements apply to a driver who works two or more shifts in a single calendar day?

Guidance: Section 396.11(a) requires every driver to prepare a DVIR at the completion of each day’s work on each vehicle operated. A driver who operates two or more vehicles in a 24-hour-period must prepare a DVIR at the completion of the tour of duty in each vehicle.

Question 25: Section 396.11 requires the driver, at the completion of each day’s work, to prepare a written report on each vehicle operated that day. Does this section require a “post trip inspection” of the kind described in §396.15?

Guidance: No. However, the written report must include all defects in the parts and accessories listed in §396.11(a) that were discovered by or reported to the driver during that day.

Question 26: Is the motor carrier official or agent who certifies that defects or deficiencies have been corrected or that correction was unnecessary required to be a mechanic or have training concerning commercial motor vehicle maintenance?

Guidance: No. Section 396.11 does not establish minimum qualifications for motor carrier officials or agents who certify that defects or deficiencies on DVIRs are corrected. With the exception of individuals performing the periodic or annual inspection (§396.19), and motor carrier employees responsible for ensuring that brake-related inspection, repair, or maintenance tasks are performed correctly (§396.25), Part 396 of the FMCSRs does not establish minimum qualifications for maintenance personnel. Motor carriers, therefore, are not prohibited from having DVIRs certified by company officials or agents who do not have experience repairing or maintaining commercial motor vehicles.

Whip Around is an electronic DVIR software that meets all of the FMCSA requirements. If you would like to learn more you can book a demo of the software and speak to our of our professionals about how to switch over from another system.

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