7 Important DVIR Facts

A Driver Vehicle Inspection Report is an important component of fleet DOT compliance and safety.  The keys to maintaining DVIR compliance are to ensure that drivers are doing their daily inspections and to make sure that vehicles with failed inspections are getting fixed (if required) before they are driven.  The inspections are a critical part of a truck driver’s daily routine and are essential to keeping vehicles in good condition in order to provide safe roads for everyone.  The following seven important DVIR facts provide useful guidance to help ensure both safety and compliance in the transportation industry.

What Is a DVIR?

  • The full name is “Driver Vehicle Inspection Report”.
  • It is a formal record confirming that a driver has completed an inspection on a commercial motor vehicle stating that it is safe for operation. Inspections are carried out at the beginning and end of the day (called the pre-trip and post-trip inspection).
  • The DVIR is specified under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Section 396.11 and 396.13 and is enforced by the DOT. Click on the following link for more information – https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/396.11

What is a DVIR Report?

  • A Driver Vehicle Inspection Report is a report that needs to be completed daily by drivers for any commercial vehicle they operate. The report is completed either on paper or electronically.  With electronic DVIRs (eDVIRS), the inspection process is more efficient and those carriers who have adopted electronic logging can take advantage of vehicle inspection functionality on their ELDs.
  • DVIRs are enforced by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
  • The report must be retained for three months from the date the report is submitted at the place of business or where the vehicle is housed (domiciled).

What Does a Vehicle Inspection Report Include?

  • Brakes and air system (Brakes rank as the most frequent roadside inspection violation for equipment).
  • Steering mechanism
  • Lights and reflectors
  • Tires, wheels, and rims (Tires rank as the second most frequent roadside inspection violation for equipment).
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rear view mirrors
  • Coupling equipment and fifth wheels
  • Safety and emergency equipment

What is the DVIR Process?

  • Vehicle Visual Inspection – A driver will perform a walk-around of the vehicle, checking under the hood, walking around to look for defects or damage, and starting the vehicle to test the lights and brakes, among other things.
  • Report Defects – The driver must report defects or deficiencies that will impact the safe operation of the vehicle or could lead to a breakdown.
  • Sign Off – the driver signs the report then submits it to the commercial motor carrier.
  • Corrective Action and Certification of Repairs – motor carriers must immediately repair and certify any defects listed on the DVIR that would affect the safe operation of the vehicle.

Why is a DVIR Required?

The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial vehicles. DVIRs help ensure a vehicle is in a safe and optimal condition before and after each trip.  This provides a safe environment for the driver and anyone around the vehicle.

Who Conducts Roadside Inspections?

In the U.S., Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Inspectors are responsible for carrying out roadside inspections on commercial motor vehicles and drivers. Following the criteria in the North American Standard Inspection Program (established by the CVSA), inspectors check the trucks to verify that they follow federal safety and hazardous materials regulations.  Click on the link for more information on these inspections – https://cvsa.org/inspections/inspections/

What are the Penalties for Non-compliance?

  • Carriers found in non-compliance with DVIR regulations are subject to fines from the DOT officer at their discretion.  Aside from fines, there are other costs associated with noncompliance.  If a vehicle is found unsafe, it will immediately be deemed Out-of-Service (OOS) until it’s repaired.  Unplanned downtime can lead to lost revenue for the carrier.  In addition, the carrier’s CSA score could take a hit, which would cause a loss of good reputation.
  • The CVSA conducted an International Roadcheck inspection and enforcement initiative in June 2018. More information regarding this inspection and the results can be found here – https://cvsa.org/news-entry/2018-roadcheck-results/

Safety is the most important and obvious reason to perform a vehicle inspection.  By completing the next step and filling out the DVIR, the driver is also fulfilling the legal obligation required by the DOT to remain compliant.  Breakdowns and crashes on the road can cost fleets precious time, money and lives, so steps must be taken to minimize this liability and risk.   These seven important facts regarding DVIRs have outlined what the DVIR entails and how to fulfill this obligation to keep things running smoothly and safely!


“What is DVIR? Fleet Compliance Guide (DVIRs)”, John Thayilchira, July 6, 2017.

“Top 5 Roadside Inspection Violations”, Mark Bigger, December 12, 2018.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance website.

To view a copy of the daily DVIR required for commercial drivers by the FMCSA in Orange County Florida, click on the link – http://apps.ocfl.net/dept/county_admin/public_safety/risk/driver_vehicle_inspection7.pdf