Commercial Vehicle Inspections

Vehicles may be selected for roadside inspection based on observation of their safety condition or by a computerized Inspection Selection System (ISS). Motor Carrier Services personnel typically check vehicles and their drivers for compliance with federal and state motor carrier safety regulations. They also check shipping papers, hazardous materials, and other cargos as appropriate.

In addition, South Dakota conducts commercial inspections on drivers and vehicles in conjunction with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) out-of-service criteria. Motor Carrier Services may place a CVSA decal on units of a vehicle that pass the safety equipment inspection without serious defect and may waive the inspection of vehicles displaying current inspection decals issued by other CVSA member jurisdictions.

An out-of-service sticker may be affixed to vehicle units placed out of service if major defects are detected. A South Dakota Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report is completed for each driver and vehicle inspection. Copies of inspections are provided to the driver after each inspection.

The SDHP is trained to perform North American Standard Level I through Level V inspections. Table 27 describes the inspection levels and what to expect during each level of inspection. Most safety stops include a verification of registration and insurance documents.

Level I (North American Standard Inspection)

Level I Inspection includes examination of Driver License, medical examiner’s certificate and waiver (if applicable), alcohol and drugs, driver’s record of duty status as required, hours of service, vehicle mechanisms and parts, vehicle inspection report, annual vehicle inspection, coupling devices, lamps on projecting loads, safe loading, van and open-top trailer bodies, emergency exits on buses, and hazardous materials requirements, as applicable.

Level II (Walk-Around Driver-Vehicle Inspection)

Level II Inspection includes most of the items specified under the Level I inspection. The walk-around driver-vehicle inspection generally addresses only those items that can be inspected without getting underneath the vehicle.

Level III (Driver-Credentials Inspection)

Level III Inspection is a roadside examination of the Driver License, medical certification and waiver (if applicable), driver’s record of duty status as required, hours of service, seat belt, vehicle inspection report, and hazardous materials requirements, as applicable.

Level IV (Special Inspection)

Level IV Inspection typically includes a one-time examination of a particular item. These examinations are normally made in support of a special study or to verify or refute a suspected trend.

Level V (Vehicle-Only Inspection)

Level V Inspection includes each of the vehicle inspection items specified under the Level I inspection, without a driver present, conducted at any location.

Level VI (Radioactive-Load Inspection)

Level VI Inspection is an examination for radioactive shipments that includes the items specified under the Level I inspection, with stricter requirements for corrective strategies.