A DVIR or Driver Vehicle Inspection Report is the official record of pre-trip and post-trip commercial motor vehicle (CMV) inspections. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires the completion of DVIRs under Federal Law 49 CFR 396.11 and 396.13. The goal of these laws and inspections is to ensure all commercial motor vehicles are compliant with road safety. Failure to complete inspections and DVIRs can result in expensive fines, potential loss of licenses or certifications, and having the CMV taken out of commission. For a streamlined DVIR process, you can complete them digitally with electronic DVIRs (eDVIRs). Additionally, eDVIRs make it easier to comply with the requirement of storing DVIRs for three months from the date of submission.
What Inspections are Required by DVIRs?
CMV drivers must inspect their vehicle before driving every day and again at the end of the day. A pre-trip inspection of the vehicle involves reviewing the last DVIR and inspecting all of the crucial components from the fuel tank to the lights. For a multi-day trip, you must complete a pre-trip inspection daily to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive. A post-trip inspection goes through the same process, but the objective is to catch any new issues or repairs needed after the day of driving.
Whether you are a CMV driver or a carrier, it is important to know what the drivers are responsible for. The DVIR process requires drivers to:
- Perform a 360-degree visual inspection (often called a circle check)
- Complete thorough physical pre and post-trip inspections
- Keep all safety reports with the vehicle
- Immediately notify the owner or carrier of any vehicle defects or problems
- Send the owner or carrier copies of all DVIRs
- Inspect and sign off on any repairs performed
Benefits of Completing Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports
In addition to avoiding the fines or other consequences of non-compliance, pre and post-trip inspections actually provide some benefits to businesses. These inspections enable your drivers to identify issues that need attention and avoid vehicle breakdown during operation. This can help reduce the cost of repairs, delays, and total downtime. Furthermore, it offers data on the health of your vehicles and the care taken by your drivers. Finally, an inspection could be the one thing that saves your driver and vehicle from getting in a major accident.
If the benefits don’t motivate you to make sure your DVIRs are completed and kept on file, then the penalties certainly will. The fines for violating the FMCSA’s requirements include:
- Failure to complete a DVIR = $1,270 per day maximum
- Intentional falsification, destruction, or change of DVIRs = $12,695 maximum
- Non-recordkeeping violations = $15,419 maximum per violation
- Impact to your FMCSA Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score, which may lead to a loss of business.
CMV drivers are also financially motivated to comply with DVIR regulations. If the FMCSA finds that the driver is responsible for non-compliance or any issues, then the driver may be fined in addition to the carrier.
Reasons to Go Digital
The fact that your vehicles are on the go makes a paper-based DVIR process more complicated. Your drivers have to take plenty of blank forms, keep all the completed forms, and send the carrier copies. With more manual effort, there is more room for error or simply forgetting a step. An eDVIR enables drivers to use a mobile device to complete inspections and store the information. They no longer have to deal with stacks of blank forms, three months’ worth of completed DVIRs, and remembering to send copies. Instead, the driver can complete the inspection, and the app handles the rest.
Digitizing the process allows everyone to access real-time vehicle data, and even enables automatic notifications when a driver records that repairs are needed. While eDVIRs simplify the process for you and your drivers, the most important thing is that your driver and fleet operate safely and comply with DVIR regulations.