Vehicle Maintenance (FMCSR 393 and 396)


General Information

All motor carriers must ensure that their commercial motor vehicles are operated in a safe manner and are equipped in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Regulations.  This can be accomplished through periodic inspections, thorough maintenance record keeping, and using or hiring qualified maintenance personnel.

Motor carriers are required to maintain the following maintenance records for every vehicle they have control over for 30 days or more:

  1. Identifying information to include, the make, company number if so marked, serial number or VIN, year and tire size,
  2. A schedule of inspections to be performed including type and due date,
  3. Records of inspections, repairs and maintenance performed with supporting documents and receipts, and
  4. Records of tests conducted on buses with push-out windows, emergency doors and marking lights.
  5. Documentation that a Periodic Inspection has been completed within the last 12 months by a qualified inspector.

​These records must be retained for one year at the location where the vehicle is garaged and maintained for six months after the vehicle leaves the carriers control via sale, trade-in or scrap.

Every motor carrier shall require its drivers to complete a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report in writing at the completion of each day's work only on each vehicle when defects are found. 

Related Federal Regulations

The parts and accessories necessary for safe operation on every CMV can be found in Part 393 of the FMCSRs.

There is an exception for "covered farm vehicles" from Part 396 which is described in Part 396.1 of the FMCSRs. 

Inspection, Repair and Maintenance Records (FMCSR Part 396.3)

Roadside Inspection Requirements (FMCSR Part 396.9)

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) (FMCSR Part 396.11)

Periodic Inspections (FMCSR Part 396.17)

Intrastate Commerce Exemptions

Colorado Adoptions (42-4-235(4)(a) C.R.S.)

Applies only to carriers operating within Colorado (intrastate commerce)

Parts 393 and 396 have been adopted for intrastate carriers with no modifications.

Related Forms and Publications

Maintenance Record

DVIR Example

Periodic Inspector Qualification Form

Brake Inspector/Mechanic Qualification Form

Periodic Inspection Report Example

Record Retention Requirements