- § 396.3
Inspection, repair, and maintenance.
- § 396.9
Inspection of motor vehicles and intermodal equipment in operation.
- § 396.11
Driver vehicle inspection report(s).
- § 396.13
- § 396.17
- § 396.19
- § 396.21
Periodic inspection recordkeeping requirements.
- § 396.23
Equivalent to periodic inspection.
- § 396.25
Qualifications of brake inspectors.
Section § 396.3: Inspection, repair, and maintenance.Below are the available interpretations for the given section. To return to the list of parts, use the Parts link above. The menu to the left provides a full list of sections that have interpretations. To view interpretations for a different section, click on the menu item.
The regulations text of the section can be found on the eCFR website. To view the regulations text, use the link below. For assistance, please send an email to FMCSA.Webmaster@dot.gov.
View regulations for Part 396
Question 1: What is meant by "systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance"?
Guidance: Generally, systematic means a regular or scheduled program to keep vehicles in a safe operating condition. §396.3 does not specify inspection, maintenance, or repair intervals because such intervals are fleet specific and, in some instances, vehicle specific. The inspection, repair, and maintenance intervals are to be determined by the motor carrier. The requirements of §396.11, 396.13, and 396.17 are in addition to the systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance required by §396.3.
Question 2: 396.3(b)(4) refers to a record of tests. What tests are required of push-out windows and emergency door lamps on buses?
Guidance: Generally, inspection of a push-out window would require pushing out the window. However, if the window may be destroyed by pushing out to test its proper functioning, a visual inspection may qualify as a test if the inspector can ascertain the proper functioning of the window without opening it. Checking to ensure that the rubber push-out molding is properly in place and has not deteriorated and that any handles or marking instructions have not been tampered with would meet the test requirement. Inspection of emergency door marking lights would require opening the door to test the lights.
Question 3: Who has the responsibility of inspecting and maintaining leased vehicles and their maintenance records?
Guidance: The motor carrier must either inspect, repair, maintain, and keep suitable records for all vehicles subject to its control for30 consecutive days or more, or cause another party to perform such activities. The motor carrier is solely responsible for ensuring that the vehicles under its control are in safe operating condition and that defects have been corrected.
Question 4: Is computerized recordkeeping of CMV inspection and maintenance information permissible under §396.3 of the FMCSRs?
Guidance: Yes, if the minimum inspection, repair, and maintenance records required are included in the computer information system and can be reproduced on demand.
Question 5: Where must vehicle inspection and maintenance records be retained if a vehicle is not housed or maintained at a single location?
Guidance: The motor carrier may retain the records at a location of its choice. If the vehicle maintenance records are retained at a location apart from the vehicle, the motor carrier is not relieved of its responsibility for ensuring that the records are current and factual. In all cases, however, upon request of the FHWA the maintenance records must be made available within a reasonable period of time (2 working days).