DOT Inspection Checklist


The Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspection Checklist is an essential tool for ensuring that commercial vehicles meet the strict safety standards set by the DOT.

Adherence to this checklist is not only a regulatory requirement but also a critical step in ensuring the safety of the driver, cargo, and other road users.

Regular completion of this checklist can help identify and rectify potential mechanical and safety issues before they lead to serious incidents or result in costly fines during official inspections.

Utilizing this checklist effectively can lead to improved vehicle performance, reduced downtime, and a safer transportation environment.

This comprehensive review is designed to guide you through each necessary step, ensuring your vehicle remains compliant with federal regulations and operates safely on the road.

DOT Inspection Checklist

Vehicle Information:

Company Name: ___________________________________
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): _______________
Make/Model: ______________________________________
License Plate Number: _____________________________
Date of Inspection: _______________________________
Inspector’s Name: ________________________________
Driver’s Name: ____________________________________

1. General Documents:

[  ] Current vehicle registration.

[  ] Proof of insurance.

[  ] Driver’s valid commercial driving license (CDL).

[  ] Medical Examiner’s Certificate.

[  ] Electronic Logging Device (ELD) or logbook (if required).

2. Braking System:

[  ] Service brakes, including trailer brake connections.

[  ] Parking brake.

[  ] Brake drums or rotors.

[  ] Brake pads or shoes.

[  ] Air or hydraulic lines and hoses.

3. Steering Mechanism:

[  ] Steering wheel and column.

[  ] Front axle and suspension.

[  ] Steering gear box.

[  ] Power steering system.

[  ] Pitman arm, drag link, and tie rod ends.

4. Visibility:

[  ] Windshield (for cracks, chips, or illegal stickers).

[  ] Windshield wipers and washer.

[  ] Side and rear view mirrors.

[  ] Glass and mirror cleanliness.

5. Lights and Reflectors:

[  ] Headlights (high beam and low beam).

[  ] Tail lights and illumination of rear license plate.

[  ] Turn signals (front and rear).

[  ] Stop lights and emergency flashers.

[  ] Side marker lights and reflectors.

[  ] Clearance lights.

6. Tires, Wheels, and Rims:

[  ] Tire tread depth and condition.

[  ] Wheel and rim condition.

[  ] Air pressure.

[  ] Hub oil and grease seals.

[  ] Lug nuts and locking devices.

7. Fuel System:

[  ] Fuel tank and cap.

[  ] Fuel lines and connections.

[  ] No leaks or improper repairs.

8. Coupling Devices (if applicable):

[  ] Fifth wheel condition.

[  ] Kingpin and locking mechanism.

[  ] Pintle hooks.

[  ] Drawbar/towbar and eyes.

9. Exhaust System:

[  ] Exhaust lines and pipes.

[  ] Muffler condition.

[  ] No exhaust leaks or illegal modifications.

10. Cargo Securement (if applicable):

[  ] Use of proper load securing devices.

[  ] Condition of straps, chains, and binders.

[  ] Adequate number of tie-downs for cargo type and weight.

11. Electrical System:

[  ] Battery condition and security.

[  ] Alternator, wiring, and electrical connections.

[  ] No bare wires or loose connections.

12. Frame and Body:

[  ] Frame condition (no cracks, bends, or holes).

[  ] Body, including cab and trailer.

[  ] Condition of doors, floors, and walls.

13. Safety Equipment:

[  ] Fire extinguisher (proper type and charged).

[  ] Warning triangles and spare fuses.

[  ] Safety belts and harnesses.

14. Horn:

[  ] Proper working condition.

[  ] Loud and clear sound.

Additional Notes/Observations:

Inspector’s Declaration:

I, the undersigned, certify that I have personally inspected the above-named commercial vehicle and have checked all the items listed in this checklist according to DOT standards and regulations.

Inspector’s Signature: ___________________________ Date: ___________

Driver’s Declaration:

I, the undersigned, acknowledge the findings of this inspection and commit to addressing any issues identified.

Driver’s Signature: _____________________________ Date: ___________


Completing the DOT Inspection Checklist is a proactive measure towards maintaining the highest standards of safety and compliance in your fleet operations.

By thoroughly inspecting each component as outlined, you are not only preparing your vehicle for DOT inspections but are also contributing to the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation industry.

Regular checks and maintenance can significantly decrease the likelihood of vehicle breakdowns and accidents, enhancing road safety for everyone.

Remember, a well-maintained vehicle is less likely to face penalties during random DOT checks and is more likely to exhibit optimal performance and fuel efficiency.

Stay diligent, stay compliant, and ensure that every journey begins and ends safely.

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