Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program
All commercial vehicles, trailers and converter dollies are subject to the Massachusetts Commercial Vehicle Inspection . The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) approved the Massachusetts Commercial Vehicle Inspection as equivalent to the annual FMCSA or "DOT" inspection. If your commercial vehicle/trailer receives a state safety inspection, you are not required to obtain a separate FMCSA or "DOT" inspection.
The Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that is signed by the licensed vehicle inspector is proof of compliance with FMCSA inspection requirements, not the windshield sticker on the vehicle. RMV recommends that the VIR is maintained inside the vehicle at all times.
Massachusetts registered single, full, or semi-trailers that are used in commerce and have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 3,000 pounds, or commercial vehicle/trailer combinations with a gross combined weight rating (GCVWR) of over 10,000 pounds are subject to this requirement, as are all heavy duty motor vehicles (over 10,000 pounds GVWR) and converter dollies. RMV has created a one-page poster to help illustrate these commercial testing requirements.
For more information, please visit http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/rmv/inspect/commercial_regs.pdf.
For heavy-duty vehicle owners, several testing options are available:
- Take your vehicle to an authorized public commercial inspection station. A number of stations are licensed to inspect heavy-duty vehicles. Contact the station in advance to discuss your specific heavy-duty vehicle needs.
- Call a mobile inspection station. Authorized inspection stations can send a mobile inspector to your garage to test your heavy-duty vehicles. The inspection fee ($35 per vehicle) is the same, but a service charge may be added.
- Become an inspector and do it yourself. As a licensed inspector, you can conduct safety and emissions tests in your own garage.
- Or you can become a mobile inspector and serve your multiple locations with a single testing unit.
For more information, see Commercial Vehicles.
Emissions Tests for Commercial Vehicles:
Many Massachusetts-registered commercial vehicles must pass an annual emissions test, which is given with the annual state safety inspection. The emissions test that a particular commercial vehicle gets depends on the vehicle’s GVWR and fuel type.
Commercial vehicles that fail an emissions test
must be repaired and pass a re-test within 60 days of their initial inspection.
No waivers of emission standards or economic hardship repair extensions
are available for commercial vehicles.
Federal DOT Regulations
Effective on October 22, 2008, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), added the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ annual safety inspection program for commercial motor vehicles to their list of Programs which have been determined to be comparable to, or as effective as, the Federal Periodic Inspection requirements contained in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Click here to download the Federal Register notice.
Commercial inspectors can learn more about U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations at the following pages:
- Part 393 – Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation
- Part 396 – Inspection, Repair and Maintenance
- Part 396.17 – Periodic Inspection
- Appendix G – Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards
Commercial vehicle operators and motor carriers can learn more about DOT regulations at the following pages:
- Inspection, Repair and Maintenance for Motor Carriers of Passengers
- A Motor Carrier's Guide to Improving Highway Safety .pdf (13 MB)
- Part 393 – Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation: see page numbers 81-88
- Part 396 – Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance: see page numbers 97-110